Forum solutions

Make a forum and start interacting online; Install and start using it in seconds

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Full-featured forum software

Create a forum with 123 Reg and start building awesome communities online. You can choose between several apps like Simple Machines, phpBB, Eblah and Vanilla Forums.

Whether you’re new to message boards or an experienced moderator, with forum software you can easily build your own community where people discuss and learn about topics they’re passionate about.

Not only can you engage in interesting conversations with other people who share your passion but you might also have the opportunity to generate revenue from advertising when the community grows. No matter what your interests are, whether it’s kayaking, skydiving or creating mobile apps, you’ll probably find a lot of people who share your zeal.

You might even consider creating your own discussion board to get tips on starting a business online. Whatever topic you’re passionate about and no matter what your technical skill level is, you are guaranteed to find an app that will help get your forum up and running quickly and hassle-free.

What are online forums?

Some call them discussion forums but you can find them under different names, such as: forum boards, message boards, discussion boards and social communities.

Simply put, it’s a discussion website where you and other web users engage in conversations by posting messages on a board. It’s the perfect space for users with similar interests or professions to get together and discuss topics they’re all interested in. It’s a fantastic channel to help you foster interaction, interesting conversations and it can also help improve customer loyalty.

Why build a forum?

There are so many advantages. For example, some businesses can use it to increase staff productivity while others find it to be the perfect channel to communicate with their customers. Universities can use it to provide resources and support to students while sports fans can have their own space to discuss their favourite teams’ performance.

How do I create it?

With any hosting package from 123 Reg, you get to install some great apps that you can use to build a forum. Once you get it online, you can start inviting friends and colleagues to browse around and start creating and discussing topics.

To make a forum, you can choose between six powerful apps that can help you get your message board up and running in a matter of minutes.

Vanilla Forums

Vanilla Forums is an open source app that powers almost 800,000 sites. You get all the common features plus a couple of cool plugins that you can use to allow your users to login using their Facebook, Twitter, OpenID and Google Connect accounts.

  • tickVery easy to customise, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
  • tickSupports the most popular social logins including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • tickOffers a range of WordPress widgets that allow you to show the latest discussions directly on your blog.


phpBB is a bulletin board system that you can use to create web forums, build active communities and engage users in interesting discussions.

  • tickThe oldest and the most widely-used forum software around the world.
  • tickTakes time to customise, especially if you’re a beginner
  • tickBacked by a huge and helpful community

Simple Machines Forum

Simple Machines Forum is excellent software that helps you create a message board where users post messages, add events, participate in polls and much more. You can also customise the layout or add plugins to improve its functionality and create a better navigation experience for your users. Other features include great moderation tools for admins and assigned moderators, spell checker and anti-spam system.

  • tickExcellent with handling very large forums.
  • tickHas a large collection of user plugins, which makes SMF’s functionality hard to match.
  • tickA large portion of the customisation requires knowledge of CSS development.


bbPress is created and maintained by the same organisation that created WordPress which means it will integrate very easily with WordPress. It’s small, light and easy to use.

  • tickVery easy to use, making it a great choice for beginners.
  • tickPerfect if you’re familiar with the WordPress platform.
  • tickUseful add-on features through WordPress’s extensive collection of plugins.

Eblah Online Discussion Forum

Eblah Online Discussion Forum provides you with everything you need from multiple threads, planned events, topic reporting, thread rating and many more.

  • tickGood option for small to medium size sites.
  • tickEasy to customise, even for beginners.
  • tickExcellent layout and design.


This app allows you to set up a guestbook for your site and use it, for example, to find out what visitors think about your site. It supports everything from emoticons, private posts, email notifications for new entries and replies, manual approval for new posts and more.

  • tickGood option for beginners as it doesn’t require technical skills to customise.
  • tickEasy to use with good documentation.
  • tickPowerful spam protection.

The start of your online journey

  • Starter

    The basic set of features and resources you need to get your first website online for an incredibly cheap price.

    Save 40%
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    £2.99per month
    • 1
    • 1 Mailbox
    • -
    • 1
    • 100GB
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • 10 x 1GB
    Prices exclude 20% VAT. £35.88 per year in advance; minimum contract duration 1 year, then £59.88.
  • Standard

    Unlimited web space and more websites for you to host to expand your business.

    Save 42%
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    • 2 Mailboxes
    • -
    • Unlimited
    • Unlimited
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • 25 x 1GB
    Prices exclude 20% VAT. £47.88 per year in advance; minimum contract duration 1 year, then £83.88.
  • Most Popular


    More resources for sites that require running complex tasks and having lots of visitors.

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    • 3 Mailboxes
    • 1
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    • Unlimited x 1GB
    Prices exclude 20% VAT. £71.88 per year in advance; minimum contract duration 1 year, then £119.88. Free SSL renews after 1 year at £39.99.
  • Ultimate

    The ultimate hosting package, capable of running the most demanding online stores and applications.

    Save 42%
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    • 3
    • 5 Mailboxes
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    • Unlimited
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    • Unlimited x 1GB
    Prices exclude 20% VAT. £89.88 per year in advance; minimum contract duration 1 year, then £155.88.
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