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Getting Started

Interested in starting a hub for your community? Here’s how to get started…

1 See how hubs work

Visit an existing hub with an established community:,,, or many others. Notice that the hubs are not all the same. Different hubs use different features of HUBzero. Look around and find an example that might fit with your community.

Download a Virtual Machine image of a hub and launch it with the free VMware Player. You’ll have your own brand new hub to play with—completely empty, but ready for customization and use.

2 Create your own hub

Install our open source software on your own machine. Register a URL for your site. Design a web template, and customize the various features of HUBzero for your community.

If you need help with the setup and you’d rather not mess with the daily operations, engage a hosting service to set up and run your hub. If you’re writing a proposal for funded research, you can include the hosting costs in your budget. Include this text in your proposal.

3 Engage your community

Each hub requires care and feeding to make it grow. The more interesting content you have on your hub, the more users will flock to your site. Early on, this requires a concentrated effort from you and your project team. Many successful projects seed content creation through workshops, partnerships, and even project funds. At some point your hub will reach critical mass, and your community will begin to generate new content on its own.

Use the features of the hub to engage your community: Put events on the community calendar. Respond to questions on the question & answer forum. Implement suggestions from the wish list. Build "collections" in a Pinterest-style format.

4 Looking for more support?

Attend the annual HUBbub Conference. Join the HUBzero Foundation and get 20 hours or more of technical support. Get instant access to the HUBzero team during normal business hours, and arrange for specialized training, hub upgrades, custom code development, and much more.

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