Forum software


Hi guys,

I want to set up a private forum for about 20 songwriters with some shared mp3 upload/download space - will be relatively light use and no copyright issues as it’s all our own work.

Is DH and their default forum software a good solution or should I look elsewhere?

I presume that this current forum is an example of the package forum software. Is it easy to set up, spam protected and genuinely private if I want? I’m no geek :slight_smile:

Presumably cost is the annual domain plus $8pm web hosting.


DH provides PHPBB as a one-click install. I think that solution would probably work out just fine for you - but you’re welcome to install other forum software if you want, it’s just not quite as simple as a one-click install.

If you go to the PHPbb site you can see an example of what their boards look like - it’s not this software. And yes, it is easy to make your forum private. You can control registration so only those you want can sign up, and only allow registered member to read and make new posts.

On top of all that, PHPbb has some great video tutorials on how to manage your forum.

–Matttail - personal website


as matttail mentioned, DH provides PHPBB in one-click installs. It is very easy to set up. It is like clicking next and next to finish the setup.

There is a short introduction on this

However, you can also install other free forums like Discuz. It is not difficult to install those forums by yourself. Basically you only need to upload the forum to the server, create a database for the forum, run the installer of the forum and you are ready to run your forum.

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I became disheartened at the number of spam user registrations on my phpBB. Is there a better/easy plugin to avoid this than the default captcha?

What’s available for other free forum software?

This is now a key criterion for when I select the software for my next forum. :slight_smile:

To the OP: If you can avoid being listed publicly, do so. It will cut way back on how much spam you have to deal with.

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I use AntiSpam ACP by Lithium Studios


Installation is challenging, but if you have installed EasyMod it’s less than 1 minute:

Installation Level: Intermediate

Installation Time: ~33 min (less than 1 min with EasyMOD)


Thanks for sharing.

I had the same problem as Lesman. Too many spam in the forum. I had to check the registered users in the forum every day.

I’ll look into this AntiSpam!

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Thanks roces!

Inspired by your recommendation for this product, I was looking into it when I came across this thread on the phpbb community forum about anti-spam mods for phpbb. I found the sidetrack on automated spamming web services for spamming all phpbb’s to be fascinating in a kind of morbid way. I noticed that the OP of that thread also recommends AntiSpam ACP.

Anyway, I did want to thank you for saving me from the tedium of manual cleaning of my board!

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it is wonderful to be helpful.

just an FYI in the past year I have had this mod installed I have blocked over 1500 spams


Personally I like SMF, the Simple Machines Forum:
Historically it derived from YaBB but it’s well maintained, very secure, (patched quickly when it’s not), and has a good following with a large selection of mods and themes.

If you really do have a limited audience you can use .htaccess / .htpasswd on an entry page to the forum. Be sure the user/password is simple and give it to all of your associates. Unless the u/p is drop-dead obvious this should eliminate 100%of the potential bogus registrations and spam.


Thanks for the replies guys. Trying to digest that stuff but presumably phpBB 3 with EasyMod and ACP seems to be a way to go.

Some Qs:

Is 145Gb Dreamhost overkill for 20 users? How much space does phpBB need?

How can I avoid being listed publicly?

.htaccess / .htpasswd - is taht easy to set up?




phpBB’s needs are measured in low megabytes.

  1. Don’t link to your site from anywhere public.
  2. Don’t submit your site to search engines.

Yes, pretty easy.

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OK, thanks.

In reply to:

  1. Don’t link to your site from anywhere public.
  2. Don’t submit your site to search engines.

Wouldn’t something like Google find it anyway? Sorry, I don’t know how these things work.


If you don’t want google to find your site, you may want to try create a robot.txt file as follows:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

The entire site won’t be indexed in google search engine.

If the forum is installed in forum folder, you can also create a robot.txt file as follows

User-agent: *
Disallow: /forum/

The forum folder won’t be indexed in google search engine.

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Ah right you are. Thanks.


You can’t guarantee that someone won’t link to it somewhere and not all bots obey the robots.txt file.

If you don’t want uninvited guests, you’ll want to password protect the directory the forum is in.

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[quote]phpBB’s needs are measured in low megabytes.


Hmm so all I really need is a couple of Gb max in case we feel like uploading a dozen WAVs.

Are there cheaper and equally reliable hosting options just because you want less storage? Not that £100 for two years is going to break the bank really.




I have been with DH a year and currently use close to 50GB of my space and about 700GB/month with my plan. We use phpBB on a couple sites and find it really the best plan available for the money.

I think you can’t go wrong here at Dreamhost.

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Storage isn’t really that much a true differentiating factor for low cost shared hosting. Mostly at this level you’re seeing the difference between hosts that oversell and hosts that don’t oversell. Even among the hosts that oversell, you’ll see “marketing” differences depending on how much they’d like to oversell. BTW, it’s not like they’re advertising falsely because they will let you use your quota. It’s just they depend on the fact that most people don’t use it. I imagine they’re like gmail in that regard in that Google doesn’t actually reserve your 2 gigs of space for your email when you sign up.

What I’ve seen between the low-cost hosts ($7-$10 a month) and the ultra-low-cost hosts ($3-$5 a month) are restrictions on the number of domains and subdomains and also varied hosting features like php, one-click installs, Ruby, and shell access. Most ultra-low-cost hosts seem to use those plans as loss leaders and try to upsell you into one of their regular ($7-$10) plans.

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OK thanks. I see your point.

However, I think it’s really just going to be 20 users and not that much traffic I would imagine.

I see that the phpBB forum has people offering free hosting. Is that an even worse idea?




OK nevermind, I signed up for 2 years with the Birthday promo code. Hurrah!

2 years should be enough time for me to learn how to set up a forum :slight_smile:

Edit: I’m up and running…