Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What is involved in setting up a forum, using 'vbulletin'?

  1. Mar 18, 2004 #1
    I'm going to try to suggest to other teachers of my subject in my country that a forum similar to this (and other ones I've found by 'vbulletin') be set up, instead of 'majordomo' and 'listserve' email systems, where masses of unwanted topics and comments come to my email.

    The major adavantages of this system is the topics can be broken into smaller groupings, you can pick and choose easily the areas you want as well as view topics in the past etc. The disadvantage is there is a (one off?) cost.

    What is needed to set up a similar system to this site? On the 'vbulletin' site it says $160 for an 'owned license' for 1 web server and 1 web site. Without having to give 'commercial secrets' away does 'physicsforums' need more than this to run with many moderators in many countries?

    What sort of hardware etc is needed or can it all be spread around several distant computers?

    How does vbulletin compare with other ones like EZBoard?

    How much time is involved in setting up, running it etc?

    Any other comments anyone can make on this?


  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2004 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    I would sugest trying out a free and open source bulletin board system called phpBB.


    Don't forget to checkout their mods sections

    http://www.phpbb.com/phpBB/catdb.php?db=1 [Broken]

    For hosting you have two choices

    Since your at a school, with possibly high bandwidth networks, I would ask if you could setup a http server on their network

    If they don't let you or you just don't feel confortable setting up a http server, just find some hosting near you. I'm sure you can find something for around $10 a month.

    If your being hosted and your already setup with apache, mysql, and php, then it shouldn't take long to get up and running
    if you follow the directions given.

    I've installed and used phpBB before and I have have to say it is equal or even better than vbulletin. If you can't find a feature in phpBB that you need, just code it yourself. Again, phpBB is open source and allows you to make as many modifications as you like. It is also encouraged that if you make any modifications that you post it on the web so other people can utilize your work and improve upon it.

    Information about open source:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  4. Mar 18, 2004 #3
    Just for the record, you can't even begin to compare phpbb to vbulletin. Have you run a vbulletin dduardo? Especially the new 3.0 that is coming out, it's flat out amazing and well worth the extra cash. If your looking for a quality free forum software I'd suggest Invision Board: http://www.invisionboard.com/
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  5. Mar 18, 2004 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    Greg, no I haven't tried vbulletin and your probable right about it being better in terms of features. The thing that I don't agree with is the license.


    You may not:

    # reverse engineer, disassemble, or create derivative works based on the Software for distribution or usage outside your web site excluding those applications described above

    # use the Software in such as way as to condone or encourage terrorism, promote or provide pirated Software, or any other form of illegal or damaging activity

    # modify and/or remove any copyright notices or labels on the Software on each page (unless full license is purchase) and in the header of each script source file

    # distribute the Software

    # distribute individual copies of files, libraries, or other programming material in the Software package

    # distribute or modify proprietary graphics, HTML, or CSS packaged with the Software for use in Software applications other than Invision Power Board or web sites without written permission from IPS

    Your not just paying for the software in cash, but your also paying in terms of restricting your freedom. Under this license, if you make a radical improvement to the underlying system of vbulletin, you can't just give the source code to someone else to use, modifty and improve upon. Sure you can "produce and distribute modification instructions," but your instructions can't contain any of IPS's proprietary code.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  6. Mar 18, 2004 #5
    Well first of all that is the licence for invisionboard and not vbulliten. vbulliten doesn't have any outragous restrictions. You can edit the code and share it with any licenced user. They actually have a massive hacking community here: vbulletin.org

    Invisionboard is a really great starter forum for people strapped for cash. If you have any kind of internet and programming experience it is definately the best route to go. If your very new to web programming and internet concepts it might be better to go with phpbb because you have to pay for support for invisionboard.

    All in all it what you need that will determine what you should get. If you have a budget of $160 then by all means vbulliten is the best forum software on the market. If you want a free board with great appearance and features try invisionboard. If your looking for a completely open source and freeware solution then try phpbb.
  7. Mar 22, 2004 #6
    Thanks Greg and dduardo,
    for getting me started. Trying to 'search' on the vbulletin site is very difficult when you know hardly anything! I'm trying to move my questions to your suggested vbulletin.org, (but their registering system assumes you have a homepage, I think, so I've sent them message on my problem)

    This is not really now a question for this site, but what are the advantages of using a majordomo site, when it seems so difficult to use compared to vbulletin forums like this or even if you used a free one like phpbb? Maybe majordomo is alot easier to set up? (their site was offline when I tried)
    I would still like to know, to be prepared for my colleagues, what hardware you would suggest etc.
    If you paid someone to set up vbulletin for say about 1000 members what would it cost very roughly?
    Is EZBoard limited compared to the other systems mentioned?
    Ps if you still have time what is a 'dduardo' that you (both) refer to!
    Thanks again,
  8. Mar 22, 2004 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    "Ps if you still have time what is a 'dduardo' that you (both) refer to!"

    Uh, look at my username

    Take first letter of my first name: (D)avid
    And combine it with my last name: Duardo

    And you get dduardo
  9. Mar 22, 2004 #8
    I feel a bit silly now, as I was a bit overwhelmed by all the programs needed for vbulletin that I had not heard of, I thought Greg's question 'Have you run a vbulletin dduardo?'(with no commas)was referring to another specialist procedure (like 'avatars' was new name for me a couple of years ago) and you being clever calling youself the same thing. Cringe cringe.

    You can see I am just starting with all this (even though I am quite competent in other computer areas); even Vbulletin.org have said if I don't have a home page their site is no use to me (but put in any home page so I can get registered)which I think is a bit limiting on their part, as people like me may be interetested to ask and to understand so they can promote eg vbulletin use.

    However my other questions are still there if you or Greg have the time. I know he's been a bit busy and there is no rush.

    But, dduardo, you would have some knowledge of majordomo type systems and could comment possibly?


Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook