Hi. I have absolutely no idea about these things so as simplistic an answer the better!
The website I use (not own or maintain) is provided by a company as a kind of bulk product. Currently it has a message board but the new site will not. I have been asked to find alternatives, the new site does look as if it is capable of hosting a message board but the work setting up the new site means it wont happen for quite a while. We have a couple of options really:
1) Let the old message board drop offline with the old site and set a new one up in a few months. This will be the easiest option but will lose a lot of users.
2) Let a free hosting company host it for a few weeks. Whilst this means users can transfer from one site to another, I believe this may be an issue in that, when it comes to transfering over to the new site, they may not allow the database to go with it. Is this correct?
3) Pay for a host for a few weeks and simply transfer to the new site when ready. Is this possible? Is it simply a case of setting up how I would like it with them doing any complicated "behind the scenes" work as I am not the most PC literate of people!
If this is possible, are there any tips on companies to use and any "must do's" and "must avoid" issues that would make any transfer later on a failure. The smoothest transition is prefered but perhaps not entirely possible. Thanks.