A forum hosting provider puts a special emphasis on supporting the most popular forum applications, along with offering all the other services of a typical hosting company.
Forum-focused hosts usually provide a variety of services to make it easy to install and run an online forum, including forum upgrades and easy installation of add-ons for forum administrators. They also support a wide range of forum scripts, including phpBB, SMF, IPB and vBulletin. Other popular forum scripts include Invision Power Board, Ikonboard, YaBB, XMB, Snitz and Ultimate Bulletin Board.
Remember that some forum scripts are written with PHP while others use Active Server Pages, so the type of forum you prefer will affect your choice of host (Linux-based for PHP, Windows-based for ASP). Depending on the type of forum you want, you might also need a cgi-bin or MySQL, MS SQL or MS Access database.
The type of forum you plan to operate -- personal? hobby? professional -- also enters into the decision of which application and host to choose. That's because different scripts offer different looks and features, some of which might be more appropriate than others for your particular needs.
The right host should be able to offer you good support for your forum needs. Look for a host that features forum tutorials, FAQs and -- of course -- a support forum where customers can get together to exchange information and answer questions from fellow forum administrators.
Depending on how much activity your forum sees, you should also seek out a host that can deliver ample disk space and bandwidth to support your needs. A good forum host should also be able to provide reliable uptime, data backup and 24/7 technical support to make sure that issues with your online forum can be resolved quickly.
When you are comparing forum website hosting plans you should take into consideration the level of customer support that the hosting provider offers. If they don’t offer 24 hour support via phone or email, you shouldn’t even consider them. All of the companies that we have listed in our top rankings offer the very best of support based on our extensive reviews. You will have the peace of mind that if something does go wrong that you will be able to reach someone to take care of your issues.