Stu Alan from Grumpy Expat.com, which is a long time customer now, came again to me asking for setting up a forum for his Web site.
The job that Stu proposed was to install a forum package and to customize it to match the Grumpy Expat look and feel. He needed installation, customization and hosting services.
I'm working with Stu Alan since end of May 2008 especially on movable type related services and our collaboration is excellent as you may find out reading Stu's testimonial.
Around end of 2008 Stu mentioned to me that he is planning for starting a forum for his Grumpy Expat domain, but he wanted to take some time to think about it.
About one week ago (end of January 2009), Stu asked me to install a forum package called E-Blah and to integrate it within his main Web site look and feel. After installing this tool, I've realized it is really a low quality forum package and decided to recommend Stu to consider phpBB as the forum package to run.
I must confess also that I'm offering phpBB services since way back in 2004, and that I'm one of the most known phpBB services provider. However, being so busy with movable type related projects, during the last 2 years I took very few phpBB projects from the requests I'm receiving every month.
Given the financial crisis, and the need to diversify the amount of services provided, I'm currently considering offering again phpBB related services.
Anyway, I've just installed phpBB for Stu. His forum is available at http://www.grumpyexpat.com/forum/
Once the installation process was completed, I've emailed Stu asking him to populate the facility with some forums and topics.
In the meantime, I took the time to customize the default phpbb theme by integrating the forum within the look and feel of the Grumpy Expat Web site.
This process involved updating the forum name, description, logo, certain image components and the common style sheet documents (for colors and background colors).
At the moment I've proposed Stu to do some more work on his phppBB forum.
I've proposed him to work a bit on his forum especially on search engine optimization (SEO), because phpBB doesn't come by default optimized for search engines. So, in order to have his forum crawled and providing accurate results on search engines, we need to do some work on the platform.
Apart from the phpbb seo work, I've also advised Stu to setup rss feeds on his forum so that people could subscribe to rss feeds at the forum or at the topic level. This will allow his users to be updated with anything that's published on those very forums or topics they subscribe to.
Grumpy Expat Forum Screenshots
I would like to show you here below a screenshot of the phpbb customized look and feel, as well as a capture of the default interface.
Are you eager to see this in action? Just go to www.grumpyexpat.com/forum/
Grumpy Expat Forum (custom theme)
Grumpy Expat Forum (default theme)
phpBB, Image Editing, CSS.
Contracting from Stu Alan, Thailand.