One of the biggest challenge with shared hosting is to keep the load on the server in control, and forums are another resource hungry piece of software. In my last article on WordPress forums, I informed you about adding forum on ShoutMeLoud, and finally I decided to install vBulletin V4 forum. Now next goal is to install the forum, and make it live. Before all this, I needed to decide where do I want to host my forum, and what will be the name of forum sub-domain.
As I mentioned in my earlier article on things to know before installing forum, I mentioned I prefer sub-domain structure for forums, as it has more SEO advantage.
In my case, ShoutMeLoud blog is hosted on WPEngine which is specific to WordPress sites only, and I had no choice, but to host my forum on some other hosting.
It also make sense for shared hosting owners, as your current shared hosting might not be so powerful to host Blog and forum under one account, so you could simply keep your blog on the same server, and host your forum or membership website on other server.
This makes more sense as forums may consume more resources, space & bandwidth, and you might like to host your forum on a hosting like Bluehost that offers unlimited resources.
How I hosted Sub-domain forum on Other hosting company:
In my case, I decided to host my forum on Bluehost hosting, and keep my main blog on WPEngine only. This way, I will avoid the huge charges of WPEngine (Their Billing plan works on number of visits), and this will make more sense in term of server load. Here is the exact steps I followed, and it will work with almost all the hosting and domain registrar.
Update A Record of Sub-domain and point it to other hosting:
This one step is the most crucial part of hosting your sub-domain on another hosting account. You need to go to your domain registrar, and add A record for your sub-domain to point it to your new server. Depending upon your domain registrar, all you need to do is edit the DNS Zone, and add A record. Here is how it looks:
I.P address will be of your new hosting sever I.P. If you want your sub-domain to be something like member.domain.com, in the host name part, replace forum with member. Now, you have done the important part of mapping your A record to new hosting.
Assigning sub-domain to your Bluehost hosting:
Now, in this case my main domain is hosted on WPEngine, and I need to host sub-domain, and the process is going to be the same, like we add any new add-on domain to bluehost, and later use sub-domain feature to install anything we like.
- Login to your Bluehost account.
- Click on Domain manager, and select “Assign a new domain to your account”.
- Now, add the URL of the main domain (Ex: shoutmeloud.com)
- To verify the ownership of your domain, simply upload the test file to your server asked on the page, or use EPP code to verify domain ownership. Atleast on Bluehost hosting, EPP code is the fastest way to verify domain ownership.
- Once the domain is verified and assigned to your account, your next aim is to create a sub-domain where you want to install your forum or membership site.
- On bluehost hosting, click on domains at the top > Click sub-domains, and add the sub-domain name and select the domain. Click create (refer to screenshot)
That’s it, and now you can install forum or anything on your subdomain, which is hosted on another hosting.
If you have any question related to hosting your sub-domain on another server, do let me know via comments.
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