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I can't find any relevant information on how to set-up vanillaforums. Please explain it to me as if I am a complete beginner, I have absolutely no experience with hosting anything.
Welcome to the community.
I'm afraid your question is rather presumptuous, and beyond the scope of this forum.
The download of Vanilla contains the following README file:
which explains clearly how to install Vanilla.
To do this you will need an existing hosting environment, either on the Internet, or locally on your computer.
There are endless explanations of how to manage this on the Internet.
Google is your friend. (Other search engines are available.)
If this all seems to much for you, then you should consider the hosted version of Vanilla.
For anyone wondering: I managed to do it by uploading the .zip file (and unzipping it) into a clean first-level directory on a free web hosting service, and navigating into my homepage on the browser.
Free hosting services are not a good match for Vanilla software because of the hosting limitation you will not be able to take advantage fully.
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thats ok. I'm the only person who is going to use it