Running a forum is a brilliant way to find and get familiar with like-minded people, advertise your product, as well as get feedback from your customers. So, if you feel that you need to create a forum, you have two options:

  • you can assemble it yourself piece by piece (this implies purchasing domain, hosting, CMS, etc.);

  • you can take advantage of a free online website builder.

In this article I’m going to dwell upon these options in detail for you to choose the most cost-effective and convenient variant.

Option 1: Purchasing Domain, Hosting, and Installing CMS

These are the three inevitable steps you need to take when creating a forum yourself. First of all, you need to find a reliable provider to purchase your domain and hosting. You can either buy both domain and hosting from one provider, or you can pick domain name elsewhere and then use it for your website.

Selecting a hosting provider is a crucial step that shouldn’t be overlooked, since the performance of your website will completely depend on the quality of your provider’s service. When selecting a company, pay attention to the most important characteristics (connection speed, bandwidth limit, etc.). If you have nothing to do with IT technologies, I recommend getting a consultation of a professional.

Your third step will be selecting a CMS (content management system) for your website. It’s also a very important sitebuilding stage, since it defines how easy the management of your new website will be. You will find a plethora of both paid and free CMS. Some of them are very easy-to-navigate, and can be effectively used even by novices, while others require some training and experience (the most advanced). It may take you awhile to learn all the features of a single advanced content management system. In this case I also recommend reading customers’ reviews or getting advice from a skilled webmaster.

Selecting a domain name, hosting provider, and the CMS isn’t enough. Once you have assembled your forum, you will need to manage it through your CMS. Although most modern systems are rather simple, it may take you awhile to get accustomed to them, especially when it comes to forums with their multiple pages, topics, and users.

As you can see, this option is a bit burdensome, time- and money-consuming. What’s more – it requires previous experience in sitebuilding. Actually, it can be seamlessly implemented only by experienced webmasters.

Option 2: Using uCoz module ‘Forum’

Luckily for everyone who wishes to create a forum, there is a far easier way to build a website from scratch. The answer is uCoz, a free online website builder created specially for non-techies. It offers a so-called ‘turnkey’ solution – this means that when using this platform you can get all the elements required for a successful website in one place. uCoz provides its customers with free hosting, web address, and a modern, easy-to-use content management system. Creating a forum on uCoz is a piece of cake even for kids: it is possible to build a full-fledged website there with just a few clicks of your mouse. In order to build a forum on uCoz you need to take the following steps:

  • Sign up to the platform.

  • Select a module (‘Forum’).

  • Fill in the required fields and upload your content.

  • Publish your website to the world!

I was very surprised to see the wide range of modules uCoz offers within its free plan (you will not find such a variety elsewhere). These include Blog, Site News, Publisher, Gallery, Mini Chat, Ad Board, just to name a few. What’s more – on this platform you can add a forum as an additional page to your main website. Isn’t it great? I’m really lucky to find this sitebuilder, and I’m happy to share its benefits with my readers:

  • It has incredibly simple editors (WYSIWYG/drag-and-drop editor).

  • It offers rich functionality even within its free version (ability to attach your own domain, unlimited traffic, numerous widgets and gadgets, and extended statistics).

  • It offers an excellent customer support in the form of a great Community Forum, live tech support, as well as various video tutorials and manuals.

  • It has high security levels and backup function.

  • It offers about 300 default templates for free and even more designs on their official template store.

  • It allows you to create a functioning website in a matter of minutes without stress.

  • It has seven years’ experience in the sphere.

Besides these, there are many more advantages of using uCoz. To feel these advantages, you can create your forum for free right now! Simply go to their website and register there. You won’t be disappointed.

Conclusion

Although I’m an experienced webmaster, I often use website builders as a shortcut. They are simple, fast, and free. Although there are many myths about sitebuilders (that it’s impossible to create a truly professional website on them, that the website will be ugly), I can confidently say, that sitebuilders can be used for any purpose, including a serious business undertaking. So, don’t postpone creating your forum – use uCoz and enjoy having your personal website today!

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