Book: Building Online Communities with phpBB

Authored by members of the Support Team and Community!
Foreword by Patrick O'Keefe, Administrator/Webmaster -

This book gives you the power to use phpBB to set up and run your own online discussion forums with ease and develop your own Internet community. It takes you through the whole process of setting up your phpBB site and helps you create, customize and manage your own online community with phpBB. Written by experienced phpBB administrators and enthusiasts, the emphasis is on simple and practical guidance for you to get the most from phpBB.

In Detail

The book begins with the initial installation and configuration of phpBB on your system, with troubleshooting tips to help you through. You will then go on a tour of phpBB and its features, stepping you through the basic tasks, growing your understanding and familiarizing you with the power of phpBB.

Everybody wants their community to look special and customizing your forum is the next stop in the book. Beginning with a detailed rundown of templates and themes, you will then see how to customize your forum by first modifying existing templates, adding new elements and even creating a new template from scratch.

The book then goes onto cover further administration of your community, creating hacks for phpBB, custom PHP programming with phpBB and reference appendices with more phpBB resources, the phpBB file and directory structure, guides to the BBCode and permission systems and the phpBB database structure round off this book.

What You Will Learn From This Book

This book will give you the skills to setup, customize and manage your own phpBB powered community.

  • Install and configure phpBB
  • Learn the basics of working with phpBB forums
  • Manage topics, postings, smilies and users
  • Understand phpBB templates and themes
  • Customize the look of your phpBB site
  • Master forum permissions to protect your community
  • Create a phpBB template from scratch
  • Creating a phpBB hack
  • Packaging and making your hack available to others
  • Custom programming of phpBB


This book takes a practical, hands on approach to phpBB. Packed with sections stepping you through tasks, this book is the ideal guide to learning phpBB.

Who This Book is Written For

This book is written by phpBB enthusiasts for new and intermediate users. It's ideal if you are just starting with online communities and want a powerful and free tool or if you've already started with phpBB and want to take it further. Anyone with a basic knowledge of HTML and a willingness to learn about phpBB will benefit from this book.

"Building Online Communities with phpBB is an excellent guide for both beginning and advanced webmasters employing phpBB on their sites.

Even if you know almost everything about how phpBB works, you will still be able to learn something from this book."

- Jeremy Rogers
Co-author - Building Online Communities with phpBB Support Team Member

"If you are looking for a book to walk you through the installation and configuration of your phpBB, this is the book for you. Beyond that, it will teach you how to install hacks, customize your template, program for phpBB and more. This is your guide to making phpBB do what you want it to do.

Even if you know your way around phpBB, this book will make a great point of reference for you."

- Patrick O'Keefe
Administrator/Webmaster -

About the Authors

Patrick O’Keefe is the founder and owner of the iFroggy Network, an Internet network featuring content, community and e-commerce sites. He has been managing online communities since 2000. Patrick founded and has been responsible for the creation and cultivation of communities like and

Stoyan Stefanov is a web developer and a project manager from Montreal, Canada. He has studied in the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria and McGill University, Montreal. He has more than 5 years of professional web development experience and has worked on award winning websites for companies of all sizes - from multinational corporations to two man startups. He volunteers his spare time administering and programming a Bulgarian speaking phpBB powered community and contributing to the PHP community through code and articles.
Downloads at

Jeremy Rogers (Thoul) has been developing web based applications in PHP and other languages for a little more than six years. Shortly after discovering phpBB in early 2002 and deploying it on a video game website, he began tinkering with and learning about the internal workings of the software. Since then, he has authored dozens of expansions and tutorials related to phpBB. Jeremy currently serves the phpBB community as a Support Team Member, a capacity in which he has answered thousands of questions regarding the software, it's applications and related topics.
Downloads at

Mike Lothar is an active phpBB template author that has been around as a web designer for several years, both as a freelance artist working for some of the major Danish advertising companies and as a co-founder of an independent web company. His interest in phpBB and its templates came fairly late. At the time of this book's release, his templates had gained wide recognition, used by a variety of sites ranging from those of U.S. presidential candidates to those of popular artists and bands.
Downloads at