Getcha forum running…

Some points from a discussion on setting up a new forum.

The steps to take to get started and make it successful:

  1. Identify the niche you want to target and look at your competitors to work out what they’re doing well, doing badly and not doing at all. Decide what your point of difference is going to be
  2. Select the forum software you want to run (free (check www.opensourcecms.com for options) or paid like vBulletin
  3. Register the domain and sign up for hosting
  4. Create a test subdomain and lock it down using .htaccess or similar
  5. Install your forum on the www domain
  6. Add a template or skin so that your forum looks different from the competitors identified above
  7. Add the subforums that you’ll need (start with a few and add them as you go)
  8. Create the usergroups that you’ll need – registered – mods – banned etc
  9. Add some test users and test the posting, that the joinup email gives the right information, that the “thread reply” emails give the right info – all should contain a link back to the site, you’d be surprised how many don’t.
  10. Promote the forum at sites like this
  11. Build links
  12. Actively participate in the forum itself
  13. Take a copy of the forum onto the test subdomain and install hacks and upgrades to that before messing with the live version.
  14. Backup the forum daily

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Sarah King Written by:

This is my website.

12 Comments

  1. January 5, 2007

    I have been doing all that every single day and it’s working perfectly great blog post.

    Thanks,
    http://www.idotsource.com

  2. January 26, 2007

    I found that a good way to initially start up a forum is to require registration before entering or viewing it. I have found that people will signup just to look at it and once they do, PM them to welcome them to the forum. This is the best way to get those first few posts…

  3. January 27, 2007

    That can work but you have to have a forum design that really grabs the viewer. There are alot of ways to promote a forum and get people posting. We discuss them on http://www.vbulletin-faq.com

  4. Ottodo
    February 2, 2007

    hmm, well done!
    it is easy to read, but I think it is a very difficult to achieve, ain’t?
    btw when you gonna start your forum 😉

  5. February 2, 2007

    While we all hate spam bots there’s a new kid on the block that promises to be an interesting contributor.

    A fellow mod (Johan Terpstra) over at DigitalPoint has launched a forum content builder called Ico-Content. It works with vBulletin and phpBB and from what I can see it picks off the questions over at Yahoo! Answers and posts them in the forum.

    It’s clever enough to have different users and delayed answers and you can set keywords to only get questions that will look right for your forum.

    Eventually you’ll be hoping that real users will be answering (and starting) the threads.

    On the SEO front the search engine bots will see a growing forum with a steady increase in pages and users.

    The real test will be whether Ico-Content alienates the real users or draws them in. I doubt Johan has launched prior to some great testing so perhaps it’s really just when to turn it off and let a forum run on it’s own…

  6. March 31, 2007

    I like the look of that ico-content software. My issue though, is that I use Joomla installations and run SMF forums with a bridge. Anyone know if ico-content will still work if I’m using a bridge?

  7. April 2, 2007

    Nez,

    I built ICo-Content (thanks Sarah for mentioning it).

    We haven’t tested such a scenario ourselves yet but we have had many requests for a Joomla version so chances are we can have a decent answer to your question soon.

    If you would like to try it yourself and it doesn’t work, we will refund you.

    Drop us an e-mail via the official site if you have any further queries.

    Johan

  8. April 3, 2007

    Thanks for the feedback. Am going to do just that. Hopefully I can be a nice bit of positive feedback for you.

    Cheers,
    Nez

  9. Antignnoimi
    August 1, 2007

    I apologize, but what the best finance knowledge base you know?
    What you’ll recommend me?

  10. August 1, 2007

    Sorry, I can’t recommend any.

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