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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nathan or other computer guys - what would you say is the best forum software in regard to getting index by search engines? I have heard that some versions such as newer versions of UBB because of their configuration don't get indexed easily.

I suspect you might recommend Vbulletin since that is what this is running on, if so what is php, do you have to know special programming to do anything with this forum software or is HTML all you need to know?
 

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I believe Nathan and I discussed this a few months ago. Nathan believes that Vbulletin get's spidered easier, however phpBB is also very popular, and free.

With some custom tweaking (modification packages) you can get pretty good page rank with phpbb.

YOu need to know more than HTML if you want to customize heavily. There are modification packages available for both forum softwares, and most of the mods I have downloaded and installed came with very detailed instructions. I have made up my own modifications as well, but to do that you need to know PHP.

PHP is a dynamic coding language which adds function to your site. HTML is purely static and is used for layout only. HTML defines how your site looks. PHP defines what your site does. vbulletin and phpBB both require a database like MYSQL to operate. MySQL is easy to pick up if you use a graphical user interface (GUI). There are a few GUI's available and the most common is phpMyAdmin. Many ISP's have phpMyAdmin bundled as part of the software they offer you.

What topic are you dedicating your forum to?

Nate it's an addiction that's spreading! You, Rich, Me and now Mike.
 

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Grumpy, you and the other young guys are way ahead of me when it come to todays tech stuff. I just don't have the time to keep up with it all but I have the money to have others do it for me.
BTW I built my first binary computer in 1966.
 

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Grumpy said:
Nate it's an addiction that's spreading! You, Rich, Me and now Mike.
LOL, it is starting to spread.

Mike.. starting a forum is NOT easy at all. Building traffic for a site as well as designing a user friendly and eye catching design is hard work.

If you do decide to do it expect to pour 100s of hours into it with very little return. Not trying to be to down on the idea, just trying to give you a shot of reality.

As far as forum software. Both phpbb and vBulletin are both great programs. All I will say is that vBulletin is MUCH easier to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks Nathan, actually I have been running an extremely popular forum for years, it runs on UBB 5.0 which is a dinosaur, so I agree with you and am aware of what it takes. My other forum has a huge and I mean HUGE population that enjoys the topic so that makes it pretty easy, however this new forum would be a niche and that alone will make it very difficult to get going, so I'm going to need every advantage I can get, from search engine ranking to user features to appeal to the members. I can't say anything right now about what I am thinking of doing, but thanks for the info.

What I am concerned with is that UBB is flat file html driven while Vbulletin is database driven which appears it could be more of a problem for search engines. There seems to be a large discussion about modifying Vbulletin to get it more search engine friendly.

http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=109829 for the discussion

http://forum.time2dine.co.nz/showthread.php?t=98 for the solutions

If this stands to be true, it worries me of having to do so much tweaking with it and my ability to do it.

UBB seems pretty easy to modify your forums with html headers and footers. I'm wondering how much knowledge is needed to do the same with vbulletin, because I am really not motivated to learn another programming language at this time.
 

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vbulletin gets spidered fairly easily right out of the box.
I use phpbb for my forums (because I'm cheap) and one easy to follow hack is all that's required to get it spiderable (by removing session ids). I've also installed a hack that shows the URLs like .../forums/topic2.html instead of having very long URLs.
You're much better off with a database driven forum than a flat file system IMO.
 

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I think vbulletin gets spidered very well - isn't the hack more for SEO stuff? Like fewer links per page and pointing root pages to root instead of index.php? I think you show more pages indexed on here than I do on mine Nathan (and I have more total pages).
 

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hatchet said:
I think vbulletin gets spidered very well - isn't the hack more for SEO stuff? Like fewer links per page and pointing root pages to root instead of index.php? I think you show more pages indexed on here than I do on mine Nathan (and I have more total pages).
The main thing it does is change the thread and forum links form showthread.php to theadtitle.html
 
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