* I apologize in advance if this thread would be better off in the hosting section, but I didn't feel it warranted to make two topics when this is all interconnected in my efforts to plan for the creation of my own forum. * Also I'm very long-winded, bear with me. <3 I've been a wandering forum admin for years - I find active forums owned by others in whatever fandoms or interests I'm in at that point, and apply to become part of the staff. All of my experience in both moderation and administration comes from being a nomad, becoming a second or third in command for someone else, so I've never created and run my own forum before. In addition to that, I'm not very tech-savy - everything from coding to hosting are topics of which I have very little knowledge and experience with. Certainly topics I'd love to learn about, but I'm still a novice at the moment with them. In other words, while I have a lot of administration experience, most of it is from the front-end community service aspect dealing with forum promotion, event organization, staff assembly, etc, not the back-end technical jobs. I'm looking to start my own forum now, and figured TAZ would be a great place to get advice about how do so. Forum Plan Breakdown: * The forum I plan to make will contain adult themes such as fetish discussion and other alike adult content, up to nudity images (but certainly nothing blatantly pornographic past that). I also plan to ensure nothing illegal as defined from the US is posted to the site. As such, I plan on treating the site as an 18+ forum from registration. * I do plan on growing the site as much as I can down the line, so I would say the ambition for this site is somewhat generous. Building the forum's structure, theme and other settings in a Beta state and then opening it for promotion and advancement is the plan. My Past Experience with Forum Software: I've worked on sites that have used Zetaboards, IPB and Proboards, all down towards the 'freebie' end of hosting. Though I may not be very technical, I am familiar with these Admin CP interfaces. What Advice I'm Looking For: I'm looking for advice on both software and hosting. I need a hosting setup that allows Mature Content to exist, and I need a software that is fairly flexible and well-put together for the long-haul, and if possible, still allows the User 1 to have enough control of the software to make transitioning decisions to other software down the line, if that's even possible at all with the free and cheap(er) choices on the software market. I can afford software and hosting costs, just not moderate to expensive ones. With college and a shaky job situation, it's just not feasible right now. Ergo why a software that can be transitioning in the future would be amazing, because I may afford a higher level of software and hosting in the future. Any advice and feedback I can get from what I've shared here is vastly appreciated. I feel like a window shopper who has little to no concept of what software and hosts are best for my needs for a forum, and that's why I'm here. Thanks in advance for reading through this rant, and I hope to learn from some of your veterans out there.