If your website is developed in .NET Technology then one of the best option for you is Yet Another Forum (http://www.yetanotherforum.net), here onwards referred as YAF.
In this article I will be discussing how to install YAF to your production server and Integrate it seamlessly with your
Target Audience: Webmasters, Web Project Managers and .NET Developers
Steps to install YAF on your server:
1. Download YAF from http://www.yetanotherforum.net. Note that current version available is YAF 1.9.4 and my article is based on this version. For future versions the installation and Integration instructions may change.
2. Create a virtual directory in IIS pointing to D:\YAF-v1.9.4-FINAL-SRC\YetAnotherForum.NET. Above is the assumed path where you have downloaded YAF.
3. SQL Server database is required for installing the YAF. SO keep SQL Server installed on the machine. Then Create an empty SQL Server database for YAF named yafnet(say).
4. If Web.Config is not present in the forum root,copy one of the samples provided in the "webconfigs" folder into the root of the web application and rename it to web.config.
5. Setup a valid connection string in db.config as per the format provided by YAF.
6. Configure the SMTP settings in mail.config as per your hosting environment and as per the format provided by YAF.
7. Then try to open http://localhost/YetAnotherForum.NET/install/Default.aspx and install the forum as per instructions appearing on the installation wizard. It will create/update the forum database and create admin user. Note that all the passwords should have a special charector in it.
8. After the installation the URL will come something like http://localhost/yaf/default.aspx if the above page opens without any error that means your installation is complete.
9. Then you need to copy your installation folder to the root of your website.
10. Suppose you want the forum to appear on the Default.aspx Page, Then Merge the Default.aspx page from the forum with Default.aspx page from your website.Also you need the merge the web.config file from the forum to web.config file of existing website.
11. Now run the default.aspx page of the website and forum should appear on the page.