A worldwide network brings people together, allowing them to communicate without paying attention to distances. Every day a huge number of various resources appear on the Internet, the main task of which is communication between people, and forums are one of the most convenient types of resources for such communication. On the forum you can communicate on certain topics, leave opinions and reviews, ask for tips and find out the latest news.
This type of site is the best solution if you need to get answers to your questions, or find out some information on a specific topic. In this regard, forums very often attract a significantly larger number of visitors compared to regular web pages, and that is why the choice of hosting for this type of resource should be approached as carefully as possible, weighing all the positive and negative sides of a particular option.
CHOOSE THE “ENGINE” FOR THE FORUM
Portals of this variety are created for communication of certain groups of users on the Internet, while they can be either of a general orientation (a large number of various topics are available for discussion), or narrow in topic (such topics can be, for example, medicine, animals, sports, music, science, technology and much more).
After choosing the direction of the portal, you need to decide on the CMS, or as it is also called, the “engine”. CMS is a specialized content management system – software that allows you to fine-tune the appearance and number of pages, control the display of information, text, images and so on. In addition, the control system makes it possible to view data about users who have registered on the site and, if there is such a need, block access to them or the ability to leave messages.
To date, a large number of various “engines” are available on the network, but in the case of self-creation of the forum, it is recommended to use phpBB or IPB. These CMS are the simplest with respect to configuration and management, so almost anyone can work with them, even far from website building and not knowing programming languages. However, these engines have different hosting requirements.
CMS IPB AND ITS HOSTING REQUIREMENTS
IPB is a commercial software to easily create the most convenient and functional forums. This system is one of the most popular today among webmasters in various countries. IPB has ample opportunities for developing thematic and specialized forums.
Hosting for the IPB engine is required to meet the following characteristics:
- any type of web server and any operating system that supports the PHP language;
- support for MySQL databases not lower than version 4.1;
- PHP version not lower than 5.1.
In addition, the server must have the following list of extensions: SPL Extension, GD2 Extension, and DOM XML. To check the hosting for compliance with the platform requirements, the IPB distribution kit contains a specialized utility.
CMS PHPBB AND ITS HOSTING SETTINGS REQUIREMENTS
PhpBB is one of the most popular platforms for creating web forums on the Russian-speaking Internet. The platform has existed for more than 19 years, is distributed absolutely free of charge and today it has already 5 editions. Full Russian localization contributes to the continuous increase in the popularity of the “engine” among domestic webmasters.
In order for the forum on the phpBB platform to work stably and perform all its tasks, hosting must comply with the following characteristics:
- any type of web server and any installed operating system that supports PHP;
- PHP version no lower than 5.33;
- support for MySQL databases version no lower than 2.3, MS SQL Server is not older than the 2000 edition, as well as Oracle and a number of other, less frequently used databases;
- Mandatory support for the getimagesize function.
In addition, to expand the capabilities of the phpBB platform, hosting should support the following PHP modules:
- zlib compression
- remote access to FTP;
- Image Magick function;
- GD modules.
Support for these modules and tools is not a requirement, and the core of the platform will function normally even in their absence. However, their presence on the hosting makes it possible to use additional functions and useful features, as well as significantly increase the usability of the forum for both the administrator and visitors.