Help me fix the Forums

Over the past few months, the Forums have finally started to gain some momentum. I have been thrilled to see people connect with riding partners, share route recommendations, have lively discussions on important issues and much more.

Unfortunately, spam has forced me to temporarily close them down. For many weeks I was manually deleting the spam as it came in, but the volume steadily increased and I could no longer keep up.

Rather than continuing to deal with this problem, I want to upgrade the forum software instead. I had been using a free software platform and its configuration and security options are no longer adequate.

I’m hoping you can help me raise the money to purchase this new forum software (called vBulletin). A one-year license is $85.00. Please consider using PayPal to donate so I can re-open the forums.

And by the way, all the great posts and discussions are still there, they’re just hidden from view. I will export everything to the new platform when it is ready. That brings up another issue…anyone out there know how to install and set up vBulletin?

Thanks for your help, I look forward to the return of lively, spam-free forums soon!

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16 years ago

jonathan, did you notice whether all the spam was going to only one of all the forums? that’s the pattern i noticed with another phpBB install; so i renamed the forum with that numerical ID the Spam forum, and, well, nobody but spambots visit that particular forum anymore. problem not solved, but sidestepped.

16 years ago

Jonathan: there are dozens of free PHP bulletin board packages out there, and hundreds of Perl, Python, etc. re-implementations of the same idea.

Is there some specific feature you need that only vBulletin offers? Could I (or one of your countless other tech-savvy readers) offer some technical assistance to see if phpBB or another free solution could be made to work?

16 years ago

Hey Johnathan,

Here’s one that I’m planning on using in my re-work of the site:
Should work nicely with your wordpress install.

In PUMP’s PHPBB I just required registration & that solved the problem, but that uses the phpNuke registration system…

16 years ago

Why not just block comments from unregistered users and use the image confirmation for registrations?

organic brian
organic brian
16 years ago

Jonathan, while not being enough of a computer geek to know what all the options are, I agree with all the comments above and I’m certain you can find a solution without spending any dough. I hope you’ll use the awesome open-source software that’s out there, rather then spending money on something that isn’t any better.

I’m fine with registration-required if it keeps the forums more functional.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
16 years ago

Thanks everyone for the advice!

Gregg, I’ll look into that mod you suggest.

In general I prefer the perfect solution, rather than workarounds.

The reason I mentioned vBulletin is because it seems to be used by many successful forums and is proven to be easy to use, secure and full-featured.

I’m open to the suggestions you’ve made and I like the simplicity of bbpress (thanks Ryan).

I know there are tons of free/open-source options out there, but if there is a moderately priced solution that is proven to be the best (which vBulletin seems to be) I would prefer to use that.

We can take this conversation off the site and be in touch directly from here on out.

Thanks again for the help.

16 years ago

Hey Jonathan,

I’ll echo what’s been said … you should definitely require registration and image verification. That will cut way down on the problems, if not cutting it out completely.

Let me know if I can help. I’m a web developer and have set up almost every forum software out there including PHPBB, Invision, vBulletin, PunBB and a bunch you’ve probably never heard of.



16 years ago

My advice loose phpbb and go with ikonboard first off. Secound a huge amount of spam can be gotten rid of just by having moderators post often on the forum. Spammers do not like to post where their spam will be deleted moments later. A trick ive used in the past create a group moderators that has no mod privs and toss say your 30 most active posters in to this bogus moderator group.

This way it looks like you have a very active group of moderators even if you have a very few.

As for ditching phpbb i say this because its full of serious security holes. Spammers use some of these sec holes to spam phpbb forums and theres little to nothing you can do to stop it. They simply find a common forum name such as general or off topic etc and the submit link and spam away. Also on any forum you do install do not allow unregistered users to post at all not even a single forum not a single topic.

If you have any topic or forum for non regged users to post on they can modify the link for topic submisions to post any where they want.

If for some odd reason you have isues gettign ikon board to install i can help out there. Im sure you can see my email so feel free to email me. There are some oddities with ikoonboard when it comes to images loadign from the forum on some hosts. Its easy to get around that little glitch if you know how to do it.