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for creating a forum you should be concerned about these issues:
you should impliment functionalities such:
1- Bread Crumbs: which provide a link that allow the user to see in which page he is and can click the links to navihgate to previous pages
2- Pagination: that shows for example 10 post or thread in each page an allow the user to navigate through the pages by clicking on the
page number or next and privous links
3- Lock/ Unlock users
4- functions for chaning golbal parameters of the forum such as colors, header and number of items in each page
5- and obviously functions for adding/ editting and removing threads and posts
6- functions for sending messages (private messages- user to user - administrator to users)
7- Rating functionality
also the database for the desired forum can have such tables:
2- posts and replies
3- messagses (private messages and public messages)
5- forum conifg
6- atachement and images
Suggection: if you have not red Wrox books i think it can be usefull for you also in wrox book you can find complete example
of how to desing and implement a powerful forum with full code.