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Can phpbb made be a secure and private forum?

Would it be difficult to install and make safe?

2:23 pm on Oct 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 26, 2002
votes: 0

I am thinking on opening a new forum that has to be stritctly private and secure (ie: not showing anything to anybody that's not a registered user. Not even/or specially to spiders and the like). Not that it's going to be anything illegal or something like that, but just really private.

So, I am looking for solutions out there and I am leaning towards phpbb. I installed it locally and I've played with it a bit and I like what I see up to now.

But, the main question is: Can it made what I need? If so, would it be very hard/difficult to install it in such a way? Can anybody point me to some sites or tutorials in that sense?

I am on a Linux server with Apache, php, MySQL, passwords protected directories and all that stuff.

Thanks in advance :)

2:25 pm on Oct 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 26, 2002
votes: 0

... and so sorry for the absurd grammar mistakes :(
6:48 pm on Oct 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from CA 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 31, 2003
votes: 6

It certainly can be done, and I've just done it myself. However, it does take quite a bit of tweaking to get it right.

In the basic phpBB install, there is a lot of information viewable even when you're not logged-in, inluding the full member list with all the members' details (email address, you name it). In my case, I removed the memberlist.php page completely and reworked the templates. Forums can be made private and invisible when not logged-in, and you can create user groups to allow access to certain forums for a limited subset of your members. Set registrations to be approved by an Administrator and you can keep out unwanted visitors quite easily.

Adjusting the templates it fairly straightforward stuff assuming you're reasonably familiar with HTML. For example, to make part of the page visible only when you're logged-in, you add:

<!-- BEGIN switch_user_logged_in -->
<!-- END switch_user_logged_in -->
around the block of markup. You'll need a decent text editor, nothing more.

Finally, check through the phpBB site's mod database for some security and other enhancements. Otherwise, you'll have to dive in to the PHP code and make adjustments as you see fit.

Overall, I'm happy with my choice of phpBB - it isn't the most private forum software in it's default state, but the documentation and available modifications are extensive, and it is infinitely customizeable.


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