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I want to make my own web forums....


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#1 Reservoir

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:41 PM

I want to make my own web forums... I want a site like this or KHI, et cetera. I tend to really like this ipb forum, though I'm used to seeing vbulletin, too. I know there are many other types of forums as well.
To be honest, though, I don't know the first thing about this stuff, or where to start. Knowing me, I'd screw up badly if I try to do this own my own. So, I want help to start out, and from there I'll try to learn on my own. I have a few various coding and such books, and there are also web resources for building, customizing, et cetera a website.
What I need help with the most: How do I get my own website/web forums? Where do I go to get a site like this one? What about hosting? and servers? How much does this stuff usually cost? Is there anything that I need to know for maintaining the site and starting out?

I've done nothing with my life thus far, and I need to start. I want to start working with some of what I want to be as part of my career. I'm usually unmotivated, but I feel like taking this step will help me start. Besides, screw it. I'm going nowhere so far, anyway, so there's nothing bad that this can do for me.

So, please.... Just help me start. :/
I'm ot wanting to hear if this is a "mistake," a "waste of money," or anything else.... If I fuck up, at least it will be because of me. As long as I can't get into legal trouble, I really don't care, and I really don't have anything to lose...

Thanks in advance...
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#2 Valor

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:22 PM

Why don't you start by trying to make a skin for KG? It runs on CSS, which is pretty "simple" to learn and a nice way to get your feet wet for free. Otherwise you need to spend a pretty penny to get things rolling. A vb license costs < 200 dollars from them, which is a lot to spend in the idea of learning. There are other easier ways to get started that won't put you out so much cash to start.


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#3 Reservoir

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:32 PM

Because I want to work with something where it doesn't matter if I muck up. Due to just not caring, I've had wayy more money than that go to waste on nothing. I also spent at least double that for Christmas. I don't see the point in not spending it on something at least slightly productive. As well, it's not like th--What's the difference. I use one for a while to learn before opening it. Blade has had several sites so far that thus far have been nothing more than a hangout for all of us. What the fuck's the difference? If you're just going to discourge me, please just get out. Thanks for the concern, but I really don't give a fuck right now. Sorry to be rude, but--not unexpected--I'm upset and it seems like this will only serve to do what I expected: Upset me. I just decided to vainly hope that this might go well, as well as my venture.
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#4 Dion

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:37 PM

Val was only trying to help D: He made some valid points. You could get a feel for the whole "running a site" thing if you tried your hands at the icky coding stuff that goes into the skin. And you know how important the skin is for everything on the forums. :I I'm pretty sure he only pointed out the cost etc so that you would know how much you would be spending, something you actually asked for in your OP...


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#5 Valor

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:49 PM

How do I get my own website/web forums? Where do I go to get a site like this one? What about hosting? and servers? How much does this stuff usually cost? Is there anything that I need to know for maintaining the site and starting out?

 

I told you the damn costs. Don't get all snippy at me when I answer exactly what you ask.

 

Sorry, I'm not gonna just say "Oh your ideas are super great, go do them!" if I don't believe it's the case. Not what friends do.

 

I started programming on the web years ago on free hosting. You can find that. You can't really find "free" forums. Web design work and forum design are two different things entirely. They are not the same. They are actually different.

 

Since you want to make a forum, I gave you an idea to work on a forum that already exists and is looking for new skins. Why would you get pissed at me for suggesting this? If you fuck up here, no one fucking cares. We're actually going to offer advice and insight and help and tips on how to improve.

 

Don't jump the fuck down my throat when I'm trying to help you on this topic.

 

It seems like you have it all figured out, so why even ask for help and use google to search for and find what you clearly want.


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#6 Blade

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:19 AM

Because I want to work with something where it doesn't matter if I muck up..

 

UHHHHH sorry to break the news to you sweety but if you mess one ONE LINE on a forum code then you're whole website will be done. You change one small thing and you will get errors. You want a start? Go look at the free forum softwares lik PHPBB.com vbulletin and IPB are a waste of money for people who know nothing about forums or managing them.

 

I can tell you right now that your coding books won't matter to a forum, do you know what FTP is? Do you know what cpanel is and what it's used for? Do you know about mysql and attaching database usernames into one server? Do you know how to set the DNS to your hosting server?  What are you going to do when you get an 404 error when clicking on a post or user? What are you going to do with a database error of 112004? Do you know how to add modules? do you know where you upload them? Do you know how to manage a hook plugin into a template?

 

 

You can't just build a site like this, you have to put in a lot of money into it and a lot of knowledge.

 

Let me throw some numbers at you.

 

My VB license cost $246

IPB License cost me $186, plus $60 every 6 months.

Skins cost me $24 each, if not more.

 

Also certain modules are going to cost your more.

 

Hosting- Don't look for anything below $20. And trust me a good server costs a pretty penny.

Also you're going to want a mainsite, that can be coded but will also require a lot of time, How do you plan on managing a community a website and coding it?

 

 

You also need SEO which mine cost $180 plus $30 every year, that way google can crawl your posts. Also you need to know that content sells, if you're the only one posting content then your site will get nowhere, you need a team of at least 4. Also it takes about a full year for your site to be on google, don't expect to be high on google also. Truth is if you start a forum expect nobody to visit it for at least 2 years until you get good quality, fresh content that no other site has.

 

 

Remember I started out 5 times, Two of my forums were Kingdom Hearts related, why did they fail? Because there were 5 other KH sites providing THE SAME content I was, so who would google look at first? A noob site or an experienced site with members and previous quality content? of course them. The problem with running a forum is that it's like a full time job, you have to post quality content BEFORE other competitor sites. I don't even have time for all of that, and knowing you have a job you won't either.


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#7 Reservoir

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:41 AM

Val was only trying to help D: He made some valid points. You could get a feel for the whole "running a site" thing if you tried your hands at the icky coding stuff that goes into the skin. And you know how important the skin is for everything on the forums. :I I'm pretty sure he only pointed out the cost etc so that you would know how much you would be spending, something you actually asked for in your OP...

I would really hate to break something that's not mine, though. D: I wouldn't want to ruin things for everyone or cause trouble for everyone. (I'm also terrible with constructive criticism and such, and would feel silly and just want to quit if everyone saw how bad I was doing during the learning stages... ;m;)
As for the thing about costs, my poor response is the result of my interpreting the way Rae replied as a discourgement, not just an answer. |:


UHHHHH sorry to break the news to you sweety but if you mess one ONE LINE on a forum code then you're whole website will be done. You change one small thing and you will get errors. You want a start? Go look at the free forum softwares lik PHPBB.com vbulletin and IPB are a waste of money for people who know nothing about forums or managing them.
 
I can tell you right now that your coding books won't matter to a forum, do you know what FTP is? Do you know what cpanel is and what it's used for? Do you know about mysql and attaching database usernames into one server? Do you know how to set the DNS to your hosting server?  What are you going to do when you get an 404 error when clicking on a post or user? What are you going to do with a database error of 112004? Do you know how to add modules? do you know where you upload them? Do you know how to manage a hook plugin into a template?
 
 
You can't just build a site like this, you have to put in a lot of money into it and a lot of knowledge.
 
Let me throw some numbers at you.
 
My VB license cost $246
IPB License cost me $186, plus $60 every 6 months.
Skins cost me $24 each, if not more.
 
Also certain modules are going to cost your more.
 
Hosting- Don't look for anything below $20. And trust me a good server costs a pretty penny.
Also you're going to want a mainsite, that can be coded but will also require a lot of time, How do you plan on managing a community a website and coding it?
 
 
You also need SEO which mine cost $180 plus $30 every year, that way google can crawl your posts. Also you need to know that content sells, if you're the only one posting content then your site will get nowhere, you need a team of at least 4. Also it takes about a full year for your site to be on google, don't expect to be high on google also. Truth is if you start a forum expect nobody to visit it for at least 2 years until you get good quality, fresh content that no other site has.
 
 
Remember I started out 5 times, Two of my forums were Kingdom Hearts related, why did they fail? Because there were 5 other KH sites providing THE SAME content I was, so who would google look at first? A noob site or an experienced site with members and previous quality content? of course them. The problem with running a forum is that it's like a full time job, you have to post quality content BEFORE other competitor sites. I don't even have time for all of that, and knowing you have a job you won't either.

PHPBB.com? Okay. It sounds like someplace to start once I'm ready.

Also, I admit. I basically have no knowledge right now. However, everyone starts somewhere. Reading around, gathering information, learning, and getting your feet wet is how a number of successful sites have gotten started, though. Also, I say "coding," grouping together all of my books that give knowledge of different computer language and such. I have a bood dedicated to HTML, MySQL, and some other things. I think I've also seen a book on starting a website/web forum, coding them, and designing them. I wasn't able to purchase it at the time, though. I'll have to look for it again.

Those numbers are quite a penny, by the way. I'll be so happy when I can easily afford that. Besides the fact that I really like forums like this one (and the newer KG forum popping this idea into my head,) my original focus was to mess around on free websites and such. (Mind you, that idea also got shot down and I was suggested to just work in Notepad or mess around with the coding of an existing site (by viewing the page's code and tampering around with it.) It's not like it's a totally bad idea, but for one, I'm limited to the apps my tablet has, I haven't really looked into many apps as I don't really trust things that aren't from an established company or group, and it's just.... You kind of have to understand how I feel... I'm so often hindered by my depression and resulting lack of motivation, it just... that sort of thing feels like "nothing" or akin to a child playing house...? I feel like by actually finally having something of my own and having moved a step forward when I feel so much like I am not and never will go anywhere, I will actually /do/ this and it not just sit there like text in Notepad would. I don't know. It's just that little taste of accomplishment that seems like it would make me feel inspired... :/)

Anyway, I admit to being very ignorant on all of this stuff. That's why I had hoped to find some kind of help from you guys who have some sort of experience with this. I had hoped you might help me find the starting line... :/ Yeah, I could try looking on my own, but I'm not quite sure the correct thing to look for or how to know that I've found it. I don't want to end up messing around with the wrong thing. Besides, don't you have to give up a bit of personal information when signing up for this sort of stuff (free website, buying a domain, et cetera)? I wouldn't want to be giving my information out to a fraud! I'm hopeless and a dreamer, but I'm not /that/ much of a fool. :<

By the way... the reason I was going to be alone on my site for a while was just for the learning process. I don't need people around while I'm messing stuff up or while things look terrible... >___>;;; It was kind of just to act as my personal progress and sort of "drawing board," "classroom," what-have-you while I learn things about websites, web forums, web design, programming languages, and the like.
If you're willing to give me any sort of aid with just something "free"/pointing me in the direction of some free materials, I greatly appreciate that. That's what I was originallly going for when I first really got the gripping desire for this around mid-autumn last year. Of course, if you don't want to help me at all and don't support this at all, that's your choice, too. I just figured I'd try and ask. [I can't recall the quote that applies to this. |:]

Also, Blade? How did you get started?

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#8 Blade

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:52 AM

I understand the need to have something to keep you focused away from depression. I too wanted something to call my own and keep my busy and focused. I understand the thing's you are going through and I wouldn't mind helping you in any sort of way. The best thing about forum making is the reward, you can spend a minute on your site and five hour will pass like that. Just when you have your forums added, your features added. your skins added the real work begins. You go out to different sites and start getting members in, I was so dedicated that I really spent 5 hours PMing members one by one to come join my forum. People took notice and joined. My first site which I was heavily dedicated on had 400 members in about a month, Most of them active too. My biggest regret was not being financially stable to hold on to the site, and now all those wonderful people I called my friends are scattered around the internet, never to be found.

 

I started off clueless about forums as well, my first forum was a free software called IPBB ( when it was free ) I loved messing around with it, the first week I screwed shit up bad. But it taught me a lot too. So when I created my first free site it looked just how I imagined it. So the best advice I can give you is to spend some time on a free software, mess with it, ruin it then come back when you feel you mastered it.

 

Here are some links to get you started, all are pretty similar to vbulletin and what we have now.

 

https://www.phpbb.com/

http://www.mybb.com/

http://www.eblah.com/

 

An important thing is to have a niche. Example you like pokemon and I feel like you would be dedicated enough to start a pokemon site. Do it, it's what you like, it's your life do it.


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#9 Reservoir

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:28 AM

Thank you so much, Blade. I sincerely mean it. This is very sweet of you. I'm sorry that you've gone through this, too, though...

I am very nervous about taking a step like this, but I have in mind the goal that I would like to reach.. I also can't help but think of what I'm hoping this will do for me regarding my depression as well as my overall personal growth--maturing and moving forward towards what I want to be a part of my future.

I have a lot to learn, and I'm not sure how long it will take me before I feel that I have mastered this and have the results to prove it, but I'll get there with enough hard work. You have to work at things in order to succeed. I'll use the links you gave me, the books I have, and any other resources I come across until I'm ready to take the next step.


Hmm... Now first is to decide what I want to make site about... I'm not sure if that's too big of a deal right now since what I'll be doing at the moment is learning all that I need to know about the coding and such of the site, but I think it would be good to include. I'll need to do a bit of brainstorming... While Pokémon sounds really good, I'm worried about how that would turn out. Similar to the issue that you run into with making a KH website, Pokémon is so popular and there are already so many big, well-known and highly established Pokémon sites already... ): From Bulbapedia to Serebii, to the various sites like GPX+ that provide both a "game" and forums, I'm not sure how I would compete. D: I suppose what's most important to me for actually setting up a site is the name. I'll likely just try to come up with a general but good name so that if my decision about the focus changes, it'll still be okay.

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