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Nikkolai

Suggest a decent host that matches or comes close...

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So, here are my requirements:

 

allows 18+ content

free (with option to pay, but paying not always required)

fairly easy to learn and use

 

other features (not required but are a plus)

 

lots of mods (money system, stat system, dice rolling system, etc.)

skin database (if I don't want to make everyone's eyes bleed because I lack color coordination)

allows add-ons (music playlist, for example)

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Jcink is the popular option but to have 18+ content, you have to pay. It was pretty much built and tweaked for role-players, though, and it has a ton of resources. 

 

Icyboards is free and allows 18+ content. I don't know much about it but others here might. 

 

I use SMF, which is free but you have to host it yourself but the perk is you can have 18+ content and no ads, whoot! It has a load of cool and useful mods, but beware that not all of them are up to date and it's not exactly beginner friendly on the staffing end. 

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@Nikkolai have I got the host for you! It's a great site called the RPG Initiative and Morrigan the owner is an utter gem and provides forum hosting. You can read about it here! (Uptime is fantastic, I've never had a problem.)

 

The next lot of requirements are more in the lines of forum software, not your host.

 

I am most familiar with Mybb but I shall summon @Arceus to help extol the virutes of SMF. There are other options if anyone would like to chime in about phpbb and nova? (Still others I can't think of right now?)

 

Mybb mods are here https://community.mybb.com/mods.php

https://community.mybb.com/mods.php?action=view&pid=955 dice roller, I don't use it myself so I can't vouch for it.

For a music playlist, I would simply link to a playlist in spotify or youtube. 

 

Themes

https://community.mybb.com/mods.php?action=browse&category=themes

https://forums.icyboards.net/forumdisplay.php?fid=67 (icyboards is mybb, you can use an "icyboards theme" on self-hosted mybb.

http://iandrew.org/free.php

http://necessaryevil.icyboards.net/ These themes are made by a RPer

 

If you are having trouble with anything related to mybb or themes, I am more than happy to help out

 

https://rpginitiative.com/forum/176-coding-requests-help/

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Oh, I had no idea this place hosted as well... thanks for that Kit, though, in all honesty, and forgive me in saying it, but your pitch almost seemed a little rehearsed, like it seemed obvious, in a way. lol not that that's a bad thing, it almost reminds me of the early-mid 90's commercials, in a sense.

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And if you call in now! You will get, not one, not two but THREE that's right, THREE FREE gold plated vacuum cleaners! Call in now! And you will get not only forum hosting but THREE gold plated vacuum cleaners!

 

(If you haven't clicked on shop, you wouldn't know! Apologies if I came across as if I was talking down to you.)

  • LOL 2

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I have been summoned! ... well, SMF is extremely extendable, I've never had a problem doing what I wanted with it, we can get semi-automatic thread trackers and automatic who's who and play-by lists and stuff on SMF. And there are a loooooad of mods. Some don't work as well as others, but there are lots of them. Many are like, why does this even exist, who did this. Lol As far as its feel and structure, it's pretty easy to learn, it's really just the back-end source coding that can be a pain, but even that can be relatively easy, with the right guides, tools, and teachers. It's really about how you learn best; if you decide to give SMF a try, I'm the resident SMF person so please feel free to post in the help board Kit linked! 😄 (Seriously, I feel like a waste of a staff member right now.)

 

Unfortunately, while SMF has free themes available for it, they are pretty generic. Some are not even pretty generic, they're just generic. It's kind of a lost wizardry art, making SMF themes. I can, but, like many, I don't typically do so for free, so that's a thing to note. You might be able to find someone willing to do one for free, but I wouldn't expect anything mind-blowing.

 

Which one you go with I suppose really depends on what you value more, look and feel or ease of customisation, or maybe you just wanna know what you're doing right off the bat, etc etc. Honestly, I'd play with some of them first and see which one you favour. Ah doont have a link on me for it right this minute, but if you Google search for some CMS demos, you can usually find free forum softwares to try, just to play with and get a feel for, and making a Jcink board is easy-pie, too.

  • Thank you 1

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7 hours ago, Arceus said:

(Seriously, I feel like a waste of a staff member right now.)

 

Totally not a waste of a staff member. Look at you all helpful. 😉

 

Also the Initiative hosting has Softaculous which provides demos of MyBB, SMF and phpBB (which hasn't been talked about in here much).

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A brief word on terminology just in case:

 

Host: Is a plot of land. You now have a plot of land to put a house (forum) on.

 

Software: The house. You can put an apartment, a cottage or a shack on your land. Or in this case, a forum software of your choice. Mybb, phpbb and smf are all free software choices.

 

All self hosted software can be customized to the nth degree, the only limitation is really only your knowledge of JavaScript, html, css and php. Otherwise you are confined to what mods are out there. I understand that phpbb, smf and mybb all have a fairly robust mod library. I've already linked you to the mybb mod library.

 

Ease of use and "knowing what you're doing" is subjective and entirely dependent on you. Everyone has their own opinions on what is easy to learn. My own understanding is that smf has the steepest learning curve but it might make sense to you.

 

Morrigan suggested that you try demos a few times. I concur. Give mybb, smf and phpbb an honest go with an understanding that some willingness to learn is necessary. No one comes out of the womb knowing how to make their forum software work for them!

 

If you do find that you're just not interested in learning, or that you can't find a coder willing to do the building, then I would recommend letting go of the idea of a free, 18+ allowed and pre packaged fill in the gaps forum software. Jcink is the easiest to get into when it comes into hosted software, and it enjoys a robust theming community (you can not install your own mods). However, John needs to pay the bills and that means allowing ads and that in turn means ensuring that those ads aren't displayed next to objectionable material aka erotic content.

 

I do highly recommend self hosting because the control over your forum and your ability to customise it is unparalleled. I personally recommend mybb because I think that thanks to icyboards, it has the most amount of RP themes available to it. Furthermore, there are plenty of mods and if there isn't a mod? I can usually think of a way to do the thing with the base software. Essentially with mybb, you can upload the theme you want, the mods you want, the images you want, turn on the mods, and you're in business.

 

Ultimately the choice is yours. To start you off though, get some demos and have a play! Self hosting is in my opinion super satisfying and I love the lack of limitations.

  • Agree 1

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