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Newbie with Questions about basic requirements to start a discussion forum

#1
I have reviewed your website and still have questions.

I need an overview of what it takes to get started with XenForo, from a MANAGERIAL perspective. I do have some computer programming and web development experience from a really long time ago, so I understand basics of technology. But I am not to be considered a techie and don't want a deep technical answer.

This is for a non-profit that beautifies and engaages the business and residential community in a suburb of a larger city. I am the president doing some visioning here -- We do have a budget for this. So, with that background, here is my question.

1. What are the broad categories of costs for getting started? I understand from this site you have to buy a license, and can purchase other things like branding removal and installation. This is a one time fee, I understand, So, that is clear to me from this site. What are the other broad categories of costs to get started?

2. For example, does the licensing fee include hosting? Does XenForo do its own hosting?

3. Do I have to buy a domain name from XenForo or do I get that from a hosting company?

4. If you have to purchase hosting in addition to the license, what further technical responsibility do you have for the forum after you buy the hosting? Will I have to find someone to alter code, technical configurations of the software etcetera, or will the hosting service do that?

5. What kind of ongoing maintenance will be required from my organization to keep the forum up and running? Can I rely on the hosting service to do that? Are there freelancers who, for a reasonable price, can keep the software running on the hosting service? So, who are the personnel I need and what would their responsibilities if I were to purchase the software?

6. I want social engagement features with the discussion forum -- liking, @Username posting, trophies, alerts, subscriptions to various forums, etcetera. Is this included in your $149 license? or do you need extensions for these? If so, are they free? The demo didn't seem to have those features other than alerts, hence my question.

Any high level advice you can give me about what I have to do to get this up and running, what the overhead is in terms of labor to the organization hosting the the discussion forum, and general categories of costs, I would appreciate knowing.

Thanks,

BW
 

M@rc

Well-known member
#2
1. What are the broad categories of costs for getting started? I understand from this site you have to buy a license, and can purchase other things like branding removal and installation. This is a one time fee, I understand, So, that is clear to me from this site. What are the other broad categories of costs to get started?
Other than the license and branding removal (optional), you have to buy a domain and hosting. Purchasing an SSL certificate is optional too if you want https.
2. For example, does the licensing fee include hosting? Does XenForo do its own hosting?
No.
3. Do I have to buy a domain name from XenForo or do I get that from a hosting company?
xenForo just sells a license to use forum software. You need to buy a domain from a website like NameCheap or GoDaddy.
4. If you have to purchase hosting in addition to the license, what further technical responsibility do you have for the forum after you buy the hosting? Will I have to find someone to alter code, technical configurations of the software etcetera, or will the hosting service do that?
Hosting service will not do anything related to xenForo unless it's to solve a hosting related issue (eg. your forum goes down).
5. What kind of ongoing maintenance will be required from my organization to keep the forum up and running? Can I rely on the hosting service to do that? Are there freelancers who, for a reasonable price, can keep the software running on the hosting service? So, who are the personnel I need and what would their responsibilities if I were to purchase the software?
You'll have to keep xenForo updated. Your hosting will only take care of the server or any other problem related to it that arise (again, not related to xenForo unless it's hosting related).
6. I want social engagement features with the discussion forum -- liking, @Username posting, trophies, alerts, subscriptions to various forums, etcetera. Is this included in your $149 license? or do you need extensions for these? If so, are they free? The demo didn't seem to have those features other than alerts, hence my question.
All of the features you mentioned are included already. A license costs $140. You can renew it for $40 when it expires but "when you do so" is 100% up to you.
 
#4
So, I assume that the $40 renewal fee is yearly then, from the end of the first year to infinity, correct?

I also have another question. There are places out there that will give you a discussion forum that is already installed and they host it for you. It's all self-contained and you do pay a monthly fee. It's not open-source software. Other than more limited features, it seems a lot easier than downloading, installing, and managing the software yourself, particularly if you're not a technical person. What is the advantage of using software like XenForo rather than sites like that?
 

M@rc

Well-known member
#5
The renewal fee -- is that $40 a year after the first year expires?
Yeah. You can choose to renew for another year ($40) whenever you want.
What is the advantage of using software like XenForo rather than sites like that?
I've always done everything myself so I can't answer this one, but xenForo does not offer this. IPB does but I'd go with xenForo over them any given day.
 
#8
I checked out invisioncommunity.com and didn't like it for some reason a while ago...there are certain things I'm looking for Xenforo has it all...but there is one site that is really easy for volunteers to use called websitetools.com

I already set up a forum there, and it works...https://conwaywatercooler.discussion.community

But I am not sure if I actually want that. It doesn't have the features that Xenforo has, and your hosting option and offer of support is helpful.

How much HTML and PHP do you need in order to manage Xenforo? I assume it;s a PHP/MYSQL on Linus product.
 

M@rc

Well-known member
#9
How much HTML and PHP do you need in order to manage Xenforo? I assume it;s a PHP/MYSQL on Linus product.
The admin panel in xenforo basically takes care of everything. You should have seen it in the demo already. HTML/PHP/etc is for further development.