How to Install phpBB on Your Website

How to Install phpBB on Your Website

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01of 05

Download phpBB

Screenshot from

The first thing you need to do is download phpBB from It is always best to download from an official source so you know the file you are getting is safe. Be sure to download the full version of the software and not just the updates.

02of 05

Unzip and Upload

Now that you have download the file, you need to unzip and upload it. It should unzip to a folder called phpBB2, which contains many other files and subfolders.

You now need to connect to your website via FTP and decide where you want your forum to reside. If you want the forum to be the first thing shown when you go to, then upload the contents of the phpBB2 folder (not the folder itself, just everything inside of it) to when you connect.

If you want your forum to be in a subfolder (for example you must first create the folder (the folder would be called 'forum' in our example), and then upload the contents of the phpBB2 folder into the new folder on your server.

Be sure when you upload that you keep the structure intact. This means that all subfolders and files stay within the main or subfolders they currently are. Just select the whole group of files and folders, and transfer them all as-is.

Depending on your internet connection, this may take awhile. There are many files to upload.

03of 05

Running the Install File - Part 1

Screenshot from phpBB install.

Next, you need to run the install file. You can do this by pointing your web browser to the install file. It can be found at // If you did not put the forum into a subfolder then just go directly to //

Here you will be asked a series of questions.

Database Server Hostname: usually leaving this as localhost works, but not always. If not, you can usually find this information from your hosting control panel, but if you don't see it, contact your hosting company and they can tell you. If you get Critical Error: Could not connect to database - then localhost probably didn't work.

Your Database Name: This is the name of the MySQL database you wish to store the phpBB information in. This must already exist.

Database Username: Your MySQL database login username

Database Password: Your MySQL database login password

Prefix for tables in database: Unless you are using a single database to hold more than one phpBB, you probably don't have a reason to change this, so leave it as phpbb_

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Running the Install File - Part 2

Admin Email Address: This is usually your e-mail address

Domain Name: - it should pre-fill correctly

Server Port:: This is usually 80 - it should pre-fill correctly

Script path: This changes based upon if you put your forum in a subfolder or not - it should pre-fill correctly

The next three fields: Administrator Username, Administrator Password, and Administrator Password Confirm are used to setup the first account on the forum, the one you will login to administer the forum, make posts, etc. These can be anything you want, but be sure you remember the values.

Once you submit this information, if all went well you will be taken to a screen with a button that says "Finish Installation" -- Click the button.

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Finishing Up

Now when you go to you (or, or wherever you choose to install your forum) you will see a message saying "Please ensure both the install/ and contrib/ directories are deleted". You need to FTP into your site again and find these folders. Just delete the entire folders and all of their contents.

Your forum should now be functional! To get started using it, log in with the username & password that you created when you ran the install file. At the bottom of the page, you should see a link that says "Go to Administration Panel". This will let you perform Admin options such as adding new forums, changing the forum name, etc. Your account also ​lets you post just like a normal user.


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