Can I run a forum via my iPhone?

Good evening all,

I have been an active member of two successful and thriving XenForo forums for a number of years and have grown to really adore the platform.

I am very seriously considering embarking on a new adventure and opening my own forum. My apologies if this is naive. Do I require a desktop computer/laptop in order to run my own forum, or can I simply purchase a license and build the forum via my iPhone? I’ve had a play with a demo and found the admin controls very smooth and easy to navigate via my phone.
Secondly, is it a one off cost of $160 or does this need to be renewed annually?

Any advice greatly appreciated
 
Yes you can control the forum via a phone but it's not that easy like with a pc. And you need a hosting to run a forum. The DEMO you are using is host on XenForo server which is not include with your license. You need both a license and a hosting to host your site. The XenForo is one time purchase (allow you to receive updates in 12 months, you may have to renew after that time, you still can continue to use it with out renew or updates). The hosting is like a subcription, you need to keep it or your website will be shutdown (It's not a one time purchase).
 
Thank you guys for the prompt and clear replies, I really appreciate it. Clear and unambiguous explanations really do help.

So, hosting. How does one obtain this and is this a separate purchase outside of XenForo? Essentially if I were to simply click purchase license and pay the $160 via my iPhone would I not be good to go? I assume there are a few more hoops to jump through?
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
The initial XF license purchase is a one off payment, which includes 12 months of support and updates.

After 12 months, the license is still valid and you can continue to use the software with no additional charges, but should you wish to download new releases or access ticket support, you would need to purchase a 1 year extension.

Otherwise you can choose not to renew support and remain on the same version.

In addition to the XF license you need to separately purchase a domain (URL) and hosting.

For a new site, cheap shared hosting will suffice.
 

briansol

Well-known member
If you can extract a zip and use ftp on the phone, you can do it. Just be careful with 3rd party apps... Never know where your server credentials are being sent....

I wouldn't think it would be productive but it can be done.
 
Fantastic, thanks guys.

So continuing with this simplified explanation- hosting? This is a separate service and something I need in place prior to buying a XF license? I assume in the process of buying it will ask me for a domain name etc?

In terms of a server, I assume I don’t need a physical server. This will be something I pay for via the hosting?
 
Fantastic, thanks guys.

So continuing with this simplified explanation- hosting? This is a separate service and something I need in place prior to buying a XF license? I assume in the process of buying it will ask me for a domain name etc?

In terms of a server, I assume I don’t need a physical server. This will be something I pay for via the hosting?
Yes, as start, I recommend a hosting rather than a VPS or a dedicated server as you need some knowledge to operate them. A hosting is suitable for a new forum and doesn't require much knowledge on manage a server. There is a lot of hosting company does offer a free domain with a hosting plan. Prior to purchase a hosting, you need to take a look at the reviews, some hosting is just same as trash.
 
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Dragonfruit

Active member
Fantastic, thanks guys.

So continuing with this simplified explanation- hosting? This is a separate service and something I need in place prior to buying a XF license? I assume in the process of buying it will ask me for a domain name etc?

In terms of a server, I assume I don’t need a physical server. This will be something I pay for via the hosting?

You can pick a shared hosting plan with KnownHost: https://www.knownhost.com/shared-hosting.html

If you need technical support with setting up XF, they can assist. They even use XF as their support board.
 
So just to confirm I can go and obtain a hosting from a few dollars a month and register my domain name. Once that’s done I then return to XenForo and purchase my license. Once that’s done it’s like the Demo and I can built the forum?
 

Dragonfruit

Active member
So just to confirm I can go and obtain a hosting from a few dollars a month and register my domain name. Once that’s done I then return to XenForo and purchase my license. Once that’s done it’s like the Demo and I can built the forum?
Yes, but review KH’s pricing first. It’s at its cheapest if you pay annually, not monthly.

After you acquire the license, you get access to the software to set up, it must be at minimum uploaded to your hosting’s ftp so KH’s support can help you configure it.

In terms of actually building your forum, you really should consider doing it on a Computer. It seems it would be difficult to upload custom styles and addons from your phone. Then there’s all the customizing work you could do. Basically a Computer would be 100 times faster. I’d only suggest using a phone for day to day management, and Computer for extensive work. You really need to consider that if you’re serious.
 
I do have a laptop but really do lack substantive IT skills. I am a moderator on a XF forum and have the necessary skill set for day to day running of a forum. I have a clear vision of how I would like it to look etc.

I just don’t want to be too out of pocket to get this off the ground. I naively hoped it would be a case of purchasing the XF license and having access to a blank slate to build this forum
 

Dragonfruit

Active member
I do have a laptop but really do lack substantive IT skills. I am a moderator on a XF forum and have the necessary skill set for day to day running of a forum. I have a clear vision of how I would like it to look etc.

I just don’t want to be too out of pocket to get this off the ground. I naively hoped it would be a case of purchasing the XF license and having access to a blank slate to build this forum
It’s possible to learn as you go. But there’s still to consider:

  • downloading styles and addons, extracting them, uploading to board to install
  • preparing manual backups prior to updates/major change
  • restoring with backups if needed

Working and learning is a lot easier when you’re using a large screen. Even better if you’re dual screening.

If cost is a major issue, you could get the license first and do a local install just to develop the look/design until you’re comfortable going live with it. But of course going with a web host is the easiest path.

You can find info and get help on how to accomplish all this under the customer forums after you have license.

I also encourage you to browse the Resources section for Styles & Addons: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/categories/xenforo-2.42/

Make a list of all the addons you think you may need. Because there's free & premium ones. All the ones you would need to pay for would of course add to the overall cost of your project.
 
It’s possible to learn as you go. But there’s still to consider:

  • downloading styles and addons, extracting them, uploading to board to install
  • preparing manual backups prior to updates/major change
  • restoring with backups if needed

Working and learning is a lot easier when you’re using a large screen. Even better if you’re dual screening.

If cost is a major issue, you could get the license first and do a local install just to develop the look/design until you’re comfortable going live with it. But of course going with a web host is the easiest path.

You can find info and get help on how to accomplish all this under the customer forums after you have license.

I also encourage you to browse the Resources section for Styles & Addons: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/categories/xenforo-2.42/

Make a list of all the addons you think you may need. Because there's free & premium ones. All the ones you would need to pay for would of course add to the overall cost of your project.

@Dragonfruit

Thank you kindly for taking the time to write such a helpful explanation. I genuinely do appreciate it.

I quite like the idea of the build prior to going live. How does this work? So from the point of sale (in plain English) what happens next?

Once I purchase the license will I have access to a link in which my forum will exist in etc? I will aim to use my laptop for the build and my iPhone for the day to day running. Will I need to install anything else onto my laptop ahead of purchasing the license?
 

Dragonfruit

Active member
@Dragonfruit

Thank you kindly for taking the time to write such a helpful explanation. I genuinely do appreciate it.

I quite like the idea of the build prior to going live. How does this work? So from the point of sale (in plain English) what happens next?

Once I purchase the license will I have access to a link in which my forum will exist in etc? I will aim to use my laptop for the build and my iPhone for the day to day running. Will I need to install anything else onto my laptop ahead of purchasing the license?

It'd be more technical to set up a local install. You'd have to do it on your laptop. So you do require some IT skill/understanding, but as I noted, you can get help/direction/instructions in the customer support forums after you've acquired the license.

You need a domain to have a link, for example, let's say you register domain: RollingPin224422.com
If you set up on your own local PC, you won't need the domain, you can just use the localhost name, and when you're ready to get a host, that's when you need to use RollingPin224422.com.

That does mean when it's localhost, it won't be online, it's just offline for Development & testing purposes.

If you acquire a host, you need to configure RollingPin224422.com to your web host server. Then setup the XF software on it, when it is set up properly, RollingPin224422.com will correctly direct you to your XF forum.
 
Ok I’m with you, I think.

Do all hosts accept XF software or is there a common one that most forum owners use? I assume these are relatively affordable. Ideally I don’t want to have to spend too much money at this stage. In simple terms all I want is a domain name, for example RollingPin224422.co.uk, that takes users directly to a forum.
Also, sorry again for the naivety but are the domain and hosting service two separate purchases. Do I need to purchase RollingPin224422 first then purchase a hosting site. Once I have these I can then buy XF?

Once have all these ducks in a row is it then a case of buying the license and having a template to build my forum from? Like the demo forum? Hope this makes sense?
 

Dragonfruit

Active member
There's no specific order you need to buy any of this in.

Most web hosting will accept the XF software, because like any other forum software, or CMS (wordpress, drupal, joomla, etc), they all use PHP + MySQL, and that's essentially the minimum requirement to run the software.

I use KnownHost, I like them, it's why I recommend them. This thread here shows they even have accounts here: https://xenforo.com/community/threa...rfect-for-any-size-xenforo-deployment.147115/

So they're active among the XF community.

I believe you'd have to buy the domain, and I recommend buying it separately elsewhere, such as NameCheap.com

The reason is; if you ever have to move servers, it is easier to move your web files & database to another server or host, without migrating the domain. Only updating the DNS records.

But again, this is more technical work on your end, you'd have to manually update the DNS records. I have domains with NameCheap too, and it's not hard. You can even get some direction via the help documents, or their live chat support.

I think your cost on a monthly basis is going to be around: $10 USD per month, and domain is $12 USD per year.
But the KnownHost server provides free SSLs, so at least you won't have to buy any SSL to make a secure link, like: https://RollingPin224422.co.uk

The HTTPS is important, it's a must have. Search engines favor secure websites.

While the cost may seem a lot, believe me it's a very tiny investment. All fun hobbies cost money, and this is no different.
 
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Thanks and you are completely right the cost may seem daunting but the opportunity to run a (hopefully) active and engaging forum will be worth it. My worry is that I buy something and not be able to use it. Not through lack of knowledge (I can and will learn) but through lack of tools.
In my simplistic mind I want to purchase these things and have a site much like the demo site that I can the mould into my forum. Is this the case?
 

Dragonfruit

Active member
Thanks and you are completely right the cost may seem daunting but the opportunity to run a (hopefully) active and engaging forum will be worth it. My worry is that I buy something and not be able to use it. Not through lack of knowledge (I can and will learn) but through lack of tools.
In my simplistic mind I want to purchase these things and have a site much like the demo site that I can the mould into my forum. Is this the case?

Yes, absolutely. The demo is the default setup. You may have to create some nodes aka forum sections to get things going. But they are all simple things to do.

Once you acquired a license and become a customer, send me a DM. I'll send you some tips on some stuff that might help you further along.
 
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