Forum Platform Gurus - help?


Hi folks,
I am looking for a sense of direction, hoping there are an expert or few willing to point my bee-line in the right direction.
I am looking into setting up an online discussion forum for a local organization so the members can take there discussions out of cc email strings plugging up inboxes and get those talks moved onto something that is organized. I am a heavy user across about 20 forum sites of various interests and specialties. They all look and function similar. The BeeMaster site is a bit different though in the interface.  ...  My gap to fill is that I know very little about the underlying platforms that drive these sites or how or where it is setup and hosted.  And ... what about costs? There is not money allocated.  We've looked in the likes of social media platforms like facebook, twitter, etc ... but those really do not fit the purpose.  Can you imagine trying to have exchanges like here on bee master done on facebook?!

Anyways.  I need to get a bearing and start getting something off the ground on this.  The furthest I have got thus far is  for what looks like could be the backbone of alot of the sites I frequent. The organization has its own web address domain name. It also has a barebones website that is functioning at google sites.  I would like to get a discussion board setup and attached to it.  Or perhaps there is a google suite app that is a simple fit for this.  We tried google groups for a bit but it was a mess.  Has to be something else.

I just do not know what to do next to move this forward. I am stuck and have no idea. Is there anyone here who can give some pointers? I am pretty good at figuring things out once I know where to look and have an outline. You can post it or PM to me, either works.

In advance, thanks!

I sent an email to Robo to see if he can help you. He is one of our experts.
Jim Altmiller

   Thank you. 

I would advise staying away from phpBB. Beemaster start on phpBB and after a few year of headaches I migrated to SMF and have not looked back.   SMF is pretty solid and only gets minor security updates maybe once a year.

As far as hosting you can try one of these budget webhosting services for a few bucks a month.   It will be fine until your forum grows in users and content and you start running out of space or they start hitting you up because of too much traffic.   For a few bucks more I would suggest getting a VPS and then you will have no issues.   Of course it does require to install Linux and the forum software on your own but then it will be hassle free.  You can start with an entry level VPS for around $7/month.

Feel free to hit me up in a PM if you want to discuss more or need help.

Excellent, thank you Robo.  I sent you a PM.  No urgency, at your leisure and convenience.


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