Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Create a Forum Using MyBB – Detailed Tutorial for Installing and Setting Up

updated on Jan 04, 2015
How to Create a Forum Using MyBB – Detailed Tutorial for Installing and Setting Up Forums are still in fashion because they offer a broad platform for people with the same interests to discuss matters together and to help others with issues related to their topics. If you have an idea about a good topic - a popular digital product, for example - you can create a forum for either business needs or personal interests to attract people who are interested in the product or have real experience in using it.

MyBB is among the best forum software which is used to create forums only. The application is easy to install and use, which earns it a high reputation. If you have purchased a domain name and a MyBB hosting package, you can start the steps below now to get a forum configured properly and to learn how to manage it. Or if there is any problem about domain, you should read this tutorial on how to choose domain name.

Install MyBB

As MyBB is an open source application, you need to install it on your server at first. There are several ways to finish the task, but we suggest you to use the auto app installer integrated with your hosting control panel. As usual, we will take BlueHost cPanel as an example to explain the detailed steps. The domain name used for the new MyBB forum is

1. Login into cPanel with your username and password.
2. Find SimpleScripts in the Website Builders section and click on the icon.


3. Hit the green button saying "Install New Scripts".

Install New Scripts

4. In the scripts list, find MyBB in the Forums section, and click on it to get the description about the software.

MyBB Script

5. Click on "Install" on the new page.
6. Select the domain that you want to install MyBB to.

Select Domain

7. Open "Advanced Options", fill in the information required, confirm the terms of conditions, and then click "Install Now".

Advanced Options

Congratulations. Now you have installed MyBB on your server, and you can start your journey now.

Default Forum

Log into the New Forum

The screenshot above is the default page you get when you have installed MyBB successfully. To make customization and to develop your forum, you need to access the admin area of the forum with the username and password you gave before in the installation process. The admin URL usually appears in this format:

MyBB Login

When you have logged in, you are directed to the homepage of the dashboard. The dashboard is where you can manage what and how contents are displayed on your front-end forum. If you are unfamiliar with MyBB features, we will now guide you through publishing contents and setting up new forums.

MyBB Dashboard

Add a New Forum or Category

The first skill you need to acquire is to add a new forum on your board to allow others to have a discussion. You can achieve this task by visiting the Forums & Posts section in the admin control panel and click on "Add New Forum". A long form will appear asking you to fill in some information.

Add a New Forum

Basic Information
In the "Add New Forum" form, you can select the forum type between Forum and Category, add the title, add a description, select the parent forum, and choose the display order. There are several things that need attention.
  • For the forum type, Forum refers to a forum where you and other users with permissions can post questions and answers in, and Category is a place which includes one or more forums.
  • If the category/forum you create is a sub-forum or sub-category that needs to be included in another group that already exists, you should select a parent forum in the drop-down menu.
  • The display order decides where the new forum is displayed in its category, or where the category is listed in its parent category or the homepage.
To give an example, we start with adding a completely new category so that the forums created later can be well categorized. We want the category to be displayed at the first place on the homepage of our board.

Basic Information

The long form of permissions allows you to set different permissions for different user groups according to your needs. The permissions decide who can do what in the category or forum. There are 4 permissions altogether including View, Post Threads, Post Replies and Post Polls.

You can just leave the form to the default value by checking the box next to "Use Group Default", or you can also change any permission for any group by dragging the permission type to the "Overview: Allowed Actions" or the "Overview: Disallowed Actions". Our suggestion is that you should deal with the permissions for Guests, Awaiting Activation and Banned carefully to keep your board away from spam.

Forum Permissions

Advanced Options
Between the forms of "Add New Forum" and "Permissions", there is a link saying "Show Additional Options". Clicking on the link you will get another form related to some options about the new forum or category. You can protect the forum by using a password, choose whether to show the category/forum in the front-end, decide whether to allow users to post in the category/forum, and configure other options about how the category/forum will function. If you cannot make decisions to the options, keeping the default value is still OK in the case that you have no special requirements.

Additional Options

Once everything is done, do not forget to click on the "Save Forum" button on the bottom of the add-new page to save the category/forum.

New Category

Manage Forums & Categories

You may be wondering why the newly created category "Getting Started with Web Hosting" is not displayed at the first place on our board. The answer is that there is a conflict between the new category and the default "My Category" created in the installation. In this case, you need to make some changes in the Forum Management.

Old Forum Order

The Forum Management section lists all the categories and forums on your board and gives options to configure them. The "Options" button comes with several choices for editing, changing permissions, copying forum, delete forums, and so on. To get the new category listed at the top of the board, you can edit the "My Category" category and change the value of the order to be "2".

New Order

New Orders on MyBB

Add & Manage Forum Announcements

Forum announcements are used to inform users of some important news or information related to your board. For example, if the board will be maintained for a period of time when people cannot access it, you need to inform all users in advance to reduce the bad effect brought by service unavailability.

To add a new forum announcement, you can go to Forums & Posts > Forum Announcements > Add Announcement and fill in the add-new form. In the form, you have to enter the announcement title, the start and end data, the message you want your users to know, and the forums that the announcement will be in. For news and information about a certain category or forum, you can select the category/forum only, while if the news is about your whole board, you need to select "All Forums" to get all people notified.

Add a New Announcement

In the screenshot above, we have created a global announcement for maintenance. Now people getting into any category or forum can see the announcement.

Forum Announcement

Manage Users & Groups

Entering the Users & Groups section, you can manage all the users and groups of your board. The Users subsection allows you to browse all the users in table/card format, find users, create users and merge users. Now we'd like to discuss how to create a new user. In fact, the creation is more than easy, because you can have it done by filling in the form after clicking on "Create New User".

Add a User

Now you are directed to the Edit User page which allows you to edit the user's profile, account settings, signature, avatar and other options. Back to the Users page, you will see the new user is listed. The Options button enables you to delete the user, ban the user, see his/her IP address, etc.

Edit User

The User Groups subsection allows you to manage all user groups, browse all users in each group, and add group leaders. Adding a custom user group is also quite easy as you can simply accomplish that task within a minute.

Forum Groups

As the administrators group has default admin permissions shared by multiple people, you may want to change the permissions of some individuals to keep them away from certain admin areas of your board. In this case, you can go to the Admin Permissions subsection under Users & Groups to customize the permissions of the administrators.

User Permissions

Moderate Posts and Threads

MyBB offers a wide set of custom moderation tools which help you moderate the threads and posts on your board easily. To moderate actions quickly, you can visit your forum, login as admin, and perform inline moderations directly on the site. Or you may also enter the Mod CP (moderation control panel) to take more actions.

Moderation Control Panel


With the access to the moderation control panel, you can accomplish the following tasks, as well as many other moderations. The people in the moderators group also have the following rights.
  • Moderate threads – approve/unapprove, delete/restore, stick/unstick, move, and delete any thread.
  • Add, delete and edit forum announcements.
  • View moderation queues and approve threads and posts.
  • Access the moderator logs to see what other moderators have done.
  • Ban any user for a certain period of time.
  • View warning logs to see the full list of warned users, why they are warned, and other information.

Moderation Control Panel Homepage

Delay moderations
Delayed moderation is a fairly new feature introduced in MyBB 1.6. The feature is helpful because it allows you to delay the actions of moderations to get them performed a certain period of time later. For example, when you set to delay the deletion of a thread for one day, the thread will not be deleted until one day later. All moderation tools can be delayed.

Delay Moderation

Change a Theme

Sometimes you may find that the default theme cannot meet your need especially when you are running a forum with topics about fashion, online games and digital products. In this circumstance, you can go to the Templates & Styles section in the dashboard to customize or change the current theme.

You can choose to create a theme by yourself, and import a theme from a remote URL or local PC. We would recommend uploading a theme file because it is much easier as you do not need to deal with many technical issues. If you want a free theme, there is a long list of recommended themes.

Browse Themes

Clicking on the "Download" button will lead to the download page of the theme. Once you have downloaded the zip file, you should follow the steps below to get the theme imported properly.

1. Log into your hosting control panel and find File Managers under the File Management section.

File Manager

2. Select the domain of the forum and open the "images" folder.

Images Folder

3. In the images directory, click on the "Upload" button and choose the theme file you downloaded before.

Upload File

Upload File

4. In the list of files, click on the zip file and “Extract" it.

Extract File

5. Log into the dashboard of your forum, and choose to "Import a Theme" under the Templates & Style section. In this step, you need to extract the theme file locally and select the XML file in the theme folder to upload.

Import a Theme

6. Find the new theme in the Themes list and click on the icon for "Set as Default" to make it the default theme of your board.

Set Default Theme

Best Web Hosts Recommended for Hosting MyBB

MyBB itself performs well, while a good web hosting platform can make your forum a much better place to stay. When selecting a hosting package, you should take several considerations which include pricing, speed, uptime, MyBB compatibility and technical support. According to our experience, the web hosts below are worth going as they can meet and even exceed all these requirements.