With the help of this tutorial you can make a forum based on phpBB. phpBB is a high powered, fully scalable, and highly customizable Open Source bulletin board package. phpBB has a user-friendly interface, simple and straightforward administration panel, and helpful FAQ. Based on the powerful PHP server language and your choice of MySQL, MS-SQL, PostgreSQL or Access/ODBC database servers, phpBB is the ideal free community solution for all web sites. This is my first tutorial. First part is the forum installation. Go to the last lines for the MODS/Hacks. So here goes nothingâ€¦ Fist of all you need a web space ready for the forum site. If you have a paid server well and good, get the details about your hosting account like username, password, IP, etcâ€¦ If you want free hosting option there are many free hosting sites like: www.dhost.info www.ecwhost.com www.100webspace.com Get yourself registered at a site and get free web space. You will receive a mail from the host giving you the account details. Keep this mail for future reference. It has your account details like the account username and password, IP address, etc. With the web space in place, now is the time to get the forum package phpBB, from the official phpBB site www.phpbb.com . Go to the downloads section on top of the page and download the full package, (the current version of phpBB is 2.0.13). It can be downloaded in 3 formats, ZIP, gZIP, bz2. I recommend ZIP version. Download the file from the closest mirror. It is a 659.315 kb file. Unzip the file using your favorite compression program, e.g. WinZip, rar, zip, etc... Now open your FTP client software. It is a software used to transfer files to and fro from the server to a system. We will use this software to transfer the files from our system to the server. If you donâ€™t have any FTP client software, you can get it from these sites: http://www.smartftp.com/ http://www.ipswitch.com/Products/WS_FTP/ http://www.cuteftp.com/ FTP client software: After downloading the client software, install the software. After installing the software, start the software and go to the options for configuring the FTP client. All .php, .inc, .sql, .cfg, .htm and .tpl files should be uploaded in ASCII mode, while all graphics should use binary mode. If you are unfamiliar with what this means, please refer to your FTP client documentation. If there is an option for auto, use that option, but still add the above mentioned file extensions to the ASCII file transfer list. This will ensure that all the files are transferred in the required format. Now after this, connect to your server through the FTP client. It will ask the server address, which is the IP of your web hosting account. You will get it from your web space provider. In case of free hosting the mail you got from the host contains the details. Enter the address of the host/web space, the username, and the password. And connect to the server. Now upload the files to the server. By files I mean the phpBB files which you had downloaded before. Note: Do not upload the ZIP file, but the unzipped file. Upload the directory to the server (being sure to retain the directory structure and filenames). Please ensure that the cases of filenames are retained, do NOT force filenames to all lower or upper case doing so will cause errors later. The uploading takes around 5 to 10 minutes, depending upon your internet speed. After uploading the directory change the file permission of config.php to 666 (or -rw-rw-rw- within your FTP Client), so that you may access the file for the installation. Now create a database in the server. Login to your control panel in the web space providerâ€™s website and create a database. Usually MySQL databases are used. But doesnâ€™t matter. Just create a database and note the database username and the password. Changing the file permissions: Using your web browser visit the location you placed phpBB 2 with the addition of install/install.php, e.g. http://www.xyz.com/phpBB2/install/install.php, http://www.xyz.com/forum/install/install.php etc. This will open the installations window for the phpBB software. Fill the various fields. Installation: First is the basic configuration. Choose English as the Default board language. Enter the database type. Like MySQL 3.x. Check the host for the database type. For free hosting check the web space providerâ€™s site and check the type of database or if you got a mail from the host about your database it will contain the database details. Generally it is MySQL 3.0. After the database type, enter the installation type. Install would be the option to be used here. Database Config: Now letâ€™s move ahead to the Database Configuration. First it asks for the hostname. Again check your host. Then the name of the database you created. Enter it in the â€œYour Database Nameâ€? field. Then the password for the database. I suggest, leave the Prefix field as it is. Now lets move on to the next option, Admin Configuration. This is the place where you create the first user account, the administrator, the one who controls the whole forum. Enter your email address, your username, and your password for the admin account. Leave the server port and the script path as it is. Enter the domain name. After entering all the fields click on the Start Install button. This will fill the database with the required fields and make the necessary files and prepares and completes the installation of the forum. After this. Change the file permission of config.php back to (644 or -rw-r--r-- within your FTP Client), after that click on the â€œFinish Installationâ€? button. Finish Insllation: Once you have successfully installed phpBB 2.0.13 you MUST ensure you remove the entire install/ and contrib/ directories. Leaving these in place is a very serious potential security issue which may lead to deletion or alteration of files, etc. Please note that until these directories are remove phpBB2 will not operate and a warning message will be displayed. Beyond these essential deletions you may also wish to delete the docs/ directories if you wish. Now your forum is installed and ready to use. Just some minor modifications to make. Now you will be on the index page of your forum. Login with the username and password you entered during the installation. And after logging in you will see a â€œAdministration Panelâ€? Link at the bottom of the page. Clik it to go to the administration panel. Now go to â€œConfigurationâ€? under the â€œGeneral Adminâ€?. General Config: Here enter the Domain Name; leave the server port and the script path as it is. Then enter the name for your forum. This name will appear throughout the forum. Then enter the description of your forum. This too will appear on the index page. Then is the disable board option. CAUTION: This is a VERY SENSITIVE option and should be used with extreme caution. This option is used when the administrator is making some changes in the forum or taking a database backup or doing a regular maintenance, and doesnâ€™t want the forum to be available to other users during this time. If you want to use this option. Click on the Yes Radio button. Make all the changes, take the database backup, do anything but donâ€™t logoff from the forum, or you wonâ€™t be able to access your forum ever. So after you make the changes or complete the maintenance work. REMEMBER to click on the No radio button in the Disable Board option, so that after you logoff, you and the other users can access the board. After you submit this option you can safely log off from the forum. Gen Config: Then is the Enable Account activation option. This option configures the way in which you want the userâ€™s accounts to be activated. Using none, means no activation is required and the user can straightaway log in to the forum after registering. User option allows the user to activate the account. This will happen when after registering the account. The user will get an email from the forum which will give a link for the activation of the userâ€™s account. After the user click on the link the user can then log into the forum. Admin option will make the admin to activate the account, after which the user can log into the forum. Then is the option â€œUser email via boardâ€?. This option will allow the users to send email to each other through the board. I suggest disable this feature. Then is the flood interval option. This option sets the time which a user would have to wait before he/she can make another post. Then is topic, posts per page option. Enter the number you find appropriate. Then is the post for popular threshold option. This will set the minimum number of posts required to make a topic popular. When the topic is popular its icon will start flashing. Then is the Default Style option. It gives only one option currently, i.e. subSilver, because there no other templates installed. We will get to this in detail afterwards, about how to install the templates. Now the next option is the Override user style. This option comes into play when you have more that one Forum Style or skin. This will set the skin to the entered skin and wonâ€™t let the user to change to another style the user wishes. Next are the Language and Date format options. Enter the appropriate. Next is the enable GZip option. This option is used to allow the administrator to take the backup in the GZip compression. Next is the Forum Pruning option. This option allows the forum to be pruned which means the topics which get old would automatically get deleted. Next is Cookie settings. I suggest leave all the options as it is. Next is Private Messaging. I suggest you leave the option Enabled, and enter the rest of options in private messaging like max post and all. Next User and Forum Basic Settings. I suggest leave all the options as it is as in the screenshot. You may change it afterwards. Next are the Avatar settings. I again suggest that you leave it all as it is. Same for COPAA and rest of other settings. As they are all self explanatory. This completes the forum installations tutorial. If you find any problem or query for the forum installation feel free to ask. Now a small tut for installing the styles and the emoticons and the rank images. Styles: For installing styles or skins. Upload the new skin directory in to the templates folder in the forum directory in the server. And go to the skins admin in the admin panel. And then add skin. You will find the new skin there. If not then u must have uploaded the directory in the wrong structure. The new style directory should be installed by uploading the whole directory into the templates folder. Emoticons: You may import packs of smilies into your board. The pack should come in a .zip file. First extract the contents of the .zip file to the Smilies Storage Path (To use smilies, you must specify their location in relation to the phpBB 2.0.0 root directory. So if your Forum Index page is at http://www.xyz.com/phpBB2/index.php and your smilies are located in the folder http://www.xyz.com/phpBB2/images/smiles, then your Smilie Storage Path should be images/smilies.). Next, go to smilie administration and click Import Smilie Pack at the bottom of the page. You will be taken to the Smilie Pack Import panel. Change the settings as you wish, and click Submit to import the smilies. Choose a Smilie Pack .pak file - select the .pak file you want to import from the dropdown box. Delete existing smilies before import - If selected, all of the smilies on your board will be removed. The new smilies will then be added to your board. Replace Existing Smilie - When this is selected, if any of the new smilies have smilie codes that are the same as any of your existing smilies; the existing smilie will be removed, with the new smilie taking its place. Keep Existing Smilie - When this is selected, if any of the new smilies have smilie codes that are the same as any of your existing smilies; the new smilie will not be imported, the existing smilie will remain in place. Rank Images: This is a small image that is normally shown directly beneath the rank title. The image must be a png, gif, or jpg image, and the path specified must be relative to the phpBB 2.0.0 root directory. So if your forum index was at http://www.xyz.com/phpBB2/index.php, and a rank image at http://www.xyz.com/phpBB2/images/ranks/teh_rank.gif, then you would enter "images/ranks/the_rank.gif" to display that rank. First upload the images into the images/ranks/the_rank.gif directory then choose the image. (Note: If the directory does not exist, create the directory.) This completes the whole tut. MODS: For installing MODS/HACKS on your forum, there is a software EasyMOD EasyMOD is an automatic MOD installer. It will take a MOD that follows the phpBB MODing guidelines and automatically make all changes necessary to install the MOD. Honest, it really does WARNING: This is beta software. Use at your own peril! Download from here: http://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=15391 It also has got the instructions for installation. With screenshot. So no point in making a tut for it, as all the installation procedure is well described in steps. But still if you want a tut, tell me.