Here are 5 things that you must do/complete in order to run a successful forum from the start. 1. Domain Let's face it, the domain name matters. If you have a nice and friendly domain name, visitors will remember it! It is especially helpful if the domain name is easy to remember, which means visitors will know it from the top of their heads. Also, keep in mind that it is almost unknown of websites changing domain names when they get visitors and become popular. It just doesn't happen because it leads to problems with SEO (because new domain name = new links), as well as members who might not be techy enough to understand everything. 2. Design It is important you either have one great design or a number of design. I would recommend a number of designs if you can handle it. If your site is dynamic then you will need to keep the designs updated. If you cannot do this, I recommend one design for life or at least till your website is really big and your members want a change... But your members requesting a change when the site is really popular is unlikely. 3. Hosting Very important! Remember to start off with a good host that is flexible. I recommend a provider that offer at least shared hosting or VPS. If not then they must at least have a good relationship and good reviews. They must be willing to help you move to the next level if you forum, CMS, blog, etc. becomes too big for shared hosting. 4. Rate of content. Remember to keep your rate of content the same, meaning remember to update the content. This is especially important for dynamic websites such as blogs and forums. If you do not add new content to your blog then it might die out... Trust me, people will stop visiting it. Same thing with forums, if you do not see your members creating their own discussions, step in and do it for them! Spice up the forum and get it moving! 5. Presence One of the most important things on this list. No matter what, you need to have your presence in your website. Why? because it is your site and it is crucial you create a relationship with the members. At least let the members know that you are there, doesn't matter if it's a forum or a blog, or a CMS! Place a link to your site Email on the bottom! example: firstname.lastname@example.org This will help users contact you if they have questions or concerns. Do not give your personal Email address, unless you want spammers to find it but give them some type of Email where they can reach you! or at least a contact forum. Hope this article helps you on your quest with websites. Do not hesitate to reply or comment!