Starting up a new forum community can be fun and exciting, in this thread I will try to outline some of the basics Step 1: Choosing your forum software Okay so now you've decided to make a forum, you of course will need some software! We have a list of some great forum software that you can use here... viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19 I personally would have to recommend phpBB as I have been using it for some time with great results, the latest phpBB3 system seems to run really nice with lots of features. Although for a larger site paid forum software like vBulletin or IPB may be a good option. If you are looking for a FREE forum hosting provider, check out this thread Step 2: Customise it We all know what the default skin of most forum software looks like, and your visitors will too. Don't just leave the default style. It is far better to custom design your own skin or have someone custom design one for you. This makes your forum and site fit in well together and also looks like you put some effort in! You can also try some pre-made skins that are freely available. Here are some links to some good skin sites... - http://www.phpbbstyles.com/ - http://www.vbulletinstyles.com/ - http://mybbskins.com/ Also another great idea is to add popular modifications like "Quick Reply", "Arcade", and many more. These are often on other forums your users will be familiar with and will make it feel more like home. Step 3: Promotion You only get out what you put in, Promotion takes a lot of work and can be stressful, but with a bit of time you can get some great results. A great start is to add your forum URL into things. Your email signature can provide great results. Also if you are a member of other forums why not add your forum URL into your signature there too? Every single time you make a post your link will be shown. Although, make sure you follow other forums rules and don’t spam. Just saying "haha" or "lol" doesn't show much, it's much better to make informative, useful posts. Submitting your site to search engines and directories is also a great way to get traffic. We have a list of places you can submit your site to here viewtopic.php?f=7&t=20 Nothing can beat word of mouth advertising though, tell all your friends and ask them to tell their friends too!! Step 4: Don't stop So you got it running, active members and posts coming every day? DONT STOP!! Promotion never stops, keep promoting your site to keep the word out! Constantly post at your forums, another great idea is to run contests to bring in more interest Hope this guide helps you with your forum GOOD LUCK!