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RNDdave

 
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Member Since: Sep 04, 2006
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 1,055
RNDdave is a jewel in the roughRNDdave is a jewel in the roughRNDdave is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: Alu MacBook | iPod Classic | iPod Shuffle | iPad2 (3G)

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1st off you need a host (unless you're going to host the site your self). You do NOT need to go to Rack Space. A Google search will provide you with a massive number of hosting companies, follow your Google search with a trip to one or more review sites as some hosting companies are better than others - I for one recommend that you do NOT go with either Fasthosts or B-one as they both offer terrible customer service! I don't have a company I can recommend at this time.

2nd - look at the type of site you want to create - if it's just for friends then a forum based site might not be the best thing unless you have a MASSIVE list of friends with lots of things to talk about. phpBB is a great piece of software which will allow you to build a good forum. Something else you might want to look at is Xoops. This is a free CMS which will allow you to create more of a 'portal' and has a huge range of modules including a fairly good forum (but not as powerful as phpbb). The software this site is running is the real deal but probably not worth the money if your just running a not for profit site just for your friends (I'm not saying Mac-Forums is a 'for profit' site btw). phpbb is used by some big companies as it is such a powerful piece of software with a great support community and is fairly easy to customise if you are happy to tinker with the php etc.

I recommend you look at this site: http://www.opensourcecms.com/ as it allows you to try many of the free Forums, CMS, wikis, blogging tools without having to install them all etc. They all have links to the site that builds/supports that software - go to the site for the forums or CMS that you're interested in and check the Links section as this will usually include sites that have been built with that software so that you can get an idea of what can be created.
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