How long have you been running a forum?


Managed Customer
I've been running a forum for about 8 years and some other various sites.

It's mostly a hobby. I find it super fun and i think i spend too much time with it.

I just wish i could code html,css and php and manage my own server.

I think if i was an expert in all of that. I could build really cool sites.

I have many ideas in my head but i'm still slowly learning html.

I don't know how developers keep up with all the computer languages and servers.

I find there is so much to learn i feel overwhelmed
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Too long! I started with "Inside the web" in 1997. It was hosted remotely and it was quite basic. Then in 1998 I had UBB (perl/flat files) which was good but I had troubles with their staff. I moved to vbulletin the 30 October 2001. It was a happy move ;) but I waited a year or so before installing it. I never upgraded to vb4 despite owning the license for it. Now with the help of Matt I will move from vb3 to Xenforo :)
It is also a hobby and I also wish I could code... I knew html and I know nothing about css.
Running a forum can be fun but it is also tiring and it can be too much time consuming indeed!
  • since 1999 for first forum on Ezboard :D
  • vBulletin 1.x to 5.x since 2000 to present
  • latest forum (in sig) since May 24, 2014 :)
Started my own site in January 2006, and still running it now, and even got a full blown online car parts store running from it. Originally on phpBB2.

I started with forums and helping people in 2004.
I did too. I remember all the bad reviews, so I was too afriad to upgrade. I was vbulletin 3.8 for the longest time. It was a good version.
Exactly! I did not feel the need to update it. I even thought there were less features on vb4.
vb3 was working fine and it took a long time to fix vb4.
Started in Aug 2013 and kind of went right in at the deep end headfirst o_O I have learned a lot over the past 18 months or so but it has been the steepest learning curve of my life for sure.

Looking back on it now it was a crazy idea of taking on a VPS and having to build and configure a server (two of them actually) having never seen a command line on a server before, it was pretty daunting. The hardest part is when you genuinely do not have a clue what you're doing, trying to learn is difficult because you quite simply don't know what questions to ask to find the simple answers...

So finally got that all worked out after a couple of weeks of tinkering, then I had to decide which was the right forum software. With no money whatsoever it had to be a free solution so I went with SMF on one forum and MyBB on the other.

SMF seemed relatively intuitive to set up and I kind of liked some of the available themes out there so chose one and went for it, still using it to this day actually. MyBB though was a lot more complexed for me to get my head around but I figured it out in the end. The problem with MyBB was I just couldn't find a theme I liked so I started to tinker :whistle:

Eventually I realised that using CSS to redesign the site seemed quite easy and I took to it like a fish to water. A few mess up's along the way were inevitable, but ultimately I decided that I was going to completely redesign the default theme and create my own design entirely. Over time I learned more and more CSS and kind of just made tweaks and changes along the way until it's at the stage it is today.

Next came another hard part.. SMF has some simple portal systems as plugins with wysiwyg editors to make it easy to create additional pages with various information that integrate themselves nicely with the forum, but for the life of me, at the time I just couldn't find a decent portal plugin for MyBB so I was faced with the daunting task of having to learn HTML if I was to stand a chance at getting anything done.

Contrary to what seems the norm, I had taken to understanding CSS pretty easily but HTML just had me scratching my head. It looked like Chinese to me.. Eventually I managed to figure out enough to write a few web pages as add-ons to the forum but it still confuses me somewhat. I've come to the conclusion that I'm HTML dyslexic :LOL:

I've found that the hardest part of it all, and I expect many other folks in my position have at some point felt the same way, is that when you first start out, you can make mistakes as your forum is empty pretty much so it doesn't matter. As time progresses and things are picking up with more members and more recognition, suddenly that niggling feeling begins to grow and at an exponential rate. The consequences of losing everything because you may have left a back door open somewhere on the server just begins to haunt it's way into your head.

Finally the crunch comes where you have to decide to take things seriously and admit defeat and get some help because the more you learn, the more you realise how much you actually don't know at all.. well that's what I've found anyhow :D

Sorry for the long ramble folks

TLDR version - about 18 months :p
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