How to Install Forum Software for Your Blog

By Amy Lupold Bair, Susannah Gardner

After you decide to press ahead with installing a forum for your blog readers, it’s time to think about what you need to run it. If you already have web hosting for your blog, this process may be quite simple. Check with your web host; it may have a forum software package available as an add-in or may even be able to take care of the installation for you.

If you don’t have web hosting, it’s time to find some.

As well as establishing web hosting, you must think about the URL for your forum. Your blog, for example, may have a URL like www.example.com. When you install your forum software, you can’t use the same URL because your blog already lives at that location. The forums need their own addresses. A couple of options are:

Consult with your web host to see what the best options are, or if they have any guidelines for where and how software of this kind should be installed.

The installation process for your forum software will vary from package to package, but they all come with installation instructions. Refer to those in order to complete the installation of the package you’ve chosen.

A typical installation process, however, looks a lot like this:

  1. Download the forum software from the web.

  2. Decompress the file on your computer.

  3. Upload the forum software files to your web hosting account.

  4. When the files are in the correct location, go to the installation script page in your browser and click the Install button to be walked through the installation procedure.

  5. When the forums are installed, visit them and test all the common tasks your users need to accomplish, such as registering, logging in, resetting a password, formatting a member profile, and of course, posting!

If you have any problems with the installation procedure, make notes about any error messages you see and where the failure occurred in the installation process so that you can ask good questions using whatever support tools are available to you. And if you’ve opted not to spring for support, a search engine query on the error may help you track down the problem.