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Website Building Point me in the Right Direction


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A friend of mine, and I want to build a website that has the following...


Forums Section

User accounts for those that sign up + Avatar and About Me

Highlighted News Section


Link will end in .com with only the name of the group... like retriever.com (Not .myshopify.com or .freefourms.com)



A friend of mine as well as I want to start a subscription business based on forums and communications of it's users. If anyone has past experience in building websites that can help please let me know.

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What you're asking for is a lot. And it's not going to be easy to setup.


If I understand correctly you want some kind of monetized forum software. You might look first at these options:

Vanilla forums: https://github.com/vanilla/vanilla

phpBB: https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb

NodeBB: https://github.com/NodeBB/NodeBB

Discourse: https://github.com/discourse/discourse


Setting up either of these four is trivial just setup a vps somewhere like at digital ocean or on amazon ec2 or Azure buy a domain name through a DNS service and point an A-Name reference to the IP address of the server you setup.


The hard part becomes adding in a payment system and that's going to require knowledge of coding to either link an existing system (recommended since there are many things that must be secured with online billing) or writing one from scratch.


The subscriptions and news sections should be easy to setup from within the forum software either by setting up a news forum or through plugins.

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Lynda.com is a good site for design tutorials for sure....there are better places to learn the dev side of it.


If you shoot me a pm I can help you figure out what you are looking for, there are some hosting solutions that will offer packages that do some of the things you are looking for.  But you may need to come up to speed on phpBB or some form of forum software.  They are not hard but I have a development background so it may seem overwhelming at first.


I use inmotion hosting, but you should find a hosting company relative to where your business will be.  Do a google search for top hosting companies and compare their packages.



also most of what you listed comes with most forum software (subscriptions you may have to tweak for)...which one you choose determines the bells and whistles.  The RSI forums are unque Vanilla has a hefty price tag, 



sorry the 2k for vanilla was an enterprise rate, I was looking at a while back, there is a $200 monthly package that is hosted for you.

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