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Old 05-15-2011, 11:02 AM
Location: Michigan
730 posts, read 1,974,299 times
Reputation: 726


I will be setting up an online forum (like this one) for a volunteer organization. Can anyone suggest a good free hosting service, or tell me one to avoid?

ProBoards.com and freeforums.org look ok. Has anyone here used either of them? If so, was the service satisfactory?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:40 PM
40,169 posts, read 41,782,366 times
Reputation: 16740
Can you manage 6 to $10 a month?

Most of those free hosts are using phpBB which is free software, it will cost you $6 to $10 a month to host it yourself:

phpBB • Free and Open Source Forum Software

As far as free hosts go I have no recommendations but be sure you find out what their policies are regarding the database. Make sure you can make full backups at least once a week that you can download yourself. There's two reasons for this, firstly if the host goes out of business, changes their policies etc. you'll most likely get no notice and have nothing. Secondly some charge for this and you may want to move it to your own server in the future, you don't want a surprise bill to get the data.

The bottom line is never trust anyone with your data, have your own backups up to date as possible .
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:11 PM
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 45,042,427 times
Reputation: 58644
GO DADDY is pretty reliable and has been around a long time. Their plans start at $4.99 month.
Web Hosting | Secure Hosting Plans with Unlimited Bandwidth
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:38 PM
Location: Louisiana
101 posts, read 266,616 times
Reputation: 135
We used Proboards as a jumping point to start our forum but depending on the time you want to invest, how many members, what all you want to do with the site, etc. we ended up leaving Proboards after a week.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:15 AM
28,607 posts, read 40,588,688 times
Reputation: 37262
I know it's been a month, but this site is worth a look. Posters I have recommended it to have used it and I've received no negative feedback. I've had a client using it for years and she is very satisfied. Search this forum for other posts and the replies. As low as $3.00 a month.

Cheap Hosting, Personal Webhosting | InMotion Hosting

Inmotion Hosting.

I have no affiliation with this company (although I'm beginning to think I should ask for a referral fee!!)
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:23 AM
2,182 posts, read 4,705,982 times
Reputation: 1206
I helped start up a forum not long ago, and initially we were using proboards. We quickly outgrew it and it's lack of administration features.

The unfortunate thing about these free sites is that you cannot export your posts and data...you'll have to start fresh when you decide to upgrade. Think about this before hopping on the free bandwagon.

I suggest getting some hosting ($40/year, is cheap enough in my opinion), and either get a vbulletin license (cream of the crop) or install PHPBB. I'm a fan of PHPBB but VB is a much better alternative if you have the cash.
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