A call for help - Complete Beginner


New member
Hi Everyone,

I have been using Internet Forums for years and have finally come up with a good idea for my own forum. My main problem is my lack of technical knowledge, I spent most waking moment of my life online and understand the front end side of forums very well but its what goes on in the background to make them that way that I lack!

Im pretty serious about starting a forum but I have a bit of learning to do before hand! No doubt in a years time I will look back at this post and laugh! - Heres hoping.

So to anyone who is willing to help, thanks in advance.

1 - Server - What exactly is my forum server? I have bought a dot com where I will host the forum, does this act as my server, or is the server a computer that forum will run off and always need to be on and connected to the internet??

2 - I havent bought Xenforo yet, but out of all the Forums I use, I like the ones made with Xenforo best, so it is an obvious choice. When installing the software, does this need to be installed onto the server computer? Or is it based online? I read that you can only install it once. I use my laptop most often, will this have the ability to run the software or do I need a capable desktop?

3 - From what I can gather I need to become fluent in php and MySQL, I believe that these are essentially two different ways of writing code? Can anyone point me in the right direction to learn these?

4 - Is Xenforo user friendly for a beginner like myself? Im prepared to put in the hard yards to learn it etc and would rather start as i mean to go on instead of ending up having to do a big conversion down the track!

5- With the Xenforo brand removal option, can I buy that at a later date? i.e if I go ahead and purcahse my ticket now and later decide that I would like to remove Xenforo branding, can that be done?

6 - Can any relitvely beginner forum owners link me to their forums to show me what is acheievable at an early stage.

My goal is to create a relatively simple forum that doesnt have too much going on.

Thanks for your help!


XenForo moderator
Staff member
The server is the computer the forum software is installed on, which is available via a browser on the internet.
You must purchase a hosting package from a host in addition to the domain to be able to install the software.

You can install the software once (plus one private test installation); it is installed on the server supplied by your host. Whether you own a laptop or PC is irrelevant.

You don't need to know PHP or MySQL to install and run the software.

Most people seem to think XenForo is easy to install and use, even for beginners.

Yes, you can purchase brand removal later.

If you get stuck, you can always ask here; there are always people willing and able to help.

The manual and FAQ may be of some help.