Would you recommend phpBB for beginners?

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Would you recommend phpBB for beginners?

Post by Shanti »

Hi there,
I've read through the site a bit, looking over the installation instructions and searching the forums for any tips for total novices.

From what I see, most people here seem quite familiar with php and SQL, neither of which I have any experience with. Just to give you an idea of what I do know, I read through the installation instructions and wasn't completely lost :) I'm familiar with the basics of html and web design, ftp, etc and *always* learning more. I'm not afraid to look at the guts of an application or file and try and make some sense of it either ;)

I did noticed some novices who choose to just jump in and hash things out as they come, which I may just end up doing myself. Before I do, I'd like to get the opinion of you phpBB gurus out there, if you suggest this as a good choice for a fairly novice web designer. I currently use a free BB service that's riddled with ads, and I'm looking for an alternative.

Thanks so much for the advice,
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Post by Orange-Crush »

Shanti wrote: ...I'd like to get the opinion of you phpBB gurus out there

I don't put myself in the guru category (you'll get answers from them as well), but I can give my novice response:

I came from a background of cgi, html. Very little php or mysql. Doing my research here and testing on a test site gave me more information that I could get reading books. I had my test site running on RC1 about a month prior to moving RC2 to a live site. Now that FINAL is release, it's an easy transition.
If you have the basics of html ... use a host that gives you the ability to create your dbs (mysql recommended) on a *nix server, you should be on your way. I have found php to be logical and LITE.
The support on this forum is fantastic. They now have a dedicated Support group (the Bear is in charge) that helps folks like you and me.
I would get away from the free hosts ... you get what you are paying for. Garbage. I have seen hosts that are as little as $5.00 month with php, mysql, apache, Linux .. blah, blah, blah.
So, as far as ease of use. Too easy... it's almost scary. My learning point was the over 150 installs/upgrades/updates that I've done with phpBB since the RC1 days (on test sites). I'm not kidding here either. But know what? It was fun. I blow up my test site with so many silly mods that I actually enjoy it.
I translate all what I learn on my test site to my live site. If I get it to run "perfect" on test, then it goes on my live.

G'Luck, you'll enjoy it here!
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Post by SamG »

I think perhaps a key to the most rewarding experience with phpBB is using the subSilver theme as a guide for template variables, the necessary templates, and so on. Reverse engineer subSilver so to speak and then build your own theme. It will reflect your style, your approach, and perhaps most importantly, your skill level. Your new theme can grow with you, and you will have begun understanding how to master phpBB for your own purposes and tastes. Include what you will. Leave out what you will. Arrange it how you will. And of course just pouring over subSilver will be part of the learning experience. And all this without having to learn PHP until you're ready.

A lot of people get discouraged by subSilver. It's not easy. They want to change it to suit their purposes and find it hard. I say use it's HTML as a guide and have fun.

But that's all just very much my opinion.
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Post by intel_net »

Personly, I would not recommed phpBB for beginers,just because it's too complicated if you look inside of it (you know) I started with (if you know UPB [Unlimited PHP Board]) I learned a lot from that before I found phpBB2. :D
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Post by hsim »

I would perfectly recommend phpBB to newbies and experienced users and I don't know what could be made easier for installation.
The onliest thing that might make a hard life to people would be the template design (imho). It isn't really that hard but you need to understand how it's working and lots of time.

If you're with a paid host you should have received your database details (if not so just ask them ;) your hosting provider usually should help you (otherwise change host :P ;) )) - that's everything you need to get phpBB set up
email me: hsim at gmx.li
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Post by Black Fluffy Lion »

phpBB2 is very easy to install and run. I would definately recomend it to newbies. Even if you have absolutely no php/html/mySQL knowledge whatsoever it's easy.
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Post by aduncan »

I would absolutely, 100% recommend phpBB for beginners. I'm living proof that it's easy to setup and maintain!

My site is mainly HTML and I have zero experience with PHP. I installed phpBB RC-4 before gold was out. I had it up and running on my site literally within a few minutes. I upgraded when gold came out and, still, not a single problem.

I've had no trouble at all with phpBB. I formerly had a free account with delphiforums.com. I was afraid users wouldn't make the switch over to a forum specifically on my site, but I've been quite surprised at how many people actually did come over. And they love it!

I agree with what others have said about the templates. If you stick with subSilver or choose one of the templates someone else has uploaded, then go with that. Editing it on your own is a bit of a toughie for a newbie.

I think phpBB is extremely user-friendly, easy to setup and I highly recommend it to anyone. :)
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Post by primedomain »

I am not a mysql guru either, only a moderator 8)
I started with phpbb2 some months ago with zero knowlege of php and zero knowledge of MySQL. I downloaded it, uploaded it, ran install.php - and guess what! - it worked.
Ok, I was messing around from time to time with mods and CVS updates, but that's another story. I would suggest, give it a shot. If you are encountering any problems whatsoever, the community will certainly be happy to help you :D
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Post by Shanti »

Wow, you've all been incredibly helpful and very encouraging! Thanks!!

Expect to see me posting in the support forum soon! :D
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Post by Graham »

I'd tend to say that it is no more or less complicated than any of the other forum packages out there I've played with.

The only downside is that the documentation is not fully finished yet, but there is good support here, and as long as you've got the time, you can figure most of it out without too much difficulty.
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Post by Kylecool »

I would recommend it for a Newbie or an experienced guy. It's easy installation with FEATURES! It has great features that everyone will use. :)

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Post by thetribe »

I would definitely recommend this for inexperienced users providing they know how to use the 'search' function :D

I knew nothing about PHP or forums when I first came here in February. I still don't know much about PHP but I do know how to manage my board (I hope!!) I have managed to change a few things too and as long as you remember to do a thorough search on any problem, or even search for whatever you're going to change so you can see any possible problems, you'll be fine.
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Post by Bear_nG »

as a newbie at phpbb - but not other forum types, this is one of the better ones...

i would have liked to have seen more in it, but now that I am more familiar with it, it is a nicer forum than most

it took me 4 mins with the right information the first time i installed it, and 1 minute now (four tries later).

yeah I would recommend it
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Yes.. try this board

Post by xanas3712 »

I came from a background of running a vbulletin board. This thing is even easier to install than that. Customization is a bit more difficult, but most of the mods here (adding flash support etc) are not bad, and they give complete instructions. If you aren't afraid to look at code, go for it. It's not hard to do some quick cut and pastes to get stuff to work. And that is basically what most mod installing has been for me. I don't know about the previous versions of phpbb.. but this one was easy to install

For example. I uploaded it.. and then I ran the install script.. and I had a default board with one forum and me as admin.. then I went in, changed some colors, and modified the template some more through the config panel. Very easy, especially if you have run any other bb's before. Maybe a little harder than vbulletin. But since it is free.. super nice.
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Post by MrDigital »

Definatly recommended for newbies. I had no PHP or MySQL knowledge, but it was cake. Just follow the directions.

I've been using phpbb2 since RC-2 without any problems at all.

The ONLY thing I had to do first was create the raw physical database in mySQL, but during phpbb installation it created all the tables for me.

5 Thumbs up! :P

P.S. I use the subsilver theme because I'm too lazy to customize everything for the low traffic this board gets.

http://www.freeporttavern.com/phpBB2/ for forums.

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