1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Never Used Any Forum Software Before

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by TheCoffeeTableGamer, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. TheCoffeeTableGamer

    TheCoffeeTableGamer New Member

    Hi my name is Brandon and I'm here to ask a few questions. But First. I am 15 years old and have no experience running a website. So in a few months when i gather the money i plan to open my own forum. The questions i have in mind are:

    • Is XenForo easy to set up and use?
    • Do you need much experience to keep it running smoothly?
    • What are some things i should know/learn first?
    If any one could think of anything else that would be helpful. Thank you.

    NOTE: I will not be on for the next two or so hours as i am at school right now.
    Yoruichi and Shelley like this.
  2. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Brandon,

    XenForo is easy to set up and use, it contains very clear easy to read instructions.

    The experience to keep it running smoothly depends on how much you want to tinker with it. Out of the box, it will run smoothly with very little intervention needed.

    It may be worth you trying some free forum softwares first to get a feel and some experience in managing the basic tasks, such as creating a mysql database, and managing permissions. Once you are comfortable with that, then moving up to XenForo will be much easier for you.
    surfsup likes this.
  3. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    1. Xenforo is very very easy to setup, it's quite safe the easiest to setup
    - Easiest to style for
    - easy update process and updating styles is painless
    2. Obviously a little knowledge is required to maintain your forums but any issues that may arrise you can post in the support areas where the community and staff will help you out.
    3. A little knowledge of CSS and html is always good to learn and just venturing into the guide, tips areas will give you a good reference in how to do things and set the foundation for you to learn what to do and not to do. The community and staff here are very helpful so any queries you want to ask will always be answered by somebody.

  4. tenants

    tenants Well-Known Member

    People might hate me for saying this, but have you thought about trying a free forum 1st

    Something like mybb, or even a free hosted one.

    Many forums take quite a lot of work to promote and get started (most fail), so before spending your hard earned cash, you might want to "try before you buy", but use Free forum software. If you find you are attracting people, and your marketing techniques are working out, and you (or your users) have created enough content for you niche subject, and you still prefer the speed/design of XenForo, then at that point pay for XenForo and import all of your content to XenForo.

    If someone is just starting out, and they find it hard to part with their hard earned cash, it might be better to try free alternatives 1st

    But, if you've made your choice, and like many here you love XenForo software

    You might want to look at the installation page: http://xenforo.com/help/installation/
    And the XenForo requirements: http://xenforo.com/purchase/
  5. TheCoffeeTableGamer

    TheCoffeeTableGamer New Member

    I never thought of that, it may be wise for me to actually know what it is I'm doing before diving right in. Thanks.

    I have been putting off learning HTML and CSS because of other things but if it is going to help me I will for sure continue trying to learn it.

    That is a good idea, maybe to see if its even my kind of thing running a community. As for trying free ones would you happen to have any recommendations for free hosted ones? Also would you have any small tips r things in mind for running a forum/website.

    Thanks for the reply's everyone.
  6. mistypants

    mistypants Well-Known Member

    Hi Brandon! I can sympathize with you--I first starting playing around with web design when I was 13 and started running a community when I was 16.

    I agree with what everyone is saying--try a free forum solution before shelling out for Xenforo, especially on a high school student's budget. If you really enjoy what you're doing and your website gets some popularity, then you can always convert to Xenforo.

    For software, I think you should start with something like MyBB or phpbb. Both are completely free to use and will be good places for you to get exposed to forum admin control panels & styling as well as general website maintenance. I would stay away from free forum hosts, though--free hosts you should definitely check out (I played around with 000webhost and byethost before I had a Paypal account, heh), but many of the free forum hosts will come with the forums pre-installed and will not give you access to do things like install styles or modifications, which are some of the most basic tasks you'll need to learn. On both those hosts, you'll be able to manually install the forum software you want.

    I would say play around with them for some time, just to familiarize yourself with how they work. Install styles and modifications, maybe even try building your own styles (that will require basic HTML and CSS which you can learn along the way). While you do that, you can develop a plan for what you want your website to be about and what it will offer. If you have any friends interested, you can always get them to join, just to get a bit of a start.

    When you feel more comfortable with forum software, you can start investing in a domain name, a host, and better forum software (Xenforo). Best of luck. :)
    tenants likes this.
  7. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    And for the love of everything you hold dear, PLEASE learn about the basics of uploading and downloading files via FTP, how zip files work, and basic directory structures (ok, folders for those that have never used anything other than Windows).
    CyclingTribe likes this.
  8. Yoruichi

    Yoruichi Member

    Well, that was rude and well put.
  9. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    and also take into consideration the hosting aspect of it. Spend a few evenings doing your research on various hosts that sit within your budget.
  10. Fufu

    Fufu Well-Known Member

    Free or not, just go for it! Do not be scared, jump in and learn how to swim. :cool:
  11. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    Digital Doctor and Fufu like this.
  12. vijaichander

    vijaichander Active Member

    OMG!I never knew about trial :D.I directly came in,registered,checked out and flew away :D.Never gave way for my brain to have a second thought over XenForo :p
  13. Yoruichi

    Yoruichi Member

    Honestly? I was the same age as OP when I started learning all of this, and I caught on fast. I'm a somewhat fast learner. Just learn from others and read online articles.. it's what I did. I joined admin forums that helped me even too.
  14. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    I respectfully disagree with advice to try a different free forum software.
    They are too different. It'll confuse you.
    For a more experienced person moving from one type to another is no big deal. But for the inexperienced quite small differences can look like big puzzles and really block you.
    Plus XF is SO much easier than all the others.

    I suggest you keep playing with the XF demo here - I believe it has at least some admin pages on it?

    Here's a brief dictionary!
    (please note my definitions need more detail to cover every issue but this is aimed at a complete beginer so I stick to real basics)

    Site, website - Collection of web pages that connect to one web address.
    Site - also used to talk about your Xenforo forums when you have them.

    Hosting, host, web host - this is the service which holds your web pages including Xenforo stuff. It's possible to get free hosting but it wo't be good and might put awkward conditions on you. You would normally pay per month. Don't rush the decision on who to use so playing with the demo here will give you time.
    Domain name, domain - the name you book for your site eg www.xenforo.com This belongs to you but on a rental basis so you buy it per year.
    When you arrange your hosting the two things, domain name and hosting service get connected up. So visitors when they go to your site name www.whateverxyz.com find this shows the YOUR site and not another one!
    Sometimes both domain name and hosting are done by the same company and they will connect them for you.

    Upload - putting a file 'up' on to your site. To begin with you upload all of the XF files to your new site.
    FTP - File Transfer Protocol - the method you use to put files 'up' on your site . You will need to put Xenforo files on the site. You can get free programs that do FTP /uploading for you.

    Board - the whole Xenforo experience - you, your forums, your members and visitors, the pages you all create.
    Forum - can mean 2 things. Same thing as 'board.' Can be a particular forum (discussion) on the board.
    Admin - this is you as the owner and operator.
    User - whoever visits your board/ forums whether registered member, or guest/ outsider.

    Install, installation A specific Xenforo board/ forum on your site. We say you install it when you set it up.
    Configure - Once you have uploaded all the Xenforo files the instructions tell you to go to a link they give you. This makes Xenforo check it has all its clothes in the right place!
    It then asks you to give it more info like your email, a name you choose to use in the XF system, and your own password.
    Database - This is a special place on your site which stores lots of lists for your XF forum eg your members.
    You have to create a database, then give its name and password to XF. Don't worry your hosting company will probably help you and create a database for you.

    admincp = Admin Control Panel. Where you make changes like creating a new forum, page, or decode things look like re colours.

    There are LOTS of friendly people here as well as moderators (official helpers) who will help you with absolutely everything. As a complete newcomer it might take a few days to get it all sorted out - maybe not though. But you'll do it with our help.

    Then it's loads of fun.
  15. turtile

    turtile Well-Known Member

  16. glennyjoycelyn

    glennyjoycelyn New Member

    My suggestion will be Agriya's Discuzz software, which seems to be best to create forum immediately.
    All the best !!!!
  17. Justin Justin

    Justin Justin New Member

    Hey I am new here too and we're about the same age. I just turned 17 yesterday.
    I started with free software(mybb) and move to smf and i've been using Ipboard for a year now
    and i have to say from the time I used the trial, I actually like Xenforo and it is an easy software
    to just get the hang of so if you want to jump on in, I'd go for it.

    and it just feels modern :)

    But if you go the free route I strongly recommend NOT choosing Phpbb because that free software requires a lot of manual editing when you want to use addons and stuff and that was too far above my head.

    I recommend giving SMF or Mybb a try(i'm partial to simple machines forum tbh) if you go free.

    But if you go paid, we'll both be newbies to Xenforo since I plan to buy my own license(actually two :p)
  18. TheCoffeeTableGamer

    TheCoffeeTableGamer New Member

    First thank you for the reply. I think MyBB and Byethost would be a great start for me, thanks for recommending them :) .

    Ok I will learn about this, to be honest I had never heard of this before now, but at least im learning. Thank you.

    I do not plan to try a whole bunch, just MyBB and the XF Demo. As for the definitions thank you for writing them out there were a few I did not know in there.

    I do not plan to try phpBB I took a lot the site and I don't like it much. MyBB on the other hand looks great to start with, I'll also take a look at SMF.

    Thank you everyone for the help, i'm sorry if I didn't reply just trying to catch up as I was not on the computer yesterday. This is a very helpful community.
  19. Ernest L. Defoe

    Ernest L. Defoe Well-Known Member

    I have used just about every piece of forum software there is. I am sure there aren't many I haven't tried. Of all the ones I have used xenForo is by far way ahead of everyone else as far as stability and speed. While it may lack certain core functions that are in other forum solutions most of these have been done by the 3rd party community. I don't think you would regret going with xF as your software of choice.
  20. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    I still think it is unwise to learn a very different system and then transfer to XF. XF is so advanced and way ahead of other forums in how it does things to make things easier for us as admins. But there are certain differences that I have seen other newcomers say are difficult to get used to when they have used MyBB or the others.

    I was very surprised to see it recommended here to start with another software. We get plenty of complete beginners and I have never seen this pathway recommended before. XF is so much nicer to use in so many ways I don't see the point. Learning a new system once you have got used to another one is a pain.
    Nor is it expensive really - a bit of doing jobs for neighbours would cover it for a young person unless they live in a very poor country.

    My vote is that XF is ideal for beginners, both because it is designed to be clear and logical (which other older systems are not because they grow extra bits over the years)
    - and because the community here is about the most helpful and fast on the net to get answers. Ive seen newcomers fire off several questions an hour over their first few days. They get answers straight away. You do not find that on other support forums.
    Fufu and Ernest L. Defoe like this.

Share This Page