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Friday, June 17, 2011

You Can Simplify the Set Up Process!

In several previous articles I mentioned my having downloaded and installed the fantastic PHPBB open source forum. I shared with readers the lengthy and tedious process of selecting the right mirror, downloading the files to my computer, and following all the long, drawn out, and complicated set up steps. Fortunately, what was once a procedure that took the better part of a day can now take 30 minutes or less to complete! Let's take a look how you can shorten the entire set up process and start benefiting from this free, popular program.

When I set up my first two PHPBB forums in June 2005, I did so under duress. Just days earlier, my then message board host – EZBoard – had their entire system shut down by hackers. Or so they claimed. My two popular sites, the Aviation Employment Board and the Corporate Flight Attendant Community were left in the dark as EZBoard's system rendered the sites virtually inoperable. With a repair promised, but several weeks away, I decided that I needed to quickly move away from EZBoard and over to a forum where I could exercise full control. Enter PHPBB.

Because I needed to use a cumbersome EZBoard converter file to transfer threads over to the new site, I had to take the long way of setting up my new forums. Indeed, the converter file was imperfect and quite a number of threads never made the transition. Still, when all was said and done, the new forums were light years ahead of EZBoard.

Since setting up my first two forums, I had to set up a third forum for a customer. This time, I chose the quick route by setting up the forum through my web hosting company. As is the practice of some web hosts, fully set up forums are available for your downloading. Simply select a web host offering this feature, establish your database with them [usually MySQL], and download the files. Within minutes, a fully usable forum will be established on your site and all you have to do is set up the forum parameters and then you are ready to go.

PHPBB is a terrific forum, one that doesn't charge set up fees or an annual license charge [unlike vBulletin] and is certain to help you make your site a success. Download PHPBB today to get started on building your online community! 


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