As the title states, I have never ever done anything related to web building/designing. However, one of the things I want to achieve in the next year or two is to set up a forum for a youth group I help out with. While there are guides, and how-tos on how to do that, I'm posting this because there are some questions I have that I have not been able to find the answers to.
My apologies if the questions are extremely simplistic or maybe even a little silly. This is just something I would love to create. Having an online platform (such as a forum, not Facebook) where discussions can be created by the youths in my youth group would be a dream come true!
1. Is it possible to create and own a URL for free, without a particular websites/company's name on it?
-For example, proboards.com offers a .boards.net (which is fine) but I was wondering if it was possible to get a .com for free.
2. Websites such as proboards and prophpBB, are they free or the kind of free-up-to-a-certain-point i.e. you have to pay to get features?
-While I'm fine if they require payment for advanced features, I was wondering if they charge for very basic features
3. How much of skill and knowledge is required to be able to create my own forum?
-At the moment, my knowledge of web/forum designing and building would be about zero, so while I don't mind taking time slowly learning, I'm wondering what is required of me before I can build a forum.
4. Do you have any suggestions for software/websites that meet my criteria to create a forum?
-Simple to use
-Good basic functions
Thank you for your time and have a good day!