5 Great Sites To Create Your Own Forum
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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/logo_phpBB.gif” />make your own forum website Forums are a great tool to have discussions with other readers through the internet about any particular topic. You may have come across forums before at Whirlpool, Bit-Tech and many others. But how do you create your own forum so you can have your own very own site like those?

Anyone who wants to talk with their friends, make their own community, or own their very own website may want to setup their own forum. However, you may think that it is impossible to set one up as you have no clue about how to create a website, but don’t worry, here are 5 sites that allow you to easily create your own forum.


MakeUseOf has covered Forumotion before Forumotion: Create Your Own Unlimited Forum Forumotion: Create Your Own Unlimited Forum Read More , and one of the good things about Forumotion is that you get to choose from 4 different forum platforms. These include: phpBB2, phpBB3, punBB, and Invision. You can also customise your forums with over 3000 themes.

There is also a large list of subdomains that you can choose from to match the type of forum that you want to host. But if you don’t want to go down the path of a subdomain, Forumotion allows you to purchase your own domain through the forum’s admin interface.

Forumotion also offers a number of features:

  • The ability to send newsletters to forum members
  • Invite your friends using contacts from your social media accounts and webmail accounts
  • Able to install modules such as Portals, Blogs, Galleries, Point System, Roleplay Games, Chatbox and a Calendar
  • Forum statistics and reports
  • Instant account creation

create own forum

Free Power Boards/Free Forums

Free Power Boards and Free Forums is another great forum provider that offers an great range of features. However, only phpBB is available. They offer a number of upgrades that you can add to your board such as domain names, the removal of ads and copyright banner. However, these all come at a cost.

The features are very similar to those of Forumotion such as a custom admin panel, over 150 different styles, a large range of forum mods, a recovery console, and 24/7 support. Visit the Free Forums Features Page for all the features that they offer.

The mods that you can install on your forum are:

  • Activity Stats
  • AJAX Chat
  • Arcade
  • Birthday
  • Calendar
  • Contact Page
  • Image Resizer
  • Inactive Member Reminder
  • iPortal
  • No Ads For Staff
  • New Profile System
  • Quick Reply
  • Share This
  • Show Topic in View Online Page
  • Thanks Mod
  • Welcome PM

create own forum


Lefora offers a unique forum experience with the ability to add sidebar widgets and much more. Lefora offers the following features when you use it to create your own forum:

  • Facebook, Twitter and MySpace integration
  • WYSIWYG editor
  • 10GB of bandwidth
  • Spam detection
  • Newsletters
  • Statistics
  • Chatbox
  • Avatars
  • Games
  • Email notifications

create own forum

phpBB Host

phpBB doesn’t offer anything special compared to the sites above, but if you want a basic version of phpBB3, then phpBB Host is for you. If you can put up with the large banner that’s placed on your forum and love the unlimited bandwidth, members and posts, you can’t go wrong with phpBB Host.

Other features include:

  • Attachment quota of 500MB
  • Custom domain
  • Over 40 different styles
  • 24/7 forum tech support
  • Forum import ability
  • Ads

There are also a number of mods that you can install as well such as:

  • Post count requirement
  • Welcome PM
  • Top posters
  • Manage attachments
  • Quick Reply
  • ACP notepad
  • Custom Portal

You can check out the full features that phpBB Host and phpBB3 have to offer.

make your own forum website

Pro phpBB

Pro phpBB is very similar to phpBB Host as you just get the phpBB3 forum with nothing extra. Pro phpBB doesn’t offer anything fancy, but doesn’t seem to have the obtrusive ad that phpBB Host has. If you just want the basic phpBB3 forum without the hassle of installing it on your own server, Pro phpBB is for you.

I was also going to review Boardster but never received an activation email; and ProBoards but the CAPTCHA wouldn’t let me register an account. You may also want to have a look at Vanilla: Fast, Free Forum Hosting.

Have you used any of these sites to create your own free forum? What did you think of it? Do you use another service? We would like to know.

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  1. cat1092
    February 14, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    So what about networking costs other than what's described in plan? Who's eating the costs?

    Example, I'd like to run a Tech forum on my Home network. Does the traffic go through the forum software or the owner's IP address? Most residential ISP agreements doesn't allow commercial usage, so would have to purchase such plan, which often includes network hosting (to include setup/tech assistance). Over time, if a forum of any type becomes successful, there'll be targeted Google ads (good for owner), still on which end does this bandwidth come from & for how long? Again, I don't believe the Home ISP allows for this, unless non-profit & limited usage only.

    Of course, once a forum becomes successful by hitting it's intended target, the owner should be able to attract the ad funding for near total upkeep, to include any maintenance (software or hardware issues).

    One must also have not merely a daily backup plan, rather a 24/7 plan & that'll be an upfront cost (Acronis & Macrium has choices). As well as a server or powerful computer with enough storage for the purpose. Drives doesn't have to cost a fortune, can add as needed. WD Gold HDD's are a great choice for 24/7 usage, with 2TB being near the cost of WD Black on cost, just be sure to have a case & Gold/Platinum PSU that can hold & power 8-10 drives (at some point). A dedicated Firewall appliance is a must, although can be constructed from a SFF PC with a dedicated network card (the latter found on eBay for $30 with guarantee) to redirect traffic back to the router, or better yet, away from a Home router & onto a network switch, protecting the router. Firewall software can be free or low cost, running on a Linux base. One cannot trust the NAT Firewall of a router for this purpose. If hacked, the entire network and any computers connected can become hacked & data destroyed, or worse, can become a zombie spewing Malware all over the globe. This is where the 24/7 backup plan can play a huge role.

    One place where forum owners can save are GPU's, there are lots of OEM GDDR5 models (1 or 2GB) for $35 or less on eBay. Some are powered by the motherboard only. A gaming card isn't a necessity & will be the most costly component in the computer consuming energy, if used. This is 2019 & I've purchased these in like new condition, for myself & others, often with (up to) a 3 year SquareTrade warranty. It'll be necessary to have a spare, especially if running a PC w/out onboard graphics. BTW, one can also use onboard, it's just that a low cost OEM card will make the forum look better on screen.

    Finally, what OS is going to be used for the forum? Linux is entirely free, if one already has some experience & willing to learn more, the OS can be 100% free of cost. Linux is used by many sectors where Windows (lack of) security can lead to infection & much harder to be exploited. Not impossible, it's just that Malware/Ransomware attacks successfully pulled off on a Linux system is rare. Should a security event arise, these are usually patched in 2-3 days, rather than once a month (Patch Tuesday) for Windows.

    Therefore, noting is entirely free, although we can lessen the impact by reusing any hardware already on hand, plus our known resources. Having spares of critical components such as PSU's, RAM & drives cannot be overlooked (if one has a spare PC, hang onto, may be needed). Again, anything worth having is not free of cost, beginning with the electric bill, provided everything else is always on hand.

  2. sujeet kumar
    May 25, 2018 at 2:00 am

    Wow great post

  3. Albert Cowz
    October 27, 2017 at 1:11 am

    I have a Proboards account. It's awesome! You can install plugins other people have made and edit them, and the same goes for themes. You can also email members via your forum Admin Area, plus you can do a lot more! Proboards is 5 star! My Proboards forum is Book Haven (Author's Ads). The URL is bookadhaven.proboards.com/

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    June 24, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Psychic medium lost love casting that works fast by Mpozi

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    April 22, 2017 at 5:37 am

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  6. Vinyl
    November 28, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    The British run forums are so frustrating and backwards. FreeForums, a living hell.

  7. Alex
    September 6, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Nice guide, with some offerings I hadn't seen before. You should also include some Twitter-style forum hosts like Muut and PlushForums. They are realtime, nice "social" style design.

  8. comshar
    April 25, 2016 at 7:30 am

    are you have try using comshar.com
    i think this site help you to create mini forum with just under 10 minutes

  9. Xavier
    April 23, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Which are the most extendable? Which is best for commercial use?

  10. regan
    April 17, 2016 at 4:45 am

    which is the easiest to use?

    • comshar
      April 25, 2016 at 7:31 am

      you can use comshar.com for easiest to use

  11. holaalo
    January 24, 2016 at 12:19 am

    thanks for the great guide

  12. jytjr
    January 2, 2016 at 3:36 am


  13. anubha
    December 17, 2015 at 10:17 am


  14. Anonymous
    October 27, 2015 at 7:43 pm


  15. chriscampbell0197
    May 30, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I saw this on instructables. Completely free mirror hosted with no adds. and you can host whatever you want :-) http://www.instructables.com/id/Completely-Free-Dual-DNS-Hosted-Website-Dropbox-Gi/

  16. Sam
    February 27, 2015 at 10:07 am


    I created a forum on Forumotion and I find the service very good. They are 100% free and they provide new features every month. Moreover the support forum is very effective and available 24/7 :)

    I hope it helps

  17. micheal
    December 24, 2014 at 4:39 am

    I do accept as true with all the ideas you had introduced for your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for beginners. Could you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  18. andriken
    December 11, 2014 at 9:45 am

    which has good seo above of them ' please tell me i need to know before i create it ' Thanks

  19. Anonymous
    May 5, 2010 at 4:17 am

    that's a good idea, I need to set up my linkedin account

  20. althafhameez
    April 17, 2010 at 6:45 am

    I don't know about you guys, but I find Zetaboards pretty easy to use and to manage forums.

  21. Jack Carlson
    April 16, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I have used and recommended SimpleMachines forums for years on different sites. It's free, feature-rich and easy to install on your own host.

    • Jack Cola
      April 16, 2010 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks Jack. I have used Simple Machine forums a few times before. It's quite nice. Thanks for your comment.

  22. Virtual Worlds For Kids
    April 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I think it is important to know how easily hackable phpBB is. Seriously you can set up one of these forums pretty easily but if you attract the wrong crowd, they can make your live miserable. just a friendly warning. Do some searching on this before you get started. Thanks.

    • Jack Cola
      April 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm

      Yes, that is a very good point to look out for. I have had a couple of phpBB forums and I was getting a lot of spam. Once I updated it to the latest version, it stopped. The good thing about these services is that you don't have to update it every time a new version is released, which is a bonus compared to hosting it yourself.