Included in a large varying project for a cystic fibrosis support organization, they'd like an internet site setup and I have made the decision on Apache running on Linux (because of its security and inexpensive mostly). Apart from (fairly) static content, additionally they desire a forum where people can discuss difficulties with the problem - it will be mounted on a hospital chain so there will be lots of medical staff there who know little concerning the web.

I'm able to handle all of the specific coding and Apache setup since I have tried it before but I am thinking about individuals opinions whether I ought to roll my very own forum software or get hold of some ready-built stuff. I have not had any knowledge about forum software however i could generate my very own (initially buggy, I am sure) inside a month approximately.

It'll require registration and login to depart comments (but guest access simply to read) and I'd want it to be 'pretty' (pardon me as i remember damning clients for supplying similarly vague needs specs :-) although not always infinitely-configurable with skins/styles/etc.

If anybody has some compelling reasons (and knowledge about specific items that may provide things i need), I'd want to consider listening to them. Alternatively, does anybody have 'gotchas' they experienced while coding their very own forum software?

Advantages to moving your personal:

  • a non-standard custom-built system means you will be less vulnerable to "standard" attacks (e.g.: a vulnerability in PunBB) since criminals tend to concern yourself with exploit-hunting only on broadly-used systems (more return of investment)
  • absolute treatments for the way your system works and appears
  • you'll become familiar with a lot


  • you'll repeat mistakes others have previously solved
  • it'll get you longer to obtain ready to go
  • lengthy-term it will be more maintenance (since you need to fix bugs &lifier add features yourself).
  • you cannot "leverage the cityInch -- when you purchase an off-the-shelf forum which has a wordpress plugin system plus there is a lot of community add-ons that will not be accessible for the custom forum software.

There's a huge listing of forum software on wikipedia -- there's probably something inside which will meet your requirements that exist ready to go rapidly.

IMHO that old "don't build what you could buy" adage is applicable for this (well, the net 2. version is clearly "don't build what you could download"). Take a look around in the available forum software, select one that covers 99% of your requirements and tweak it to complete the relaxation.

Should you still wish to construct your own forum software that'll most likely be considered a awesome side project but when the task is to buy a forum ready to go, go and download one - produce mix in the need to do awesome stuff and also the regular job unless of course the regular job is simply to complete awesome stuff only.

Getting written my very own forum software before...

It appears just like a simple problem, however when you enter into it, you discover that there's lots of tiny problems that you might want to complete better, also it takes considerable time. Mine was awesome and all sorts of, and that i ended up getting taken care of it, but when I had been doing the work once again (that has also happened), I'd make use of a easy to customize pre-made solution, and spend my free time doing something productive. :)

Forum softwares generally have rather complex minimum needs. A couple of stuff you are certainly going to need matter that which you do:

  • Forum/thread/publish hierarchy
  • User system
  • Home security system (eg user/admin classes and a myriad of limitations for customers)
  • Gathering statistics
  • BBCodes as well as other reduced markup language (NEVER allow customers to complete full HTML)
  • File uploads and avatars
  • Restrictions along with other punitive measures
  • etc.

Ready to use forum systems provide this out-of-the-box and plenty more. Setup is mainly easy too. So why do it once again yourself?