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How to start up a new community

Discussion in 'Managing a Forum Community' started by m1k30rz, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. m1k30rz

    m1k30rz New Member

    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!
     
  2. Webministrator

    Webministrator New Member

    Promotion never stops but it can stop on your end. Once your forum is big enough, your users will be advertising it themselves. Either that or haters will be doing it. Either way, you're being promoted and you get to rest.
     
  3. m1k30rz

    m1k30rz New Member

    That is true but it always helps to put some effort in yourself too :D
     
  4. CFOontheGo

    CFOontheGo New Member

    I like promoting my forum! I enjoy responding to posts and interacting with the members. Maybe in a year or two I'll feel different!
     
  5. Leapfrog

    Leapfrog New Member

    I have owned my main site for 4 years now. I go through spurts where I really want to promote it, and then I get frustarted and stop and then start again.

    The nice thing now is that I don't run the site anymore and so I can spend all my time, if I wanted to, promoting it and let the staff I hired worry about running it AND promoting it.
     
  6. m1k30rz

    m1k30rz New Member

    Haha yeah promotion can be stressful for sure but when it starts growing, its a really nice feeling seeing something you made grow :)
     
  7. blam0

    blam0 New Member

    you can never get enough promotion, every single new member helps you grow!
     
  8. Webministrator

    Webministrator New Member

    Sounds like a big community. Can you provide a link to it?
    You've got me all curious now. :p
     
  9. m1k30rz

    m1k30rz New Member

    Haha yeah, feel free to put it in the website review section too ;)
     
  10. MoeAlza

    MoeAlza New Member

    phpbbhacks.com is another great website for hacks.
     
  11. netridge

    netridge New Member

    promotion is key but also remember that you must have some good content, as content is king.
     
  12. Dough Boy

    Dough Boy New Member

    http://custom.simplemachines.org/

    That's good for SMF forums, which seem to be growing in popularity as of late. Also, great tips. I've been wanting to start a new forum community, I just haven't decided what topic to center it around yet.
     

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