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How to install MyBB on your host

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PostSonikku1011 on Sat Jul 23, 2016 4:05 pm

Man it's been a while since I've logged in! I finally got around to finishing that other guide I mentioned in my other guide thread, had some hiccups along the way but here it is! This was typed in Notepad++, so please disregard the strange formatting. Let me know if the images ever go down for some reason, or if you any questions, suggestions, etc. (I was originally going to install phpBB for another guide I have in mind, but ran into some database errors on multiple hosting accounts so I just went with MyBB for this example, though
pretty much the same steps are required if you're wanting to install another php software.)

Installing your forum software guide, by Sonikku1011
So you want to host your own forum, but don't necessarily know what to do? This guide will help! Remember that this is for people wanting to host their own forum, rather than using some forum host such as Forumotion, Zetaboards, etc. This guide also assumes that you already signed up for a hosting account and have a domain name
set up on said account.  (For recommendations, I suggest using Google. It's always best to do some research and figure out which hosting services fit your needs and budget.) So with that said, let's start the guide!

First, make sure to download the forum software you wish to use. It's always best to get the latest, stable version of the software rather than downloading unsupported versions.
I recommend trying out different forum software, before deciding on one. Most if not all major forum software companies have a free demo set up on their servers so you can easily
try them out for a short period of time. There's also websites that compare many different programs, so that you can find the one that fits your needs. Once you've got your forum
software downloaded and ready to go, it's time to upload the files to your server!

The way we need to do so, is by means of a FTP program. FTP stands for "File transfer protocol", and there are a few free programs that will allow you to transfer files from your
computer to your homepage. I recommend using Filezilla, and there are multiple versions for different operating systems on the net, and it's the only software
I've ever used while setting up a website. After downloading both your FTP program and forum software, it's time for you to connect to your homepage via the FTP software of course! For this, you'll need to set up a FTP account.

Next you'll need to sign into your hosting cpanel. (Cpanel is short for control panel btw.) When you log into the cpanel on your hosting account, it may look something like this:


Your control panel may look slightly different than mine, but that's fine. Here you'll want to locate the "MySQL Databases" link in your cpanel. Click on the link, and you'll be
greeted with this screen:


From here you'll need to create a new MySQL database. As you can see, I have one set up already since the screen also has a list of all the MySQL databases you currently have linked to your hosting account. So next, come up with a name for your MySQL database. With some hosting services, a username will already be available but in other cases, it'll ask you to come up with a username for the user account associated with the database. The host I'm using in this guide automatically came up with a name for the user account. In other hosts it'll also ask you to come up with a password as well. It's best to come up with a good password of course. My host that I'm using sets the password to my hosting account's password, so I  didn't need to create one during the MySQL set up process. Finally on some hosts, it'll also ask you to set certain permissions for the user account. You should grant all permissions to your user account. After that step, your MySQL database is ready to go!

So now if you have your MySQL database set up, and you have your FTP software as well as the forum software you wish to install onto your server, it's time to set it up! Open up Filezilla and input your host's name, username, password, and the port doesn't need to be filled in, as Filezilla will automatically set it to 21, which is the default port number for most cpanel hosting. (If your host specifically states that you need to input a different number, then do so. But most of the time you can leave it blank.) If you input the correct information, you now have direct access to your hosting account! From there, some hosts may tell you to upload in a folder called "htdocs" or something along the lines. This is where you put your forum software files at. On some hosts, they allow you to directly upload the contents to the first portion of your hosting account, but you could make a folder for your forum if you're wanting to set up another software on your same hosting. (But for now, we'll just stick to installing your new forum.) So go ahead and open the folder that contains your forum software, highlight all the folders and drag and drop the files to your hosting account. Take a look at the screenshots bellow if you get confused. If you've followed the step correctly, once all the files are done transferring it's time to go to the next step!


This is the folder you are greeted with when you first open the "MyBB" folder. Bellow are the contents of the folder, and what are needed to be uploaded on your server.





So now all the files have finished transferring it's time to finally set up your forum on your host! So head over to your browser of choice, type in your domain name and automatically you should be greeted with a installation page. (Some software may not do this, instead you may need to input your url and add /install.php at the end so the installation process starts. For example "url.com/install.php")
It should look similar to this, note though the screen will look different depending on what software you use. I'm using MyBB in my example. This is what you're first greeted with
after transferring all files from your computer to your host.



Go ahead and click the next button, also if you don't want to send anonymous statistics about your host to MyBB, you can simply just uncheck the box. This is to help the development team keep tabs on the most common set ups and settings on most hosts, so if any issue may arise they can pin point what exactly may be causing some issues. It's not required, but in  my example I went ahead and left this marked. The next screen is the license agreement that you must agree with, otherwise you can't install the software. So by clicking next, it automatically shows that you agree, and you can proceed to the next step where MyBB will make a check to make sure the software can be installed. If all tests come back positive, it's time to proceed to the next step, where it'll ask you information about your MySQL database.

Now this is where you'll need to input your MySQL database information. First it'll ask what type of data base you're using, which is MySQL. So change the type to MySQL, and proceed on to the next box which will ask you to input the name of your host. In almost all cases, it'll be localhost but some hosts may have their own host name so you'll need to locate it from your MySQL database page. The next box asks for your database name, so you'll need the name which you can get from the same page as your host's name.
You'll also need the username and password for the database for the next two text boxes, so make sure to gather that information as well.
Finally once you've entered all that info, you'll see that the prefix for the database tables is already filled out for you. Unless you want to install two separate MyBB forums on the same host as this one, go ahead and keep it MyBB_ otherwise you can change it to whatever you want. (Though it's recommended just to keep it the way it is.) Lastly, it'll ask what type of table encoding should be used. Leave this, unless you wish to use a different encoding. (Though it's recommended to just stick with the default UTF-8 encoding.)
If everything was correct, it'll say that the connection was successful and it will write all the necessary tables to your MySQL database! So click next, and it'll install the default
MyBB theme! So now it's on to the next step, the board config. step!

So if everything checks out okay, you should be greeted with the screen bellow. It'll ask you for your forum's domain name, what you want to name the forum and website. It's best to keep the two names the same, so it won't confuse your members. Automatically it will set the board's cookie settings, and it's best to leave this section alone since it should be correct. (The domain should be your domain name without the "http:/" and the cookie path should be a "/" without the quotes.) It'll ask you to input the contact email, this is where all forum issues will be sent to. So say if someone is having a issue with something on your forum, you'll get a email sent to that email address. Finally it'll ask if you want to set up a pin number that you'll need to remember in order to access the administration control panel. It's completely optional, and if you wish to have extra security on your board go ahead and set up whatever number you wish to be your ACP pin number. After filling the form out, click next and proceed to the next step.



In this next step, the software is wanting to set up your profile. It'll ask for your username, password, and email address. So go ahead and fill out the form so that the installation
can finish. It's of course best to come up with a complex password, so that no one tries to hack into your account. After all your admin account information is in check, click next and
the final touches should be added and your forum should be good to go! You can either head to your forum, or head to your ACP to set it up!
Bellow is a screenshot of what the admin set up screen should look like, before you fill out the information.

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PostPoser on Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:43 pm

Thanks for this guide! I was messing around with MyBB last time and didn't know my way around. I'll guide myself with this tutorial.
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PostSonikku1011 on Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:07 pm

Thanks Poser! MyBB is a great software to mess around with, I find the back end to be a bit easier to navigate through than phpBB.
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