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vBulletin installation: Files upload, Database setup

Prepare the Installation

Once you have purchased a vBulletin license and have the archive with the last version downloaded on your computer you can proceed with the installation process. The names of the archives are usually.

vBulletin-x-x-x- where the x-x-x is the version, 3.6.8 for example.
Extracting the archive and explaining it's contents

Extract the archive in a separate folder of your computer. It must contain the following files:

"do_not_upload" - This is a folder that contains the following files which are not obligatory to be uploaded:

* tools.php - This is a script, which might be handy in future. It will help you to fix login problems and rebuilds caches for user groups and bit fields
* searchshell.php - A script to be executed from server shell used to rebuild the search index if it gets broken.
* - A simple shell script used to backup your forum's database.

"upload" - This is the folder which content must be uploaded on your account. Here are all the files of the productive vBulletin forum:

* license_agreement.html - This file contains the end license agreement and the Terms of Use of the vBulletin
* vb3_readme.html - The current vBulletin version's 'Read Me' instructions in '.html' format.
* vb3_readme.txt - The current vBulletin version's 'Read Me' instructions in text format.

Uploading the installation & forum files to your account

Now, that you have the archives extracted on your computer, it is time to upload it on your hosting account. First, you have to make a decision where to have it installed:

* If you want to use your website only for forum purposes, then you can easily upload the contents of the upload folder, (without the folder) in the 'public_html' folder of your account. Then the URL for your forum will be
* If you want the forum to be just a part of your website, but not its main page then you can put it into a subfolder. The most used names of this folder are board, bboard, forum, phorum, community, but you are not narrowed to these names, you can have whatever you want for your forum. Then the URL for your forum will be: (e.g.

Upload the files that are in the "upload" folder to the desired location and then you can precede with the database creation. You can learn more about how to upload files with FTP
What is MySQL database and why is it obligatory for the forum installation?

Like most of the applications, written in PHP (the most famous scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages) vBulletin is working using a MySQL database to store its data. During the setup process you'll be asked to name the database, to give a username that have access to it and a corresponding password.

Your account with SiteGround comes with unlimited MySQL databases. They can be managed trough your cPanel -> phpMyAdmin. You can learn how to create a MySQL database and attach a user to it by reading our tutorial.
vBulletin installation: Configuration, Step-by-Step Installation
config.php File Configuration

You have already uploaded the files, and you have the database created so you should fill in the database details in the file named ''. To edit this file, please go to your cPanel and click on the File Manager icon.

The file is located in a folder named includes which is located in the directory where you have uploaded the files from the upload folder, that you have previously extracted.

The directories in cPanel File Manager are browsed by clicking their icons. Reach the folder includes and click with the right mouse key on the file named '' to show the actions that can be done with this file.

vBulletin - config.php

Rename the file to 'config.php'.

Click on the Edit File link to open the file for editing and the text editor will be popped up.

Editing of the 'config.php' file is the most important part of vBulletin's installation.

First, you have to enter the name of the MySQL database that you have created:

The line should be looking as follows:

$config['Database']['dbname'] = 'forum';

Then, you have to enter the database username that you have created:

$config['MasterServer']['username'] = 'root';

The last value that is important to be edited is the password:

$config['MasterServer']['password'] = '';

Please, be careful not to delete the leading and the trailing < ' > signs as they are very important too.

Save the file named 'config.php' by clicking on the [Save] button at the end of the editor's form.

Please, note that it is not recommended to edit this file with a Windows text editor, such like Notepad or Wordpad as this editors are saving the files with .php extensions with the "^M" sign in the end of every row and sometimes this is causing problems when they are transferred on a Linux server.
vBulletin installation trough a web browser

As most of the PHP-based applications, vBulletin forum installation is done in a "Step by step" mode. To launch it, please open your favorite web browser and point it to: Replace with your actual domain name.

If everything is correctly set in the 'config.php' file, a window will appear. There you'll have to enter your unique Customer Number. This is the number which you use to log into your Members' Area.

Copy and Paste your number in the box and click on the [Enter install system] button.

If you have entered the correct 13-digit Customer Number you will be redirected to the first of total thirteen installation steps.

Step 1: Click the [Next Step] button and you'll proceed to the part which is called Verify Configuration.

If everything is correct, you'll see the following text: 'Config file exists and is readable' and you will be able to proceed to step two, called Database Connectivity Verification.

Step 2: Click the [Next Step] button. You will be prompted with the following messages if everything is configured correctly in the 'config.php' file: 'Connection succeeded! The database already exists'.

Step 3: To proceed to step three, which actually creates the database records, click the [Next] button.

Step 4: In case all the tables were created you would be able to proceed to step four, which will set the default database encoding and variables.

Step 5: Once this is done, click [Next], for step five, which will auto insert sample data in the tables that were already created.

Step 6: Click [Next], for the sixth step, which will input the Master Language - it's English by default.

Step 7: Clicking next will lead you to step 7 where the auto installer will import the default vBulletin theme style.

Step 8 is importing the Administrator's Help files which can be found later in the Admin Control panel.

In Step 9 you have to configure the details of your forum. You have to select the title of the vBulletin board, the title of the page, the BB URL and Home URL are settings that are automatically obtained by the web browser and they do not need to be changed. It's a good idea to change the administrator's email, as this will be used for administrative email address associated with this forum. The cookie path, where the session information will be temporarily stored is considered to / by default. It's not recommended to enter your own setting as this may result in you to be unable to login to your forum. It is advisable to leave this Cookie domain setting blank as entering an invalid setting can leave you unable to login to your forum, too.

Step 10: Click the proceed button and you'll be redirected to Step 10, where the importing of the details is confirmed.

Step 11: Click the Next step button to proceed with the setup of the administrator account. Fill in the form with the desired administrative username, password and email and click Proceed.

Step 12: You will be forwarded to a confirmation page and you will have to click the Next step button in order to finish the installation.

Step 13: Once you have finished with the installation, please open your cPanel's File Manager and browse to the directory where you have uploaded the vBulletin's files. Enter the install directory and remove the 'install.php' file. This is considered to be mandatory.

Leaving off the 'install.php' file will make your vBulletin forum extremely vulnerable!

When you delete this file, you can preview the installation on this URL:, or

You can find the administrator's control panel on this URL:

You will use this control panel to administrate your forum.
Customizing the outlook of your vBulletin

The vBulletin Styles system is the interface through, which you can configure the way your visitors see your board. You can reach it from your Admin Control Panel. Please, click on the tab menu named Styles & Templates and a new menu will be populated.

Select the Style Manager and you will enter the Style Manager system.

vBulletin - Style Manager

All vBulletin versions have the Default Style chosen as a part of their installation. You are free to modify its outlook to the state that it will suit your needs. All the options available for editing are presented in a drop-down menu. Please, select the options you would like to edit and click [Go] to enter the editor.

The main vBulletin outlook can be easily configured by entering the Main CSS editor.

There you can modify the CSS style sheet of the forum. It contains all fonts and colors settings that can be easily modified using the intuitive interface. All the changes you make must be saved using the [Save CSS] button.

vBulletin - CSS style sheet
Registering at

The website is considered to be the richest resource for vBulletin mods & themes over the internet. To have the ability to download mods and themes you must register to the website with the email address that you've signed up for your vBulletin license. The system is checking if this email is a valid one and depending on the result allows or bans you from downloading themes/mods.

If you haven't registered with this email address you must follow the link to the vBulletin members area. Once logged in the members' area you have the ability to add up to three email addresses associated with your license and can receive support.
these are very useful. thank you guys. keep it up.
it helps a lot..
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