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Peterm Peterm is offline
Entrepreneur
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 25
Discussion Forums

I have a basic website setup advertising my business at present but I am looking to add some sort of Discussion Forum to try and invrease the number of visitors that I have to the site.

Is this expensive to do?

I would like it also for people to have to register before they can use the site. How would the data protection act etc be handeled in response to peoples details?

Thansk

Peter
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chilleddesign chilleddesign is offline
Maven
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Southwest UK
Posts: 72
Hi There

You can get many good Discussion Forums for free what you first need to figure out is what hosting you have, is it Microsoft ASP or Linux PHP from there we can advise you which would best meet your needs.

Kind Regards

Chris
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Peterm Peterm is offline
Entrepreneur
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 25
Thanks

Hi Chris,

I am not sure as present. I am with a company called Blackfoot. I will need to E-mail them to find out.

Peter
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chilleddesign chilleddesign is offline
Maven
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Southwest UK
Posts: 72
Hi There

I think your hosts are running linux PHP, so your best bet for free forums are http://www.invisionboard.com/ or cutecast the second may be better if you dont want to deal with MYSQL databases as it does not use one.

Kind Regards

Chris
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Designr's Avatar Designr Designr is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 442
Hi Peter. As Chris has mentioned, it looks like you are based on Linux, so I would go for Invision Board. Its free and (quite!!) easy to install.

We use Invision Board ourselves for our support forums, so you can see a working model here: http://forums.designrweb.co.uk

Good Luck
Jay
Design R Web Solutions
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Martin Martin is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Luton, Bedfordshire
Posts: 2,726
Invision Board is ok,

But for feature rich scalable Bulletin Board take a look at Vbulletin.

I've personally used this on sites with 30000+ Members with 200 Concurrent members online. It's very fast and stable.

http://www.vbulletin.com



[Data Protection Act]

With all of the Bulletin Boards i've tested it's not compulsary to add Personal Information. And to my knowledge 99.9% only ask for a name... No address or other information is needed.
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gary gary is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: London, UK
Posts: 95
vBulletin (used for this forum) is excellent and at only about $160 for a full licence (or $80 a year) is well worth the price. There are regular updates and additions and very good support.

A free alternative is phpBB (http://www.phpbb.com). Very similar to vBulletin but less functionality and fewer mods (or hacks) but becoming an increasingly popular alternative to vBulletin.

If you're on a Windows server, Snitz forums are probably the most popular (http://forum.snitz.com/).

As far as the Data Protection Act goes, the only thing you really need to worry about is the use of email addresses collected from registrations. Most forums allow users to opt-in or out of receiving messages from the administrator and you should make sure you don't send people email if they've asked not to receive it. The easiest way of doing this is to send emails via the forum admin control panel which will automatically only send to those who have allowed it. You should also ensure that no personal details of any members are included on in a forum message without that users permission, so you will need to ensure some form of moderation is in place.

HTH.

Gary

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kris_leeds's Avatar kris_leeds kris_leeds is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Doncaster, Yorkshire
Posts: 176
I'd also recommend vBulletin, www.soccergaming.com use them and I know they are very reliable. Probably not the cheapest around but in my opinion the best.
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