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.