Registering on a phpBB3 board

Registering an account on a phpBB3 board is typically a simple and straight forward procedure.

Figure 5.1. The Typical Registration Page

The Typical Registration Page

This is what you should expect to see on a typical registration page.

After clicking the Register link, the terms and conditions of registering will be displayed, which you must accept to proceed. Some websites will ask you to select whether you are under the age of thirteen in order to comply with COPPA (the United States' Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998; more details can be found at If you are younger than thirteen years of age, your account will stay inactive until it is approved by a parent or guardian. You will receive an e-mail in which the next steps required for your account activation are outlined.

Beyond accepting the terms and conditions, you need to fill out some important details such as selecting a username, entering your e-mail address and desired password. You can also select your timezone and language.

If you see in the form where you can specify your username, password etc. a graphic with some odd-looking characters, then you are seeing the so-called Visual Confirmation. Many boards will have this, otherwise known as a CAPTCHA, which is an image with distorted letters and numbers which you must then type into an adjacent box. The reason for this is to ensure that you are a legitimate user registering (as opposed to a spam robot performing an automated registration). Simply enter the characters you see into the Confirmation code field and proceed with the registration. If you cannot understand the code, refresh the page to get a new code.

Figure 5.2. The Visual Confirmation Object

The Visual Confirmation Object

This is an example of a visual confirmation code you might see.

Another option available is the account activation. Here, the administrator can make it a requirement that you have to follow a link mailed to you after registering before your account is activated. In this case you will see a message similiar to this one:

Your account has been created. However, this forum requires account activation, an activation key has been sent to the e-mail address you provided. Please check your e-mail for further information

It is also possible that the administrator himself/herself has to activate the account.

Some boards will have custom profile fields. If the administrator has elected to display custom profile fields on the registration screen, these will also appear. In some cases, these custom profile fields will also be required fields, meaning they must not be left blank.

Once you have completed all of the fields on the registration page, clicking the Submit button will complete the process. If you wish to clear all fields, clicking the Reset button will do this for you. After clicking Submit, you will be advised of your next step. In most cases, you will be sent an e-mail to the address you specified with a link to finalise the registration. Other options also include being able to login immediately (i.e. there are no further actions for the registration process) or waiting until an administrator reviews your registration and accepts it, in which case you will be notified by e-mail.