By definition a forum or a message board is a website for communication between members to talk about various things that interest them. Forums usually consist of group contributors who must register within the forum before any initial conversing goes on, the members use topics known as threads to communicate with each other using items called posts. These sites will also have something else called PMs or private messages. Most all forums are completely free to join, through depending on the site and what it's for, there may be a membership available or a fee in order to post threads. For example, on one forum I go to, it's completely free, however, if you want to have "donor" status, have access to certain parts of the forum and have a bigger inbox, you can pay a 3 month or 1 year membership . On another forum I'm a member of, it's completely free, however, if you want to post a thread in the marketplace or service section; you must pay a fee.
The reason people like going on these sites so much is because sites like these build friendships, bonds, and business contacts. These forums are great no matter what your into, what you like, what you do for a living, etc. Various people of all ages, sexes, nationalities and locations are members and become members of these forums every single day. In most instances you won't just have a forum that is a forum. Instead, you will have a forum that covers a certain topic (mainly) or a niche. For example, a forum like NamePros is mainly for domainers and people that are interested in domain names, domain businesses, web hosting or any other activities done through websites. Whereas a forum like TAF is a gaming forum; so most everything in this forum will revolve around games; video games, video game consoles, PC games, articles about games and they might even have extra things like arcades.
It's more than likely that these sites will run on phpBB which is a specifics styling of a forum. phpBB is one of the most popular forms of package written for forums with PHP scripting languages. phpBB is an abbreviation on PHP bulletin board, available under the GNU General Public License, phpBB is free software. Forum software packages are also widely obtainable on the Internet and are written in a variety of computer programming languages, such as PHP, Perl, Java and ASP. The conformation and records of posts can be stacked away in text files or in a database. Every software program provides unique features, from the most standard, supplying text-only postings, to more advanced bundles, offering multimedia support and data formatting code (usually known as BBCode). Numerous packages can be incorporated easily into an existent website to allow visitors to post commentaries on articles, one of these packages is the phpBB package and this is why this kind of programming is one of the most popular options when developing a forum; quick, easy, uncomplicated. What's not to like?!?