How much does a forum cost to build and run?

Discussion in 'IT & Internet' started by WHARTY, Jul 3, 2010.

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  1. xinghu

    xinghu UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    142 5
    How about Simple Machines Forum? It is a free forum. Best thing to do though is get someone to design a theme so the site looks more professional and unique.
     
    Posted: Jul 5, 2010 By: xinghu Member since: Jun 19, 2010
    #21
  2. Eagle

    Eagle UKBF Legend Free Member

    5,382 598
    Good idea. :) Don't mess them around though.
     
    Posted: Jul 5, 2010 By: Eagle Member since: Oct 3, 2004
    #22
  3. eventdomain

    eventdomain Banned

    2,880 339
    I think the problem here is ego, mixed with dreams and fun.

    I ran a forum for 12 months, it was going to be a large addition to the publishing arm of my company - but when actually running it and maintaining, I could see massive problems.

    Yes, running forums can be fun, making the posts and staring it all up IS quite exciting - giving birth to something you own - but the workload involved always far outweighs any fun factor. You will be hit by spam like you never seen before, and hit fast.

    If still interested, then suggest the forum specialises in a sector, as you'll need this to be different and attract members - dont go with a general marketing/biz forum, there's way too many already. You need an edge.

    Forget making money from forums, its impossible, its not what their about/for. You could try purchasing an established forum, where the owner is fed up with it, try it that way as you could get lucky and get a bargain.

    But however you do it, this will take years of hard work to build it up.
     
    Posted: Jul 6, 2010 By: eventdomain Member since: Apr 23, 2009
    #23
  4. Eagle

    Eagle UKBF Legend Free Member

    5,382 598
    Not necessarily.
     
    Posted: Jul 6, 2010 By: Eagle Member since: Oct 3, 2004
    #24
  5. xinghu

    xinghu UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    142 5
    Although I agree that you can't really make money directly through a forum. Forums could act as a very good marketing tool, but like what has been said here already, it needs to be built up. There are usually modules that can be downloaded and installed which can help prevent spam, although it is true spam is an issue. I think the main issue with a forum is the admin. It is incredibly time consuming to build up and maintain a forum.
     
    Posted: Jul 6, 2010 By: xinghu Member since: Jun 19, 2010
    #25
  6. DanHaynes

    DanHaynes UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    136 12
    Can anyone point to a few strategies for minimising spam on a forum (using vBulletin) in my case?

    You can alter the registration process to require the input of of a code via image verification or simply don't allow automatic verification (it becomes an admin process).

    Is there anything else?

    thanks
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2010 By: DanHaynes Member since: Apr 10, 2010
    #26
  7. Faevilangel

    Faevilangel Website Critic Full Member

    7,564 2,404
    you can restrict user email accounts e.g. block hotmail & gmail accounts, require email verification, plenty of mods also on the site
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
    Posted: Jul 7, 2010 By: Faevilangel Member since: Jun 29, 2009
    #27
  8. Eagle

    Eagle UKBF Legend Free Member

    5,382 598
    Manual verification/checking of every single account is the only way. 99.999999% successful in our case and our members love it.
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2010 By: Eagle Member since: Oct 3, 2004
    #28
  9. eventdomain

    eventdomain Banned

    2,880 339
    Dont believe all the naff advice about no spam - its untrue. You WILL get spammed badly once 10 members sign-up or team up to tag-team post.

    Suggest you begin with PHPBB, to test the spam waters, then you'll see what I mean by how it can get out of control - you'll see, you'll see hehe. :D

    PHPBB is free though, so it wont break the bank, and its great to find out if owning a forum is for you. It will shock you just how much this eats into your life, dont say I didnt warn you :)
     
    Posted: Jul 7, 2010 By: eventdomain Member since: Apr 23, 2009
    #29
  10. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,562 1,740
    I use vBulletin for the forums in my signature. We have zero spam.

    This is how we keep spam at bay.
    1. All new users are put in a group with very limited privileges. They can't create a signature or alter their profiles. The first few posts do not go public till they are approved by a moderator.

    2. We do not ban and do not issue infractions to new users. Make a spam post and the account is deleted with the post. Zero tolerance. If you didn't read the welcome email and the forum rules, that's your problem, not mine.

    3. To move out of that "new user" user group a member has to have had the account for a certain period and made a certain number of non-fluff posts. Our definition of fluff is very strict for new members. You can read it here. The definition is that every new member post is fluff by default (unless it meets certain strict guidelines):
    4. Make a fluff post and you'll get a pre-worded PM about fluff, about demonstrating your worthiness to be part of the forum. Make another fluff post and your account gets killed.

    5. As it's difficult for spammers, post count monkeys and others to accumulate enough sensible posts to acquire privileges like creating links and modifying their profile, they end up with zero posts. Once a month all accounts with zero posts are culled. So hundreds of spammers open accounts, yes, but their accounts don't last long.

    It works very well :) and big forums like Sitepoint.com have been around to borrow ideas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
    Posted: Jul 26, 2010 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #30
  11. Graemem

    Graemem UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    267 42
    Or...

    phpBB: free
    phpBB theme: free
    Hosting: free

    Ok so free forum hosting is usually a bit pants, but you could buy some cheap hosting and a domain for about £20 a year which is pretty much nothing and still not pay anything for forum licence fees.

    The majority of forums don't grow into anything, so spending money at the beginning seems silly to me. Download phpBB, install it, find a theme, customize it a bit and point a nice domain at it - It'll look about as good as if you'd paid £250 for a vBulletin licence anyway.

    Then if you find you're getting members and the forums actually growing it's easy enough to upgrade/transfer everyone to a vBulletin forum.
     
    Posted: Jul 26, 2010 By: Graemem Member since: Jul 27, 2009
    #31
  12. Eagle

    Eagle UKBF Legend Free Member

    5,382 598
    That's commendable action but I wouldn't recommend doing it for a growing forum. A great many people open 'sleeper accounts' in order to reserve their brand name and come back at a later date when the forum is thriving.

    Someone who then comes back to start posting to find their account is deleted or, worse, their name has been taken is going to be mighty annoyed!

    Best policy is to vet all accounts and don't let spammers in, in the first place. :)
     
    Posted: Jul 27, 2010 By: Eagle Member since: Oct 3, 2004
    #32
  13. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,562 1,740
    Eagle, not letting spammers in is not only highly ambitious, it's practically impossible. When someone signs up you don't know their intentions and an IP check against spambot or stopforumspam.com isn't a conclusive indication that they are there for the right reasons.

    Tough titties.

    I want users who've signed up for the right reason - to post. I don't need squatters!

    A lot of forums allow this type of name hogging because it swells numbers and they take some sort of delight in how many members they have. I'm not interested in member numbers. I'm interested in posts and quality of posts. And especially for a new forum, that's what counts! (Mine is a new forum - it was set up in Jan this year)

    Users with zero posts do get a boilerplate email three days before their account is deleted. At least two of my current regular posters have stated publicly that this email is what kicked them into action!
     
    Posted: Jul 28, 2010 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #33
  14. amazestore

    amazestore UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    21 0
    This one tells me

     
    Posted: Jul 28, 2010 By: amazestore Member since: Jul 8, 2010
    #34
  15. Stationery-Direct

    Stationery-Direct UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,543 130
    Our forum is solely for UK based members, hence all IP's not in the UK & Ireland automatically go to the moderation queue where they are deleted or manually approved in special cases.

    We have NO spam as 99% of it is done by people employed to do this overseas.

    If your forum is to open to the rest of the world then manually approving every account or ensuring you have a good bunch of moderators are the only way to stamp out spam effectively....forums are hard work!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
    Posted: Jul 28, 2010 By: Stationery-Direct Member since: Jul 12, 2005
    #35
  16. Eagle

    Eagle UKBF Legend Free Member

    5,382 598
    Would be interested to know how that's done, if you don't mind? :) It'll further bolster our defences.
     
    Posted: Jul 28, 2010 By: Eagle Member since: Oct 3, 2004
    #36
  17. Eagle

    Eagle UKBF Legend Free Member

    5,382 598
    I haven't found that to be the case. Over 2000 have tried and we've let just one of them through in error in two years (current 'demonstration' aside).

    Well, an 'aggressive' policy obviously works for you.

    We too. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
    Posted: Jul 28, 2010 By: Eagle Member since: Oct 3, 2004
    #37
  18. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,562 1,740
    How did you determine that none of your lurkers are spammers-in-waiting?
     
    Posted: Jul 28, 2010 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #38
  19. Eagle

    Eagle UKBF Legend Free Member

    5,382 598
    Accounts are checked every now and then. Besides, most who are accepted as members are proven networkers anyway with an established, traceable 'web history'. Spammers are fairly easy to spot (most have Eastern IP addresses, too) - so we don't allow them in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
    Posted: Jul 28, 2010 By: Eagle Member since: Oct 3, 2004
    #39
  20. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,562 1,740
    That sounds a great way to go for a close to invitation-only model where you can see new members' web histories.
     
    Posted: Jul 28, 2010 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #40
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