Creating Forum Website... which company to host from?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by AreYouAMac, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. AreYouAMac macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2008
    Hi all, and happy holidays.

    I want to learn how to create a forum website. (i.e. Macrumors --> I'm not creating a site like Macrumors, I would just like to learn how to make a forum website set up like Macrumors)

    I don't mind purchasing anything even though I am a beginner as this would be just like a little self-knowledge thing, plus like a hobby on the side kind of thing, so its ok.

    Well first -> I will purchase VBulletin, so I would use that for coding as I believe most websites do use VBulletin. (I believe Macrumors do use VBulletin as well)

    Second -> GoDaddy and 1and1 are two web hosting companies that I can think of that have good services. Unless anyone recommend anything else

    Third -> Now here is the thing. There are two different categories: Web Hosting & Domains

    I am not sure which to choose for creating a forums website. Am I right in thinking that I will need a couple of subdomains for creating a forums website? Webhosting on 1and1 will give me 25 subdomains, while picking "Domains" will give me 5 domains. The same also applies to Hosting External Domains.

    So what I guess I am trying to ask is, for creating a forum website, will I need to pick Web Hosting, or just a Domain.

    If anyone is curious, here are the two: Web Hosting on 1and1

    Domain on 1and1

    Thanks guys for taking your time to read and Happy Holidays!
  2. italiano40 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2007
    that is a start, but to know code is good to expand the use of the forum

    i would rec. it is very good hosting makes you purchase a package which includes hosting space for the forums and anything else plus it will setup phpadmin for you which is requirement to setup forums that is why i wold choose
  3. AreYouAMac thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2008
    Thanks italiano40.

    For webhosting, I know that I will need a computer connected to the internet 24/7.

    If the internet connection were to be down... would the website also be down?

    And if the computer were to fail (BREAK) would I lose all of the data on the forum and also the codes that makes up the forum? Or is there sort of a back-up system via GoDaddy or I would have to set up a back-up comp?

    Thanks guys.
  4. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You don't personally need a computer connected to the internet all the time, that's what the hosting is for. I've had good luck with, been using them for a long time now. You can register the domain with them too, it's included with the hosting.

  5. tominated macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2006
    Queensland, Australia
    to start with, i wouldn't get vbulliten. You're better off with a free forum package to start with. phpbb is one of the standard ones but i'd try vanilla also
  6. mathcolo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2008

    I personally prefer phpBB over all other forum platforms there are. It is elegant, simple, and maybe even fun to install! :)

    I host my forum myself using an old PowerBook G4 I had sitting around. You can run software such as MAMP as an easy way to get everything up and running quickly.

    For free web hosting (with or without phpbb) you could always use Or you could go with a free phpbb/punbb/ipb forum host like

    Good luck with your project!
  7. DipDog3 macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2002
    What kinda website are you creating?

    Most of the stuff you mentioned will be a waste of money. You can easily create a blogger account for free and not deal with any of this stuff.

    But it's your money...

    I use NameCheap for my domains and liquidweb for hosting. Liquidweb is pricey but well worth the extra cash. I also use Joomla and drupal as CMS.

    Good Luck.
  8. Rocksaurus macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2003
    My goodness it's been a long time since I've posted here...

    ANYway, I feel like a name I rarely see in these threads about hosts is slicehost. They're a quality VPS host if that's what you're looking for. Rackspace recently bought them out. Highly recommended.
  9. Dejavu macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2008
    I would recommend phpBB3. Personally I think it is better than VBulletin. Continued upgrades and support licences on VB can be very expensive.
  10. windstarfy macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2008

    I just logged in to tell you to never host with Godaddy or 1and1 or Bluehost or Dreamhost etc or anything that offers 'unlimited' resources

    For the web hosting industry goes by 'you get what you pay for'.

    I highly suggest these for your website:

    If you want to go with a more expensive VPS solution, I highly suggest:

    Go to to find reviews about these hosts I mentioned, as well as find negative reviews on 1and1 or Godaddy. Check out too while you're at it.

    If you need more help such as finding a webhosting solution, feel free to PM me and I'll be glad to help!

    PS: I suggest using phpBB (3) over vBulletin. For PHP related sites, you may want to try out Medialayer or Precisioneffect as they use 'Litespeed' servers which are a lot faster than standard Apache software in terms of serving up your website.

    PPS: For domains, DO NOT USE 1and1. They tend to take your domain off you, especially if you use their privacy whois service. I highly suggest: (free privacy for one year (whoisguard))
    And (domains only), if you know how to go through their checkout without adding any extra services with your domain name purchase, such as whois protection and email and whatever.
  11. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    You can find good and bad reviews about any host. Plenty of people here have had good experiences with GoDaddy. I use Dreamhost myself and have had a good experience with them. I could just as easily find negative reviews about the hosts you suggest.
  12. windstarfy macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2008
    Not want to challenge or anything but I'd like to see you do. ;)
  13. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Found these in a couple minutes for your amusement. - Price - just came out this year so hard to find much on them - Lack of responsiveness - non-intuitive UI

    Just so it's clear, I have nothing against any of the hosts mentioned in this thread. My only point was that you can find praises or complaints for any host. I just hate when people (especially new users) come into threads and start bashing companies for no good reason when others are making sound advice and opinions. I've personally never had an issue with any of the few web hosts I've been with. I had the most fun doing my own hosting though.
  14. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    I have my site hosted on Dreamhost, and I'm overall happy with them, with very few complaints.

    However you could forgo setting up your own domain and instead simply go to a place like Zetaboards, or another similar company that offers hosting specific for Internet forums. Stay the hell away from Yuku though. It is with no doubt the absolute worst forum software I've ever had the displeasure of using. It's like they realized EZBoard was archaic and primitive, and all they did was take it from archaic and primitive to damned near unusable and completely stupid also, call it an "upgrade," and take the rest of the week off.


    Remember though if you're not wanting to commit to a learning curve if you've never run your own site before, a pre-hosted forum might come in handy. If you've got experience working with the backend of a site already, totally go for getting your own hosting.

    *disclaimer* I'm not saying this as a professional web guru by any means, just experience piecing together my own website little by little.
  15. windstarfy macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2008

    Oh well, I've actually hosted with them, apart from Godaddy, of which I will not touch.

    Although 1and1 offers cheap domains with whois protection, their domains are no good. Because they lock the domains, it was very hard to get it moved away from them to another host when I requested it. Since their support is other copy/paste (I'd like to give you emails I've received if you like) it's like talking to a Notepad file. With the whois protection it's registered under their domain and so it is technically theirs. I hoped and prayed until I got it back.

    Dreamhost. It's a pretty good webhost. However they oversell their resources. I was told to move my website (a Joomla website) as it was using too much resources. Due to overloading their servers with websites, sometimes it would allow my website to not load or very slowly. For static webpages this was fine, however if you are requesting a forum application, if you want area for growth, I highly suggest those I suggested, as when it comes to PHP loading times, those which are undersold with few clients on the server will increase the loading times etc. Although it is fine for a simple blog website, if you do create a forum and want many users on it at once, you will definitely see a performance gap.

    Bluehost. Although unlimited hosting, it's not really. They oversell anyway. (I mean how can you guarantee UNLIMITED resources at ridiculous prices? A dedicated server costs around $200 so you really can't guarantee 'unlimited'. They won't cater to you simply because it said unlimited. If you do start to 'abuse' their resources, you get cut off and will be told to move off. A friend of mine even had trouble hosting a wordpress blog, due to 'CPU' requirements when they overload clients on a server, this means that if you get a surge in traffic from Digg or the likes, you get cut off and told to move out, and the bad thing is that your website will be disabled in the process.

    While hosting with these what I call 'unlimited oversellers', since they have so many people signing up to them, if you do not technical support for your web hosting you can expect hours if not days for a response, rather if you signup to anything with some research (check out and you can see that many webhosts with awards/praise in the industry limit clients per server with a quick response time of under 10-30 minutes), with phone numbers for emergency support with no waiting etc.

    As for the reviews you pointed out, go to any webhost dedicated website, ask them the same question of either Medialayer or Dreamhost, they won't choose Dreamhost, as those reviews were in different categories compared to those unlimited oversellers I was talking about. I could go on and on but no point anymore xD

    Then again it's up to you. For price differences, if you would rather not listen it's fine. Eventually you'll find yourself moving out as your website becomes more popular anyway. :D
  16. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Wasn't any point to start either :rolleyes: It's actually just proving my point as far as I can tell, so I'm glad we agree.
  17. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Can anyone recommend a pre-hosted forum solution? Or at least provide a name of one or a few?
  18. brisbaneguy29 macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2007
    For Hosting can I throw my company into the mix? The servers have cPanel and Fantastico, which can install phpBB (3.0.3) for you, if your a little but inexperienced.
  19. theappleguy macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2005
    Installing a forum is quite easy, but if you want to avoid having to upload the files yourself, then look for a host that offers Fantastico, Installatron or ScriptWorx. They are one click script installers and usually include a number of options. :)
  20. MacSociology macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2006
    Battleground Europe?!

    1. Go to, and check out the offers forum. Search for reviews for any hosts you find interesting. Webhosts are not allowed to promote themselves at Webhostingtalk, unless they do it in the offers section, and you will find a lot of knowledgeable people who will help you in this matter.

    2. Never buy your domain from your webhost. Personally I would recommend and for domains. Namecheap got the easiest controlpanel to use. Godaddy's cp is way to complex for you for now.

    3. I wouldn't recommend anybody selling "unlimited" bandwidth and storage. Especially if you're gonna start a forum. Forums are usually the most resource demanding websites, and you will want host that don't restrict you too much. Also, forums will usually not demand a lot of bandwidth, so you won't need anything "unlimited".

    4. Check out the following forum scripts: phpBB, SMF (simple machines forum) and MyBB. Personally I find MyBB very promising as it gives you some possibilities that neither SMF nor phpBB will give you. MyBB is pretty good, not too resource hungry and you got the possibility to soft delete posts. vBulletin is a very good script, but as it seems like you're trying to learn I don't see the point in investing the money yet. I prefer vBulletin myself, but I usually don't use it on forums that won't need it. vB is with IPB, one of the best forum scripts on the market today.
  21. theappleguy macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2005
    I don't know it is fair to say never buy a domain from your web host. However, you should always be cautious if you have never dealt with the host before as some try and register the domain under their name to make it difficult for you to switch hosts. If the host has a good reputation and does not do this, then go ahead and register your domain with them. :)
  22. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    I'd agree with this - Not that it's a hard and fast rule, but I think it's a good idea. I use for hosting (and they've been great..) but due to my past experience I just choose to keep it separate now.

    I like being able to handle them regardless of my host.
  23. NikMac macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2008

    Take a look at . Look for "activeboards". It's free hosting, only downside is a banner ad on your forums and a really long, tricky url o_O. I haven't tried much of their customization though, I think there's an option to pay for having your own domain name and no ads, css support, etc.

    Good luck :).
  24. kremer4 macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Fairfax, VA
    I've used a few hosting sites for my vbulletin forums but I almost always ran into the same snag. That snag is MYSQL issues. I would get random MYSQL errors and my dowtime was crazy. I decided to upgrade my home ISP to a business account and now I'm running my forum from my home computer. I have an iMac in the basement that is running Leopard Server in VMWARE Fusion. This computer is being used just for hosting. It works great and I'm not running into any issues. I chose to run Leopard Server in Vmware instead of natively because restores are a breeze using Vmware snapshots. Check it out

    Just launched the site 2 weeks ago.
  25. martin15s macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2009
    Elche,Alicante, Spain
    web hosting

    just wanted to add my thoughts - signed up with - had problems (my fault) with their included software but they do support iWeb - designed a site on iweb and uploaded with their very good support and now am very pleased - time will tell but so far so good.

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