Online forums make it easy for us to kick-start discussions, find like-minded people and also promote our business. Forums can be run as an attachment to a larger website, or exist on their own. If you’re about to create a forum, here are three ways to accomplish this task:
Option 1: Open-Source Forum Building Software
This is probably the most common way forums are being created. This option implies buying a domain name, hosting plan and choosing an open-source program. Luckily, the choice is rather wide: there are both paid and free packages geared towards creating multi-functional forums, like phpBB or bbPress, for example. If you’re a pro, you will certainly love them, as they give you full control over your forum design and functionality. However, if you’re looking for a WYSIWYG solution, I would recommend that you check out easier options.
Option 2: Forum Builders
Forum builders are easier to use than the open source software, as they offer many pre-designed solutions and their interface is user-friendlier and doesn’t require deep technical knowledge. However, because of the complexity of the service, the prices can be very high. Take Vanilla Forums, for instance. Their cheapest plan is $599/year (Small Group) what makes about $50 a month.
Option 3: uCoz Website Builder
Although uCoz isn’t a specialized forum builder, it offers a very powerful Forum Module. It can be used separately and along with other Modules (Blog, Photo Albums, Online Games, Web Polls, Guestbook, FAQs and others). The good news is that you can use it free as long as you need. You can even add your own domain name without having to upgrade your account. So, it’s absolutely risk-free. Below is a brief step-by-step-guide on how to create a forum using uCoz:
- Sign up to the platform.
- Enter your site name, choose a design and language (important note: you’ll be able to customize your default design and even use a custom template later).
- Activate the Forum Module and start customizing your pages.