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Creating A Forum; Tips & Tricks Of The Trade
Topic Started: May 11 2007, 02:57 AM (2,109 Views)
Starting A Forum

So, you've spent hours away on other forums and have decided you want to start a forum of your own? Have you got what it takes? These step-by-step tips will help you on your way of creating a one of a kind forum like no other.

The first step of setting up your forum is by registering. If you haven't already, you may register a board here. Now, the registration process must be complete by filling out the simple form.

Board Name: This will be the name of your board. Try to have an original name in order for your board to be unique. Remember, there are thousands of forums out there. Try to get a name that will stick in peoples heads
Username: This will be your name on your board. Pick a name of your favorite character or someone you like but don't use your real name.
Category: Category your board goes under. If you are doing, for example, a board about Playstation 3 games, I would advise putting it under Sony or Playstation category, not Anime.
Password: This will be your password to login on your newly created board. I would suggest to have a password that has a mixture of numbers & letters that's at least 8 letters long. Try not using real words that can be found in the dictionary. For example, instead of the password cherryhead, try including numbers in it like this, ch3rryh3ad29. This will dramatically reduce the chance of your forum getting hacked into.
Password verify: Just retype your password here for verification.
Email Address: This is for the invisionfree to contact you if any problems insue.
Email Address verify: Just retype your email address for verification.

Skin & Graphics
This is, by far, the most important thing for your board. Skins & graphics. Let's say you go on to a board and they have the invisionfree default skin along with the default graphics. Not very appealing, to say the least. Once members see that, they'll just turn the other cheek & leave your forum. Something you don't want to happen. Instead, you can go to SkinZone or Zeta Styles to find the perfect skin & graphics you're looking for. I would suggest trying to obtain a custom skin and graphics for your forum as to be unique and stand out from the other thousands of forums out there.

Another very important part of your forum is definately your forum banner. Never ever stick with the default banner. Some may like it, but others will not even take a second glance. Make sure your banner matches the board. Don't have a forum that's blue have a yellow banner. Members will wonder what the heck is going on & that will turn them off from your forum.

If you think you're done, you're about halfway right. Categories are another very important aspect to your board that members look at. For a starter forum, I suggest have about 3 categories with about 3 forums in them. For example, if you're starting an advertisement forum, I suggest something like this:
Hellos & Goodbyes

Main Topics
Advertise Your Board
Post Exchange
Forum Reviews

Off Topic
General Discussion
Forum Games
Creativity also plays a part in your forums success. Let's take the News section, for example. Spice it up a little by making it The Lobby or New Arrivals instead. Descriptions are what tells what your forum is about. Try being creative with them.
Forum Games
Play games here
Doesn't that sound appealing to you? Didn't think so. Instead of that, try putting something like this:
Forum Games
Relax from the pressures of life by joining in on the fun in our variety of forum mini-games
That's more like it. It's creative & also draws the members attention. Vital for any forum.

Now that you have registered your forum, created your own custom skin & graphics and have your categories in order, you're done. Nope. There's a lot more work to be done. You're probably thinking, "But I did everything you said. Shouldn't members join my forum? What else needs to be done?" All good questions with one simple answer. Advertise. How else are people going to find your forum. With a magic wand? Wouldn't bet on it. Successful ways to advertise your board include:

  • Putting a banner in your signature on other forums
  • If other forums have sections to help you advertise your forum, take advantage & submit.
  • Forum reviews
  • Affiliation
  • Submitting your forum to seach engines
  • Word of mouth
Even after all this, never stop advertising. That's very important. Try being active on other peoples forums with your banner in your signature & soon people will take you seriously as an admin & check out & join your forum. Having members of your board including your board banner in their signature on other forums they go to is a 5 star tip. Works very well by getting members to check out your board because if members see it enough, they'll get curious & check it out.

Hopefully, the tips & tricks in this document helps you get your forum off the ground & to be the best that it could be. Good luck to your newly created forum & much success in the future.

©ShadowFlare of Shining Lights Studios & IFSkinZone
Edited by Perron, Aug 28 2008, 11:42 AM.
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Well Done!

Your documentation has been approved transferred to the Board Management forum.

We appreciate your entry and encourage you to continue building great tutorials/DOCs to help the InvisionFree and Skin Zone communities.

IF Skin Zone
Edited by Perron, Aug 28 2008, 12:20 PM.
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Very helpful and informative, Nice work..
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