When starting a forum we always would like to give our members the best forum experience we possibly can and what hosting you select can either enhance this or kill it off in one go. So now what hosting to use as there are so many options available, free, shared, VPS or dedicated. When you post this question on a forum most people will try and discourage you from using free or shared hosting, they will suggest that you go for VPS or dedicated hosting. The reality of the matter however is most of us are doing this as a hobby or an extension of our hobby so cost does play a huge factor in it all. I would however suggest that if possible keep clear of the free hosting sites as they can be very restrictive or have a huge amount of advertisements that will be displayed on your forum, this can also put potential new members off registering. Shared hosting tend to also have a bad reputation with the possibility of the hosting being over sold (more shared sites than what the resources can handle). This is one thing to try and lookout for, however it is hard to pinpoint. This might only be aparent once your site is up and running and you getting poor response from it overall. So here it is very important to do your homework read reviews and see if you can find anyone already using that hosting and ask them. I have not had much experience with VPS as I have gone straight from shared to dedicated servers. The one thing that did put me off VPS was the fact that it mostly has limited usage in different way, bandwidth, disk space and so on. So once again you faced with the possibility that you might run out of one of these key resources and this could in fact have a huge negative impact on your forum overall. Dedicated hosting well is just what it states you have your own server but once again you need to look at what you get with this and will it work for your forum. Remember you get managed and unmanaged server so if you not great at setting up a server you would need to go with the more expensive managed server. It is no use having your own server if the response time bad due to low hardware specs. Also remember the cost of the server will go up considerably as the server specs get better. Some of the ghosting sites I have used that I have had good results with are. Shared Hosting - Hostgator Dedicated Server - Server4You Please remember the above worked for me but might not work for you so do some research into your hosting as it will be worth the effort.