Installing PhpBB On GoDaddy

While the installation instructions included with most open source software are fantastic, I always seem to find something missing. Of course that missing piece is usually host specific, otherwise they would have it in their documentation. With that in mind, installing phpBB forum software on a GoDaddy hosted server is quite easy. I’ll document the installation step by step.

The forum software, phpBB, which stands I assume for PHP bulletin board is a really nice piece of free open source software. It allows you to run a forum, also known as a bulletin board, on your web site assuming you have the following.

1) Your web server needs to support php (as godaddy does at least certainly on their linux offerings).
2) You need access to a MySQL database.
– actually, technically you need one of the supported databases, but since I’m writing this in the context of running it on godaddy, let’s consider MySQL the de-facto standard.

Let’s get down to installing phpBB on The first thing you need to do is download phpBB. You can find this by doing a search on google, or by going to Open Source Depot.

Once you’ve downloaded phpBB to your local machine, you’ll need to unzip it. After unzipping, you’ll find a folder with all the phpBB files in it. In fact, with the version I downloaded it was several folders deep.

Create a folder on your server to put your phpBB install. On my server, I’ve decided to put phpBB in my /opensourcedepot/forums folder. the folder /opensourcedepot already existed, so I needed to create a sub folder called forums. I did this using FileZilla (the FTP client program that I like to use).

So, now I change to the forums directory and “put” all the files and folders contained in my phpBB folder to the server. It’s the directory with the admin folder and all the files, basically take everything recursively down.

I’m writing this as I’m doing a the install for the forums at Open Source Depot (and taking screen snapshots along the way). Right now, my ftp client (FileZilla) is uploading the files to my server. For me, this will take a few minutes, during which time I should go over to my godaddy server and set up a MySQL database.

I don’t have room here to discuss every nuance of how to set up a MySQL database on godaddy, but there are other sources of information to help you with that, including those found at Open Source Depot. That article outlines the one really important thing about installing these pieces of software on GoDaddy, the database IP address.

Most of these installs assume that “localhost” will work (as it does on say hostgator), but on GoDaddy, you’re database is not necessarily on the same machine as your web server, so you need to specify an address like in order to find that address you need to open your database from the hosting manager and the address will appear in your title bar. Either that, or go to the MySQL databases section and click on the pencil. The url for your database should appear somewhere on the screen.

I’ve set up my database on GoDaddy and I know my IP address for it (I’m not going to give you the real address, or logon id, or passwords here, so don’t even bother looking 🙂

Your phpBB files are in your forums directory on the server and you know your godaddy database IP (also username, dbname and password). Now you’re ready to start the install. To do this, just go to the URL you installed the files to. Now all we need to do is follow the instructions.

I will only mention the items that I am changing in the install. Everything else is left as default.

1) Database Server HostName/DSN in this box I will put in my db IP address (of course mine is different…but I’m not telling what it was, for security reasons).
2) Your Database Name (the name you specified when creating your database.
3) Your Database User Name (with godaddy, the same as your database name).
4) Database password. The password you specified when creating the db.
5) prefix for tables in database. This is defaulted to phpbb_ I changed it to phpbb_osd_ just in case I want to install more than one forum on this db.
6) Admin Email Address – that’s kind of obvious, type in the e-mail address.
7) Administrator Username (choose one).
8) Administrator password (again, choose a password).

That’s it, time to start the install, click the start install button.

Now, it will prompt you that the admin id has been created and ask you to click to proceed.

Ok now phpBB’s install module comes up with a message saying to make sure to delete the install and contrib directories. Do it now, before you forget.

Ok It’s installed. Log in as admin and start configuring your phpBB Forums…have fun!



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