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Connect With Your Family, Friends, Colleagues, And/Or Clients Using phpBB! Featured Image

Connect With Your Family, Friends, Colleagues, And/Or Clients Using phpBB!

by: Hostwinds Team  /  April 8, 2020

Beginning in the mid-'90s, online forums gave us a chance to connect to others in a completely foreign way. The online forum arena started to slow down as social media, video messaging, and other things of the sort emerged. Although forums may have been a bit outdated previously, they seem pretty relevant at this particular time.

The current resurgence of online forums has inspired this blog piece. Speaking of 'online forums,' one of the most popular out there today is phpBB. Suppose you are interested in finding fun new ways to connect to your loved ones, coworkers, or clients. In that case, we highly suggest using phpBB to interact with your community online.

In addition to being a very reputable, very user-friendly online forum, phpBB also happens to be available to install onto your Hostwinds VPS in just one click. In addition to that, if you have a Hostwinds Shared or Business Hosting plan, you can install phpBB using Softaculous, which is available in your complimentary cPanel account. The possibilities are endless!

This blog post is intended to teach you more about the incredible features phpBB has to offer, to provide you with a tutorial on how to install phpBB if you have a Hostwinds Shared, Business, VPS, or Cloud Hosting plan, and to give you a quick introduction to working with phpBB. We've got a lot to cover, folks, so let's get right into it.

What is phpBB?

Short for 'PHP Bulletin Board,' phpBB is an open-source online forum written in PHP, accessible under the GNU General Public License. Because it's open-source, you can edit the code amounting to phpBB to meet your specific needs. You can even create your customized extension to expand phpBB's functionality.

This forum script is flexible and scalable, meaning it can accommodate more and more contributors as your community grows. We already mentioned it's popular, but did we note it is the world's most frequently-used open-source online forum out there today?

Now, you may be wondering why this is the case. In short, phpBB is the most convenient forum to use, it has the most comprehensive feature package, and it is the best-performing free bulletin board system out there.

A Little Bit of phpBB Background to Get Us All Warmed Up: Its journey started in 2000 when James Atkinson added a basic forum to his already-existing website. About a month later, Atkinson and his team gave the first version of phpBB to the public as a pre-release. Here we are, 20 years later, with phpBB version 3.3 at our fingertips.

A Little Bit of phpBB Information to Get Us Even More Warmed Up: This online forum and bulletin board categorize different discussions via threads. Threads are separated by topic, and you can search the topic you'd like to discuss to find the appropriate thread. You can also style your phpBB forum the way you'd like, and you've got a lot of freedom to customize it. phpBB admins get to decide the forum rules, and they have great moderation options to choose from. For instance, as an admin, you decide if you'd like to remove a post or block specific words from appearing in your forum.

What Else? phpBB has a large community of developers that edit and improve the software continually. This community is responsible for creating a plethora of phpBB extensions out there today.

The coolest part about phpBB is that, although you can set it up to function as solely a forum, you can also add it to your already-existing website! This is incredibly awesome because it keeps your site content constantly updated. As a business owner, you can boost engagement from clients on your primary website by tacking on a phpBB forum. The mere fact that several companies use phpBB to discuss professional matters internally is a testament to the forum software's utility.

Yep, phpBB certainly has a lot to offer, namely fantastic security and unlimited amounts of subforums.

More phpBB Features Include:

  • A Robust Notification System
  • The Ability to Scale Endlessly (The Forum Will Expand As Your Community Expands)
  • A Very Helpful Administrative Control Panel
  • The Option to Upload Tons of Videos & Images
  • A Tiered Admin System for Those Who Log in
  • Compatibility With Many Third-Party Applications (Like WordPress, For Instance)
  • Permission Options
  • Features to Help Moderate Messages
  • Support For Multiple Database Management Systems, MySQL Included
  • The Option to Attach More Than One Thing to a Single Post
  • A Fantastic SPAM Filter
  • Efficient Caching
  • Integrated Search Options
  • Modular Design (Enabling Developers to Code Their Plugins)
  • The Option to Send Mass Emails to Forum Members
  • A Private/Direct Messaging System
  • The Ability to Post Questionnaires & Polls
  • A Hierarchical Forum System (Multiple SubForum Levels)
  • Support for UTF-8
  • Easy User Registration
  • Many Available Attachments
  • The Option to Track Unread Messages
  • Windows & Linux Compatibility
  • The Option to Lock or Merge a Topic
  • Support for Several Extensions & Add-Ons

phpBB also provides an immense amount of documentation and a help center equipped with frequently asked questions to assist both newbies and experts.

Whether you are a phpBB novice or master, you can follow the following directions in order to efficiently install phpBB for Hostwinds Shared, Business, Cloud, or VPS Hosting!

Hostwinds Shared & Business Hosting – Install phpBB With Softaculous

We are calling all Hostwinds Shared or Business Hosting clients! You can install phpBB in mere minutes.

Here's how:

1. Visit >> Click the 'Client Login' link at the top of the page.

2. Enter your Hostwinds email address and password to login in to your Client Area.

3. Click the green 'Manage' button to the right of your Shared or Business Hosting service.

4. Under the 'Actions' menu to the left of the page, click the 'Login to cPanel' link.

5. Once you're in cPanel, scroll down to the 'SOFTWARE' section >> Click 'Softaculous Apps Installer.'

6. Click the 'Forums' drop-down menu to the left of the page (it is right under the 'Portals/CMS' drop-down menu).

7. Click the 'phpBB' link.

8. Click the blue 'Install' button to the top-left of the page.

9. Decide what protocol you'd like it to resolve to >> Select the domain or subdomain you'd like to install it onto >> Select the directory you'd like it installed in >> Type in your preferred board name, a description of your site, and the email address associated with the board.

10. Fill out the rest of the installation preferences, then click the blue 'Install' button at the bottom of the page. If you have any questions at all about any of these installation options, please feel welcome to reach out to our support team via Live Chat ( or Phone (888-404-1279).

You've installed yourself a phpBB forum, dear friends.

RELATED: Softaclous Overview Guide

RELATED: cPanel Overview Guide

Onto installing phpBB onto a Hostwinds VPS or cloud server!

Hostwinds VPS & Cloud Hosting – Install phpBB With One Click in the Cloud Portal.

Alright, VPS and Cloud Hosting clients, your turn.

Here's how to install phpBB onto a server within the Hostwinds Cloud Portal:

1. Visit >> Click the 'Client Login' link at the top of the page.

2. Enter your Hostwinds email address and password to log in to your Client Area.

3. Locate and click the 'Cloud Control' drop-down menu on the royal blue navigation bar >> Click the 'Cloud Portal' link.

4. Click on your server's nickname.

5. Click the blue 'Actions' button on the top-right of the page >> Click 'Reinstall.'

6. A pop-up window will appear. Click the 'Applications' tab and scroll down.

7. Click the 'phpbb' box on the bottom-right of the pop-up window >> Click the green 'Confirm' button.

8. Your server's status will begin at 'BUILDING' and change to 'RUNNING.' This can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to process. Once your server's status is 'RUNNING,' you are all set.

Now that you've installed phpBB, you are ready to start your online forum! Set up your account by registering as an administrator (and agree to phpBB's terms), and create some topics, categories, and content. All that's left to do is reach out to your group and begin your discussions.

Final Thoughts About phpBB & Forums in General

Before we sign off, here are a few reasons starting an online forum is a fantastic idea:

First of all, we now all know the value of coming together with other like-minded people, and people with varying opinions, perspectives, and backgrounds for that matter! Forums allow us to connect and exchange ideas.

If you would like to share your similar interests with friends or engage with your company's clients more concisely, phpBB is the way to go. On that note, if you are attaching your phpBB forum to your company's site, you can give your clients a platform to voice their concerns or ask questions.

That brings us to the next advantage of having a phpBB forum on your company's website: It enables you to learn more about your clients' preferences, personalities, wants, and needs.

Attaching a forum to your website also improves your SEO. Why? The content will remain new and up-to-date as more and more contribute to your forum. A site with more up-to-date content ranks higher for search engines.

Most importantly, your friends and family can all use phpBB to check in with one another during this time. To that end, check-in with your people today – phpBB is the way!

Have a wonderful week, folks!

Written by Hostwinds Team  /  April 8, 2020