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How To Install PhpBB

Why Use phpBB

First off I want to cover why you should install phpBB to run your forum. The only real competition for phpBB as a forum is vBulletin however it is a paid forum, meaning that you have to buy it and the cheapest license you can get is like $195. Whereas phpBB is open source which means that it is 100% free to use and install to as many websites as you want, vBulletin only allows 1 install per license.

So Which is Better phpBB or vBulletin?

There is a lot of debate as to which platform is better but when it comes down to it its personal preference I believe. I have used both and each has their strengths, vBulletin does tend to be a little easier to use for the new comer however anything vBulletin can do phpBB can do but it might take a little more work. In the end I found that I like phpBB better, it may be slightly harder to use in some situations but I have tutorials on how to use it so you don’t have to worry about that. Plus because phpBB is free it has a larger user base which means the community is larger, not to say vBulletin has a small following.

I recommend phpBB and that is the platform I will be showing you how to install and use. Plus it is free compared to buying a $195 license to install vBulletin.

Video Tutorial: How To Install phpBB


Installing phpBB – Step By Step Guide

Step 1) So to be able to install phpBB to run your forum you need to first have a place to install it, if you do not have a website or hosting account to install a forum onto please sign up for a hosting account. There is a tutorial on getting a domain name and hosting account at “How To Get A Website”, the hosting account you get from following that tutorial will work perfectly with phpBB as your forum platform.


Step 2) Once you know where you are installing your phpBB forum you can login to cPanel. To login to cPanel go to


Step 3) The easiest way to install phpBB is to use Fantastico, locate Fantastico on the list and click it.


Step 4) From the Fantastico menu on the left click on phpBB, it should be located under the “Discussion Boards” heading.


Step 5) Now you will see the phpBB installation page, you want to click on the blue highlighted text labeled “New Installation” it will be halfway through the text.


Step 6) Now Fantastico will ask for some information about your phpBB installation. Most of this is self explanatory but the “Installation Location” section at the top is important as it is where your forum will be installed. First select the domain, there will only be your domain to chose from but if you host multiple domains on this hosting account then they will appear there.

In the next box “Install in directory” you have two options here. First if you are adding a forum onto your current website then you will want to enter something like “forum”. This will install the forum to, whatever you enter into that box it will create a sub directory and install the forum there.


Now if you want to install your forum straight to then you MUST leave this box blank. If you leave the box blank then your phpBB forum will be installed to


Step 7) The rest of the information is pretty simply, just enter the administration username and password you want to use. Then your email account, etc. In the box that says “Site Name” you simply enter the title you want to give your forum, you can also enter a short description under that.

Step 8) Click “Install phpBB”.

Step 9) The next page you see will simply be telling you where your forum will be installed to and what databases are being created. You can simply click “Finish Installation” here.

Done, your forum will now be installed into the location you set. Go check it out and you can move onto the tutorial to show you how to login to your new phpBB forum or choose a tutorial from the menu on the left.