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Are multiple distinct forums possible in one installation?

MikhaelMikhael New
edited October 2010 in Vanilla 2.0 - 2.8
After a while relaxing, I now need to build a site with a few forums, each one for a small local community group.

My first thought was multi-site with one installation and database, using sub-domains for each forum, and a database prefix for each table set to distinguish them. Is this possible with Vanilla 2?

Another simple idea is to use a Category for each community, with a role assigned to members so they can access only the forum they're allowed to. Eg., for a community group called LMG, I'd create a Role 'LMG Member', and assign that to each member for that group. The normal 'Member' role simply wouldn't be used.

Any thoughts on this folks..?


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    I think I've hit a problem with my second idea; just using Categories as 'member areas'. One forum needs to have restricted membership (Admin approved only) while another is freely open to anyone who fits the membership criteria (no Admin approval needed).

    I guess this leaves me with the original question; can a single Vanilla 2 installation and database be used for multiple forums?
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    RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
    It's interesting that you bring this up, because it's been on my mind since last night (I had an epiphany). Here's the set up I am thinking of employing (this is all out of the box functionality). Just an idea...

    Let's say you have 3 different domains and 3 different communities you want to establish. You could do 3 seperate installations of Vanilla, but that triples the amount of management work you need to do, not to mention endless amounts of logging out/logging in anytime you want to make changes or create a conversation. Or...

    You could install Vanilla once and create site specific roles. Lets say you embed your "home base" Vanilla forum into those 3 sites. Then, using roles you can limit which posts those people actually get to see (ie. each site has it's own role for registered members). So basically, all three sites are one forum but they only get to see the posts associated with the site their on, so it appears to be a unique forum. Obviously theres some technical details that need to be worked out, but that work would be more than beneficial over the long run by saving so much time that would normally be spent jumping around on 3 sites. You could then grow your forum network simply by creating a new role rather than a whole new installation.
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    @Raize; Yep, that's the idea I thought might work, but then realised that differing registration requirements probably rule it out.

    For example, what if I have three forums (to start with), and two are open to all registrants, but one needs to be private with membership approved by Admin only? All registrants will essentially be signing-up for the same site/forum, so I'd either have to approve all - not a good idea in some cases - or not approve any, which would leave the private forum(s) open to access.

    The other issue is the database content, which I'd like to separate at least by having a table prefix as other systems allow. That way I can easily find or back-up data from any of the forums.

    Of course it's easy enough to just use separate installations with their own database and sub-domain, but I'd like to cut down on using up my hosting services if I can.
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    RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
    yea exactly... there are definitely benefits to using one unified structure as opposed to seperate installs. i think that pretty much lands us in the territory of lol
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    We have three forums running off the one installation using three separate domains.

    The easiest way I have found, is to use a bootstrap.before.php file to switch to the appropriate config settings (setting the PATH_CONF variable) for the domain in the $_SERVER["HTTP_HOST"] variable.

    This way you can control plugins and settings specific to a particular forum (and of course the theme)

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