Helped Launching Paras.uk
A while ago I was contacted by a friend who wanted to see if he could replicate the RoyalMarines.uk website, but for the Parachute Regiment. I said I'd try.
Starting With a Great Name
The best name that I could think of would be Paras.uk - As I checked the Whois Register, it became apparent that my good friend Angie Barrow owned the name. Angie was great in helping the site start, without that name it would have been difficult. Angie had the same view as I did regarding the aims of the site - helping youngsters. She thought it was admirable and wanted to help in anyway she could. After we sourced the name, it was systems all go.
Selecting the Software
The best forum software out there seems to be a Xenforo. We use it on the RoyalMarines.uk site and have had no problems with it. The SEO side can be a bit tricky, but the user experience is the best we have seen. We did look at Discourse, but we quickly came to the conclusion that we already had all the add-ons that we needed for Xenforo. Going through that learning curve again would have been time consuming.
As we already had the template built, it was a relatively quick build process. From start to finish it probably took me around 5-6 hours.
Site's going well
The site has been live for around 4 months now. I'm not really involved in the day to day administration of the site, but I do pop over there every few days to see how it is going. It's quickly passed the 250 member mark, and with new posts about the Paras being added each day, it is beginning to enter that snowball phase of picking up speed.
Fingers crossed that in a few months, the site has it's first users entering service life.