Previously, we have ever contrasted phpBB, vBulletin and bbPress among lots of software developed for building forums. For details, please refer to this post. Since we have received feedbacks in which our readers show their curiosity to vBulletin forum hosting service. As a consequence, we dive into its service by reviewing many key factors consisting of price, usability, support and so forth.
Being a proprietary forum-building software, it goes through a series of revolutions since its original version vBulletin 1 had been released in 2000. In below, we display an clear chart showing its overall ratings in terms of many key factors.
History of Development
Since the original launch of vBulletin in 2000, it has undergone a good deal of revolutions and changes after which it released the latest version vBulletin 5.1.0 two months ago on March 19 th, 2014. The following clear list is made to show its major revisions.
- vBulletin 1 – It is designed by James E.Limm and John Percival as a rewrite of UBB based on PHP using MySQL in 2000.
- vBulletin 2 – On May 21 st 2001, this version was born with new features including user avatars, user control panel and unlimited forum nesting, etc.
- vBulletin 3 – This one is released to improve user experience and performance on March 19 th, 2004.
- vBulletin 4 – This version appears as an extensive rewrite of the vBulletin system by enabling webmasters with much more ability in code re-use and flexibility.
- vBulletin 5 – The latest version vBulletin 5.1.0 is released on March 19 th, 2014.
Packages & Price
Altogether, vBulletin includes 3 Software-as-a-Service packages for building forums that include Bronze, Silver and Gold. We have showed them at length in below. Choosing one among these packages, webmasters are able to get fully functioning and customizable vBulletin with all essential features.
Its monthly price is $19.95/mo while its annual price is $14.99/mo coming with 25 GB bandwidth and free forum support.
This one can be purchased with $39.95/mo for monthly subscriptions and $29.99/mo for yearly subscriptions with 75 GB bandwidth and free support via ticket and forum included.
The monthly subscription is available at $74.95/mo while the annual one is $59.99/mo consisting of 200 GB bandwidth and free support for phone, ticket and forum.
During the past decade, this forum software has been bettered and improved to boost user-friendliness. For one thing, the service automatically upgrades your forum as soon as the latest version of vBulletin comes into being. Besides, all packages are included with 100 GB storage allocation for forums together with robust data redundancy and backup.
In terms of setup, you are required to edit configure lines manually, which requires knowledge in PHP and coding. Besides, its PT (Project Tool) serves as a management system with which moderators and admins are capable of keeping track of a variety of forum related issues.
Being available in 4 languages including English, German, French and Spanish, the service offers support that varies from package to package. Bronze includes free support via forums only, and Silver is offered with free support through ticket and forums, while Gold consists of free support via phone, ticket and forums.
In addition, at its official website, there are FAQ available where you are able to seek solutions among thousands of frequently asked questions. Also, hundreds of video tutorials vividly show you how to get started, how to get forum moderation, how to customize, how to achieve styling, and so forth.
Summary – vBulletin Is Not Recommended
The vBulletin SaaS is a little bit expensive compared with some affordable shared web hosting in the field. Unless you don’t want to do any works on setting up a site, vBulletin hosting service is not cost effective for our recommendation.