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  • Hosting a vBulletin Forum: What are costs and effort required?

    Hello:
    Please feel free to answer 1 or more of the following questions for this newbie...

    I am seriously considering hosting a vBulletin forum for a niche that does not have any good/active forum, but I have a few general questions...

    1. Other than cost for vBulletin, are there any other significant start-up/development costs in getting the forum up and running? For example, paying someone thousands of dollars to get vBulletin up and running or is it pretty much plug-n-play?

    2. Does anyone have any estimates as to what it takes to administer/manage a forum? Once set up, does it pretty much run on 'auto pilot' or does someone need to be monitoring it 24/7? (I'm not looking for another ball and chain to keep me tied to my desk!)

    3. My web site is currently hosted by GoDaddy. Would this be fine? At what point would one need a dedicated server? For example, is there a standard rule of thumb that says once you have 500 users (or 1,000, or whatever) that the traffic will be such that you would need a dedicated server.

    4. What are the most effective ways to monetize a forum? I'm guessing ads (which I will research more). Do most forums have premium memberships for a fee?

    5. Do people run forums to actually make money or do forums typically only cover the cost of running the forum, and forum owners are running a forum simply to drive traffic to another business (online or offline) that is the one actually making money?

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Cheers
    NordicGuy

  • #2
    Answering just the thread title.

    You can get a decent shared host for 17 for the year.

    Comment


    • #3
      1. Other than cost for vBulletin, are there any other significant start-up/development costs in getting the forum up and running? For example, paying someone thousands of dollars to get vBulletin up and running or is it pretty much plug-n-play?

      It is a Plug-N-Play however it depends of what you want to do, many features are already added but there are other features you may want to add that will require either for you to code it or to hire a coders.

      2. Does anyone have any estimates as to what it takes to administer/manage a forum? Once set up, does it pretty much run on 'auto pilot' or does someone need to be monitoring it 24/7? (I'm not looking for another ball and chain to keep me tied to my desk!)

      Like anything it requires a bit of monitoring, would you open a store and never monitor your employees?

      3. My web site is currently hosted by GoDaddy. Would this be fine? At what point would one need a dedicated server? For example, is there a standard rule of thumb that says once you have 500 users (or 1,000, or whatever) that the traffic will be such that you would need a dedicated server.

      Vbulletin is well build (in most parts), I started on a shared hosting and gradually went to a dedicated, It is a highly heavy program if you really want to use all the features. If you turn off the features you don't plan on using, optimize it and depending on how many users are on together, your go daddy will be fine or look for those "specialized" hostings. Some welcome VBULLETIN has they are optimize for it. But i will warn you, VBULLETIn is the Mustang (or think of any big engine car) of forums. Each will give you a different story when it comes to their hosting but like i said 1000 users Godaddy can handle that. Make sure your hosting supports the minimum requirement by VB.

      4. What are the most effective ways to monetize a forum? I'm guessing ads (which I will research more). Do most forums have premium memberships for a fee?

      So far, I've only used adds such has google, vibrant media, skim, image adds and of course other companies wanting to advertise.

      5. Do people run forums to actually make money or do forums typically only cover the cost of running the forum, and forum owners are running a forum simply to drive traffic to another business (online or offline) that is the one actually making money?

      I only want to support the cost of my website but i know a few who run it as their full time job and making it (same as blogs). I am planing to try to make the most out of it now but i simply do not know how.

      hope this helps.
      www.dancehallareaz.com
      www.caribnation.com

      Need i say more?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MissKalunji View Post
        5. Do people run forums to actually make money or do forums typically only cover the cost of running the forum, and forum owners are running a forum simply to drive traffic to another business (online or offline) that is the one actually making money?
        Typically they run the forum as a hobby so it cost money.
        With a lot of work invested it might cover the cost of running it and later on it might become profitable.


        vB5 is unequivocally the best forum software, but not yet...

        Comment


        • #5
          MissKalunji, well put. My recommendation to you NordicGuy, Wait does that mean you have a Nordic Boat? Anyhow, my recommendation if your serious about this new forum is to get a VPS. I would not recommend GoDaddy hosting or shared hosting as this is going to take a lot of resources. Otherwise, start with a free board once it makes money, import and convert to VBulletin. Just another idea.
          Neil Ghuman | IT Manager
          Motorcycle Forum Canada | Motorcycle Forum UK
          Motorcycle Forum - Motorcycle Talk
          Motorcycle Market | More Power Racing

          Comment


          • #6
            My shared hosting works just fine. As for plug and play you can install it yourself. You have some small hoops to jump through like setting up the ftp and database. But most people can do it with little to no problems. If you hit a snag just come here and many fine knowledgeable folks will be happy to help out.
            As for running it you might want to ask around if any one you know and trust would like to help out by being a moderator. Pick folks in different time zones so it's not left unattended for long.
            As for making money off the forum mine's a hobby so I cover the costs out of pocket. If you go with a VPS it can get pricey. At that point you may want to consider putting ads in. But the catch to that is if you're not active you're not going to make any money and you're just chewing up bandwidth.
            And lastly. VB4 has a learning curve. Once you get a handle on how it works the rest is a walk in the park.
            ...

            Comment

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