Forum Term Project

This was my term project for my CTEC 4321 class. I wanted to focus on the technical aspects of the site as shown by my robust code and content moderation system. *Logins or demos avaliable upon request*

GitHub Repository Here

A bridge over a river

Overview of Forum Term Project

This project's core objectives revolved around a website redesign for the River Legacy Living Science Center, with a strong emphasis on implementing effective content moderation. My primary goals included fostering meaningful community connections and providing user-friendly administrative control over post removal. The design incorporated flexbox and a coded grid system to enhance the site's aesthetic appeal, with a particular focus on forum functionality and modernizing the homepage. The forum structure consisted of three database tables for users, threads, and posts, with special privileges for admins and trusted users. The login system relied on sessions and provided tailored user messages.


Image of the login page for this website
Sitemap for the forum webiste

This sitemap shows the structure of the website and the menu. I did not make most of these pages because the focus of the project was on the forum and the technical elements required to make it work.

Image of the list of threads on the forum

Forum thread list/ home page


  • Parents:
    • Use the community calendar for organization and to stay informed about events.
    • Access volunteer sign-up easily.
    • Engage in the forum for information, ideas about sustainable living, and a sense of community.
    • Possible use of the forum for coordinating unofficial events and playdates.
    • Seek reassurance about the safety of River Legacy for their kids.
  • Kids:
    • Have access to a heavily moderated kids' forum for safe online interaction.
    • Consult the calendar for fun events.
  • Other Adults:
    • Use the calendar for non-kid-focused events and volunteer opportunities.
    • Participate in forums discussing sustainable living topics and building relationships.
    • Possible use of the forum to plan outdoor activities like hiking or biking.


My first step for this project was an in-depth analysis of the Living Science center’s brand identity, objectives, and target audience. This initial research phase allowed me to glean valuable insights, shaping the website's design and feature selection to align with the organization's specific needs. The class I was in centered around developing websites with database-backed interactive functionalities and I wanted to come up with ap project that would challenge me and give me a lot of learning opportunities while also empowering the Living Science Center’s community so I decided to create a forum.

I wanted to enhance community engagement and offer patrons a dedicated space for interaction and discussion with a strong emphasis on family-friendly content. For this reason, I implemented a robust content moderation system, mandating administrative approval for all posted content and allowing for the removal of posts at any time. This system also meticulously tracked the number of removed posts, so admins would be able to identify repeat-offenders.

I also spent a lot of time implementing various security features. To prevent unauthorized post editing I ensured that users could not edit another individual's post by manipulating the post's ID number via the query string. I also implemented checks to verify that users accessing specific pages had the appropriate permissions, deterring unauthorized access. In cases where users attempted to manipulate the query string in the URL to access restricted areas they got directed to a "bad.php", reinforcing the site's overall security and user experience.

When I presented my project at the end of the semester my professor described it as “a massive undertaking.” I put a lot of time and effort into it and was proud of what I made.