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How to Install phpBB on Your Website (Installation Guide)

Updated on March 17, 2022

5 Min Read
install phpbb

There are several CMS solutions available in the market, e.g. WordPress, Magento, Drupal, and others. These CMS platforms help developers build advanced web applications and complex applications in a much shorter time, with higher efficiency.

What is phpBB?

phpBB is one of the most popular CMS platforms, used by thousands of dev professionals to build forum-based websites. The platform is popular for its advanced bulletin board which provides many user-friendly features to work with. You can easily install phpBB as it is released under the GNU public license, makeing it free to use for developing forum-based applications. 

With the phpBB administrator, you can make any changes to the code without asking for permission. phpBB grants you the power to build a personalized virtual community on your website, configured with user administration, story posting, messaging, comments, polls, and more. It uses PHP and MySQL and therefore requires an advanced or higher account at pair networks.

Nothing as Easy as Deploying phpBB Apps on Cloud

With Cloudways, you can have your PHP apps up and running on managed cloud servers in just a few minutes.

Popular phpBB Features

The PHP bulletin board is an open-source forum that empowers users to make an online space where communities can assemble and share information in an organized arrangement. Let’s have a look at some of the top phpBB features below:

User Registrations

This feature allows a large number of users to create accounts on your phpBB website, to gain access to the contents or forums you have created. The whole registration process is strictly secured by the CAPTCHA confirmation method, flood control, password hashing, and many other security features. 


Just like other CMS platforms, phpBB also allows quick registration for users. What’s new in it? Well, phpBB provides users with the option to configure their signatures, ranks, avatars, and other profile options. It also provides users the flexibility to assign their profile preferences, custom fields, and other attributes, giving them complete control to configure their visibility the way they want.

Creation of Forums

The phpBB Platform allows you to add multiple types of forums on your board and also allows access to the registered users to the newly created boards. It also provides various sub-features of the parent Forum feature; like for example, the forum categories, password protection for forums, bookmark forum topics, and much more. 


phpBB offers two basic styles of the platform. You can choose whatever suits your web application the best. Besides that, it also provides users the option to choose the style of their board, with the right color options and design themes. Furthermore, it allows you to install different custom templates for your board as per the requirements of the project. It also allows you to mix the templates, themes and image sets for all of your styles, adding more personalized customization to the overall look of your board


phpBB provides a comprehensive collection of prebuilt extensions. Using these, you can manage your forum’s advertisements, groups, boards, and other components easily. The platform also allows administrators to install customized extensions as well so that they can enhance their board’s overall look and functionalities.

Install phpBB On Cloud Servers

To install phpBB on managed cloud servers, I will use the Cloudways Platform demonstration. However, the process would be similar to most managed cloud platforms. If you wish to use this approach, you will need a free account.


Before installing phpBB, you must consider fulfilling the following system:

  • A web server or phpBB hosting account running on any major Operating System
  • A SQL database system, one of:
  • MySQL (3.23 or higher)
  • PostgreSQL 7.0.3 or higher (preferably 7.1.x or 7.2.x)
  • PHP (5.4 and above) with support for the database you intend to use above

Step 1: Launch a New Server

After completing the signup process, you must launch a new server. Here’s how you can do it quickly:

  • Select the PHP stack as the required application.
  • Select the cloud provider of your choice (DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud).
  • Select the server size and location according to the needs of the project.
  • Click Launch Now to launch the server.

phpBB Installation process

Step 2: Launch SSH Terminal

Once the server is launched, go to the Server Management menu and open the Master Credentials section. Copy the login credentials, and Launch SSH Terminal. 

SSh keys

Step 3: Setup Folders

The next step is to go inside the application folder where you want to install phpBB.

$ cd application/your_app_folder/public_html

Now, enter the following command to copy all the phpBB required files in the application folder

$ wget

Now, unzip the copied folder by running the following command:


Once the unzipping is complete, a new phpBB folder will appear in the directory.

Now, navigate to the Access Details tab under the Application Management menu and open the application staging URL.

application url

Add the suffix phpBB3/install at the end of the application URL. The final URL will look like:

Once the link opens, the installation wizard of phpBB will start.

phpBB installation

Click Proceed to the next step and head over to the database credentials section.

In the database section, you will be asked about the database credentials of the application. You can find the relevant information about the database in the same Access Details tab given under the Application Management menu.

phpbb mysql

Enter all the database credentials in the given fields there, and then click on Proceed to the next step.

phpbb mysql connection

Now, you will be asked about the Admin credentials. Enter your desired username and password in the spaces provided. 

phpbb admin

Click Proceed to the next step and you will see a Test passed message there.

To finish the last few steps of phpBB installation, just keep clicking on the proceed buttons until you get to the last Congratulations message screen. Once you reach the final page, click on login which will redirect you to the admin panel of phpBB. 

Then, launch the application in the browser and you will see a new phpBB forum ready to go live.

phpbb forum

That’s it! You’ve now successfully installed phpBB CMS on your managed cloud server.

Final Words

This brings us to the end of this article that demonstrated how to install phpBB on a managed cloud server in detail. It is a useful CMS platform that helps you build advanced forum-based applications in minutes. Moreover, it is quite easy to use, and works with and provides many user-friendly features to enhance the functionalities of the website.

If you still have questions regarding this article or want to share your thoughts on it, please feel free to write your suggestions below in the comments section.

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Shahzeb Ahmed

Shahzeb is a Digital Marketer with a Software Engineering background, works as a Community Manager — PHP Community at Cloudways. He is growth ambitious and aims to learn & share information about PHP & Laravel Development through practice and experimentation. He loves to travel and explore new ideas whenever he finds time. Get in touch with him at [email protected]


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