Yes you can host a forum on a shared hosting account but as the forum gets bigger and more popular, and the Database grows, you will probably be asked to move the site or pay more for the resources you are using. These are good problems to have when your website gets more popular
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Yes, you can. Most forums are hosted on shared accounts for years before they have to move to a dedicated server or VPS. This will only happen if your forum grows too big (lots of members posting) and popular (lots of connections at one time), which really isn't easy to do, at all (ask any forum owner). Chances are, you will not have any problems hosting your forum on a shared environment, specially if it's a brand new forum.
You can but keep in mind that there are add-ons for forums that can cause issues such as a shoutbox or a poorly coded plugin. A basic forum should be able to last quite some time on a standard shared hosting account. My advice is to always maintain your own off-server backups (including databases) just in case. Most providers will give you the chance to upgrade/move but some of them out there will shut you down without warning making it impossible for you to get to your data.
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...always maintain your own off-server backups (including databases) just in case....
Best advice you can give anyone about anything computer related.
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Yes you can and everyone here has given you some good advice as they usually do.
when you mean decent traffic what exactly do you mean. From experience I ran a site (forum) on a shared hosting account with no problems, I was getting around 2.5k visitors and sometimes just 1.5k. I did start having some performance issues once traffic jumped to 6.5k, plus I had a number of add ons that also caused additional DB queries which lead to performance issues.
if your starting out, shared is your best bet, then you can eventually upgraded to another hosting plan, good luck.
I've hosted my forum on shared host back in the day but eventually if it gets popular enough, you'd need your own VPS at least.
And i second Mike's advice...I remember a few years ago I lost a few weeks of data because of a server wipe and I haven't had any database backup. Was a long time ago but feels like it happened just a few days ago.
So yeah, take backups no matter how good the host is.
In one word: yes. The quality of shared hosting providers can vary dramatically, going with a higher end (albeit more expensive) host will mean that you can keep your forum on a shared platform for longer, going with a bargain basement host will only mean you have to move sooner.
In my experience most forums rarely if ever grow beyond the resources provided in most basic to standard level hosting accounts. The rare ones that do usually end up requiring their own server and or servers!
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