vBulletin Cloud announced: remote forum hosting

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 25, 2014
Updated • Jan 25, 2014

VBulletin is a popular forum software that you find used by many large websites on the Internet. It is not free, unlike others such as phpBB, PHPWind, or Vanilla, with licenses starting at $249 for vBulletin 5.0 Connect, the latest version of the forum software.

If you purchase vBulletin, you need to install it on a compatible web server. In addition to that, all the customizing and updating falls also on your shoulder, which means that you will spend some time doing so.

The company behind the forum software just announced vBulletin Cloud, a cloud-hosted version of vBulletin that does away with several of these requirements.

Appealing to some users is the fact that the forum will be hosted by vBulletin, which means that you do not need a web server, or install it by yourself.

According to the official page, the remotely hosted forum will be fully customizable just like standalone installations of vBulletin are.

Another benefit here is that the software will get updated automatically, so that you do not have to monitor security updates anymore to protect your forum from exploits targeting those vulnerabilities.

All forums come with 100 Gigabyte of data storage. Here is the current overview of plans available.

  • Bronze: 25 Gigabyte of bandwidth, for $14.99 per month if paid annually.
  • Silver: 75 Gigabyte of bandwidth, for $29.99 per month if paid annually.
  • Gold: 200 Gigabyte of bandwidth, for $59.99 per month if paid annually.

As you can see, vBulletin Cloud is a subscription-based service. While there is no long-time commitment, the operating costs may be higher than purchasing a forum license and installing it on your own system.

The bottleneck in my opinion is the bandwidth that is made available. 25 Gigabyte may seem like a lot, but it is not really that much. If a single forum page has a size of 100 Kilobyte for example, you can deliver approximately 250,000 requests before the bandwidth runs out. And that is not taking into account your own visits to the admin interface or bots that crawl the forum.

The solution is scalable according to the cloud page, which means that you may be required to update the bandwidth, or even jump to a more expensive plan, if your forum reaches the bandwidth barrier of the plan that you have selected.

vBulletin Cloud Pros

  • You do not need your own web server to run a forum.
  • Maintenance and upgrades are handled by vBulletin.
  • Servers optimized for running forum software.
  • No need to upgrade the license when a new major version comes out.
  • No long term commitment if you pay monthly.

vBulletin Cloud Cons

  • Monthly subscription fee.
  • Low bandwidth plans.

The initial version of vBulletin Cloud is only for new websites. The makers plan to introduce an import option though that enables existing forum owners to migrate their forum to the cloud hosted forum.

The homepage leaves several questions unanswered. For instance, it is possible to host the forum on your own domain, or do you need to host it on a domain vBulletin assigns to you. I have contacted vBulletin for clarification and will update the review once I have an answer.

Update: vBulletin Cloud supports custom domains. The service is somewhat restricted though in comparison to the regular version of the forum software. It is for example not possible to use third party addons, modifications or styles, and some features, such as use of the PHP module, have been restricted for security reasons.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL: https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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