I'm in the process of redesigning a website that I've had up for over two years now. It has a lot of visits and I made a temporary forum back when I put it live in 2006. Thing is, I lost interest in the forum because it was a stock template hosted on another site and it didnt feel a part of the general feel of my website.
Now I've come to a point where I need more flexibility, I'm currently redesigning using PHP and have the perfect layout and design, all I need now is to find a way to add interactivity and the social aspect into the mix.
My idea is to be able to post news items, the headlines would appear on the homepage, but at the same time, the headlines would be conversation threads in their own right. I'd also like to open a forum section in which all these threads would appear. This sounds like a simple forum solution but I've never been confident in theming forums or blogs, also, I'm reluctant to jump into the likes of PHPBB because I want it to look like my newly designed website, I want someone to be able to click on a news item then they'd be taken to a story which looks like a page on my site which also allows them to contribute to it via replying.
Can this be achieved using PHPBB at all? If not, how do you suggest I go about it?
It'd be perfect if we could have all the forum functionality, i.e. membership, locked threads, signatures etc. But I'll take any good solution at the moment.
Finally, it may be worth noting that I don't have a lot of time to get this thing live due to marketing restrictions and deadlines.
P.S. I like the way this site works with people responding to stories:
www.dvdtimes.co.uk - is this feasible and can it be done with open source software or is it something that I'd need extensive PHP and MySQL knowledge for?
Any help would be hgely appreciated, thank you.