Don't use free forum hosting! Get a proper host!

Discussion in 'Articles & Tutorials' started by Joel, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Joel

    Joel
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    If you own a forum, and you still have not moved on to proper hosting, and your forum is still hosted on free forum hosting websites like Forumotion, Forumer, Lefora, Zetaboards etc. , than you are making a very BIG mistake. There are many disadvantages of free forum hosting. Such as multiple skins not available, no ability to add PHPBB mods yourself, very hard to customize, you cannot download and take backups yourself and so many more. Of course, free forum hosting also has its advantages. But its not as good as having a proper host and hosting your own phpBB forum. If you're totalyl new to forums, or just a newbie in computer, and don't know much about HTML/CSS (coding languages), than free forum hosting websites is certainly a big advantage for you. Because they break down everything and you can edit everything by yourself very easily, BUT you can't customize much. What you can customize is very minimal. So what is the difference between a free forum hosting and getting a proper host and hosting it yourself? As mentioned earlier on, there are tons of advantages when you get a proper host, and install the full phpBB pack and host it yourself, rather then you go for free forum hosting. There is NO disadvantages AT ALL, if you decide to get proper hosting and host your phpBB forum yourself. YES, no disadvantages at all! The possibilities are endless.

    So, now I will be guiding and teaching you how you can get a proper host, and hosting your forum yourself.

    First, you need to find a host. This can be a very crucial decision and you must pick a good host. Usually, hosts that offers free plans for you, don't offer good stuffs and I won't recommend it. Paid hosts are much better, as they can be much more reliable. Here are some paid hosts you can try. Plans starting at only $3+ a month. Just Host, Host Gator, Hawk Host, Fat Cow and Blue Host. Make sure that the host you pick have the minimum requirements for the forum software (phpBB, myBB, vBulletin, Xenforo etc.) you want to install. Usually popular hosts like the one I mentioned earlier on will already have what you need. Once you decide on the host you want, go ahead and apply for it. It will take about 24-48 hours before you can get your hosting account, including cPanel.

    Second, you need to pick a forum software you want to install. Forum softwares are like phpBB, myBB, vBulletin, Xenforo, Vanilla Forums, Invision etc. Make sure you like the forum software, and don't just choose it because everyone is using it! Also, do not that there are paid forum softwares out there, and that means not all forum softwares are free. Forum softwares like vBulletin, Invision and Xenforo isn't free. They cost $100-$200+. Free forum softwares include phpBB, myBB and many more. If you want to pick a good forum software, and need help, you can visit this website. They provide a list of forum softwares and also give their ratings, reviews disadvantages and advantages of each forum software. Very precise and detailed description.

    Third, you have to install the forum software. This is the most difficult part in this process, but it is possible. If I can do it, you can too. Remember, Google is your friend. So search when you are in doubt. If you're installing phpBB, than search stuffs like "how to install phpbb software" or somewhere along that line. Be sure to watch video tutorials if possible too, it is much easier to understand and you can follow along while you're watching it. If you need help, don't hesitate to visit your forum software support forums and ask questions. Or if you really don't want to go through all this trouble, and if you got the money, hire someone to install the forum software for you. But only hire people whom you can trust of course.

    Fourth, get a TLD (top level domain). Yes, get a domain. This isn't a must, but it will do your forum good. Don't go for sub domains and websites offering free domain name registrations like co.cc and TK. It makes your forum look very unprofessional. Good domain registrars are sites like GoDaddy, Namecheap and 1&1. I suggest getting a .com, .net, .co, .org or a .info domain. 1 year registration pricing starts at about $10. Remember to make sure your domain name isn't too long! The main purpose you're getting a TLD, is so that people can visit your forum easily and don't have to type such a long web address. Once you purchase your domain, make sure you point it to the correct nameservers. Read this article on how you can do it. Or you can contact your web host provider personally to get help.

    And finally, you're done!! There you have it. So if you decide to get a proper hosting, than you have certainly made a wise decision. It will be good for the long run! Yes, you do have to spend a little bit, but it is worth it. So thank you for reading my article! I am always here to help :) My forum, Advertise Hotspot, was once on free forum hosting, Forumotion to be exact, but we decided to change, and get a proper hosting in late 2010, and the process completed by January 2011, this year. If you need help, do ask, I will help you as much as I can, to get you out from free forum hosting and to improve.

    This article was written by me. Reproduction of this article is possible, only if you add the following text at the end of the article.

    Thanks for your time! :)

    Article by Advertise Hotspot
    Free Website Promotion And Advertising
     
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  2. Dean

    Dean
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    That's a good article.

    Add ons for phpBB can be quite difficult for a complete beginner but there are things like Automod which make things a lot easier. I've run a number of phpBB boards and this mod saved me a lot of work.

    I'll need to have a look at MyBB, get a local install and play around.
     
  3. Joel

    Joel
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    True. Thanks Dean, glad you liked it :)
     
  4. Alexishost

    Alexishost
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    joel, it is very nice detailed information.

    Thanks for posting it :)
     
  5. Joel

    Joel
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    No problem Alexishost :) I just want to help out others here :)
     

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