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Very much LOST

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by tomatoman, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. tomatoman

    tomatoman Member

    To be honest, after coming to this site and spending some time looking around I feel like someone with a Grade 2 education that just stumbled into a MENSA meeting.

    At age 67, I'm no stranger to computers, the internet or on-line forums. However, as someone who would now like to start up a forum of his own, I have a ton of questions. I have no experience in running a forum other than acting as a Mod on one site. Therefore, all of the terminology used on this site is akin to trying to decipher a long, dead language. This is not to say that I am incapable of learning but I don't know where to begin.

    I'd like to purchase the current version of the software with a view to putting my site together but I'm wondering just how steep the learning curve will be. In addition, I realize that buying the XF BETA version is simply a single step in the process of ending up on-line with my project. It would be nice if I had a much clearer understanding as to what the first step would be and then the steps that must follow to ultimately reach my goal. Of course, there is also the issue of initial costs as well as ongoing costs and once again, I have no clue about those either.Disclosure on that aspect would be most welcome too.

    Perhaps I am asking a lot. I don't know. However, if I don't ask..... I'll never know...... so here I am.......looking for all the assistance that forum members and XF staff are willing to provide. I thank you for your anticipated assistance.
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    The license cost is $140: http://xenforo.com/purchase/
    Annual upgrades cost $40, but this won't commence until after the stable version has been released: http://xenforo.com/purchase/extension-details

    Ensure your server meets the requirements by running this script: http://xenforo.com/xenforo-requirements-test.zip and checking the following:
    • PHP: 5.2.4+
    • MySQL: 5.0+
    • PHP extensions: MySQLi, GD, PCRE, SPL, SimpleXML, DOM, JSON, iconv
    • PHP safe_mode off

    There are some basic guides here with regards to installing the software on a server or locally:

    There's also a guide on how to set up a forum:

    Installing and setting up the software is extremely easy.
    It takes on average about 10-15 minutes to download, unzip, FTP to your server, install and configure.

    Please ask any specific questions and we will try to help.
    NolF and Jake Bunce like this.
  3. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    Welcome to XenForo tomatoman :), I'm in no way officially connected to XenForo other than being a license holder but any specific questions you can feel free to start a private conversation with me(clicking my name and hit Start Conversation).

    Also if you'd like a first hand experience with the admin panel I have a test board setup which I use to develop skins that I'd be more than happy to let you get your hands dirty!

    As for the learning curve you've come to the right software, XenForo is by far one of the easiest forums to navigate through, admin and use overall. Here are some articles(not endorsed by me but found via google):


    Hope you enjoy XenForo :)
  4. Yamahapaul

    Yamahapaul New Member


    the learning curve can be as steep or as easy as you want it to be (depending on what you want to do and how you need/ want to modify your forum) I was in a similar situation myself two years ago... my experiences are from a VB forum (with a view to going XF) and all I can say is that you are in safe hands and will find all the help and support that you require from Kier and co on here ;)
  5. Decent60

    Decent60 Well-Known Member

    Brogan, you should probably throw in the Permission settings in there to help ease (or confuse) him into setting up the forum directly.


    Personally, if this if your first forum, I would install locally on your computer first. This will give you a general sense of how things work and lets your experiment without any major costs. Once you feel ready to make a public forum, then you should purchase webserver. Getting in on BETA system will allow you to get used to things quicker before it's fully "Gold" or final release. More importantly, you'll be able to start trouble-shooting your site earlier and when a major "hiccup" occurs, you'll be ready. You'll also have a whole community willing to help ya out as we all try to get used to changes that may occur.
  6. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member


    Working on the backend of someone's playground will be easier if you have never installed your own local copy....I can install mine on a server til the cows come home but I can't install a local copy to save my neck, even given excellent instructions. It's like there is a disconnect upstairs.

    Welcome, tomatoman, LOL to the feeling lost...don't worry, we'll help all we can. Not all of us are teens, I promise and not all of us are in the MENSA catagory...some of us are still in grade school ourselves...we've just been here watching and learning. And have our own playground to muddle thru. We love to help.
  7. tomatoman

    tomatoman Member

    Well..... the service around here is rather slow. :) I had to wait a whole 8 agonizing minutes to get a Mod to reply. :D

    I don't suppose that there is a Senior Citizen discount. ROFLMAO

    Thanks to all that have replied to this point. All of those acronyms used by Brogan may as well be Chinese but perhaps after devouring all of the reading material, they will begin to make sense. I don't fear any of this but at the moment it does SEEM to be a tad overwhelming. I'll keep an eye on this thread, of course and be back with fresh questions once I'm partially up to speed.

    Russ, I'm a little turned on by your avatar and offer so you may be hearing from me. ;)
    FreshFroot likes this.
  8. AnthonyCea

    AnthonyCea Well-Known Member

    Not everyone is qualified be a server administrator or the technical administrator of a forum, I know I'm not, if you are not a coder or programmer, hire one or partner with one to get your forum off the ground, once it is on the server and running you can run the show, then if you get in a bind you can turn to your hired hand or partner for help.
  9. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I'll try to do better in future ;)

    Those are the various bits of server software and the minimum versions required to be able to run XenForo.
    If you just check with your host they'll be able to confirm whether everything is up to spec' :)
  10. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    Welcome tomatoman. You will love your xenforo forum, I promise. :)

    We were all new to this at one time, so take a deeeeeeeeeep breath, take Russ up on his offer, and ask all the questions that come to mind.
    We're here to help in any way that we can.
  11. Decent60

    Decent60 Well-Known Member

    Ya know, I kinda forgot how long ago it was when I first ran XAMPP on my computer. I have to admit, that the beginning was a bit rough, but so was also FTPing files onto a server (free host made it a bit more difficult way back then).
    Only reason I recommend it first, is that if there is a 'server' problem, with XAMPP you can restart the program or just wipe all the files out. Most fixes are real quick (same thing on a real server mostly...they just take their sweet time getting to it).
  12. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    XAMPP can be a bit daunting at first but hopefully the guide I wrote will help a lot of people use it who normally wouldn't otherwise.

    I can't recommend highly enough having a local install, it is far better to work on that and reload the files/database if (when) you mess up, instead of a live server.
  13. anotheralias

    anotheralias Well-Known Member

    Tomatoman, I don't know what in the holy hell I'm doing most of the time, and a lot of the above advice is gibberish to me (XAMMP? Local server?) but I get by anyway thanks to:

    1) an excellent webhost who is willing to deal with stuff like installs,
    2) the helpfulness of people on here in general, and
    3) Jake Bunce
    Fusion, Trombones13 and Dean like this.
  14. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member

    Brogan, while I agree it's better, I have about three extra domains running around at the moment and the ability to make unlimited databases on my domains (dedicated server) so I can pretty much play as I want on a "live" but unused domain and hide it. I can also play with other scripts which I am in the middle of right now.

    I realize I am not the typical setup. :) But it works for me.
  15. Edrondol

    Edrondol Well-Known Member

    I, like most everyone else here, would be more than willing to help out. Even so far as to get on vent or even a real *gasp* phone! Just so you know, I'm 45 and have been doing this for 2 years now...and I fell into it without knowing anything about running a forum - or what the hell I was getting myself into!

    You have a lot of things to ask yourself before you start - Are you doing this for a specific reason? Do you have a niche already you want to fill? Do you want to use it to make money or just to have fun? Are you ready to put up with users who act like 3rd graders or monkeys throwing poop...even though they are ages 20-40?

    Welcome to our world. The world...of INSANITY!!
    anotheralias likes this.
  16. DaKat

    DaKat Well-Known Member

    Hey, where did you find my members?? :D
  17. tomatoman

    tomatoman Member

    Peggy said: "Welcome tomatoman. You will love your xenforo forum, I promise. :)"

    I will hold you to that promise. If it turns out that you are incorrect, then I shall insist on gazing into those lovely eyes of yours on a face to face basis. ;) I may be getting up in years but I'm far from being dead. :D

    At this point, I truly feel so much better. It has become obvious that the enthusiasm and support here is almost overwhelming.

    Edrondol asked if I was doing this for a specific reason. Fair question. For the sake of this forum, I will leave all the expletives out and just say that after being a member of several forums that essentially have the same focus, I think that I can do a far, far better job at filling that niche. No. I am not going into this with a view to making any money but........ breaking even on an annual basis would be kinda nice. I'm hoping to learn some methods to make that happen without the method being intrusive. As for the types of users you describe, I've been putting up with those for about ten years or so. I dealt with them during that time frame so they are the least of my worries. And if I did not expect to have fun doing this, I wouldn't be here.

    Again.....thanks to all who replied and have not been mentioned above.

    I did note how Brogan sidestepped the Senior Citizens discount issue. Crafty..... isn't he?
    Russ likes this.
  18. anotheralias

    anotheralias Well-Known Member

    Great! Can you dumb down the instructions for activating that "Friendly URL" dealio for me? Because Brogan's guide on it might as well have been written in Kanji. No offense to Broagn. :)
  19. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Friendly URLs are enabled in the ACP.
    Just check the "Use Full Friendly URLs" box.


    They say you're only as old as you feel, sounds to me like you don't qualify ;)
  20. grant sarver

    grant sarver Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm not NEARLY as old as you, but I backed myself into a corner last March and ended up doing a vBulletin 4 site - my first ever website! Heck, I couldn't even spell FTP! Ya just dive in and read the support forums here so you can see what others are asking about, before you run into the same thing.

    Oh yeah, I'm at blacksmith.org

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