Creating a site like "How-To Geek"


I wish to create a site which I wish to be somewhat like this “How-To Geek” site. I wish to create a site which shall cover topics relating to accountancy and various fields of taxation. Most of the users of this site are expected to be the employees of various companies and organisations, students and over a time I wish to create a value for professional users like CPAs, lawyers, etc.

I mostly like this forum system a lot and want my main source of income to be from advt. and a small portion for premium services like consultancy on specific matters. But I guess in the starting I might not be getting anything as it would take years to generate traffic.

Kindly guide me in this respect.
I wish to know how our how to geek started and how it operates.
What should I consider while making articles (not the matter, but the art of doing it.)

What is the revenue model of this site?

And how to explain to the developer what I kinda want to make the site?


First of all, you’ve to learn some programming languages. JavaScript, HTML, CSS for webpages. For backend, you need Ruby, PHP etc.


The main HTG site is a blog engine, running on a piece of software called Wordpress. Wordpress runs on PHP (a programming language), Apache (a web server), and MySQL (a database server.) All of these things are freely available or available as part of a web hosting package.

The place to learn about Wordpress is, surprisingly, at

This part of the site, the forums, runs on a software package called Discourse. Discourse runs on Ruby, a different programming language and runtime. While Discourse is probably the best forum software out there, it requires a slightly different software setup. I’d suggest starting at to learn more about Discourse.


Hi. . .

First off, to start up a new online forum, you do not need to learn any programming languages.

You need to purchase forum software and find a hosting company to host your site.

There are forum software sites that offer free forum software. I however, do not like any of the free forum software available and therefore originally purchased vBulletin forum software for a few hundred dollars (<$300 as I recall) in early 2012 (I purchased version vBulletin 4 (vB4) - the current version available at the time) and have never regretted my decision to pay for forum software.

The current version of vBulletin is vB5, which I just don’t like at all. My version - vB4, is no longer supported by vBulletin, which basically means that I now have one hell of a security problem because as hackers now find ways in to the administrative areas of my vB4 software, vB no longer offers updates (patches) that prevent current known methods/hacks (areas of vulnerable code) that the hackers are now using to gain Administrative access to my site.

So, your forum software options:

From a Google search, “9 Best Forum Software Picks to Build an Online Community in 2018” -

Paid versions - forum software -

Take a look at vB5 as you may like it -

I have decided to purchase XenForo2 Forum software (current version, but a new version is due out any time now). XenForo is paid-for forum software -

XenForo is a fairly new company (5 or so years old) and
was started by a group of high-level individuals at vBulletin who got together, all left vB, and decided to create their own, new forum software company.

The hosting site that I would recommend is called InMotion Hosting. For a start-up site, there is no reason that you would require an expensive dedicated hosting plan (where you have your own [virtual] server) when a very much less expensive “Shared Business Hosting” plan would suffice. You have the ability to upgrade at any time - even if you’re in the middle of a current annual contract. The shared hosting plans currently start at USD $6.39 per month. Very reasonable.

InMotion shared hosting -

My site is a technical help site specializing in Windows Updates issue, the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) and general help with various versions of Windows.

We have a forum area where registered members can ask questions/ ask for help with a particular problem; as well as a Tutorial Area where mostly Staff members write threads on particular topics they are interested in.

Overall site -
Windows Forum area - BSOD Forum -
Tutorial area - BSODs -

How we typically interact the technical forum and tutorial area (we also do have full-blown tutorials that do not refer back to any forum post like this example does) -

BSOD Forum post -

BSOD Tutorial Post on the Technical Forum Post -

Please post any questions that you have. Besides myself, there are many, many others that will be glad to answer any questions that you have.

If you are just looking to write articles without the ability for the public/members to write in (post) and ask questions or make comments then you likely will want something different than what I have detailed above - like Wordpress.

Personally, I would think that you would like to entertain questions or comments; not really sure.

I am a Sales & Use Tax expert allowed to argue cases in court, even though I am not an attorney. I know that I would like to give members to my site the ability to ask questions &/or leave comments.

But. . . that is your call.

Regards. . .



Thank you, everyone, for the reply, really appreciate it.

I think I’ll go with word press for the articles. I need to study more for deciding about the forum option. Discourse does seem good but it might be costly.
I wish to know about plugins and advertisements. Will I be able to get advt and revenue therefrom if I used WordPress? Adblockers detection?

How much time should I expect to lapse before I start earning revenue from the site?

[Sorry for not being able to be too specific, I lack the knowledge in this field.]

A senior of mine started something like this but disbanded the forums after like 5 years and continued only with the articles, which he said gave me decent revenues. I, on the other hand, want to give preponderance to the forum system. There is another site which charges for participating in the forum via membership fees.

What other factors should I be considering?

Most importantly, what are the reasons for the success of HTG?


The very hard work and dedication put in by the owners and developers of HTG - who go to great pains to provide a constant stream of interesting articles every day, by carefully selecting writers who are experts in their fields.

The owners also work very hard to maintain a community of friendly and helpful members - making sure HTG is a place where people know they can visit and receive help and assistance with their tech-related questions.

The success of HTG starts at the top - and we are all very grateful for their hard work and dedication.


Thank you everyone for their support.


First of all, you’ve to learn some programming languages. JavaScript, HTML, CSS for webpages. For backend, you need Ruby, PHP, JAVA, Python and other framework that could be help you for responded your communities subjects.
This is my opinion.:hugs::hugs::hugs: