Online Communities Thriving with phpBB

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Online communities are proving to be central to the success of many websites. One of the easiest ways to set up and run your own online discussion forums is with phpBB, the free, Open Source bulletin board package. Packt Publishing has just released a new book Â?Building Online Communities with phpBB,Â? that is ideal for those who are just starting out or looking to take phpBB further.

Online communities are proving to be central to the success of many websites. A thriving community of enthusiastic clients, latent customers or simply like minded people can increase both the popularity of your website and also reasons for repeat visits. One of the easiest ways to set up and run your own online discussion forums is with phpBB, the free, Open Source bulletin board package.

phpBB is a standard among web hosting companies throughout the world, and is one of the most widely used bulletin board packages in the world. phpBB short-circuits the need for you to be a web development master in order to create and manage massive online communities.

One of the benefits of phpBB is that with the right guidance, anyone with a basic knowledge of HTML and a willingness to learn will be able to create, customize and manage their own Internet community. Packt Publishing has just released a new book ‘Building Online Communities with phpBB,’ that is ideal for those who are just starting out or looking to take phpBB further. Written for new and intermediate users, the authors, each an experienced phpBB administrator and enthusiast, take you through the whole process of setting up your own phpBB site, helping you to create, customize and manage your online community with phpBB.

“phpBB is so easy to use” said Stoyan Stefanov, one of the authors of Building Online Communities with phpBB. “If you need a forum as a companion to your web site, you can download phpBB for free, install it and have your forum ready in an hour or two. And that's only the start of the fun - as you go, you can start customizing the look and the features of your forum to a point where it's almost addictive to take care of your board and grow your community. Being so easy to work with, feature rich and extеnsible, phpBB is probably the most popular forum software out there.”

Building Online Communities with phpBB begins with the initial installation and configuration of phpBB on your system, with troubleshooting tips to help you through. You will then go on a tour of phpBB and its features, stepping you through the basic tasks, growing your understanding and familiarizing you with the power of phpBB.

Everybody wants their community to look special, and customizing your forum is the next stop in the book. Beginning with a detailed rundown of styles and themes, you will then see how to customize your forum by first modifying existing styles, adding new elements, and even creating a new style from scratch.

The book then goes onto cover further administration of your community, creating hacks or "modifications" for phpBB, custom PHP programming with phpBB, and reference appendices with more phpBB resources, the phpBB file and directory structure, guides to the BBCode and permission systems, and the phpBB database structure round off this book.

The emphasis is on simple and practical guidance for you to get the most from phpBB. This book is available now through Packt Publishing, for more details, please visit:

Further Information for Editors:

What you will learn from this book

This book will give you the skills to setup your own phpBB-powered discussion forum and online community. You will learn how to create, customize, and manage your own phpBB-powered community.

• Install and configure phpBB

• Learn the basics of working with phpBB forums

• Manage topics, postings, smilies and users

• Understand phpBB themes and styles

• Customize the look of your phpBB site

• Master forum permissions to protect your community

• Create a phpBB theme from scratch

• Creating a phpBB modification

• Packaging and making your modification available to others

• Custom programming of phpBB


This book takes a practical, hands-on approach to phpBB. Packed with sections stepping you through tasks, this book is the ideal guide to learning phpBB. Reference appendices make this a really comprehensive source.

Author Information

Stoyan Stefanov is a web-developer and a project manager from Montreal, Canada. He has more than five years of professional web-development experience and has worked on award-winning web-sites for companies of all sizes, from multinational corporations to two-man start-ups. He volunteers his spare time administering and programming a Bulgarian-speaking phpBB-powered online community.

Jeremy Rogers has been developing web-based applications in PHP and other languages for a little more than six years. Shortly after discovering phpBB in early 2002 and deploying it on a video game website, he began tinkering with and learning about the internal workings of the software. Since then, he has authored dozens of expansions and tutorials related to phpBB. Jeremy currently serves the phpBB community as a Support Team member, a capacity in which he has answered thousands of questions regarding the software, it's applications, and related topics.

Mike Lothar is a well-known author of phpBB templates, and runs the site

Additional Resources

For more information about the book, visit Packt’s website:

For a cover graphic:

About Packt

Packt, pronounced ‘Packed,’ published its first book “Mastering phpMyAdmin for Effective MySQL Management” in April 2004 and subsequently continued to specialize in publishing focused books on specific technologies and solutions.

Our books and publications share the experiences of your fellow IT professionals in adapting and customizing today's systems, applications, and frameworks. Our solutions-based books give you the knowledge and power to customize the software and technologies you're using to get the job done. Packt books are more specific and less general than the IT books you have seen in the past. Our unique business model allows us to bring you more focused information, giving you more of what you need to know, and less of what you don't.

Packt is a modern, unique publishing company with a focus on producing cutting-edge books for communities of developers, administrators, and newbies alike.

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Damian Carvill