I am going to build a forum, possibly with vBulletin - how much software knowledge is required?
Can a newbie do this?
Great forum, by the way.
This depends on how you are going to use vbulletin:
1. The easy way
Get a free host so it is all setup for you. Here you just sign up and your forum is running in 5 minutes, Settings can be easily changed in the admin panel. However, getting a free host means having to get a name like http://yourforumname.hostname.com or something, and usually with an advert, but most hosts have a paid option that removes these ads
2. The tricky way
Buying webspace with a mySQL server, extracting all the files to a certain folder, setting up config.php....euk, I couldnt work it out, and seeing as your a newbie, you probably wont either.
For now, just pay for a remote host like I suggested in the first option :)
When I first made a forum back in 2001 for the first time I had absolutely no knowledge of forum softwares I had some vague knowledge of ftp and thats all. The thing is when you start working on your site you will automatically fimiliarise your self with the board software. You do not necessirily need to know php as well things will automatically start to make sense if you are willing to experiment and learn.
And you're right. You can learn as you go.
Off I go to start a forum...
And if you run into snags on the way, we're here to help. :) I don't think it is too hard to set up a default out of the box vBulletin installation. The trick is then in driving traffic, customizing it, and offering something unique!
I would say Yes. After you get it installed, the hard part is behind you and the creative part begans.