Thanks for the input. Question: Totalchoicehosting.com hosting (not free) utilizes an interface called ''CPanel'' that offers a choice of two of the best message boards, in your opinion, Invision Board or phpBB. But Invision or phpBB do NOT host? They are simply ''plug-ins'' for web sites? phpBB offers a choice of SQL database servers? Any recommendations on that front?
Below, I've cut and pasted phpBB's INTRO from their website, as an educational FYI for others for this thread. I appreciate the quick learning curve you're already providing. Thanks!!
What is phpBB?
phpBB is a high powered, fully scalable, and highly customizable Open Source bulletin board package. phpBB has a user-friendly interface, simple and straightforward administration panel, and helpful FAQ. Based on the powerful PHP server language and your choice of MySQL, MS-SQL, PostgreSQL or Access/ODBC database servers, phpBB is the ideal free community solution for all web sites.
Who are phpBB?
phpBB are a group of individuals based internationally who believe in Open Source software. The project has been stable since its creation in June 2000 without changes in licensing, leadership or corporate associations. Our goals remain unchanged and clear, to continue developing and supporting a stable, free, Open Source forum system.
Supports popular database servers
Unlimited forums and posts
Multiple language interface
Private or public forums
Powerful search utility
Private messaging system
Complete customisation with templates
See the complete feature list...
phpBB version 2 has been completely re-written since the first version. Version 2 focuses on a professional-quality modular design, high security, multiple-language interface, support for a multitude of databases servers and complete layout customisation, all with a low execution overhead.
phpBB is based on PHP, the fastest growing server-side scripting language on the web, which results in one of the fastest, feature-rich bulletin board systems available anywhere.
In addition, phpBB is open-source software so it has no fees, no subscriptions, and no restrictions on modifications. Couple this with a thriving and friendly phpBB community and you have a killer solution for creating communities on your site!
* Simple installation that will have you up and running in minutes
* Complete upgrade from V1.x
Database Server Support
* phpBB uses a database abstraction layer to enable seamless support of several database servers:
** MySQL 3.2x,
** PostgreSQL 7.x,
** Microsoft SQL Server 7/2000
** Microsoft Access (via ODBC)
** ...with more databases available in the future.
* Designed with security as a priority
* Powerful and extensive authorisation system
* Strong encryption to keep passwords safe in the database
* Support for both cookie and URI-based sessions
Unlimited Forums & Categories
* Unlimited forums can be organised into as many categories as you like
* Private forums and those only for specified user groups
* Powerful search facility
* Message formatting with various font styles and sizes as well as allowing quoting, code display, image posting and automatic URL linking
* Support of standard and extended BBCode tags and controlled HTML tags
* Polls can be simply added to posts
* Email notification of replies to your topics
* Powerful topic subscription capability
* Original emoticons to portray emotions
Versatile User Groups & Forum Permissions
* Powerful forum, user and group permission management
* Control forum access to specified user groups
* Control all aspects of the posting experience
* Allow limited access to viewing, posting, replying and many other options
* Unlimited members
* Personal profile creation
* Post counting and administrator-definable ranks for users
* Email-like private messaging system
* Supports local, remote and uploadable avatars
* Topic editing
* Mass delete/move/lock/unlock of posts
* Topic splitting
* Option of auto-pruning of old or unanswered messages on a per-forum basis
Easy to Use Administration Centre
* General configuration
* Forum & category setup
* Easy database backup and restore
* Disallowed usernames
* User authorisation
* Word censoring
* Complete member management
* Emoticon setup
* Optional account verification
* Extensive ban management, ban by email address, username or single/multiple IP address or hostname
* IP tracking of posts and posters
* Mass emailing of groups and users by the administrator
Style and Customisation
* Multiple styles available for the user to choose from
* Templates separated from the PHP code so that new layouts can easily be created or integrated with your current site design
* Complete control of fonts and colours with cascading style sheets (CSS)
* Active community creating addons and specialised modifications
* Default style compliant with XHTML 1.0 and HTML 4.01 recommendations from the W3C
* All this is supported by an increasingly large, thriving and friendly community of members from all over the world ready to help with any problems, suggestions or just for general discussion!