Not too long ago I wrote an article about how myBB, a very versatile open source forum framework, can help you create a thriving community. While the software itself is pretty interesting to know about, it does you no good when it’s not installed anywhere for you to use. Therefore, this whole article is dedicated to getting myBB installed so that you can use it.
There are numerous ways of doing the prerequisite actions that lead to the actual install process, but this should be the easiest way for most people to fathom. You’ll need the following before you begin:
- An accessible server that has Apache, PHP, and MySQL installed
- A client (aka regular old desktop computer) that can access the server via both a web browser and an FTP client such as FileZilla
Setting Up The Installer
To get started, you’ll need to create a new database (or table) in the MySQL part of your server. I trust that you know how to do this or that you’ve been given the tools to do this. If not, a simple Google search should give you enough information for some ideas. On my own server I have phpMyAdmin installed, so creating new databases is easily done.
Next, you’ll need to head over to myBB’s website and download the software. You can then unzip the “Upload” folder from the zip file and place it wherever you know you’ll find it, like your desktop. These are the files that actually make up the forum, which is why we are going to upload them.
Fire up your FTP client and connect to your server. Make a new folder in an existing website’s root folder, name it whatever you’d like, and then upload the contents of the “Upload” folder on your desktop into the new folder, not the “Upload” folder itself. Wait for that to complete, and then you’ll already be partway done!
Technically, myBB has already been installed as its files are now on the server. However, it requires a lot of configuration before it actually becomes a functioning system. Configuration is made extremely easy through the installer script included with the files that you uploaded. Therefore, the next step is to open up your browser, type in the correct address with “/install” attached to the end (so if your regular website was http://www.thisisasite.com, then the correct address would be http://www.thisisasite.com/mybb/install if you chose to name the newly created folder “mybb”). This should launch the installer script, which will walk you through the process of configuring myBB.
In the installer, you’ll first be greeted by a Welcome page where you can choose to send anonymous statistics about your installation to the development team at myBB. You can choose whether to help them or not, then continue onward to accept the license.
Afterwards, myBB will check whether all requirements are satisfied. More than likely, you’ll be warned about some files and folders that cannot be written to. With your FTP client, you can change the permissions of each file and folder that it requests you change by right clicking each one and giving it all the permissions it needs.
For simplicity (although this is a security threat later on), you can give the entire “mybb” folder full permission as we know it’s safe. Once you do that, you can click Recheck, and everything should be A-OK if done correctly.
The next page asks for the database information for the MySQL database that you created, so enter that information in and continue.
The next couple pages will create the necessary tables, enter in default data, and install the default theme for you. You don’t need to put in any information for this part. After that, you can change the name and other information about your forum as you please.
As the last step, you’ll need to make an administrative user so you can admin your forum.
You’re done! You can now go to your forum or admin control panel to start your work.
myBB is a great piece of software that is relatively easy to install. Once the installation is complete, you can begin work on constructing your forum to create a nice home for your community. With plugins and other goodies, you can make your forum a truly unique place to communicate.
What is your favorite forum software? Why is that one the best in your opinion? Let us know in the comments!