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I'm looking into developing a forum for medical purposes, however, although I have developed several websites in the past (mainly via Photoshop and Dreamweaver), I have never worked with forum software before. I am battling with whether or not to go with Invision Power's new Version 3 or VBulletin.

I notice this website uses VBulletin, but how can I tweak out VBulletin or IP3 to be more on the level of this. Basically, this is not a small project and is only stemming from what will eventually be a major project... For now, I'm just looking to be pointed in the right direction.

BTW, I would also like for my members to have the ability to post blogs and various media (i.e. video and, at least, photos).

I know my request may be somewhat vague (for now), however, if you need more information so that you can better aid me, please feel free to ask.

Any information you supply me will UNDOUBTEDLY be put to good use. Thank you in advance for your help.

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Last Post by AmericanGastro
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I'm looking into developing a forum for medical purposes, however, although I have developed several websites in the past (mainly via Photoshop and Dreamweaver), I have never worked with forum software before. I am battling with whether or not to go with Invision Power's new Version 3 or VBulletin.

I notice this website uses VBulletin, but how can I tweak out VBulletin or IP3 to be more on the level of this. Basically, this is not a small project and is only stemming from what will eventually be a major project... For now, I'm just looking to be pointed in the right direction.

BTW, I would also like for my members to have the ability to post blogs and various media (i.e. video and, at least, photos).

I know my request may be somewhat vague (for now), however, if you need more information so that you can better aid me, please feel free to ask.

Any information you supply me will UNDOUBTEDLY be put to good use. Thank you in advance for your help.

Have you also looked at PHPBB?

You'll pretty much have to go through the feature set of each product and evaluate them according to your needs. You can also get to test each out, I'm sure they give trials.

PHPBB is open source, so you can just download it and test it. I think your best bet is to actually test out the software, see if it fits your needs and/or is simple enough for you to accomplish what you want with in a reasonable amount of time/money.

One of the problems people run into on larger projects is how extensible the software is.

If your site will actually feature more then just what forum software cater for, then you may want to look at a full CMS. A CMS usually can be integrated with forums, and other software.

It does increase the initial development, and learning process, but in the long run it does pay off.

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ditto to d-e. phpBB is probably the best FREE solution. It is extensible in the fact that loads of add-ins exist. Creating your own add-ins would probably be out of the question unless you were very well versed in php and OOP.

phpBB has the added bonus of having many great styles that you can download.

Extending a bulletin board/forum beyond its remit will be a problem no matter which package you choose. You may end up cobbling disparate bits together (which could end in tears) or opt for a CMS that has support for the BB of your choice or even has its own dedicated forum engine.

The 'cobbling' option will probably end with database clashes and login hell (e.g. separate logins for each aspect), unless you can re-code certain elements. Some CMS/forum packages have 'bridging' add-ins that allow the integration of packages (e.g. Coppermine Gallery has a 'bridger' for phpBB).

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I would prefer to use PHPBB as it is very extensible and just looks nice.

EDIT: If you are looking for that community, look into BoonEX's Dolphin community builder. It has a lot of ads on it but for $600, you can remove those ads. Comes complete with chat, etc.

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ditto to d-e. phpBB is probably the best FREE solution. It is extensible in the fact that loads of add-ins exist. Creating your own add-ins would probably be out of the question unless you were very well versed in php and OOP.

phpBB has the added bonus of having many great styles that you can download.

Extending a bulletin board/forum beyond its remit will be a problem no matter which package you choose. You may end up cobbling disparate bits together (which could end in tears) or opt for a CMS that has support for the BB of your choice or even has its own dedicated forum engine.

The 'cobbling' option will probably end with database clashes and login hell (e.g. separate logins for each aspect), unless you can re-code certain elements. Some CMS/forum packages have 'bridging' add-ins that allow the integration of packages (e.g. Coppermine Gallery has a 'bridger' for phpBB).

I'll look into the phpBB, and play around with it... I'm completely new to PHP, but since this site will initially be small - catering to a very specific community - maybe the phpBB will due. Most importantly for me is the look of the forum. I don't want something that resembles something that a non-experienced web designer did on his spare time.

So far, nobody has suggested IP3... I wonder why??? :-/

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