Sites providing free forums?

By abecedarian ยท 11 replies
Mar 19, 2005
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  1. Hope this is the right place for this?

    I'm hoping for some suggestion for sites whereby I can create a free forum/message board.

    I have an apartment in a problematic building, and there's a general feeling that residents are upset and worried, but too fearful to speak up. A forum/message board might be perfect to give people a chance to discover if they have like-minded neighbors, and might be a first step to solving problems. Unfortunately, I'm not knowledgeable about the internet, and actually don't even have my own computer. (Embarrassing to admit.)

    I'm hoping that all you experts might provide a few bits of information. I know there various sites that host boards for free, but I gather that those are to hook up to an existing website and require that the administrator has his/her own computer. Are there any places offering message boards that are web-based, in the sense that I can manage it from public computers (at a library or internet cafe)?

    I think we'd need something fairly simple - 5 or 6 forums to be used by maybe 40-90 people. However, I don't want anything like the Yahoo groups options, which I find limited and unattractve. I'm hoping for something with a layout comparable to phpbb, and something that provides serious anonymity, so that people (including me!) won't be paranoid about building management harassing them.

    Any suggestions would be gratefully explored. But keep in mind that I'm a novice, so go easy on jargon
  2. somekid007

    somekid007 TS Rookie Posts: 271

    If you have your own website, there's an opensource solution for you. It's called BeeHive and was recently given a good review on ExtremeTech. In the summary, they say, "Beehive has often been overshadowed by other open source forum software such as phpBB and others. But it is second to none when it comes to user management, interface, and admin tools. All in all it is an excellent piece of software for building and managing a message board based online community." (read the rest here, Best wishes to you and your neighbours. Keep the faith.

    EDIT: Sorry, brain lapse, didn't notice you didn't own a computer.
  3. TylerBello

    TylerBello TS Rookie Posts: 24

    Its phpbb...but it has ads and is not to my knowledge customizable (skin wise)

    Ive known people with experience with it...good for the most part.
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You can set up your own forum on any webhost. There is forum software out there that doesn't even require PHP or a database.
  5. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

  6. cyberstrat

    cyberstrat TS Rookie

    Try < >
    It's free for basic forums.
    If you don't have your own system - library / cybercafe / friend
    Best wishes - cyberstrat
  7. abecedarian

    abecedarian TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 40

    This is a great start!

    Cyberstrat, I saw Aimoo, and was curious, but I couldn't find any real chat (i.e. opinions) about it elsewhere, except for one complaint that said their support was inadequate, and I'm leery of places that hide their location. I mean, naturally chat on the site is going to be biased. Have you used it yourself?

    Nodsu, could you make any further suggestions beyond "any webhost"? Are there any that you consider clear, helpful, well-designed?

    Thanks, Spike and TylerBello, I'll take a look at Proboards and the Phpbbfor free. I suppose I might be able to live with ads, if they're not too big and don't flash and spin and whatnot. (Does "skin-wise" refer to the on-screen appearance, like color, or more structural things like number of forums and how the replies appear?)

    Thanks, guys!
  8. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I was talking about the possibility of you designing your own site making it clear, helpful and well-designed yourself :p

    I don't think very well of predesigned template-based generic websites..
  9. Ph30nIX

    Ph30nIX TS Rookie Posts: 243

    nodsu, you say theres forums boards that dont require PHP or a Db,
    what would these be, i have my own website and want a forums as a sub directory, but i oculdnt get phpBB working because those lazy barstar.ds of a webhost dont provide any support for the Db's.

  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

  11. Ph30nIX

    Ph30nIX TS Rookie Posts: 243

    well i couldnt use asp, so im guessing no cgi/perl,

    I have PHP, and My SQL, the only problem is it gives me a preset Db, of which i cannot edit (im using a free host), i will try email the admin for him to setup it up for me,

    that thread you sent, seemed like they were all PHP, and out of all the boards ive checks (even ones claiming to be "html") have required a Db, which i cannot properly access.

    Anyway, thanks for the effort,
    Ph30nIX.. :wave:
  12. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You cannot have forums without any active components at all. There has to be some part that does all the math - either PHP/ASP or some CGI backend.

    If you have PHP then I don't see your problem really.
    Lack of ASP means nothing - most webhosts don't have it.

    And I just looked at the Discus page again and there is no database in system requirements.

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