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Open Source PHP Community Scripts

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I want to create a website for my local town and the surrounding, mainly because I think it's kinda boring where I live and there's also no forum on which to discuss local topics or a way to meet other locals.

Something a bit like this site

http://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/

But I want it to look a little nicer and if possible have a few more features like allowing people to post their pictures, blogs, etc But the main thing has to be a good forum (kinda like this one :) )

I've tested lots of PHP scripts and defo want to stick with PHP but looking for something more then the standard phpBB or phpNuke script, maybe a modded version that has everything I need so I don't have to spend weeks modifying it.

And it has to be Search Engine Friendly. Already done a website once in PHP Nuke 2 years ago and virtually nothing from it appears on Google even though it's got over 1,000 posts in the forum. And I don't want to risk damaging it by trying to hack it to make it so.

Any suggestions?

If the site is popular then I'd want to perhaps sell advertising to local business and maybe expand it to take online orders for restaurants, etc. so hopefully something not too hard to modify later. Also the system must have a way to PM people - which I think is very important as I've seen forums that don't have that feature and it's not great

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Chances are, you wont find exactly what you want but maybe http://www.hotscripts.com/ has got something for you? php ftw =]
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wordpress, with a sh*t load of addons?

    What about the free CMS' - Mambo, Joomla? I've not used them, so am not sure whether they can provide such functionality as you require - but they all have active communities and addons, so with some tweaking, you're likely to find what you're looking for.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You could definately, definately do this with Joomla. I've used Joomla alot in the past and it's incrediably versatile.

    SheffieldForum runs on the vbulletin software that you can use to build a community around but it's not free. There are some addons that you might like though. I'd recommend Joomla with the community builder plugin.

    For my community based site i coded it all myself just because ther was nothing out there that did what i wanted (and if there was there'd be 200 sites with the same idea as mine)

    Feel free to PM me if you need any help. I'm practically making a living out of this sort of thing nowadays.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    you mean you make a living creating websites for other people or have created some for yourself which earn you a living now?

    One guy I knew said his friend started a dating website and he had just 400 people on it but they were paying him £10 each per month - so it was a decent living and he could work from anywhere in the world and the site pretty much ran itself anyway.

    I'd love something like that .. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A mix of both. I'm officially an English student, but i make a healthy amount (say £50 a week) from a mixture of creating websites for others, creating websites to sell on to investors, and through my own network of websites running adverts.

    I think my latest site will be 'the one', since it's a unique idea with huge appeal and within a week of launch is already growing incredably fast. I've got a friend in on it and i reckon within 6 months if we market it well enough we'll each be bringing home around $1000 a month from it, which is routhly 4 times what i make from all my other projects put together. It's not easy, but you can certainly do it. We're marketing the website offline in a specific niche, and when that comes into place the $$$ should roll in.

    As an example, i created a website in January and to date it has made me $140 which is about $45 a month. If i have 10 or 15 websites like this, it's very easy to make a healthy supplemental income, and furthermore each website is probably 'worth' $400 to an investor should you wish to sell it on.

    A great place to start will be one focused on your local area, say if you provide information on your town for outsiders, a forum for people from the town, a directory of businesses in the town etc etc - and then you actually get local people on it - say by putting posters up in shops, and by maybe contacting the local paper - and then these local people review restaurants, and come on your website every day; you can soon build up enough hits / ad impressions to be making a decent whack. As a rule of thumb, for every 1,000 page views you should expect to earn about $1 with google adsense, however some of my websites get 15 page views and make more than this.

    Like you say, you can work from anywhere in the world. ALOT of people in India, Pakistan and the Middle East do this simply because to them $140 is alot more than it is to me. I'm hoping that one day i can make enough from it to have a small office in some little village, i guess that's just a pipe dream, but at the moment things are going well, and it means i can do my degree without having to 'work'.

    ............I could talk about this for hours, but if you're willing to put the effort in, and get people willing to use it, then you can do it.

    Thinking about it for your situation, i would build it up with only a forum first, with no adverts. I'd then try and get me and my friends to use, and hope that it spreads by word of mouth. (myspace is also a great marketing tool) You could then gradually add all the afore mentioned
    things into it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah I was looking at either creating a forum site (like this) or a site a bit like MySpace based more on profiles.

    But from what I could see the portal sites seem less community driven.

    And what I want to achieve is a way local people can discuss local issues.

    Had the idea for a while but it was when I was thinking of switching Broadband providers and talking to my Neighbour who is on Orange and him saying it's slow after 4pm would be something that might only be a local problem with too many people on the local telephone exchange on Orange and thinking that kind of local knowledge would be useful.

    I've also registered with FON to provide free WiFi in my local area and would be great to get more local people involved with that sort of thing.

    Where I live is kinda boring, there's no nightclub in the town you have to drive about 8 miles to the next town to go clubbing, etc.

    I also know a guy in the USA that worked for a company that does online food ordering and that went well.

    I think the internet has been great at bringing people from all over the world together but I reckon the next big thing will be to help bring local people together.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    he he he i live in sheffield :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Me too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There's PHPBB http://www.phpbb.com
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nash wrote: »
    There's PHPBB http://www.phpbb.com

    Yeah used that in the past but one problem with it being the most poular system is it's also the most likely for hackers to attach - I had a PHPbb forum for 2 years and then hackers killed it.

    Just found this looks very interesting

    http://lussumo.com/

    http://getvanilla.com/
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