Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Newbie Questions

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Newbie Questions

    I glanced at your FAQ, but it didn't offer much information at all. (Do you have different FAQ's?) At any rate, I apologize for any redundant questions I ask (probably all of them!). Feel free to answer or ignore any question you want.

    First, I'm brand new to forums, bulletin boards, or whatever they're called. I'm contemplating creating a forum for a series of adult political websites I'm creating and possibly another series for some children's sites.

    It sounds like the general consensus is that phpbb is the best FREE forum software, while vBulletin is either the best or the most popular commercial bulletin software. The most obvious reason I can see for paying for forum software is support. Is there anything else about vBulletin that's superior to phpbb?

    Does vBulletin offer any sort of trial period where you can use it for free, perhaps with limited features?

    Can you wipe a vBulletin forum clean and start from scratch? In other words, suppose I create a forum and use some PHP, MySQL and CSS to style it and add a few special features. To test it, I create three forums and give three people permission to post. Three days and four dozen posts later, I decide to officially open the forum. Can I delete ever thread and post, setting everything back to zero?

    Suppose I create a successful forum, with lots of traffic and a growing number of posts that eat into my disc space allowance. Is there some way to archive older posts, so that they can still be retrieved somehow, but they take up little or no space until they are retrieved?

    Are all the posts and threads fed into a MySQL database? If so, is it possible to search and retrieve database tables?

    If I run into a technical problem that I can't fix (my PHP/MySQL skills are very limited), even with the help of the support forums, about how much does it generally cost to get professional technical help? Or is that so rare I don't even need to worry about it?

    Can anyone point me to cutting edge guidelines on legal issues regarding political posts? I'd like to find out what can get me in trouble and what's safe.

    If members are pushing the free speech envelope, would one be a little safer legally if your site was hosted in a particular nation? For example, let's say you have a political site and people are saying harsh things about the U.S. president. Would you recommend hosting such a site in Canada, the UK or some other nation?

    I'd like to experiment with a bulletin board that allows teachers and perhaps even students to exchange greetings and ideas. Can anyone direct me to a forum for elementary school children that I can examine?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    It sounds like the general consensus is that phpbb is the best FREE forum software, while vBulletin is either the best or the most popular commercial bulletin software. The most obvious reason I can see for paying for forum software is support. Is there anything else about vBulletin that's superior to phpbb?
    IMHO the source code is much better in vBulletin, and overall vB is a better product, last time I looked into phpbb it lacked most of the fetures vB offers. Other then that it all comes down to preferance. Altho buying vBulletin means you are asured technical support while phpbb is supported by people who do so on their own time.

    Does vBulletin offer any sort of trial period where you can use it for free, perhaps with limited features?
    You can open an admin demo and play with vB all you want:

    http://www.vbulletin.com/admindemo.php

    Can you wipe a vBulletin forum clean and start from scratch? In other words, suppose I create a forum and use some PHP, MySQL and CSS to style it and add a few special features. To test it, I create three forums and give three people permission to post. Three days and four dozen posts later, I decide to officially open the forum. Can I delete ever thread and post, setting everything back to zero?
    Yes this is doable, you can prune all posts from the admin cp. Re-upload php files if you have 'hacked' them, or whipe the entire database and re-install.

    Suppose I create a successful forum, with lots of traffic and a growing number of posts that eat into my disc space allowance. Is there some way to archive older posts, so that they can still be retrieved somehow, but they take up little or no space until they are retrieved?
    An archive on the same site would take about as much space, altho you can always store the info elsewhere and get it later. Its not something that comes stock but someone at vBulletin.org could code something for you, if you can't do it yourself. Honestly it would'nt be to hard to get all posts older then 'x' date and back them up somewhere

    Are all the posts and threads fed into a MySQL database? If so, is it possible to search and retrieve database tables?
    Yes all data is stored in mySQL. Tools like phpmyadmin will allow you to search and get database tables, phpmyadmin or a similar program probbly comes with your hosting acount. If not you can install it yourself.

    If I run into a technical problem that I can't fix (my PHP/MySQL skills are very limited), even with the help of the support forums, about how much does it generally cost to get professional technical help? Or is that so rare I don't even need to worry about it?
    Support is great, no other way to describe it. You can always open a support ticket via the members area and have support look into an issue, it is not un-common for them to log-in to your hosting acount and fix something if needed.

    All of that is included with your license, altho if you want you can order telephone support aswell

    Can anyone point me to cutting edge guidelines on legal issues regarding political posts? I'd like to find out what can get me in trouble and what's safe.
    Mabey they have some info on this at theadminzone.com, im not to sure about this. Most put legal disclaimers you their forums if they feel the content is sensive.

    If members are pushing the free speech envelope, would one be a little safer legally if your site was hosted in a particular nation? For example, let's say you have a political site and people are saying harsh things about the U.S. president. Would you recommend hosting such a site in Canada, the UK or some other nation?
    Honestly no, we bash the president all the time on my forum and its hosted in the USA, most boards I visit are in this situation to. If you are really worried I would seek the advice of a lawyer

    I'd like to experiment with a bulletin board that allows teachers and perhaps even students to exchange greetings and ideas. Can anyone direct me to a forum for elementary school children that I can examine?
    I can't answer this sorry, have you tried google or yahoo search?

    Comment


    • #3
      here are some answers:

      You can see an Admin Demo.

      vB has an easy to use style & template editor

      and lots of great mods/hacks for it (vbulletin.org)


      Edit: dang posted too late

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks; I'm playing with the Demo now.

        Another question: Is there a list of basic scripts people use to add various special features, or do I just have to ask about whichever feature interests me at the moment? One thing I'd like to explore is scripts that allow members to critique and rate posts, threads and each other. Thus, a member might be designated a "Mentor" after s/he makes 1,000 posts - or after X number of other members vote for him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Note that hacking your board will void you from support. Jelsoft will not support installations that have modified source code. If you need offical support you will have to un-install all hacks before they will help you, ussally this process is not a hard one to do tho.

          With that said, the offical hacking community is located at vBulletin.org, you can search around there and see what hacks and scripts are released. That forum also serves as a support area for hacked vBulletin's. Altho most of the support is done by people in there free time, and a dedcated staff of volunteers.

          Also, you can apply permissions based on usergroups, and give certain usergroups certain perks or extented limits. You can also allow users to automaticly change usergroups based on a varity of things, you can check out what im talking about by going to the admin cp in the admin demo.

          Enter the admin cp, in the left navigation frame find the box that says usergroup, click the expand arrow and click the 'Promotions' link. In the left frame click 'add new promotion'. This will open a new page in the left frame that will allow you to change a users usergroup automaticly based on their registration date, number of posts, or reputation level.

          You can read the technical manual here, it will probbly answer alot of your questions, altho feel free to ask more if you don't understand something.

          http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/

          In the stock installation you can not rate posts. You can however, rate threads, and rate users via the user reputation system.
          Last edited by Brad.loo; Wed 17th Nov '04, 11:07pm.

          Comment

          widgetinstance 262 (Related Topics) skipped due to lack of content & hide_module_if_empty option.
          Working...
          X