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Hosting Your Own Forum
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Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
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Jul 20, 2012, 03:32 AM
I feel like I might be being a little cheeky asking this here but has anyone ever tried to host their own forums? I can promise faithfully that what I have in mind will not step on MacNN's toes in case anyone is worried about that. My forum will only be relevant more locally to me in the South West of the UK is far more specific/restricted in its focus.

I see after some very quick research that much like many web services I could go for a free solution supported by 3rd party ads or pay for a more professional solution and maybe try to cover the cost with my own ads.

I like the feature set listed for http://www.websitetoolbox.com/. It seems like $10 a month should be reasonably simple to earn back with some well-placed ads. Does anyone have any advice on how best to put ads on such a site?

I welcome any thoughts, experience or advice.


I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: inside 128, north of 90
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Jul 20, 2012, 06:04 AM
Do you already have webhosting?

This may do better in developer... but we'll give it some time here too.
The Final Dakar
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
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Jul 20, 2012, 06:15 AM
I've heard of this great platform called Huddler you might want to try out.
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
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Jul 20, 2012, 09:04 AM
If you have your own server and a decent internet speed with static IP, you can use an open-source forum package. For a low-traffic website, you can use any old computer as a Linux/Apache web server.

Assuming you're paying for a static IP already, then your added costs are running the server 24/7 and paying for a domain name. However, you'd have to do your own security updates. If you don't customize much, then such updates are easy.

If you want to get fancy with a separate DB server + UPS + an automated backup solution, then it gets more involved and expensive. And whenever you get into hosting, there are extra costs there. So it depends on what you have sitting around already, and how fancy you want to get.
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: yes
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Jul 20, 2012, 09:34 AM
Yeah, it basically comes down to turn-key style platform, or installing your own open source (or commercial) forum software on your own server, whether this is a shared hosting solution or VPS. I think you should carefully weigh both door A and door B before you get too deeply entrenched with thinking about ads and stuff.
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