To obtain a forum hosted by Bravenet you must first sign up for an account with Bravenet.
Assuming that you already have an account the next step is to sign up for your forum. To do this sign into your account and then select Message Forum from the list of Unregistered Services. This will take you to the page where you can sign up to get a forum. Either select the Get One Free button or scroll to the bottom ans select Click Here to Register your FREE Message Forum Service!.
Now that you have your Forum you need to add it to your web site and also to customize it to look the way you want.
To add the forum to your site scroll down to step 2 on the Message Forum Registration page and select the Highlight & Copy the Code Above button under the version of the link that you want to use. This copies the html code that will provide the link to your guestbook to the clipboard in Internet Explorer and highlights it so that you can copy it to the clipboard (normally by pressing the CTRL and C keys together) in other browsers. Next you need to go to the web editor that you usually use to edit your web pages, open the page where you want to install the link, select the spot on the page where you want the link to appear and then paste the code there using whatever means that the editor provides for pasting HTML code to your page. As each editor uses different means to paste HTML code it is not possible to provide more detailed instructions here. If you can't figure out how to do it in your editor then post a question in the Bravenet Copy/Paste forum and specify the editor you are using. The copy/paste code is also emailed to you in case you skipped over the step at this point.
Once you have done this you should now have some extra buttons or links on your web page. The traditional button version looks like this:
Now that the forum is linked to your site it is time to customize it to match the rest of your site. Select the Manage Your Message Forum at the bottom of the Message Forum Registration page. This will take you to the Message Forum Service Manager. You can access this at any future time by selecting Message Forum from the Registered Services section of your account.
The Most Frequently Used section of this page allows you to remove/lock message, password protect your forum, and view forumm statistics.
The Forum Control Panel allows you to update General Settings, change your Forum Keywords, Manage Questions, and Edit Displayed Text.
The Look and Feel section contains a number of options that allow you to change how your forum will appear. This section contains Select a Theme, Colors and Fonts, Choose Layout, Custom Images, Customize Navbar, and Edit/Add Custom HTML (for the Pro version only)
Finally, the Service Utilities section contains links to View your Service, Upgrade to Pro, get your Copy/Paste code, as well as How-To pages, Help and Support, Service Feedback, and Delete Service (for if you no longer require the forum) as well as a facility to ban IP addresses.
One final comment. You can only have one forum per Bravenet account but if you want to have more than one Bravenet forum it is simply a matter of opening additional accounts.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.