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Creating your own forum is a major project, it is of course very possible. You will need a MySQL Database to store information like; posts,users,threads etc. If you are really new to this, there are a lot of Forum Software's that you can install on your server which would produce what you are after. I recommend SMF , simplemachines.org.

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Taking you at your word that this is something you want to do yourself (that's the kind of person I am).You do not need SQL, though if you want to take the time to learn another technology, it certainly could help. There's nothing wrong with storing your own data in a "flat" file delimited by tabs and newlines, and it's very easy to learn how to read and write files in php--or your SS script of choice.1. You'll need a client end for posting. Could be a regular form, could be AJAX. If it's AJAX, it can be combined with # 3 below. But do the combining after you have a working model. For now just write a bast form with a textarea for input.2. The php routines need to accept post data from your client, organize it, and write it to a database. Spend some time thinking about how you want it organized and what data will go in there.3. You'll also need php to read the data, organize it, and return it to the client as HTML.The concepts aren't hard, but expect to write a whole bunch of little routines. And the more functionality you give it, the more code you'll need to write. Depending on your background, you could get a no-frills working model up in a day or a week. And that's how I'd start. Work on styles and toys afterward.I would definitely separate the SS datahandling from the SS pagebuilding as much as possible. It's tempting to read some data and write it to the client doc in the same routine. But that will make revising your code a nightmare. When you read your data, store it in arrays and/or objects with really obvious names. Then you can more or less "seal" that part of the code. Then think about laying it out in this div or that div.

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