vBulletin hosting – List of questions to ask a new web host

Lynne from vBulletin, posted in vBulletin Hosting Options forum a thread with a list of questions a vBulletin user should ask a new prospective web host before selecting them for vBulletin hosting. The web host questions are more geared towards shared hosting providers who implement restrictions on server resource usage as opposed to VPS or dedicated server hosting for vBulletin which has no such limits. Be sure to check vBulletin’s basic minimum system requirements as well here.

My web hosting tips and suggestions

I’ve been asked many times which web host I use for my vBulletin and wordpress web hosting. I use Wiredtree.com for vbtechsupport.com as well as for my vBulletin forums. Alot of vB customers I have done private work for, have also jumped ship over to Wiredtree.com and are very happy with their VPS, Hybrid server and Dedicated server offerings.

MySQL disk space:

Remember, with a lot of shared web hosts, the quoted available disk space, also includes your MySQL database size. So be sure to ask if it’s the case as you’d want to monitor both your web end php/static file disk space as well as your MySQL database size and disk space usage. Not necessarily a problem for VPS or dedicated server hosting although you want to keep an eye out for disk space usage on /var partition where usually MySQL databases reside at /var/lib/mysql.

Backup options:

I’d also ask your web host about backup options. If the web host provides a daily backup of your web hosting account, frequency of backup, whether you have access to that backup or need to request them for access. Go with a web host who offers R1Soft CDP backups + R1soft CDP MySQL backups – backups are done at block disk level so very little impact on server resources and performance while doing the backup compared to say FTP or WHM/Cpanel native backup process. Web hosts such as Wiredtree.com for their Hybrid server servers include free daily R1Soft CDP backups (+ MySQL plugin for MySQL backup) for peace of mind.

MySQL automatic backups:

I’d also invest in a automated MySQL database backup script such as one I posted here. Download a copy of your databases to your local pc as well so as to not just rely on your web hosts backup process.

SPF record setup:

Also be sure to setup an SPF record (Sender Policy Framework) for your mail server on your domain to prevent your domain name from being blacklisted by Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, Gmail etc due to forged email addresses. SPF helps mail servers distinguish forgeries from real mail by giving mail servers a list of allowed ip/mail hostnames in the SPF record. That way, if any other machines try to send mail from that domain, the mail server knows that the FROM address is forged. The SPF record is setup via DNS record changes, so will be edited via domain registrar if you are using their name servers, but if you use web hosts name servers, then will need for them to setup an SPF record. So be sure to ask your web host – shared providers in particular if they will setup a SPF record for you. VPS and dedicated servers you should have greater control in doing this yourself. But if you are unsure how to setup a SPF record, that would be a question to ask a web host.

Getting further info & help:

I’d also sign up and check out web hosting provider reviews and experiences at webhostingtalk.com forums. A lot of web hosting customers and web hosting providers communicate and advertise on webhostingtalk.com forums.

TOS and AUP:

Also check the web hosts’ Terms of Service (TOS) and Acceptable Usage Policies (AUP) on their web site to be clear of what you can and can’t do with their services.


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