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Reducing the Load on Forums

My forum adds high load on the hosting server, how can I solve this problem?

One of the most problems that face the clients and hosting companies is that some forums heavily use the server resources whether it is limited or unlimited, sometimes a relatively new forum increases the load on the server more than other older and bigger forums hosted on the same server, this is due to many factors, we will try to list the most important ones, one of the most important factors the uses the server resources is:

  • Products (Hooks)

Many forums owners install a lot of products without giving attention to its quality or compatibility with his own copy as soon as it works, this is common mistake a lot of forums owners do, the product working does not mean that it is suitable for your forum since some products are programmed for older versions, it may work with newer version but with less performance, sometimes the product has some programming flaws that cause problems and compatibility issues with other products

So we recommend the following:

  1. Try as far as you can using the required products for your forum only
  2. Don’t install any product that is not compatible with your forum
  3. Follow your products updates
  4. Try not to install products of unknown source


  • Styles

Styles comes second after products as a factor in determining your site speed, some styles are designed using tables without taking in consideration the images sizes, also some styles may not be compatible with your version this does not only causes distortion in your site visual display but also causes slowness and sometimes errors in your site

So we recommend the following:

  1. When you choose one of the free styles try choosing a style that is compatible with your forum version
  2.  When you choose one of the free styles choose a CSS based style
  3. Try not to use styles that has a lot of images
  4. Try not to use styles that has a lot of flash animations


  • Store CSS Stylesheets as Files
  1. Login to your forum control panel
  2. vBulletin Options > Style & Language Settings
  3. In “Store CSS Stylesheets as Files?” block choose “Yes


You should give “777” permission to the “vbulletin_css” folder located inside the “clientscript” folder


  • Store the Attachments in the File System
  1. Login to your forum control panel
  2. Attachments > Attachment Storage Type
  3. Choose “Move Items from Database into File System” and press “Go
  4. Create a folder in your forum folder and give it “777” permission to store the attachments in it
  5. Type the name of the folder that you created in the previous step where “attach” is the name of the created folder as shown in the following image
  6. Set the number of attachments to be moved in one time


  • Settings

This is one on the most confusing points being discussed while solving high load problems, since certain setting can lead to high load in some forums while in another forums will be fine, as an example enabling creating thumbnails for image attachments on a forums that rarely have image attachments will not lead to high load while enabling the same option on another forums that depends heavily on image attachments will lead to high load.

So we recommend the following:

  1. Don’t enable all the forums options unless they are needed
  2. Don’t enable an option unless you know what does it do, you can use the help icon in the control panel to know its function
  3. Enable the “datastore”  option in “config.php” (see below)


  • Enable Datastore

It is one of the features that was added since version 3.6.4, it stores the data that does not need to be rebuilt every time

For example:

forumcache – a serialized array of the forums options and permissions

options – a serialized array of all the vBulletin options

profilefield – a serialized array of all the profile fields and options

By default the datastore data is stored in the “datastore” table in the database, in “config.php” you can change where it is saved to what suits you and what increases the performance.


// Here you can configure different methods for caching datastore items.
// vB_Datastore_Filecache - to use includes/datastore/datastore_cache.php
// vB_Datastore_APC - to use APC
// vB_Datastore_XCache - to use XCache
// vB_Datastore_Memcached - to use a Memcache server, more configuration below
// $config['Datastore']['class'] = 'vB_Datastore_Filecache';


First you should set how the data will be stored, there are many options to do so

  • vB_Datastore_Filecache

Storing the files in the file system in


The file should be given “777” permission

  • vB_Datastore_APC

Storing the data in the server memory, the server should have APC system

  • vB_Datastore_XCache

Storing the data in the server memory, the server should have XCache system

  • vB_Datastore_Memcached

Storing the data in the server memory, the server should have Memcached system

To enable one of these options remove the “//” at the beginning of the last line in the previous code so it becomes

{* php buffer start *}  $config['Datastore']['class'] = 'vB_Datastore_XCache'; 
{* php buffer end *}

In case of enabling vB_Datastore_Memcached you should also modify the file as follows:

{* php buffer start *} strong></p><p>$config[&#039;Datastore']['class'] = 'vB_Datastore_Memcached';
$i 0;
$config[&#039;Misc']['memcacheserver'][$i] = '';
$config[&#039;Misc']['memcacheport'][$i] = 11211;
$config[&#039;Misc']['memcachepersistent'][$i] = true;
$config[&#039;Misc']['memcacheweight'][$i] = 1;
$config[&#039;Misc']['memcachetimeout'][$i] = 1;
$config[&#039;Misc']['memcacheretry_interval'][$i] = 15;</ 
{* php buffer end *}

Type the IP of the server instead of “” and make sure to remove the “/*” and “*/” at the beginning and end of the previous code.

Change config['Datastore']['prefix'] = to website username to be : 

$config['Datastore']['prefix'] = 'username';


Note: All Dimofinf shared hosting servers use XCache System

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