With Invision Board (IPB), you can set up an online forum for your customers — building a community around your business. Most hosts can support IPB, but there are requirements you need to consider.
Invision Board must be purchased and installed on your server, or hosted through Invision Power Services. Hosting requirements include PHP 7 and MySQL 5.6, plus support for the non-default PHP extensions. You’ll want a host with strong uptime and scalable plans – in case your forum traffic spikes.
Here are our experts’ top 5 choices for the best Invision Board hosting:
– Free Invision Board install and unmetered traffic
How Did We Choose the Best Hosts for Invision Board?
We selected hosting plans with generous bandwidth, disk space, and fast servers. We short-listed those with a strong uptime guarantee and user-friendly control panel.
Then, we cross-referenced our selections against our database of thousands of user reviews.
Invision Board Hosting Comparison
What You’ll Learn
Are you a fan of communication and keeping in the loop? You’re likely in the right place to read about Invision Board in that case. I’m going to teach you about Invision Board, a popular community software. You’ll learn about its features, how it’s used and more importantly why.
By the end of the page, you’ll also have the knowledge to determine which hosting plan and provider is best for your individual needs, taking Invision Board into account.
What is Invision Board Hosting?
Invision Board (also commonly referred to as IP Board or IPB) is an Internet forum application built in PHP, which is designed to make communication easy for users and administration easy for site owners.
With the rise of social media, Internet users from every corner of the globe now jump at the chance to discuss products, services, and ideas with each other.
Powering Message Boards
Online forums provide the perfect medium for this, as they allow users to interact in whatever way they wish, whether it’s to ask each other for help and direction, to conduct a heated debate over a hot topic, or simply to chat about common interests.
Originally, IPB was just a message board software but it has grown to offer much more.
Who's Best for Invision Board Hosting?
We think SiteGround is the best choice for Invision Board.
Invision Board enables smooth discussion, on-going user engagement, complete customization and control, and effortless marketing and promotion.
Features of Invision Board
Highly organized boards, threads, and sub-forums, a searchable tagging system, an extensive text editor, multimedia posting capabilities, bulletin board support, quick-reply options, automatic notifications, and a fun rewards system will all allow your users to communicate with each other in a way that’s not only functional but enjoyable.
On the other side of things, nearly limitless themes and templates, hundreds of optional plugins, content approval queues, a user warning system, reported content alerts, thorough security protection, adjustable moderator privileges, and complete logs of all forum activity make managing your forum a breeze.
Hosting Considerations for Invision Board Services
Invision Power Services Inc., the company behind Invision Power Board, offers Web hosting services of their own which seamlessly integrate Invision Board. This cloud hosting is available for a monthly fee.
Invision Board has an available demo.
The only other alternative is to find a host that supports Invision Board software. The requirements are basic, and most hosts will be able to meet them on all their plans.
Features to look for in a host include:
PHP 5.6+ (But PHP 7 is recommended)
All default extensions
GD2 and mbstring extensions (not installed by default, check if your host supports)
Lots of bandwidth and disk space
A strong uptime guarantee.
Does Your Host Offer Support for Invision Board?
Not all hosts will have the non-default PHP extensions installed. If not, you’ll either need root access to your hosting server to install it yourself (usually available on VPS and dedicated web hosting plans), or support will have to do it for you. It’s a good idea to contact support before buying any package.
How to Get Invision Power Board
Once you’ve identified a suitable host, you’ll need to buy a license for the software, which consists of a large upfront fee, and a small renewal fee every 6 months.
Install Invision Power Board
Then you can download Invision Power Board, and transfer those files to your web hosting account through FTP or an alternative file transfer method.
From there you need to create and configure a MySQL database, and then finally navigate to the install script to finish up.
Alternatives to Invision Board
Invision Power Board is a great piece of software, but it is costly and can be difficult to set-up depending on your technical background. It may also be overpowered for what you need.
Open Source Alternatives to Invision Board
There are strong alternatives, so you can pick an open-source forum application instead, like:
A popular internet forum package is written in PHP. The abbreviation of ‘BB’ stands for Bulletin Board. phpBB is available is completely free to use due to its open-source nature and is available under the GNU General Public License.
bbPress is a popular WordPress plugin.
Another free to use, open-source piece of software. bbPress is built on top of WordPress, furthermore, it can also be installed as a plugin onto a WP website. It was initially coded and created by the makers of WordPress.
Released in 2013, Discourse is an open-source internet forum software. It was created to improve the general quality and availability of online discussions, which is what the CDC Kit development team focused on ever since.
Since old-school forums are starting to be replaced, Flarum is a great example to look at. Built by Toby Zerner and Frankie Ziedke, Flarum offers a flash outlook on the front-end presentation of information and an online community. With similar functionalities to its competitors, it does have an edge due to its design.
Simple Machines Forum
SMF or in its full name Simple Machines Forum is a popular freeware developed for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Aside from its poor SEO scores comparing to competitors, the forum is considered reliable and popular.
These can often be installed from your hosting control panel using a script installer with just a few clicks. The biggest benefit might be that they are completely free.
Pros and Cons of Invision Board
Since you are now familiar with Invision board and what it offers, let’s take a look at the summary of its advantages and disadvantages.
Perfectly functional platform for community creation and monetization
Trusted and active community
Weak looking design
Inferior to its competition
Expensive premium features
Top 3 Hosts for Invision Board
Not sure what type of host to choose for Invision Community Board? Any host that offers the features outlined above will do, however, a few hosts stand out. The following three hosts are my top choices for hosting Invision Community Board.
My top pick for Invision Board hosting is Siteground. You can run small forums on their affordable shared hosting plans, or eventually, upgrade to dedicated hosting as your community grows.
SiteGround’s support team will install InvisionBoard forum on your hosting account for free, which is a big positive. Additionally, they always have the latest stable PHP version and MySQL version available, which meets the big requirements of Invision Board.
If you’re planning on running a high traffic forum, LiquidWeb is a great choice. They focus solely on high-end, high-performance servers. They offer an unbeatable 100% power uptime guarantee, meaning that your forum will rarely if ever, go down.
Each plan comes with a choice of a Plesk or cPanel control panel, both of which allow you to transfer the necessary files to install Invision Board on your server easily. Finally, LiquidWeb has 24/7, highly trained support that will help you with any issues you have.
If budget is more of a concern, I’d recommend the affordable web hosting at InMotion Hosting. Despite the low prices, the servers all offer decent performance and all accounts come with several freebies.
This includes free data backups, a free domain, and free SSD disk space. You also get a generous 90-day money-back guarantee, along with 24/7 U.S. based support.
Yes. Invision Power has renamed all of their products for more consistent branding. Invision Board is now IP.Board.
Is there any way to rate and track my best users?
Yes. By using reputation points, your users can rate posts and other content. This allows you to easily identify useful (or not useful) posts, and these points are directly attributed to the poster, so you can easily identify and reward your best community members.
What type of reward system is available?
You can set up goals for your users to receive addition posting capabilities.
For instance, to reward active posters, you can set a specific number of posts required to receive access to new forums, additional upload space, special icons, etc.
If you have tiered member groups, you can also set up the auto-promotion feature, which will automatically move them into the next tier when they reach the required posting goal.
How much can I customize my forums?
In addition to being able to fully customize your community, you can also apply unique themes to individual discussion forums.
What type of moderation tools are available?
For full moderation, you can set your forums up so that all posts must be approved. However, this probably is not feasible for most communities.
For communities that do not require post approval, IP.Board offers a complete warning system that allows you to send messages to users who are posting questionable or disruptive content, set a temporary suspension, require posts from that user to be approved, or ban them outright.
IP.Board also includes a built-in reporting tool for your community to report questionable content.
What type of spam protection is available?
IP.Board utilizes a Spam Monitoring System, which checks all new user registrations against their own internal database of known spammers. If the user is listed in their database, they can be immediately banned or suspended.
Does IP.Board provide any way to communicate with users outside of the forum?
Yes. IP.Board includes a bulk mailer tool, so you can send update announcements, important notices, or newsletters to your registered users.
Is it possible to reply to more than one post at a time?
Yes. IP.Board features a MultiQuote function, which allows users to select from any number of posts they wish to respond to and respond to them all at the same time.
Can I add polls or a voting system?
IP.Board includes a built-in polling feature which uses can add directly to new topics. Polls can be public or anonymous, can feature multiple choice or single choice questions, and can be set to allow or disallow replies. Administrators can also limit polling capabilities to only certain users.
What type of text editor is available to users?
IP.Board offers a rich text editor, similar to what you would find in most word processing programs. Users can adjust the font, add links, include bullets and numbered lists, use emoticons, and more. IP.Board supports BBCode tags for more advanced formatting capabilities.
Is there any support for audio or video content?
IP.Board automatically detects links to video and audio files and will show the corresponding video player when available, so that users never need to leave your site.
Is there any support available for migrating from another program?
Invision Power offers free migration tools for over 40 popular forum and bulletin board platforms, including vBulletin, phpBB, bbPress, Vbulletin, WordPress, and more. If your site uses a forum system not currently supported, they can also build a conversion app for you, for a fee.
Will links, templates, and user information be retained if I migrate from another platform?
The free migration tools available for IP.Board include scripts to translate your existing URLs into IPS Community Suite URLs.
Your user information, including logins and passwords, should all be migrated and available immediately. Any templates, skins, or other modification you had with your previous platform will be lost.
If I use the IP hosted version, can I use my own domain?
Yes. You will simply need to update your domain name servers to redirect traffic to your IP.Boards.
What are the server requirements to self-host IP.Board?
In order to self-host IP.Board, your server must have PHP 5.2.0+ with GD2 extension, SPL extension, and DOM XML extension.
They also recommend the JSON extension. A MySQL 4.1+ database is also required, and MySQL 5+ is recommended.
IP.Board will work on any web server that supports these requirements; however, they can only offer limited support services for Windows hosting.
To ensure your server meets the minimum requirements, you should download their Compatibility Checker.
Can I try it out before I commit?
Yes. Invision Power offers a five-day demo. The demo is hosted on their servers but is completely private. You can test out the admin panel, post, comment, and nearly everything else you would do with a true installation. The demo version does restrict some database access and FTP access.
Freelance blogger by day, developer by night, Dale is a freelance writer who specializes in technology and digital marketing. He studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo before becoming a freelance writer.
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Who's Best for Invision Board Hosting?
We think SiteGround is the best choice for Invision Board.