Message Board Hosting

Apr 21, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Web Hosting Articles

When it comes to message board hosting, there are two fundamental options: self hosted or 3rd party hosting.

Message board, also known as forums, are becoming an increasingly popular method of expanding conversations that are started elsewhere or just a great place to get questions answered.

The first decision that has to be made once you have decided to start a forum is where to host it.  There are benefits and drawbacks to both self hosting and 3rd party message board hosting.

Here is a quick comparison of common trade-offs that need to be considered.

Message Board Hosting – Flexibility vs. Effort

One of the primary reasons that people choose to self host their message board is that they have complete and total control over their forum.  This allows for maximum flexibility to do anything that the owner wants.

While 3rd party message board hosting offers much less flexibility, it does allow someone to start a message board within minutes and the overall level of effort needed to maintain the message board is drastically less.

The fundamental question is, “Would you prefer complete flexibility and control over your website (which means more time and effort) or a standardized message board that can still be modified but has limitations on control and flexibility (but will be much easier to maintain)”.

Message Board Hosting – Cost vs Profit

The second trade-off is cost vs. profit.

Self hosted message boards will cost some money to maintain (hosting fees) and often necessitate initially purchasing your preferred message board software (but free message board software exists as well).

3rd party message board hosting companies are almost all free.  This means that you will never pay a cent for your message board.

Self hosted message boards can be monetized however you want, which can lead to larger, long term profits.

3rd party message board hosting often means that whoever is hosting the message board will place their own ads on your message board (which is how they cover their own costs).

Fundamentally, this conflict boils down to: self hosting has more costs, but more potential profits vs. 3rd party hosting is free, but rarely profitable.

Both self hosted message boards and 3rd party message board hosting offer excellent solutions, however only one of them will be right for your needs.

If you are trying to start a profitable message board, then self hosting is probably right for you.  However, if you are creating a message board solely for entertainment and enjoyment, then 3rd party message board hosting may be what you want.

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