How To Make a Successful Forum
#1
There are so many submitions in the showcase forum with a default install, with a forum or two added. The days of that are over with this guide...

Table of Contents:
  1. Requirements
  2. Getting a Host
  3. Downloading/Installing Mybb
  4. Planning
  5. Installing a theme
  6. Laying out your forum
  7. Putting content on it
  8. Buying a domain
  9. Marketing
  10. Running a forum
  11. Quotes


Requirements:
This section will just list some small requirements you need to have before starting a website.
  • Time
  • Good spelling/grammar
  • Dedication
  • Money
  • A brain
If you have those, you can do anything.


Getting a Host:
Before you bother installing Mybb, you have to get a webhost. A webhost is a place to put your files where they can be accessed by the entire internet. A list of good free/paid hosts is below.
(If anyone has one, just send me a pm with it's URL and a reason why you like it.)

Free:
www.novahost.org
www.host4post.com
www.tikolah.com

Paid:
www.polar-host.com
www.mybbwebhost.com
www.hawkhost.com


Downloading/Installing Mybb:
This step is simple. Download mybb from:
www.mybb.com/downloads

Then, go to your webhosts's cpanel and upload the .zip file. Extract it, and then follow what the wiki says.

http://wiki.mybb.com/index.php/Installing


Planning
Great, you've installed your forum and now need to plan what to do with it. Look at other forums/websites for inspiration, but DO NOT copy them. Copying them is the worst thing to do, and will not get you popularity in any way.

Take some time to think of what you want to do, then stick with it. Once you have an idea in mind you'll have to plan stuff. Like your groups, categories/forums, logos, staff, marketing, and such. Take some time, this step is VERY important.


Installing a Theme
Once you've finished planning your forum out, you'll need to find & install a good theme. It has to relate to your website, of course. You can buy a custom one (I recommend www.nanoskinners.com) or just download one from a theming website or the mod archive. Here are some good places:
(If you have/know one, feel free to pm me with the URL)

www.nanoskinners.com
mods.mybb.com
www.shopmybb.com

Then put the files where they belong, upload the .xml file, then activate the theme. Make sure there are no bugs, then move on.


Laying out your forum
As you remember in our planning stage, we planned the categories/forums (and some other stuff) which you will use on your board. Now, you will go through and make some changes, cleaning it up and removing unnecessary stuff.

You don't want to have too many categories/forums when you start off, just enough to get the job done. As you get more posts/members then you can expand a little bit.

So after cleaning your list up, add them in with Mybb's Forum/Category Manager and then you're ready to move on.


Putting Content on It
Before releasing your forum to anyone, you need to have some content. So go through your forums and post a few threads to startup discussion, just don't spam, as in making useless messages.

A few threads per forum (except for forums like feedback/suggestions) will suffice. After you've finished this, move on to the next step.


Buying a Domain
You're almost ready to release, but before you do anything I recommend you get a TLD. Buying a domain is good because it looks better, gets good SEO, is easy to remember, doesn't cost much, and is just appealing.
(Feel free to submit a registrar if you know one)

Some Registrars:
Godaddy (Do not host with them. Toungue)
NameCheap

Use (www.google.com) Google to search for other registrars if you wish to have a larger selection. Once you find one, buy a domain.


Marketing
Finally, it's time to hop into the wonderful world of marketing. Now your forum is ready to go out into the world, and so you have to advertise it. Google advertising spots, toplists, and tell your friends to join. Once you have a small memberbase, more users will come and join. Just remember to be original!

Some Websites
www.mybbrunway.com
www.mybbtopsites.com
community.mybb.com (Showcase forum - that may get some members + good reviews)
www.forumpromotion.com

Check those out to start, and put your form there.


Running a Forum
Running a forum isn't easy, but it's possible. Be sure to be a fair administrator, and constantly posting with your users. Be nice, and have fair rules that are enforced.

You'll also want some moderators once your forum begins to grow, but DO NOT have moderators when you start off. Administrators are fine as they help run the forum, so maybe a maximum of 3 (including you) if that's absolutely necessary.

Also, remember to keep the content coming! Content is key, and you'll need to constantly update your forum, keep the spice there that got your members to register in the first place.

Finally, NEVER STOP ADVERTISING. Do banner exchanges, contests, referral rewards, posters, anything. Just make sure you spread the word as much as you can. Wink


Quotes
-We have none, feel free to drop me a PM with a quote you think would be suitable for this section.
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