The best phpBB hosting services offer compatibility with PHP, support MySQL or PostgreSQL databases, and are reliable and scalable. Choosing the right host for a forum is usually easier said than done, so I’ve covered nine of the best platforms and delved into their unique characteristics.
That way, you’ll find what works best for you. Let’s dive straight into the details.
Bluehost ticks all the right boxes and for the right reasons. This phpBB forum hosting service is fully compatible with PHP, the same code WordPress runs on. No wonder it is one of the few WordPress-approved hosts.
- Install phpBB for FREE with one click
- Automatic site backups conducted daily
- Manage forum tools directly from cPanel
- FREE advertising credits
- US-based support available 24/7 with 99.9% uptime
- Get started on Bluehost now.
Given that phpBB runs on PHP, you shouldn’t have to worry about compatibility issues when you use Bluehost. This host is also very affordable and offers unmetered bandwidth, unlimited databases for certain shared hosting plans (Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro), and between 25 to unlimited subdomains. With such a heavy lineup of hosting features and resources, what else would you ask for?
2. A2 Hosting
We live in the era of social media, and forums, to some extent, act as such. For this reason, speed should be a top priority among the things you need to boost engagement in your forum. Otherwise, your target audience will look elsewhere, including social media platforms like Facebook groups, Twitter spaces, or even WhatsApp to hold discussions.
- Fast forum hosting for phpBB, SMF, and others
- More forum software choices than any provider
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and databases
- Easily manage your forum hosting with cPanel
- FREE SSL and SSDs for security and speed
- Get started on A2 Hosting now.
Engagement aside, speed is also a critical ranking factor, per data from Google. That’s where A2 Hosting, a self-proclaimed “king of speed,” comes in. This host isn’t all talk with no action, though; it offers up to 20 times faster speeds with its Turbo servers, an easy phpBB installation guide for beginners, unlimited SSD storage, and more.
3. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting tops the customer support charts in the web hosting industry. Most people don’t truly appreciate a web host with excellent customer service until they need it. If you’re just getting started with your phpBB forum and you know you’ll need help somewhere down the road, InMotion has an in-house team of highly knowledgeable customer support specialists to pull you out of the mud.
- Choose from any forum application
- Easily set up SMF and phpBB with 1-click installs
- All-SSD storage means 20x-faster page loads
- FREE SSL certificate and DDoS protection
- cPanel management with Softaculous script library
- Get started on InMotion now.
Even better, InMotion offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, giving you all the time you need to play around with your hosting environment and decide if it’s what you’re looking for. That, paired with affordable pricing and flexible billing, a large community of phpBB users, and unlimited bandwidth and storage, gives this forum application hosting service a competitive advantage.
Hostinger is another beginner-friendly hosting platform for phpBB. You can install this software manually, automatically (with Hostinger’s auto-installer tool), or using the Softaculous app installer.
- Multiple forum options available via 1-click script
- Unlimited websites and bandwidth on most plans
- Optimized WordPress hosting to pair with forums
- Manage your forum via custom control panel
- High-speed hosting for less than $1 per month
- Get started on Hostinger now.
This phpBB web hosting provider also offers different hosting options, starting from shared hosting (the most popular and cost effective) and VPS hosting all the way to cloud hosting, which also doubles as its version of dedicated server hosting. Depending on your chosen phpBB hosting plan, you’ll get daily or weekly backups to protect your forum’s files, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited free SSL certificates, a free CDN, and top-notch security.
IONOS fits the description if you would like to explore cheaper phpBB hosting providers. This host comes with phpBB pre-installed on its cloud server packages. I also love its hourly billing system, which allows you to pay only for the resources you use. That’s a key characteristic of cloud hosting and exactly what IONOS offers.
- Launch your forum on high-powered hosting
- Faster page loads than many competitors
- Upgrade to cloud hosting for pre-installed phpBB, MyBB, and SMF
- FREE domain, SSL certificate, and email
- Dedicated time with a personal consultant
- Get started on 1&1 IONOS now.
If the hourly billing system isn’t your cup of tea, you can opt for a fixed monthly price. The best part: IONOS won’t charge you extra whether you choose the hourly or monthly payment option. That’s also one of the reasons this cloud host stays affordable; you only pay for what you use, not what it offers.
No doubt, HostGator is an industry bigwig and a respected web host. Many hosts have come and gone, but HostGator still stands tall and proud more than two decades after its launch. Today, this hosting behemoth offers affordable plans for phpBB hosting, whether you’re looking for a shared, virtual private server or a dedicated hosting.
- Launch a phpBB-powered site quickly and easily
- Install forum software in a single click with cPanel
- Build an online community with custom themes
- Host up to unlimited domains on one account
- Instant shopping carts, blogs, forums, and more
- Get started on HostGator now.
Looking at what this host brings to the table, you’ll find 24/7 customer support, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and a great reputation for being a battle-tested host. On top of that, HostGator delivers some of the most important aspects of forum hosting — speed and performance.
SiteGround is like the Whole Foods Market of web hosting. You know you’ll spend a little bit more, but you’ll get quality service in return. Unlike Whole Foods, SiteGround has so much to offer for free and, sometimes, in unlimited proportions.
- FREE forum software with powerful performance
- Available apps include phpBB, vBulletin, and SMF
- FREE CDN and multiple server locations
- FREE site transfer, cPanel license, and SSH access
- Use the latest PHP version that’s most compatible
- Get started on SiteGround now.
We all know it as a reliable WordPress hosting provider (also does great with WooCommerce hosting), but let’s talk about hosting your phpBB forum here for a moment. You’ll get unlimited databases, top-notch security, unmetered traffic, unlimited emails, and a free domain. That’s just the base plan, by the way. If you scale up higher, you’ll get up to 30% faster PHP, and regular backups, among other features.
It’s impossible not to mention GoDaddy in a conversation about reliable web hosts. Although it’s known for being the world’s largest domain registrar, GoDaddy offers more than domain names. Your phpBB forum will benefit from GoDaddy’s powerful and optimized servers that provide the best performance, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and up to 40% faster speeds.
- Reliable hosting from world’s top registrar
- 125+ applications available via 1-click installation
- Familiar site management with cPanel interface
- Global datacenters with guaranteed 99.9% uptime
- Options for Windows or Linux website owners
- Get started on GoDaddy now.
One more thing: If you’re concerned about securing your forum, GoDaddy will give you a free SSL certificate. The only downside is the lack of unlimited storage for its shared hosting plans, which shouldn’t be much of a concern if you’re just getting started with the forum. Remember, you can always scale up as the demand increases.
AccuWebHosting offers Linux and Windows hosting solutions. This particularly comes in handy when you need to create an OS-specific forum. If you choose a Windows server, you’ll install phpBB using the Softaculous app installer.
- FREE RVsitebuilder & 400 templates
- Unlimited domains and databases
- Scalable shared cloud server option
- CloudLinux OS and LiteSpeed server
- Multiple DDoS protections
- Get started on AccuWebHosting.
On the other hand, if Linux is what works best for your project, you’ll have to install it through the Plesk Panel. Regardless of your choice of operating system, you’ll get unlimited MySQL databases, optimized storage, regular security audits, free daily backups, and 24/7 support via chat, ticketing systems, and phone.
What Is phpBB Hosting?
When we refer to phpBB hosting, we’re talking about a type of web hosting designed and fine-tuned to run the popular phpBB forum software. The term “phpBB,” short form for “PHP Bulletin Board,” is a popular open-source platform for creating online forums or phpBB discussion boards.
What makes phpBB forum hosting special is that it’s optimized to support the technical requirements of phpBB software. This includes but is not limited to ensuring compatibility with PHP (the scripting language the software runs on) and database systems like MySQL, which phpBB uses to store and manage data.
On top of that, phpBB hosting usually comes with features like one-click installation, making it super easy to set up your forum, even if you’re not a tech whiz. It’s designed to provide smooth performance for forums, handling things like traffic surges efficiently.
Plus, many phpBB hosting services offer extra support and security measures specifically for phpBB forums. It’s a great fit if you’re looking to run an online community smoothly and straight out of the box.
How Do I Install phpBB on Bluehost?
Here’s how to set up a phpBB forum using the Softaculous Marketplace installer on Bluehost:
1. First up, log into your Bluehost Account Manager.
2. On the left side, you’ll see a bunch of options. Click on the ‘Hosting‘ tab.
3. Now, let’s head over to the control panel. Scroll down until you see the ‘CPANEL’ button under the section labeled ‘Quick Links.’ Give that a click.
4. Once you’re in the cPanel, look for the ‘Scripts’ section. It’s like the toolbox for your website. In there, find the phpBB icon. Click on it.
5. Hit the ‘Install’ button and then click ‘Get Started’. It’s pretty straightforward from here.
6. Next, you’ll choose where you want your forum to live. From the drop-down menu, pick the domain name you want to use for your forum. If you type anything in the box after the domain name, it becomes part of your forum’s URL. It’s like setting up the address for your forum’s home.
7. If you want your forum in a specific directory or folder, type that in the ‘Directory’ field. If not, just leave it blank.
8. Click ‘Next’ to move on.
9. Now, let’s set up your Admin Information. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- “Site Name” is just the name that shows up on your site. It’s not the URL, but more like the name on your site’s welcome mat.
- “Admin Email Address” is where all the important login info will be sent.
- “Admin Username” is what you’ll use to log in as the boss of your forum.
And there you go! Your phpBB forum is now up and running on Bluehost.
Is phpBB Free?
Yes, phpBB is a free, open-source forum software. To bring it to life, however, you’ll need to sign up for a web hosting service which does cost money.
But don’t sweat it. Most shared web hosting plans cost anywhere from $1 to $5 per month with introductory discounts, and you can lock in the special pricing for one to three years, depending on what your host offers.
You could get away with using a free hosting plan but use caution when signing up for plans that don’t require payment. These free hosts usually place ads on your site or have strict limitations that aren’t worth the few dollars you’ll save each month.
How Much Does It Cost to Host a Forum?
If you use open-source software like phpBB or myBB, you don’t have to purchase a license to install it, which will save you money, but you still need to host it somewhere.
Hosting a forum can cost anywhere from $1 to $20 each month, assuming you sign up for a shared or VPS hosting plan. This works for most people. However, pricing can vary significantly depending on the plan you end up with.
That said, the amount of money you’ll spend on hosting will depend on the hosting package. You can get a free host, but it’s not usually worth it unless you’re using it for school or a test project.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the types of hosting plans and their typical monthly starting price.
Shared hosting ($1 to $5/month): Shared hosting is the cheapest way to host a new forum with low traffic.
VPS hosting ($5 to $20/month): Virtual private server hosting, also known as VPS hosting, is an upgrade of shared hosting. Here, the web host gives you a portion of a virtual server that’s partitioned from other users, giving you dedicated resources.
Dedicated hosting ($70+/month): Dedicated server hosting is exactly what it sounds like. The web host gives you complete control over the server’s resources. In other words, they dedicate them to you, and you won’t share these resources with anyone else. As you’d expect, it costs more than shared or VPS hosting.
Cloud hosting ($5+/month): Cloud hosting is what you need for a forum that receives unpredictable traffic. For example, let’s say the forum is about winter sports. Chances are, it’ll be more active right before, during, and shortly after winter.
Reaching a Quorum on the Top phpBB Forum Hosting Services
At this point, we all agree that phpBB is a powerful forum software, even with the availability of many newer options out there. It’s lightweight (about 7.5 megabytes when compressed), easy to set up, and is available in 54 languages.
All you need now is a good host to help you unlock the benefits of phpBB and maximize its potential. Hopefully, that should be the easy part, thanks to the hosting options we’ve discussed above. You’ll be hosting your forum in no time!