First time to install Forums


Hi all,

It’s my first time to use forum software, so I thought it would be a good idea to just check in to see if I’m on the right track or not, before I do too much, or put it out there for the random world to view.

I used the simple one-click install for phpBB from DreamHost. It says 5 star rating, so that seems safe enough, especially since I don’t know enough yet to have an informed opinion. What do you think? Is that as good as any, for getting started for a first try?

here’s where it is

Thanks for any general input - just wanted to get some other thoughts before I invest too much time on it.

take care, all


Only thing i would do is re-do it now as a custom install rather than simple.

The difference is where the files live. A better word than “Simple” would be “Central”

Custom on the other hand installs your own set of files in your own space on dreamhost, which later when you want to install additional themes and/or plugins you will need the custom install. Its much easier to make that change now than later.

phpBB is ok. Be sure to install the American English dictionary if you are in the USA, by default it’s a British English dictionary.


Thank you for your input. I will go ahead and change it.

I wonder if that means I have to lose everything done so far and start over?

I tried to select the American English dictionary, but only the British one is offered.


The way you are configured now I believe most of what you have done will be there provided you re-use the same database.

The American English dictionary has to be downloaded and installed before it can be used. You can find it here:


Note that phpBB language packs are just used for translating text in the forum, not for spell checking. The British English pack is so similar to the American English pack that I’d actually recommend not installing it, as otherwise you’ll often need to manually update the language pack when your forum is upgraded.


I appreciate everyone’s info, thank you.

As it turns out, about a week after my first-time-ever dealing with or trying forum software, I was assigned to be in charge of another site that also has forums and they are badly messed up. I don’t know how to fix their problems yet, but I do know enough to realize they have problems, so I’ll be diving in and learning as quickly as I can now. I guess it was meant to be, for me to start learning this now! funny how the world works, isn’t it?

I’m getting ready right now to try that reinstall for custom instead of simple, so wish me luck!

Well . . . . . I’ve been doing some more reading and exploring and I think it looks like the Concrete5 might be a good thought, instead of only re-installing the phpBB. Although I can build my own websites by hand, and enjoy it, I don’t feel that urge about this particular site - I’ll be “just a volunteer” and want things to be as easy and fast as possible for me to manage it in my copious free time (HA!). It looks like concrete5 would have the site-building-made-easy stuff that I want, plus forums which I also want (either now or eventually), as compared to the phpBB which looks to be just forums.

What do you think?


And, a final update, I did try the Concrete5 and it sure does look powerful - yikes on that learning curve! I think I’ll just stick with writing my sites by hand for now, until I have more time available to learn something new!

In other news, the new forums are coming along okay so far, still learning how to use phpBB and get things set up before I start to announce/advertise it to the wider world. But just in case you’ve been following along in this thread, I will let you know that the place has moved (since the first post, where I mentioned it at and now the forums will be located at

thanks again to everyone for your help with getting the basics set up. I’m going to get signed up at the more specific phpBB forums for ongoing help in the future, of course, but I do appreciate the little boost I got here when I needed it.