I have no idea what to do next. I have no idea what PHP is. I don't know where to download PHP and MySQL. Also, I am having trouble with the definition of terms. What is a webhost? Please help.


A webhost is the company who run the computers where you upload your website to.

PHP is a type of web language
MySQL is a database engine.

Your webhost will take care of installing all these on your server.

What do you want to do with the vbulletin software, run your own forum? is this for a commercial application or just personal interest?

please provide me with details of your computer experience as well so that i can assist you more.

Thanks for the response. Yeah, I plan to use VB just for fun and manage my own forums.

Unfortunately, I have very limited computer experience. I just downloaded PHP 5.2.2 (tar.bz2) and PHP 5.2.2 (tar.gz). I had no idea what those mean or do, but I was instructed to download them. The next thing I have to do is get MySQL...do I have to pay for that?

No you can get it for free. Go to the mysql website and choose the community tab.

Are you installing on windows or linux?

If its windows and you want a MySQL/Php/Webserver kit that runs out of the box with minimal configuration then take alook at XAMPP. It is good for development use but probably not secure enough for a production environment

If you want others to access your forum I would advise you against hosting it yourself. It would mean your computer has to be on and running the web server if others want to access it. To are there a lot of free forum packages, like http://www.phpbb.com/ (there are more an maybe even better free forums out there).

If you just want a forum you could also go to http://www.freeforums.org/ or http://www.5wwwww5.com/ (there are to other company's that do this)

If you still want to use vbulletin (since you bought it you probably will). Sign up for a free host, upload your vbulletin stuff, make mysql database, install vbulletin. Easy as that.

Find yourself a free or cheap server with a Linux hosting company (or a Linux server with a hosting company). You'll need a domain name so people can access your site. ukreg.co.uk offer hosting and domain names for a quick startup. Upload your vBulletin software to your new web space, then connect to it's install script through your browser. For example, if your domain name was mydomain.com, and the path to your boards is path/to/boards (did install vB a while ago, but can't remember the exact names), you'd need to log in, then type mydomain.com/path_to_boards/install/ (When you find the right names,) you'll be presented with installation options, where you can set the way your boards work, as well as naming, and other options. When you're done, you're supposed to delete the Install directory. You won't be able to go any further until you have done that. It's a security thing. Then, reload your browser if necessary, and follow the links and instructions on screen. It's a fast install if you read everything before pressing buttons. Once it's all done, you'll be able to log into your boards as the administrator. At that point, log in and create some boards, set up security options and user groups, features, etc... Only when all of this is done, and you are ready to have people sign up and post on your boards, should you tell anybody the address to get to them. Hope that helps. JD

Of course, if you're using Linux, and you just want to run the boards on a local or otherwise private network, you can skip the hosting and domain name steps. Start by right clicking the tarball archives (*.tar.*), and selecting 'extract to...', or 'Arc...', or whatever extraction program you have running, and extract the files to the '/var/www/html/' directory. After that, you can continue with the installation as I detailed above. JD