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#1
sunny441

sunny441

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Hi fellow geeks..

Its been a long time since i posted here. Hope everything is fine with you guys!!

My buddy wants a message board for doctors in chicago land - where they can connect and discuss stuff.

My questions are:

1.) where can i get a free message board engine? is it better to get the paid one and how much do they cost?

2.) what extent of PHP or any other language would i have to know in order to get the message board up and running?? What will i have to use to change the graphics and other things?

3.) Also, what about security issues, how do we keep people we dont want from joining the site?

4.) what about hosting? can i host on any of the domains that my buddy owns?

Thanks..

will post if i have more q's

cheers
:whistling:
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#2
Matt T

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Hey Sunny441,

Welcome back to the forums. You can get a free message board from a number of places. Invision Free does a free one and they host it themselves with ads. I am not sure how secure it would be if what the doctors are discussing is confidential. Also if the information discussed is confidential you would have to have a way to make sure everyone on the forum is ment to me on their and they keep their account secure. You can get a free one from PhpBB, the code is free but you have to host it yourself. It would be better to get a paid one I think. But it depends on how serious you are going to be around getting the forum up and running. You could do the same as Geeks To Go and get a paid one from Invision.

2.) what extent of PHP or any other language would i have to know in order to get the message board up and running?? What will i have to use to change the graphics and other things?

You don't really need to know any other code. You don't need to change the graphics and the other things but I think you can change the images but that doesn't use code. The only code you would need to know is BB Code and that is the code that forums use to format the text in the posts but you don't need to know it.

3.) Also, what about security issues, how do we keep people we dont want from joining the site?

I wouldn't go for a free site that hosts your forum themselves if you are that concerned about security. A paid forum might be a better option. There are options to keep the forum private but then the users would have to keep their passwords secure.

4.) what about hosting? can i host on any of the domains that my buddy owns?

You wouldn't need to be concerned about it if you went with a hosted forum (but they would use their URL). If you are hosting it yourself it depends on the forum maker but with PhpBB the site needs to have one of these supported:

# MySQL 3.2x,
# PostgreSQL 7.x,
# Microsoft SQL Server 7/2000
# Microsoft Access (via ODBC)

You would need to contact your Hosting Provider to see if they support them if you don't know.

Otherwise it depends on what forum you go with. I hope I have been of help.

~Matt :-)
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#3
thenotch

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1. This link: http://thinkofit.com...f/forumsoft.htm has a TON of stuff about forum software. It's a good place to start. Free software is NOT the worst way to go as there are some really spiffy packages out there such as MyBB, PunBB, and SMF for example. That being said vBulletin has a long standing history of being top-notch and Invision Power Board a close second. I suggest investigating what each has to offer in conjunction with what your expected outcome is for the forums and go from there.

2. Most of these programs will run out of the box with zero knowledge of PHP. Having a bit of programming understanding is beneficial for tweaking and will determine your choice in step one (if the forum is very basic and requires code tweaking to make it more functional a solution like vBulletin my be better suited to your needs than say PunBB). Graphics is a whole other monster. You can use a free program like The Gimp to edit graphics or spend money and buy quality programs like PaintShop Pro or Photoshop.

3. Keeping people from joing the site is easy. the forum software (and most if not all have this) should be configured to require all new accounts to be monitored and approved by an administrator prior to the people being able to join. So if someone joins and you don't want them to you just decline their request. There are other ways as well and can be found in the documentation of the forum software you choose. Use this also as a tool for determining which one you do choose.

4. If you buddy's domains have a SQL database (most forum software uses MySQL or PostgreSQL), PHP and the ability to FTP or SSH in to the server to upload the software then you are set. You will need to determine what the forum's domain name will be. If it is one that your buddy owns you are finished, if you wish it to be something else you will need to purchase the domain name and configure the nameservers to point to the nameservers of where you are hosting the site.
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#4
sunny441

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thanks for the info
i have settled on the MYBB software. the interface is cool and it is easy to do.

One question that i have is that the hosting company will give me 75 MYSQL databases...

is that enough for a msg board

thanks

SUnny
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#5
DKasler

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thanks for the info
i have settled on the MYBB software. the interface is cool and it is easy to do.

One question that i have is that the hosting company will give me 75 MYSQL databases...

is that enough for a msg board

thanks

SUnny


You only need 1. :whistling:
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#6
sunny441

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Hi:

what about usernames and password and logins.. does the MYBB thing do that automatically? or will that be something that I have to work on?
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#7
thenotch

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Hi:

what about usernames and password and logins.. does the MYBB thing do that automatically? or will that be something that I have to work on?


If you are going to assign accounts then yes, you will have a lot of work ahead of you as you will ahve to enter all pertinent information.

The better route is to allow the users you want to join by creating a administered registration. Meaning, when a new user signs up they fill in all their information including username and password, you just have to verify they are who they say they are, that their information is correct and that their username and password meets whatever criteria you set in place. You monitor these as they come in instead of doing them all in one big batch.
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#8
sunny441

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Yeah:

thats what i had in mind. automatic registration or where the person enters info and then an email is sent out to them and they can click on the link in their email and they are all set. moderators can then see what they post and what they are upto and take neccesary action if needed!!!

Is this too much work? or is this simple enough? i will be registering the domain later today and i should be good to go in a few hours

Cheers

SUnny
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