Before blogs spread and before Facebook, those who wanted to open a website that was a way to share ideas and resources and to offer a space for discussion by creating a community of users, there were forums.
A forum is a space where anyone who signs up can comment on the interventions of others and open new topics.
This is the difference between a forum and a blog, where only one or a few people can open new discussions that others can then comment on.
Forums generally serve as a space for technical assistance for programs, software, online services or even to exchange ideas and ask for practical advice perhaps in topics such as health, cars, cell phones, website creation and so on.
Anyone can create a forum, both professional and amateur, both free and paid.
After seeing how to create a blog, let's see what they are the best free CMS to create a forum which can be hosted on your own website (with hosting) or i sites to create a free forum, hosted by an external hosting.
The difference is that, with your hosting, you become the master of the forum, both as an administrator of the topics and on the webmaster side.
In this case there will be no limitations, you can put advertising, you can have your own internet address with a second level domain and there are no limits to the number of interventions and the way to present them.
On the other hand, in the case of a forum hosted on an external service, you will not have to pay anything as long as you accept the conditions of the provider, respecting its regulations and any limits.
If you have a hosting or if you want to create a professional forum, perhaps to support your company website or a blog but also completely independent, you have to install a CMS that provides an automated management platform.
1) The most famous free CMS for forums is phpBB, the oldest opensource forum management software, used worldwide.
phpBB is quite easy to use: the installation process requires some familiarity with the concepts of FTP, web server and database.
The whole process takes about 10 minutes with a guided procedure.
The biggest advantage of phpBB is its popularity and therefore the fact that in the support forums, even in Italian, you can find all the information to do anything.
Everything you plan to do has certainly already been done so just look for the instructions.
Furthermore, there are many graphic styles that you can use for free to customize a forum.
2) phpBB, however, is not the easiest of CMS for forums; much more intuitive and equally professional and free and instead MyBB.
I'm not a forum expert but from a quick glance and reading various comments around, it really seems like the best platform today to create a forum on your own hosting.
The most popular paid CMS software to create a forum on hosting is vBulletin which has nothing more than phpBB or MyBB only that it provides always available customer support.
Most people, however, want to create forums for purposes that do not center with companies and assistance, so they may prefer to open a forum for the group in the video game or to talk about more trivial things, using fast and free platforms.
Without therefore having to buy a hosting, without having to follow installation procedures and to create a forum immediately, where the only work to do is to choose colors, manage subscriptions and write content, you can use one of these sites.
The following are undoubtedly the most famous and best sites to create forums, also with interface in italiano.
1) Forumactive it's a excellent site to open a custom forum as you wish and without bandwidth and size limitations.
ForumAttivo is the Italian version of a platform localized in all the languages of the world.
You can manage the forum choosing from 4 platforms: phpBB2 (the standard), phpBB3 (fully customizable), PunBB (easy) and Invision (more professional).
It allows you to customize the forum with over 3000 graphic themes and has an absolutely clear and beautiful interface to look at.
After registering, you can give the forum a name with a different address depending on the domain chosen.
Forumotion also allows you to purchase your own domain via the forum administration interface.
By managing the forum you can, among other things, also:
- Send newsletters to subscribers;
- Install the modules to have a first page of presentation, a blog, image galleries, games, chatbox and calendar;
- Look at the Forum statistics.
2) Create a Forum is a great new site to create a forum.
3) ForumFree e Forumcommunity (they are the same thing) they are rather polar in Italy but I do not recommend them because they have limits in safety, SEO and integration with social networks.
5) Tapatalk is the most used application in the world to create online communities, discuss topics on a website or blog, which allows you to follow the forums in order to receive notifications for new answers and new topics.
Many companies and normal users, in the last year, have taken advantage of Facebook, which has the function of discussions integrated in every Fan page (see how to create a Fan page on Facebook) even if as a forum it is very limited.
Best sites and CMS to create a free forum, with or without hosting