SMF, short for Simple Machines Forum, is a free, open source forum software that enables for quickly setup your own professional online discussion community. With a powerful custom template engine, SMF gives you full control over the layout and appearance of your forum. And since the forum software is written in PHP programming language and uses a MySQL or PostgreSQL database, SMF can only be hosted with a Linux hosting platform. While a lot of web hosting providers offer support for SMF script, a few stand out by additionally providing a highly reliable hosting environment, instantly fast & friendly support, advanced hosting features, and much more. SiteGround, Bluehost, and LiquidWeb are the Best SMF Hosting we want to introduce to you in this article.
Top 3 Best SMF Hosting
Best SMF Hosting—SiteGround
SiteGround (www.siteground.com) is one of the best forum web hosting providers in the industry, no wonder why it becomes the most recommend SMF hosting service. The web host is confident to keep your SMF-based community running smoothly on its secure, fast and well supported servers.
SiteGround SMF hosting has three options, all are crafted carefully for superior performance. Customers can choose a SMF optimized server on one of the five top-notch data centers in three continents. They can also benefit from a highly available network infrastructure and high-end physical security solutions that work together guarantee 99.99% uptime.
The entry-level SiteGround SMF hosting includes 1 website hosted, 10GB SSD web space, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited databases and email accounts. The hosting service supports the latest stable PHP versions and MySQL & PostgreSQL databases; in other words, it is fully compatible with Simple Machines Forum. As to installation, there is a cPanel integrated with Softaculous autoinstaller so that customers can have SMF application installed in simple clicks and manage their accounts in an easy manner. Even better, the web host offers free auto daily backups to let customers easily restore their files, email or website as soon as possible in case of emergency.
SiteGround SMF hosting is budget friendly as well. The starting price is set at $9.95/mo normally. But currently, customers just need to pay with $3.95/mo because the web host is promoting it by offering a 60% discount off. If it fails to meet customers’ needs, they can cancel it and have full refund within the first 30 days.
Also, if customers face any problems about SMF script itself or the web hosting service, they can get efficient assistance via multiple support channels, including telephone, live chat and ticket. What’s more, SiteGround is proud of being able to provide an ever-powerful knowledgebase, where customers can find a lot of useful tutorials and articles to address their problems.
More details of SiteGround SMF hosting, please check out at www.siteground.com.
Cheap SMF Hosting—Bluehost
Bluehost (www.bluehost.com) has been the most famous cloud-based hosting provider on the web. Offering cheap but reliable web hosting plans is the key to its success.
Bluehost SMF hosting charges from only $2.95/mo. Really cheap, isn’t it? What’s more important is that the hosting provider offers a quite good selection of features to help create a professional Simple Machines Forum. Even the smallest package includes 1 website hosted, 50GB web space, unlimited bandwidth and 5 email accounts. Upon purchase, every customer will get a free domain name registration, an enhanced cPanel, SSH access and SSI. Bluehost specializes in Linux hosting service and it makes the hottest versions of PHP and MySQL database available. Customers can create a small or large SMF online community using the MOJO Marketplace installer.
Bluehost additionally releases customers free from worry about speed or reliability. As a popular hosting brand under EIG—Endurance International Group, Bluehost leverages the data center advantages of EIG in Utah. Besides, the web host manages to offer other server locations in Hong Kong, Mumbai, and London to deliver faster connection experience to global customers. For security, the hosting company offers resource protection, access control, SSL certificates, unique IPs, domain privacy, SiteLock, spam protection and etc. in every SMF hosting account.
Bluehost cares about user experience. There is always a team of experts available around the clock to monitor the servers and network; answering to customers’ request is also an important job of them. They can be reached through telephone, live chat and email.
If you’re interest in Bluehost SMF hosting, please visit www.bluehost.com.
Best VPS for SMF—LiquidWeb
LiquidWeb (www.liquidweb.com) focuses on providing businesses, designers, developers and agencies with the next-generation VPS, dedicated servers and fully managed hosting solutions. Customers can choose to build an online discussion community using SMF script on a Windows or Linux web server.
LiquidWeb SMF hosting has four options, with the entry level plan offers unlimited websites hosted, 40GB SSD disk space, 5TB monthly transfer, and 1 Public IP address. The hosting company enables for upgrading Apache, PHP and creating MySQL database using cPanel/WHM so as to have the latest stable SMF application installed.
Exclusively, LiquidWeb benefit customers with a set of advanced features and tools, such as built-in backups, ServerSecure advanced security, CloudFlare CDN, integrated firewall, DDoS attack protection, and root access. More than that, the hosting company allows customers to choose from self-managed, core-managed and fully-managed SMF hosting in accordance with their technical requirements and budget. With so many remarkable offerings, LiquidWeb SMF hosting costs affordably. The regular price starts at $59/mo, but LiquidWeb helps customers cut 33% off for 3 months using the coupon code “33SPRING”.
LiquidWeb is a proven high performance hosting provider in the industry. Thanks to two core data centers fully-owned by LiquidWeb, along with another two leased from world-class colocation providers, the hosting company ensures reliable yet secure environments for all SMF optimized servers. It also makes use of cutting-edge server components and tier-1 premium bandwidth to promise fastest possible speed. LiquidWeb is a rare hosting provider that can guarantee 100% power & network uptime.
Speaking of technical support, LiquidWeb’s world’s leading Heroic Support team consists of more than 250 Windows, Cisco, and Red Hat Linux Certified technicians. They are responsible of monitoring servers, optimizing performance as well as mitigating risk. And of course, they will be online to help deal with any questions raised from customers, via telephone, live chat or ticketing system.
For more information, please visit www.liquidweb.com.
How to Choose a SMF Hosting?
Simple Machines Forum is a popular application for building a forum, bulletin board, or online community easily and quickly. No advanced programming skills required. Though some functions of traditional forums are gradually replaced by social networking, instant messaging and user comment sections, forums like SMF remain good popularity, especially among businesses, organizations, and groups of people with common interests.
Basic Server Requirements
To run an SMF forum smoothly, you should make sure your hosting provider meet some basic server requirements.
- Apache or IIS web server
- PHP 5.4.0+
- MySQL 4.0.18+ or PostgrSQL 8.0+
1-Click Install for SMF
SMF support is commonly found even on a basic shared hosting package that is built on Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP compliant servers and includes 1-click installation feature. Assume that your hosting solution packages a cPanel & Softaculous auto-installer, what you need to do is access the Softaculous software via cPanel and initiate automated SMF installation via Softaculous.
Shared vs. VPS vs. Dedicated
SMF is commonly deployed on shared servers. Small or medium sized SMF forum owners like shared web hosting for the cheap pricing. But for larger sites that drive lots of traffic and care much about speed and reliability, hosting on a VPS or cloud server is a better choice. Dedicated server is good for large business or enterprise-grade forums because it gives complete control over the system resources and the performance & uptime is always guaranteed.