Monday, July 31, 2006

Create a Site Staff

You should always have a couple of good Mods when you have a very active forum. Mods can take care of misspelled words, advertisments, enforce rules, and keep an eye out. You can set up the Permissions of a certain Group so they moderate the forums you want.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Groups

Groups are simply a group of members with special Permissions. With groups you get your "Staff Members" more organized. Staff Members can be more organized by not having to add each member as a Mod in every forum, you can just add the member to that group and they have the same permissions.

I also recommend you not only make a group called Site Staff, also make a group of "Promoters", which can appeal to the members if you make them Mod of 1 of the Default Forums like the Introduccion Lounge or something else, this way members can see that is they promote your site they wil be rewarded.

You also should take advantage of the topic of your site, if your site is a GFX (Graphics) site maybe make a group of Designers, which can take care of the graphic request. If you have a support forum, if its a computer support forum, make a group called "Hardware Support Team" or something along those lines.

Groups just make your forum look more sleek and clean. You can play around with your groups, it all depends on the topic of your forum and the tittle.

If you want to learn how to make your group read This Article third paragraph :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Default Forums

All forums have Categories, categories are used to divide up the forums in which post are stored. Now, if you want to get members to stay in your site more and post more, I suggest adding a Category in which members can chat about things that are not related to the site's topic. Most people have it in their forum already, most people use as the Category name "Members Lounge" but you can play with that depending on the name of your site. In that category you can add a forum called Chatter Box, Speak Your Mind ect... And there they can post anything that is not about the site, if you want to go further you can add a Multimedia forum or a TV forum.

Apart from the Members Lounge category you should always add a category at the top of your forum named "The Site" or the title of your site like "Forum Blog" and in that category add Announcements, where the site staff can post announcements regarding the site. Also add a forum called Suggestions where the members can post their suggestions on the site. If you don't have a forum called "Introduce Yourself" where members can introduce themselves (the title says it all... LOL)

If your forum has a lot of members and you have many staff members, as in Moderators then I do suggest a "Staff Hub" or a "Staff Forum" where only that admins and moderators can see that forum, and this can be made by playing around with the Permissions

Just a little tip for the newbies :D

Monday, July 24, 2006

Permissions

Permissions are used in every forum, permissions are a way for the Board Administrator to keep a handle on things in the forum. Some examples are, the admin makes a Group of Moderators and makes them mod of certain forums, and they can edit your post. Maybe an Webmaster makes you Admin of the forum, this gives you the permission to do all a Webmaster does. To access and change the permissions in a PHPBB forum for groups is

1. Under Group Admin click Permissions and choose a group you have made

2. Then you can see all your Forums and you can choose if that Group is Mod of the chosen Forum

3. Click submit and you are done !

Now permissions are not only good for groups, but they are also good for default forums like "Staff Forum", in the staff forum's permissions you should (if in simple mode) set it as Moderators Hidden that way only Mods and Admins can see that forum, if you want to set it in Advanced Mode I suggest you set most as MOD or PRIV. If you have an "Announcement" forum you can set the permissions (if in simple mode) set it as Moderators, if you want to set it up in Advanced Mode I suggest you put View and Read as ALL; Post, Delete, Sticky, Announce and Poll create as ADMIN; and Reply, Edit and Vote as REG.

Most people know about permissions, this is a little tip to the New Admins ;)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ways To Increase Traffic

Well almost everyone that has a forum is always looking for ways to get more page views and members, there are many ways to advertise your site, some are good and some are bad.

I always try to join as many forums that have a "Show Off" or "Post Your Forum" section like Forum Finder and Anything Forums. But what I do suggest is post around first, make a few good post, and if they don't have a "Show Off" section its like my friend PChuck always says "You always have a signature" and he is right. A signature is even more effective than a Show Off section because it shows up in every one of your post. And it does not have to be a forum the has a show off section, you could join a support forum of a topic you know about and help people, they see your signature and maybe they go and check out your site. Also when you advertise in your signature make good use of BB Code to hyper link your forum, those long links don't look good.

Also to advertise your site you always want to be in search engines, like Google, Yahoo and MSN. These are the links to add your site in Google, Yahoo and MSN. But when adding your site in Google, the Google Bot will collect a small amount of information, a great way to get the Google Bot to stay in your site more, visit more frequently and collect more information is Google Site Maps

You can also try to convince people and members of your site to link your site to the other forums their members of in their signatures. A great way for this is a UserBar, you make a userbar that has the Logo of your site or the name of your site and hyperlink it using BB Code

If you want a more detailed explanation on how to add your site in search engines, read this article entitled Publicising Your Blog

Just some helpful tips =)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rated Forums

You all may have noticed I have "Rated" a couple of forums, I do this as a service, a service to help people improve their forum. The "Rating" process takes at least 48 hours while I join the forum and see what it offers, meet the people, post around and get some feedback so then I can post it here divided in these categories.

Forums & Categories - Which basically means the forums, how they are named, the descriptions, the placement and the accessibility (by this I mean the Staff Forum, Announcement Forum ect...) In categories I rate by the name of the categories and the forums that are placed there

Skins & Templates - Skins as in the colors and the style of the site, for example Dark styles, light styles ect..., templates as in the arrangement of the site, maybe it has a side bar, where are the Ads placed ect...

Banner or Logo - The site banner, is it well placed, well developed, poorly developed, ect...

Suggestions - The suggestions part of the article is used for any loose ends I've spotted, tips on forum descriptions, just suggestions it varies by forum

Over All - In the over all section I give you your over all rating in a 1/10 scale, and I also give you one last suggestion

Apart from giving people advice on their forum, this gives them a small advertisement from my part, I am up for rating any forum but I might close the "Rating" request every once in a while.

If you are interested in getting your forum rated all you have to do is post at least 1 comment in any of the post in this blog, then go to our Google Groups Page and make a new topic requesting a "Rating", wait for atleast 48 hours while I or a staff member joins your forum by the User Name of "Forum Blog Rater" and collects the feedback needed, you will get a reply in your topic in the google groups page letting you know your forum is rated.

If you need help or have a suggestion e-mail me at ForumBlog@googlegroups.com

Get your forum rated :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

The How To's of PHPBB

Most people use PHPBB as a starter forum because its easy to set up and easy to work with, most people that use PHPBB stick with it after they find how easy and simple it is it is. If you are starting with your first forum you should really choose PHPBB, its great to learn how things work and how to set them up, also the abilities you have in the ACP (Admin Control Panel) vary by forum host

When you just get the forum the first thing you should do is go to General Admin and click Configuration, in there you should then write the tittle of your forum next to Site Name. Next to Enable account activation you should select the way you want users to activate their account, I suggest you click none, some people when they register and find out that they have to go to their inbox to activate their account dont bother to do so. Next to Enable Visual Confirmation you should choose no becuase it is sometimes hard to get the code right. From Visual Confirmation through Default Style you should leave as default, those settings dont need much changing

Now in Group Admin is where it gets interesting, if you are going to have moderators in your forum I suggest that you make a group called Mods and in the Group Moderator put your user name, make the goup and Closed Group (this means other members need your approval to get in the group. After you set up the group you click permission under Group Admin and select the forums that you want Mods to moderate in. Gorups make your forum look cleaner and more professional.

In User Admin you can look up a member of the forum and select their options and edit their profile. Also under User Admin you will find Ranks and permissions, Ranks are great for adding a touch to your forum, normal ranks are Newbie, Active Member ect... most people have fum with it and add ranks that are revelant to their forum topic. In permissions you can access a Users permissions, with this you can make a user Admin or mod of a specific forum.

All the parts of the ACP I left out are completly up to you, and some are suppose to be left as they are (in default).

If you have more questions that are not here, go to our Google Groups Page and ask whatever question you have, I will help you personally :)


Hope this helps you set up your forum.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Rate: 4AForum

Ok, in reply to this topic in our Google Groups Page here is my rating

Forums & Categories:
The Categories are very well set up. The forums are set up well too but there are some forums you could fix.

Skins & Templates:
I know you are just starting but that default skin is not that attractive, you should change it to another one that is better looking and catches the eyes, makes members stay there longer.

Banner or Logo:
I see you still have the PHPBBFM forum logo, you might want to play around with photshop and create a new one, you have a very catchy name so that would play out in a catchy logo

Suggestions:
I suggest you rearange the way the forums and categories are placed, the skin should be changed also and maybe take off some links at the top, some of them like radio and MP3 player dont have content in them.

Over All:
Over all I would give your forum a 7 out of 10, with some improvement this could be changed.

If you want your forum rated here please read this article and do as said.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

BB Code

Ok, most people that go to forums know BB Code, BB Code is like HTML just simpler and easier to learn, and mostly its found in Forums. If you dont know much about is im am about to explain it.

Letters:
In the text is very simple to remember. For Bold use [b]Text[/b]. For italic use [i]Text[/i]. And for underlined use [u]Text[/u]. Also there is a List option, what that does is add some spaces before your Text so it looks like a list.

  • List Item
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

To use this in BBCode use [list]Item In List[/list][list]Item List 2[/list]just like that, vertically.

Images:
To post images just put the image link between [IMG]Image Link[/IMG], you need to upload the image to an image host first. Also when an image is to large to fit the page use a thumbail. The code for a thumbail is [url=link to the image][img]link to the image[/img][/url].

URLs:
To post a parsed (color blue to make the links stand out) link use [url]link here[/url]. Now to do a hyperlink. Hyperlink is the difference between http://forum-blog.blogspot.com/ and Forum Blog, its also a great way to get rid of those long links. To hyperlink in BBCode what you have to type is [url=Link here]Link name[/url]


Hope this helps on you BBCode skills, if you want any more help with BBCode head over to our Google Groups Page and make a new topic, I will help you personally

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Support Forums

When choosing where to get your new forum hosted, free or paid, you always need to check their support forums and how the traffic is there, are the mods very active, are the admins active. You need to find out these things before you get the hosting, you should also go to teir support forums and ask fake questions to see how fast and what they respond. You need to do these kinds of things before you get your hosting because when you have a problem after getting the hosting and it cant be fixed, there is no turning back.

Support forums like Forumer and AON Central not much help, for example look at this thread in forumer entitled Custom Skins, and still no answer, and I cant even find one post in AON Central because the site was down when I tried searching. I know what your thinking, one thread does not mean that the support forums are bad, well no but its not just one thread, there are many like those at forumer, I dont want to publish them because then I would be known as a Forumer Basher which is not what im trying to do. Also in AON Central, just because its down for one time it does not mean its a bad support site, now the thing is ive been checking for a few days now and it has been like that for three days. Those are things you dont want we you are in need of support.

There are also good support forums like PHPBB City, Hosting-PLUS and SMF Host, they have a great support team of Mods and Admins that are there most of the time to help you with your problems.

But you can also find alternative support in sites like PHPBB Styles and the PHPBB Official Site.

Google Site Maps

Ok, most people are always trying to get more traffic into they forum, what I suggest as a first choice is Site Maps from Google. Google Site Maps is a great way to get search bots into your website. What site maps does is get the search bots to go to your site more frequently and stay there more time. I made this tutorial on how to add your site to Site Maps.

1. Go to the Site Maps log on page and log on

2. On the top, under the Google logo , you will see an Add Your Site box, put the link of your site there and click OK

3. After you see your site in the Site list, on the top it says Site Maps and Site Verified?, click on Verify

4. On Choose verification method choose Add a META tag

5. When the meta tag appears, copy paste it

6. Now, go to your forum ACP, Blog edit template ect...

7. If its in a forum, go to edit template and copy paste the tag in between the header. I should be inserted anywhere between < head> < /head>, and it wont show up anywhere in the index. What this is, is a way to confirm for google to confirm that you are the webmaster of whatever site you are adding

8. Click Verify

9. Then you will be redirected to a page, exit the page and go here and add your site.

If you need more support on this either go to the Google Site Maps Support Group or to Forum Blog's Google Groups Page and get support, if you go to Forum Blog's Google Page I will help you personally

Karma

Ok, most people dont know what karma really means, karma is a term that comprises the entire cycle of cause and effect. Karma is a sum of all that an individual has done, is currently doing and will do. The effects of all deeds actively create present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life, and the pain in others. Now the way this plays out online is

For Example
This happend to me, my history teacher set up a website for us to get our homework and assingments ect... and I went into the forum and started spamming, in consequece of me spamming you lowered my karma to -15 as a punishment.

Now I know thats not a big deal cause the whole idea of karma is not that big of a deal, but its a way for members to lower and higher someoes karma when they like the person or dislike the person.

Hope this explains some questions.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Rate: Moture

Ok, in reply to this topic in our Google Groups Page here is my rating

Forums & Categories:
Your forums are well sorted and well named, and I also like the News part as the home page, very well done.

Skins & Templates:
In the site skin I would give you a 7 out of 10, in the forum skin an 8 out of 10, I like the way you found a skin that blends they Forum skin and the Site Skin, very well done.

Banner or Logo:
Now I like your banne, but the banner looks like the logo (150 x 150), your banner needs a little more content.

Suggestions:
Well, in the site I would suggest more content in the Downloads section, and forum wise, you should add at the bottom a 'Members Lounge' so you get a little bit more traffic in the site, maybe a Multimedia part, TV, MTV, ect...

Over All:
Well your site is well constructed, and its not just a forum it has much more content. Members have a very wide selection on what to do in your site apart from the forum. I would give your site a 9 out of 10. Very nice site


If you want your forum rated here please read this article and do as said.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Rate: Post Central

Ok, in reply to this topic in our Google Groups Page here is my rating

Forums & Categories:
The categories are quite well distributed, but I think you can probably get id of a couple of forums. Also try to work on being more descriptive on the forum descriptions.

Skins & Templates:
That dark theme fits your site well, but dark themes are never good, dark themes make it hard to read and are just plain unatractive.

Banner or Logo:
I see that you have both and they are both pretty nice

Suggestions:
I would suggest you change the skin to a lighter one, change a couple of the Forum names.

Over All:
In the overall I would give your forum a strong 7 out of 10, you could change somethings but its a very nice forum.


If you want your forum rated here please read this article and do as said.

Mods

Mods are a grreat way to build your forum the way you want. Mods enable you to have even further control over your forum, you can make users have to have a certain amount of post before they can see or read a forum, you can add a Shout Box which is a chat box that anyone can leave a message. You also can change default settings to make your forum like you want. But as most things in forums, it requires FTP access, once you get FTP access you can do anything with your forum.

Modification Websites:
PHPBB Mods- This site is the official Modifications site for phpbb forums, they have a great variation and most Mods can be found there.

PHPBB Styles- This site is one of the greatest support, Mods and Show Off forums in the web, also they provide a request forum so you can request Mods, they have a great group of coders that take care of that.

Important Mods:
Double Post Protector- What this does is protect your forum of Double Posting, makes the Post botton case sensitive and can be only clicked once

Upload picture to post- This Mod shows a Browse Box under your post while you are making it so you dont have to go through the problem of finding an external image host

Super Cash Mod- Now what this does is adds Cash to your forum, every time someone post they get a certain ammount of "Forum Money" which is good because most people get into it and want more forum money wich means more post for you.

BB Code Positioning- Well I dont know if most of you have noticed but when you are making a post and you forgot to put a BB Code, then you click at the top but as much as you try the BB Code still shows up at the bottom, this mode will make the BB Code appear where the mouse cursor is positioned.

Hope this helps !

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Image Host

Some people that are new to forus always ask me "How can I upload pictures to a post?" , well as everyone knows you need an external hoster, what an external hoster does is uploads your image to a server and gives you a link, that link takes you directly to you image. Now after you get link, you have to use the BBCode which is found at the top of you New Topic or Reply page, all you do is click the IMG code at the top, and put the link between the [IMG] link [/IMG] and it will show up in your post. But also important for Forums is Thumbails, thumbails are a form of image posting that (in you post) appear as a small image, then that images is hyperlinked to the page, when you click the image it takes you to the page where you can see the image full size.

Image Host
File Hive- Its great for people who dont upload that much, but its great cause this Hoster saves your last 5 uploaded images.

Photo Bucket- Great hoster, you can edit images online, you get HTML, BBCode in the upload, but this hoster has the nasty habbit of getting rid of their old images, so I do not recomend this to people who upload alot.

Image Host(thumbails)
Image Shack- This uploader is great because its a BETA hoster, meaning you do not have to register, but being BETA also has a downside, you do loose all you previous uploaded images.

Image Hosting-PLUS- This is a great uploader, you can upload multiple pictures at the same time, you get them saved, and you get 20MB of space for upload, if you would like more please visit the support forums for more information on how the How To's

Friday, July 14, 2006

Paid Hosting vs. Free Hosting

Ok now here are the pros and cons of Free and Paid hosting

Free Hosting:
Ok now the biggest benefit of free hosting is that it is free, but also, free hosting has a lot of good things about it though, like the fact that most things are installed already. Although most things that are already installed in free forums are very poorly developed, the reason being is, a free hosting owner wants to add a Mod to all his forums, well he will have to convince the Author of that Mod to agree with him hosting it for free. This is a problem cause most real good script makers and very reserved about what they make and dont like them to be distributed without them getting something in return, since its free hosting the owner is not going to pay for a Mod. Also free forums give you very low control over it.

Paid Hosting:
Ok paid hosting is much better than free hosting because it gives you complete control over your site. Now you might be asking, what other controls or permissions do I get with paid hostng that I dont get with free hosting. Siple, FTP, as in File Transfer Protocal, which enables you to add and configure things in your forum. With FTP you can install Mods, without the Authors consence, you can also install Custom themes that can be found all over the web. FTP also enables you to change default settings of the forum interface. The only downside I can find with paid hosting is that you have to install the forum software manually, which is no problem, if you know how to do it. Also, when you have paid hosting there are no terms of use, you can post and publish what ever you want.


Bottom line is, paid hosting is much better than free hosting, but I do recommend free hosting for starters, once you figure out everything you can move to paid hosting.

Forum Software/Providers

Well since I am admin of 4 forums and mod of 2, I know a little about forums so I posted here all the best and easiest forum software

SMF:

Ok SMF is a quite easy to use software, but it is very dificult at first to modify the settings. Also this software gives you COMPLETE contorl over the site, meaning they have a bunch of settings to set up the permissions. I wouldn really recommend this forums software to people who are starting to make forums.

Click Here to see a DEMO of the SMF software

PHPBB:

This forum software is my favorite, it does not give you complete control over the site but has a couple of settings you can tweak to make that happen. Also this software has a 'Quick Reply'(which is a pop up that lets you reply without having to move from the page) that no other forum software has. Now also, this forum software varies by Host, some host dont give you as much settings as the other ones (read more at the bottom (this software also has the most skins for the site, but like I said, varies by Host )

Click Here to see a DEMO of the PHPBB software

vBulletin

vBulletin is a powerful, scalable and fully customizable forums package for your web site. It has been written using the Web's quickest-growing scripting language; PHP, and is complemented with a highly efficient and ultra fast back-end database engine built using MySQL. Now also, this software is not cheap AT ALL, but believe me when I say this, people do join your forum and they do stay active, vBulletin is the best forum software there is right now, also cost $80 a year to keep it running

Click Here to see a DEMO of the vBulletin software

Here are some free host that you might want to check out

Forumer:(PHPBB)
Forumer is perfect for begginers but they dont offer that many things as other providers this provider does have ads

PHPBB City:(PHPBB)
PHPBB City is one of the most modded host in the web, and they have many many many add ons that no one else has, and no ads what so ever

SMF Host:(SMF)
ow SMF host is one of the best host of SMF, they have tons of skins and one of the shortest SubDomains out there ( www.yoursite.smfhost.com ) and No ads what so ever

About Myself

Well I am 15, from Puerto Rico (born and raised), I have 4 websites, I enjoy playing tennis, riding my bike, administrating my forums, browsing the internet, playing Counter Strike Source, chatting, and playing with my cat. I also have a beta fish. I am very interested in everything that has to do with technology and computing.

Chat With Me !

Google Talk
gavilan1010@gmail.com

MSN Messenger
boricua_1010@hotmail.com

Skype
boricua1010


Also check out My Forum