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How To Create A Forum Like Nairaland

Published by on May 8th, 2020.

How To set up an online forum have been a problem to some Newbie so i decided to explain the procedures on how to start an online forum like Nairaland.com.

– What Is A Forum?
 An online forum is a website that basically brings people with similar interest together online in other to converse and connect with each other. People have to usually register before they can join in the conversation.
 Conversations are usually called threads. A topic of discussion or question can be asked by anyone who is a member of the forum. Replies are made.

 – How To Choose A Topic For Your Forum

There are no specific rules in selecting a topic for your forum but there are general principles that will help you push your forum to success. You can start a niche on anything you want but there are things that can guide you in picking a winning topic.

– Here are a few of them:

1. Avoid Heavily Contested Niches
 I see a lot of Nigerians who start forums that seem to look exactly like nairaland.com, in terms of the content and topics of discussion. There is nothing really wrong with this, only that it is usually better to look for less competitive topics or niches to start a forum than just copying others. If you start a forum that competes directly with www.NairaLand.com ,

I really doubt you will make it.
 If you have the money to promote and do many other things, maybe you can compete and beat Nairaland.com.But I know many people will rather stick with Nairaland than fraternize on your forum, unless you have something very different to offer them.

2.Pick A Niche Or Topic You Can Easily Get Information On
 It is good advice to stick to what you are passionate and interested in because in the first few months of the life of your forum, you will have to be updating and posting lots of information about the topic by yourself. It is only after a critical mass of information is reached that people will naturally join in the discussion. So pick a forum topic about stuff you can easily get information about, preferably, what you are passionate about.

That is All For that,Now Lets go into our main Aim

Now To The Main Aim Of This Post Which Is How To Set Up Your Forum

 I will be discussing the technical part of setting up a forum here. Here are what you need in setting up forum.

a. A Domain Name – A domain name is same with website name.A domain name is the identity and location of your forum on the internet. It is what people will type into the browser in order to visit you forum. You need to put in money in buying a good domain name You should remember branding and keywords when picking a domain.
  If you are mot financially stable, you can buy a domain name at www.syskay.com . They provide a reseller service for a bigger hosting company in the US. You can pay them in Naira..But the issue with their service is has limited hosting space and bandwidth. So it is better to buy with hostgator.com  . (It is affordable, reliable and you can pay with Nigerian issued debit cards) It will cost you about $10 for one domain name for a year. This is about N1500 to N2000 (depending on the exchange rate) for a year. You should renew it the next year to continue using the domain name.

b. Hosting – Hosting refers to the space you will need online to house (Host) your forum. Syskay also provides hosting.You can also use hostgator to host your websites and blogs. I recommend them because they are very reliable and have no problems with hosting Nigerian websites or blogs. Hostgator provides 3 different hosting packages at different prices. I will advice you buy the baby hosting because of the unlimited domain names you can host on it. You can order for hosting for a year or up to 3 years. For confirmation, all they will need are scanned copies of an identity card and the debit card used for the order.
Note- You will need a master  card to make the payment..I advice Gtb Master card..

c.Forum Software – After getting your domain name and hosting, the next thing to do is install a forum software. There are so many free forum softwares and other paid versions too. www.Nairaland.com is powered with free and popular forum software called simple machines. You can see the software here at www.simplemachines.org.
   Many forums owned by Nigerians use this software but there are many other free forum softwares. You can get a complete list of free and paid forum softwares at http://mashable.com/2007/08/19/online-forums/  One reason I recommend hostgator and FatCow is because you can install your forum by just clicking your mouse a few times. You don’t need to know anything about coding and web design. This is done by the use of something called scripts. Scripts are ready made programs or softwares that some hosting company provides on their servers so that you can easily add to your hosting space. The simple machine software and other softwares can be installed on the hosting space with a single click of the mouse.

 Thats all and your Forum Is Ready

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