ftlog: the free forum network: why ftlog is great!

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Why ftlog is Great!

ftlog is very much a unique forum, and goes so much further than any rival to offer a great service. It has often been described as:
"probably the best forum engine in the world!"
...something we are very proud of! Here are just some reasons why you ought to sit up and take note:
  • Free Forums
  • No Banners

  • Remotely Hosted
  • Retain Your Domain Name

  • Fastest Forum this side of the Galaxy
  • Worldwide Data Centers

  • Massive, Growing Network
  • ftlog "Passport"
  • Unique Design

  • Various Ways To Participate
  • E-Mail Participation
  • SUS: the ftlog Software Client

  •  Free Forums

    We're crazy! Depending on server location there is no purchase fee, no monthly charge, and no bandwidth charge.

    For heavy bandwidth users or forum owners requiring a service with backup facility we can also provide additional server cost options for the ultimate in performance.

    For communities where price is an issue and the forum isn't funded by a business or company we have provided a "Community Chest" facility to allow users to donate directly towards any costs.

     No Banners

    Free does not have to mean plastered with ads. We are the only remotely hosted network to not display banners on your forums. Simple as that!

     Remotely Hosted

    We host each forum ourselves. Advantages:
  • Easy to setup.
  • No ISP hassles.
  • No installation woes, faffing about with forum software, database software, server software or the server itself.
  • Automatically and continually upgraded "on the fly". No need to install upgrades manually, no user intervention required!
  • New features arriving on demand based on user requests and feedback.
  • Independance - if your website goes down your forum stays up.
  • Disadvantages of remotely hosted systems in the past include the additional cost of paying for a website, and then a remotely hosted forum on top. Of course, our hosted service is free. Ironically, many self-hosted forum software attracts either a single one off payment or rental fee just for the software.

    Another disadvantage regards remotely hosted forum domain names, which brings us onto out next ftlog advantage:

     Retain Your Domain Name

    If you think remotely hosted forums means your forum has a giveaway "cheap" looking url, think again!
  • If you domain name company has the ability for you to assign subdomains then point them to our servers. e.g. "forum.yourdomain.com" can be happily used - no need to buy an additional domain - just use the admin interface to enter the URL to look out for and our servers will automatically match the domain with your forum.
  • (requires a domain company that allows you to set this function up, an example is register.com which allows you to set this up yourself online, or e-mail your domain company to see if they can do it manually)
  • If you do not have the capacity to allocate a subdomain, you could choose to register a separate domain name (e.g. www.yoursitename-forum.com) and point this to us instead, or simply stick with your allocated ftlog URL.

    hosting is provided by a variety of committed ISP's worldwide

     Fastest Forum this side of the Galaxy

    Each aspect of the service design has been designed for the best possible performance.
  • Very fast server design.
  • High performance hardware.
  • Small pages allow dial up users to get involved with minimum frustration.
  • Speed demon: use the downloadable SUS software for the power user!
  • Choose a server location nearest to you for minimum latency with a localised user base.
  • In summary, we are performance mad and have gone to quite exceptional lengths to optimise and optimise again.

     Worldwide Data Centers

    According to user demand we are building a growing list of server locations around the world, with some of the best ISP's and data centers. As our forums are remotely hosted, we feel it important to cater for a worldwide audience with servers available locally.

    Although location doesn't noticeably impact transfer rates when using forums, it does influence overall latency when clicking a link and waiting for a response. With a fast-moving threaded forum this may give a sluggish feeling, which can be avoided by investing in a local server.

    We are gathering data on individual data center performance around the world, so you can make the best informed decision regardless of if you have a local or worldwide user base.

     Massive, Growing Network

    With ftlog, forums are no longer single entities. You are part of a much bigger community, bringing standardisation and familiarity. Mated to considerable customization potential this gives the best of both worlds: scope for artistic expression without users having to contend with a different forum system for different forums.

    Webmasters using ftlog forums can attract new traffic through our forum network directory.

     ftlog "Passport"

    Similar to Microsoft's Passport system, one ftlog account gives you access to the entire network. Many forums suffer from "lurkers" - partly because more often than not there is considerable effort involved with registering an individual username and password for each forum.

    With ftlog, you simply only need register once and then can use the same access details time and time again. What's more joining a new forum is simply done with a single click. ftlog makes it easier for communities to grow!

     Unique Design

    We like to think tha ftlog is one of a kind - an innovative champion for communities everywhere! This is focussed around the actual forum engine itself, the way you use it and how you connect.

    We have believed for a long time that a 3-pane threaded layout is the best choice for the fastest way to access forums with a web browser.

     Various Ways To Participate

    More ways to participate means more people can get in touch with a group, or prefer it over rival forums. More ways to get involved means connect from the office, at home, on the move or when in a rush.
  • traditional web browser access
  • e-mail participation
  • downloadable software client (SUS)
  • We realise that web browser participation isn't always ideal, possible or in some cases preferred - which is why we believe you should be able to get participate in the worldwide ftlog party in other ways. Let's look at the other two now:

     E-Mail Participation

    We intend to implement an e-mail service. Receive individual messages or daily digests and post replies via e-mail. If you can get your e-mail on the move you can get ftlog.

     SUS: the ftlog Software Client

    We are quite proud of our little invention, and the fact that it's one of a kind and a key part of our service actually dating back several years before ftlog's fully public launch. Relative to rival forums it's almost revolutionary: burn your bra!

    But let's not get carried away. The software is essentially an offline/online reader which downloads all the latest messages very quickly where they can then be viewed at your leisure. Free from the limitations of a regular browser it represents a very fast way to interact with a community, read and respond to messages.

    Many users use the reader as their primary method to access the forums, representing a considerable shift in community participation habits. We believe the number of messages posted and topics discussed is considerably higher on an ftlog forum where a high proportion of users are using the software, simply because it's so much easier and more immediate to get involved.

    "In a fast paced discussion, the forum can resemble almost a live chat room such is the enthusiasm and immediacy of posts."
    If you havn't tried it yet, it's a must-have! New messages appear and are highlighted immediatly, there are no loading delays and message composition is considerably easier. Several built in utilities, ongoing development and a series of plug-ins round out the advantages.

    There are considerable enhancements available for donating members.

    You can
    download the SUS from here. A ftlog account is required for use.


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