Does anyone know how to create bulletin boards and chats? Does Dreamhost support this? What external software do I need to create them?
[quote]Does anyone know how to create bulletin boards and chats? Does Dreamhost support this?
Boards: Yes, yes. Chats: Depends how you mean, but probably not too much through the web servers.
[quote]What external software do I need to create them?
A browser (for one-click installs), and some FTP and/or SSH software for setup adjustments.
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I would recommend PHPBB for your ‘bulletin boards’ or more commonly forums. That’s available as a one click install through the Panel > Goodies > One-Click installs. For the chat you I believe there is a mod for PHPBB that will get you set up with a live chat box (perhaps called shoutbox) in the forum.
Alternatively to the chat box you could set up a IRC channel through a place like freenode and set up a java or CGI gateway on your site to that channel. I like that set up because your guests then have the option to use either you site’s interface or their own IRC client.
Hope that helps…
Everyone has a choice as far as discussion boards are concerned, but I’m not enamored with PhpBBB. I prefer SMF (Simple Message Forums), which offer more features, and (at least according to some) superior security. Sure with the latter you’ll have to install yourself, but they have a Webinstall.php application/file that makes it real simple, not much harder than the one-click.
Here’s our implementation of an SMF board: http://techbroadcasting.com/smf/
If you are interested in a more robust forum, with commercial support, there’s also vBulletin, which is used by both hobbyists and commercial enterprises. It costs $160 for a user license, or $85 per year for a lease.
Our implementation of the latter is on a more highly-trafficked site at:
These sites are all hosted at DreamHost, so you can check performance, content, the look and feel, etc.