I have been working as a Web Developer for many years. There are many hosts and service providers offering Simple Machines Forum hosting services for different platforms. Today I will write about some best Simple Machines Forum hosting companies.
If you want to have your own web forum then you can fulfil your dream through Simple Machines Forum.
Simple Machines Forum is a free, open-source software package that allows you to set up your own online community within minutes. You can get full control of the layout of your message board through the powerful template engine which is custom-made and with unique Server Side Includes (SSI). You can also interact your forum and website with each other.
Simple Machines Forum is written in the PHP language and uses a MySQL database. It is designed to provide you with all the features that you need from a bulletin board while having an absolute minimal impact on the resources of the server. Simple Machines Forum is the next generation of the forum software. The best thing about this software is that it will always be free!
Features of Simple Machines Forum
There are a lot of features in the Simple Machines Forum but here I will mention some important. So, let’s have a look at some of these features:
- It uses PHP and MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite.
- Newly developed template system makes it easy for custom edits.
- Advanced permission and user management.
- Supports multiple languages at once.
- Open and well-documented source code.
- Tracking of new and old unread topics.
- Designed for optimal performance and scalability.
- Better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for search engines.
- Log where search engines crawl your forum.
- Multi-media output. (XHTML, XML, RSS, WAP).
- Multi-language support from a large community.
- Package manager that automatically installs or uninstalls mods.
- Ability to install mods to custom themes within a few mouse clicks.
- Search the entire forum, a category/board or within a topic.
Recommended hosting providers
Simple Machines Forum does not provide hosting and a lot of people will be looking to host their forum somewhere. Here I will write some handy information about hosting and some providers that I recommend.
Shared hosting is the most common form of hosting. A provider will set up and maintain the servers themselves, renting out the accounts with limited access to customers.
Hostgator is a hosting company that provides huge amounts of disk space and bandwidth at a low cost.
If you require more control or flexibility on your site as compared to shared hosting then VPS is the way to go. You will get root access to the server that’s required to set it up and you can install the required software yourself. If you are able to set it up then you can run anything and it’s an advantage.
RoseHosting offers Linux VPS hosting (fully-managed) powered by enterprise SSD drives. All hosting plans are fully-managed with free 24/7 support.
In Dedicated hosting, you rent a complete server for your website/websites. You care in complete control of your website resources and the extensions. The resources of the server are completely your own and no one else shares that. Dedicated hosting is suitable for websites having a high amount of traffic and userbase. But you need technical expertise or hire some server manager to install software, firewalls etc. Dedicated hosting is expensive.
Which Host to choose?
Whenever we search for a web host several factors are involved. These factors differ from person to person. A board admin who is looking forward to create a new community using Simple Machines Forum normally have a low budget and would like to spend as low as possible and that is perfect because this forum software does not show strange behaviors until you treat it badly or someone has modified the core files. On the other hand, an established forum with members in thousands has to consider many factors like:
- Disk Space.
You should not compromise on these factors.
A shared web hosting can cost around $2 to $24 per month depending upon the amount of space you need and the number of websites you can add. If you are planning to host a single website you can get a reliable shared hosting for Simple Machines Forum in 2 USD for a reputed host.
A VPS can cost from $14 to $140 per month again depending upon the factors discussed above
A dedicated server costs $40 to $400 per month on average.
Whenever you choose a host consider those that you can reach out quickly whenever some issue arises. Online chat system should be very good and they should not put you in long queues waiting for turn. I have had great experience with the hosts who have implemented online chat systems because they resolve problems quickly. So, this point should be under consideration while choosing the best Simple Machines Forum hosting companies.
When choosing from the best Simple Machines Forum hosting companies, security should be considered. Make sure to read about the support they provide and how secure your websites and domains are when hosted on their servers. Forum databases sell very high in the black markets and attacks are very common.
Speed being one of the primary SEO factors should be taken into account when choosing a host. A cheap host with a lot of websites on a shared servers slows down forums and should be avoided. Try to make your online forum or website robust by choosing best host even if it costs a dollar higher.
5: Disk space
Disk space is not an important factor if you are going to launch a new Simple Machines Forum. Also, you can add up more space later on. Initially try to get hosting that can accommodate your forum and all its content and as you grow buy more space.
Windows or Linux hosting? Nginx or Apache? For Simple Machines Forum Apache with Linux hosting is recommended and it has been used by many webmasters without complaints. So, I would recommend this.
It is the amount of data your website can process and transfer to your users in a time. We measure it in Gigabytes. Initially, your website would not be having many users so you can compromise on this. But if you have an established website, take it seriously you can use this post to calculate your bandwidth needs.
Simple Machines Forum Hosting requirements
I think we have discussed a lot about hosting. Let’s move forward to what Simple Machines Forum recommends and what are Simple Machines Forum hosting requirements.
|Version of SMF||Version of PHP|
- MySQL 4.0.18 or higher (at least 4.1.0 would be better) and PHP MySQL client API 4.0.18 or higher.
- PostgreSQL 8.0 or higher.
- SQLite SQLite 2.x (SMF is not compatible with SQLite 3.x)
These are requirements for Simple Machines Forum hosting. I hope you know Simple Machines Forum is written in PHP and hosting should support PHP 4.1+ means you can install PHP 4.1+ or the latest version. PHP extensions should be installed and enabled for the core functions to work.
Now that you have all the details and criteria to choose the best Simple Machines Forum hosting company for your forum. You can go through all the hosts one by one by google search or buy from these hosting companies that I recommend because they are tried and tested.
Best Simple Machines Forum hosting companies
If you have any issues with the above-mentioned links or want to report those hosting companies, contact me. I will keep updating the list with new and better web hosts.
You can hire me for professional installation or general php development services. I have been working as a web developer since 2016.