9 Best PunBB Hosting Services (Feb. 2024)

Best Punbb Hosting Services

At the beginning of the Web 2.0 era, the best PunBB hosting services supported popular forums like social networking and social media sites today. PunBB is one of the best open-source forum software scripts to emerge from that era and survive by promoting modern hosting service features on forum hosting platforms. But how did PunBB become so popular?

PunBB is popular with development teams because it’s lightweight and easier to run than the alternatives. PunBB has 20 years of history in building the open-source codebase.

What’s more, PunBB can be installed with one click on cPanel web hosts using Softaculous, Fantastico, or Webuzo for script management.

At HostingAdvice, we’ve scoured the industry for the best PunBB hosting services so you can host your forum with confidence.

Expert Picks for PunBB Hosting

The web hosting companies we recommend for PunBB support are the best cPanel web hosts in the industry. Most offer an integrated Softaculous option that allows for the “one-click” installation of hundreds of scripts. Some companies have even built their own AMP software to replace cPanel or use Webuzo to replace Softaculous.

The PHP codebase and open-source licensing of PunBB improve the extensibility of the platform, especially if your client or project requires additional functionality for users.

Pro tip: You should choose a hosting provider that will support the PHP development team you manage or participate in personally.

1. Bluehost.com

Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $1.99

  • 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.
★★★★★ 4.7 Our Review»
Bluehost: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): We trust Bluehost for many hosting niches, and the company’s forum hosting services showcase Bluehost’s focus on simple setup and reliable servers. Manage all forum operations with your choice of forum software, which can easily be installed via cPanel as you’re getting started. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 100 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

For more than 20 years, Bluehost has been building web hosting solutions for retail clients. The company is widely regarded as the best of the cPanel-based cloud hosting companies that began in the DotCom era.

Softaculous makes PunBB installation easy as pie. Softaculous will create the database, download the script, establish security, and install the admin user.

PunBB Hosting Plans from Bluehost:

  • Single Website — Basic Plan: One domain & PunBB priced at $1.99/month
  • Multisite — Pro Plan [5 Domains]: Softaculous & cPanel at $13.95/month

You should also know Bluehost is the best in the business for multisite WordPress publishing. If you are doing custom WordPress development with Bluehost, you can create a subdomain and install PunBB for team communication.

Other Softaculous products deliver Kanban boards and wikis. For professional clients, you can choose between PunBB, vBulletin, bbPress, or BuddyPress for forums. None of these options require dedicated hosting, so you can save on costly hosting expenses.

See our full review of Bluehost >>

2. A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • 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.
★★★★★ 4.6 Our Review»
A2 Hosting: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): A2 Hosting offers the most options for forum hosting we’ve seen. Whether you prefer vBulletin, MyBB, phpBB, or another forum application, you can easily install from your own cPanel portal. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD – Unlimited SSD New or Transfer 4 minutes

A2 Hosting is another hosting company with decades of experience offering publishers cheap cPanel plans on shared web server platforms. A2 Hosting includes cPanel with Softaculous for one-click PunBB installation.

The host has a Turbo Boost server option that uses NVMe SSD storage and a new generation of multicore web server hardware for better speeds. You can also run or test the phpBB forum.

PunBB Hosting Plans from A2 Hosting:

  • Startup Website — One Domain: Run PunBB with 100 GB SSD at $2.99/month
  • Turbo Max — Unlimited Domains: Unlimited NVMe storage at $14.99/month

A2 Hosting has all of the technical documentation for using cPanel to install PunBB. You can use its knowledge base to manage PunBB with phpMyAdmin or optimize the PHP settings for the site.

The installation, development, and maintenance of PunBB forum sites are made simple by using A2 Hosting resources. A2 Hosting is recommended for PHP-based forum application hosting.

See our full review of A2 Hosting >>

3. InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $2.29

  • 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.
★★★★★ 4.6 Our Review»
InMotion: Our Expert’s Review

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): As one of the best all-around providers in the industry, InMotion Hosting is a predictably strong option for building an interactive online community. The host pairs modern, strong hardware with unrestricted forum application options to deliver a hosting service that can grow with your forum website. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
90 days 100 GB SSD – Unlimited SSD FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

InMotion Hosting is largely credited with being the first web host to install NVMe SSD storage across all of its premium hosting accounts. With the power of today’s multicore servers, cloud load balancing, and website caching, InMotion Hosting is a great choice for multidomain publishing at affordable prices for small businesses and freelancers.

PunBB Hosting Plans from InMotion Hosting:

  • Core Plan — 2 Websites: 100 GB SSD storage & free SSL at $2.29/month
  • Pro Plan — Unlimited Websites: Unlimited NVMe SSD at $13.99/month

InMotion Hosting has a proprietary AMP for account administration with cPanel configuration of shared, VPS, and dedicated server accounts. The Softaculous resources have extensive documentation and allow PunBB to be installed on any domain or subdomain registered to the account.

The unlimited domain plan is best. It also includes unlimited bandwidth and a free SSL certificate for domains.

See our full review of InMotion Hosting >>

4. Hostinger.com

Hostinger review

Monthly Starting Price $2.69

  • 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.
★★★★★ 4.5 Our Review»
Hostinger: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Don’t let the low price tag fool you — Hostinger is a high-class host with tons of perks and upgrades available to site owners. The host supports phpBB, myBB, Vanilla Forums, SMF, FluxBB, and other forum programs available through an easy one-click installation script. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD – 200 GB NVMe FREE (1 year) 3 minutes

Hostinger is the king of budget cPanel web hosts, offering all of the features of the other major platforms at the lowest market prices. Hostinger has great prices on single-domain and multidomain plans which should be chosen according to your business model.

If you just need to run one PunBB forum site, the cost is just a few dollars per month.

PunBB Hosting Plans from Hostinger:

  • Single Website — Free Domain: Special offer priced at $2.69/month
  • Single Website — Own Domain: Run PunBB on your brand at $1.99/month

There are very few projects in software development that cannot afford the price of a cup of coffee to run a bug-tracking and issue-management solution for programming teams.

Hostinger is popular among independent web publishers with multiple-domain properties under team development. You can use the single domain plans for the lowest prices in cPanel hosting and avoid Simple Machines Forum (SMF).

See our full review of Hostinger >>

5. InterServer.net

InterServer review

Monthly Starting Price $2.50

  • $0.01 first month (coupon code HOSTINGADV)
  • $2.50/month after. No contracts or increases
  • Unlimited storage space, data transfers, and email
  • Register or transfer domains for less than $10
  • 99.9% uptime and price-lock guarantee
  • Get started on InterServer now.
★★★★★ 4.5 Our Review»
InterServer: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): It’s hard to argue with a shared hosting plan that includes unlimited storage, bandwidth, websites, and email — but shared hosting is a crowded industry that turns on name recognition, reputation, and bargain-basement prices. InterServer outperforms some of our higher-rated hosts, but we understand that many first-time site owners are laser-focused on finding the lowest costs. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days Unlimited SSD New or Transfer 4 minutes

InterServer offers customers a well-rounded hosting package to support PunBB. The company’s price-to-performance ratio is hard to beat, and it offers a price lock guarantee, meaning you don’t have to worry about regular price hikes.

PunBB hosting plans from InterServer:

  • Standard Web HostingPriced at $2.50/month for 1 website
  • Boost Web HostingUp to 10 CPUs to run PunBB

InterServer describes its Standard Web Hosting package as a one-size-fits-all approach. Customers can expect great scalability and flexibility as their needs grow. For folks who want to stick to a hosting company for life, this is a big perk.

Its Boost Web Hosting is the next step up and is ideal for more popular websites with high traffic. The Boost plans come with even greater resources than the Standard plans, including up to 20G of storage and more than 3 million inodes.

See our full review of InterServer >>

6. IONOS.com

1&1 IONOS review

Monthly Starting Price $1.00

  • 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.
★★★★ 4.4 Our Review»
1&1 IONOS: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): 1&1 IONOS offers the full complement of forum software to build an online community on top of reliable, high-performance web hosting. Enjoy around-the-clock support and above-average 99. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB – Unlimited FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

1&1 IONOS is the first company on the list not to use cPanel for PunBB hosting on shared Linux servers. Publishers get the same basic services but with a custom-designed AMP.

1&1 IONOS has established an outstanding reputation in the industry. In fact, its frequently praised for having the best price-to-value ratio.

PunBB Hosting Plans from 1&1 IONOS:

  • Essential Plan — One Website: Run a single PunBB site for $1.00/month
  • Plus Plan — Unlimited Domains: Take advantage of the sale price at $1/month

1&1 IONOS is offering an aggressive promotion of its unlimited domain, Plus hosting plans. They are billed at $1 per month for the first year, then billed at $12 per month.

See our full review of 1&1 IONOS >>

7. HostGator.com

HostGator review

Monthly Starting Price $2.64

  • 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.
★★★★ 4.3 Our Review»
HostGator: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): HostGator plans streamline the process of building, hosting, and growing an online forum powered by popular application phpBB. Instantly set up your forum with MediaphpBB, and enjoy all the other tools cPanel has to offer. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 40 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

HostGator provides the tried-and-tested, industry-standard installation of cPanel on its web servers, with the typical division of shared, dedicated, VPS, and cloud server products. Most web hosts strive to be as stable and secure as HostGator in their operations.

The company has been leading the sector for more than 20 years. It also offers secure email accounts on its mail server plans with a free domain. Use the daily backup service to make sure you can restore anytime.

PunBB Hosting Plans from HostGator:

  • Hatchling Plan — Single Website: One domain & PunBB priced at $2.69/month
  • Business Plan — Unlimited Websites: Softaculous & cPanel at $6.25/month

The best formula is to use a shared hosting account for a single or multiple domains with cPanel and then use the one-click facilities of Softaculous to install PunBB. Use FTP or File Manager to add, delete, or alter the code of files on the web server.

You can rely on phpMyAdmin for MySQL database administration for PunBB if you need the services. PunBB is a more lightweight option than Vanilla Forums. Plus, you can benefit from unmetered bandwidth on a discussion board that is popular in niche groups.

See our full review of HostGator >>

8. SiteGround.com

SiteGround review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • 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.
★★★★ 4.2 Our Review»
SiteGround: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): SiteGround is an ideal choice for application-specific hosting, including web hosting for forum creation and maintenance. Start with your choice of community-based application, such as phpBB or Simple Machine Forum (SMF), and you’re off. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 40 GB SSD New or Transfer 6 minutes

SiteGround is another web host that has built a proprietary AMP system for server configurations and does not use cPanel. The cPanel price for retail users on VPS installations has risen to $14.95 monthly.

SiteGround’s alternatives allow developers to install PunBB on LAMP hardware optimized for forum performance with caching. The community forum can be installed through AMP resources reliably.

PunBB Hosting Plans from SiteGround:

  • Startup Plan — One Website: One domain with 10 GB SSD at $2.99/month
  • GrowBig Plan — Unlimited Websites: Host data with 20 GB SSD at $4.99/month

The pricing on the GrowBig and GoGeek plans at SiteGround are both very enticing. The platform is optimized for managed WordPress hosting which is much more demanding than PunBB.

You can use PunBB as a forum that can be installed in minutes and provide private communication for programming teams without using social media sites or WordPress. Google Cloud is too complex for most sites, so choose SiteGround for ease of use and security.

See our full review of SiteGround >>

9. GoDaddy.com

GoDaddy review

Monthly Starting Price $8.99

  • 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.
★★★★ 4.2 Our Review»
GoDaddy: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): One of the most recognizable names in hosting, GoDaddy is more than just a top domain registrar. Combine a global hosting giant with your choice of forum software to create a vibrant community backed by 24/7 support and a 99. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 25 GB – 100 GB FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

GoDaddy has a strong reputation in the shared hosting industry, so it’s no surprise the company also offers rock-solid PunBB hosting. New customers can take advantage of a free domain name for their first year of service, saving roughly $10 to $15 in domain registration fees.

PunBB Hosting Plans from GoDaddy:

  • Economy — One Website: Comes with a free SSL and domain name
  • Deluxe and Ultimate — Multiple Sites: Choose Deluxe for multiple sites or Ultimate for a larger site

For newbies, GoDaddy’s Economy plan is the perfect starter package. It offers everything you need to get PunBB up and running. But for a more luxurious experience, you can opt for its Deluxe package for multiple sites or the Ultimate package for resource-intensive workloads.

See our full review of GoDaddy >>

What Is PunBB Hosting?

PunBB hosting is a LAMP stack with a Linux web server and managed MySQL, PHP, and cPanel options for the configuration of runtime elements. With MySQL, most cPanel hosts allow access to the database with a pre-installed version of phpMyAdmin. Then you can copy, backup, or delete the forum database tables directly. Some hosts offer automated backups.

Screenshot of the PunBB Github repo
Users can easily download the PunBB repository on GitHub.

Most cPanel hosts include the Softaculous extension, which is a one-click installer for open-source scripts based on PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript. This simplifies the database and admin user creation when you’re installing the script and establishing the domain or subdomain.

Your web host may help troubleshoot issues with PunBB, but the site admin will be responsible for RBAC. This involves user permissions, site administration, and access to files.

PunBB can also be installed manually on any web server hardware if the script is downloaded from its GitHub archive. The admin then needs to create the MySQL database, admin user, and run the installation script to unpack the codebase.

How Do I Choose the Best PunBB Hosting?

The best PunBB hosting largely depends on the web server hardware and datacenter configuration. Since most users will install PunBB on a shared Linux server, the number of cores, amount of RAM, and web traffic requests vary.

It is best to trust the high-performance cPanel hosting companies with the best industry practices. Enabling Memcached in PHP settings can potentially improve the script’s administrative performance. A CDN can speed up total download times for web pages, images, videos, etc. Web hosts with integrated caching services are recommended.

Screenshot of the Softaculous autoinstaller
Softaculous allows users to install PunBB with one click.

cPanel web hosts running the Softaculous extension generally have the best prices and resources for PunBB. Most sites receive little traffic so they can be run quite inexpensively on a multidomain hosting account on shared Linux hardware along with other domains and published websites. Expect to pay $2 to $4 monthly.

Web hosts that implement load balancing on web traffic, install scripts on elite hardware, and manage caching with NGINX, Redis, or Varnish will perform best with a CDN integration. This method will allow web publishers to maintain a public forum and web community using PunBB. Small groups can avoid CDN use altogether. The script will scale to high levels of traffic.

Which Features Make a Good PunBB Host?

The host you choose will depend on your unique needs and the size of your group, but generally, the important factors in PunBB hosting are:

  • Hardware quality
  • Datacenter management
  • Network connection speeds
  • Webpage caching
  • User traffic support

Most web publishers should be able to manage a PunBB forum on an unlimited cPanel account as a main domain or subdomain with unlimited websites or multidomain plans. This is your most affordable option.

Users on a Forum Board
Create your PunBB forums with an efficient host.

Your web server has hardware and software components that vary from each hosting company. Every web host has different administration panels, load-balancing techniques, storage configurations, and hardware resources.

These are critical to success in running your PunBB script efficiently. The local admin must keep the system updated for security. All of this is unique to the PunBB platform.

When shopping for a provider, look for the latest PHP version, the database standard, hardware benchmarks, and customer service reputation to determine the best PunBB host.

Web hosts with high performance, a dedication to innovation, and a focus on data security are the best options for business use. With the right host, PunBB is as easy to use as Facebook or Slack.

PunBB: Major Advantages for Project Management

PunBB has many use cases, including issue tracking for dev teams and internal communication channels. Plus, its theme design and data security offer significant advantages to businesses who prefer to stay off Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Overall, the best PunBB hosting services are low-cost cPanel hosting plans. Many projects can create a subdomain for staging their development code and a subdomain for PunBB for issue tracking and team chats.

With the best PunBB hosting services, you can create an affordable and secure forum for almost every communication need.

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