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Frequently Asked Questions » General Sales / Licensing
Below are a set of the most frequently asked questions, they are categorized for ease of use. The categories are: Ordering, Support, Technical, Licenses, Members and Piracy.

If you are unable to find what you are looking for please contact sales support using the online sales support system.

Getting vBulletin [-]
How can I order vBulletin?

We currently accept the following order methods for vBulletin (available via the online order form): PayPal, Credit Card and Wire Transfer

Once your order has been processed, you will receive an email with your vBulletin customer number and password - this login information will give you access to our online members area, where you will be able to download the software. Please note that in order to tackle piracy, we do ask that you provide us with the URL/web site address where you will be running vBulletin.

If you purchase a vBulletin professional installation, you will be sent an email with complete information after the order has been processed.
How long does it take to get my license information?

How quickly you get the license info depends on the payment method you use.

The quickest payment method is with a credit card. Worldpay orders are manually checked and approved and can take several hours to complete. Some credit card payments can take up to 24 hours to be verified.

If you order with Paypal and you do not have enough funds in your Paypal account to cover the purchase, Paypal will issues an eCheck which can take up to 14 business days to complete.

Wire Transfers can take up to 4-8 business days.
Do you offer any discounts if I purchase more than one license?

Yes - we offer discounts for purchases of three or more licenses. The price for each license decreases depending on the number of licenses you already own and the number that you wish to purchase:

Regular Forum Price$195
3 to 5 Forum Licenses$185.00 per license
6 to 10 Forum Licenses$175.00 per license
11 to 24 Forum Licenses$167.00 per license
25 to 49 Forum Licenses$158.00 per license
50+ Forum Licenses$150.00 per license
Regular Suite Price$285
3 to 5 Suite Licenses$270.00 per license
6 to 10 Suite Licenses$257.00 per license
11 to 24 Suite Licenses$244.00 per license
25 to 49 Suite Licenses$232.00 per license
50+ Suite Licenses$220.00 per license

There are two ways to qualify for bulk pricing. You can place your license order all at once, in which case the discount applies to all licenses purchased. The second method is cumulative. In this case if you purchase two licenses, both these will be at full price. However the third license purchased will be at the bulk rate.
Can I get a Trial Version of the software?

Since vBulletin is a "visible source" product, it is not possible for us to offer the full version of the software for evaluation. We do have an online demonstration system. You can open a sand boxed demo of the software for evaluation purposes using this system. Please visit http://www.vbulletin.com/admindemo.php to register a demo.

The vBulletin Server Test Script will tell you if your current web server is capable of running vBulletin.
Do you offer discounts for non profit/charity/academic organizations?

No - we do not offer any discounted prices for non-profit/charity/academic organizations.
What are the system requirements for vBulletin?

Minimum Requirements: vBulletin is designed to run on every server that has PHP 5.2 or greater and MySQL 4.1.0 or greater installed.

It is recommended to use PHP 5.2.6, or later and MySQL 5.0.19 or later.

The software has been successfully installed on several different flavors of UNIX, as well as Windows™ 98/NT/2000/XP, and the Mac.

Note: We recommend you contact your hosting provider to verify that they have the correct versions of PHP and MySQL installed. If you administrate your own server, PHP and MySQL are available for free download from PHP.net and MySQL.com.

Also you will need full permissions to the database in order to install and run vBulletin.
vBulletin Mobile Suite Requirements

The Mobile Suite applications are compatible with:

vB4 - 4.1.10+
vB3 - 3.7.5+ (will need to install a plugin that we will provide)
Facebook App Requirements

Facebook requires that you have an SSL Certificate issued to your domain in order to use Canvas Apps on their services.

vB4 - 4.1.10+
vB3 - 3.7.5+ (will need to install a plugin that we will provide)
Facebook Opengraph Requirements

In order to implement the Facebook OpenGraph API, your server must also have cURL with SSL support, or openSSL compiled into PHP in order for FB Connect to work. In the second case, cURL is not necessary. If you are having problems with the FB functions in vB, check your phpinfo to see if you have either cURL with SSL support or openSSL. If you have neither, you will need to recompile PHP with that support.

You can read more about this here:

Pricing & Licensing [-]
Is it true I can get 4.0 Forum Classic for free as an active license owner?

If your license was in active status when vBulletin 4.0 is released, you are eligible to download the software free of charge.

You may continue to run the 4.0 Forum software indefinitely, but you will not have access to any updates when the expiry date is reached (as found in your customer area). If you want to have access to any further maintenance, security or minor point releases for the 4.0 Forum software, you must purchase the full 4.0 Forum license upgrade at the price of $175 USD.
What is an active license?

You paid an annual license update fee and your expiration date (found in your customer area) is in the future. This term applies to all prior vBulletin software products, not the new 4.0 software products.
What is an inactive license?

Your "expiry date" (found in your customer area) is in the past. This term applies to all prior vBulletin software products, not the new 4.0 software products.
Doesn't my active license entitled me to upgrades to the product, until my license expires?

Your active, owned license and update service arrangement provide you with access to updates to the vBulletin 3.8 Software for the term of your update service period. Your owned license provides for your perpetual use of the software and does not expire: you may continue to use the software indefinitely. vBulletin 4.0 Forum Classic and 4.0 Publishing Suite are new and separate products and therefore, they are not an "update" to Version 3.8.
How should I understand the phrase "license expiration"?

There is some confusion around this phrase. When you purchase a vBulletin license for the 4.0 software products, you purchase a license that allows you to run that software indefinitely- it does not expire. If you are an existing customer who has an owned license, your license does not expire. If you are an existing customer who has a leased license, your license to run that software does expire (see FAQ: What is happening to leased licenses?).

The update service arrangement associated with an owned license does have an expiration. Some have confused the expiration of these update services with an expiration of the license and the corresponding right to run the software, which is not the case. Again, your owned licensed does not expire. Customers who paid their annual license update fee within the 12 months prior October 13, 2009 will continue to have access to updates, including security and maintenance releases. Access to these update services will expire 12 months from the when the license update fee was paid.

(If you paid for more than 12-months of update service, please see FAQ: I previously paid my annual update fee for more than 1 year of update service; how am I impacted?).
Why are there are no more "license renewals"?

You don't have to pay an annual license update fee to have access to security, maintenance and minor point updates. The new vBulletin 4.0 Software License Agreement now includes these services for the life of the 4.0 software products (security and maintenance releases are made available according the support schedule).
What is happening to leased licenses?

Leased licenses are no longer available for purchase. We will honor the terms of your current, valid license. Once it runs out, you must purchase a new license or remove all instances of the vBulletin software.
I previously paid my annual update fee for more than one year of update service. How am I impacted?

If you currently have paid for more than 12-months of update service for your active licenses, you will be issued a credit for each additional year of service you paid for (on a prorata basis) beyond the expiry of your current year, which may be applied toward your next vBulletin purchase. For example, if you purchased 4 years of annual license update service on August 1, 2007, you would receive credit for 1 year ($40 USD).
Can I remove the 'Powered by vBulletin' copyright text?

No. All copyright messages (both in the software code and templates) must be retained and visible.

A 'branding free' license is available at a cost of $170 per license, in addition to the cost of the license itself.

Once you have purchased this option, you will have the right to remove all references to vBulletin from the vBulletin design templates. Note this is for one license only and is in addition to the cost of the license.

Also please note that you must retain all copyright notices within the actual product programming code (these notices do not affect any visible vBulletin pages). Note also this does not allow you to rebrand the software with another name. It only allows you to remove the vBulletin copyright information.

The vBulletin branding-free license concerns the removal of visual branding. The branding-free package available from the members' area does not remove comments or variable names within the program code that mention vBulletin.

You may change the logo without purchasing this option.

For complete information, please read the vBulletin license agreement. If you require any further information please contact our sales team.
Will my branding-free option apply to 4.0 Forum and to 4.0 Publishing Suite?

I already have vBulletin Forum & Blog and I want CMS. Why do I have to buy the Publishing Suite to get CMS?

The power of the 4.0 Publising Suite is in the integration between the products. We will continue to develop on these products as part of a single platform and will no longer support Blog as a separate product.
Can I get credit for a recent purchase of Blog?

This is one of those special circumstances we believe we addressed with the 48% discount on Suite upgrades. We understand that some recent blog purchasers feel that it is unfair that they do not receive a greater than 48% discount. You are free to continue running your current version of Blog per the terms of your owned license. Our decision to end the current development on the Blog product was made in order to support the development of an entirely unique and powerful platform for creating content. While we understand some of the disappointment, we encourage this group not to feel penalized, as we made price cuts with them in mind. After the pre-sale, we may consider special handling for such issues, but we can assure you that subsequent discounts will not be larger than the current pre-sale offer.
I have purchased a license. Am I allowed to run two copies of vBulletin?

No. You must hold a valid vBulletin license for each individual installation of the software (regardless of whether the two installations are on the same domain name or server). For example, if you wish to install one copy of vBulletin at http://www.yourserver.com/forum1/ and another copy at http://www.yourserver.com/forum2/, you will require two licenses. Please note that the license agreement specifies that you must submit the URL where your vBulletin license(s) are installed (via the online members area). For complete licensing terms and conditions, please click here.
I have valid leased license and have opportunity to download 4.0 Forum free of charge. Once my leased license expires, what happens?

Your leased license terms do not allow you to continue to run the software beyond the term of your license. You must either remove all instances of the 4.0 Forum software or purchase a full license for $175 USD upon the expiration of your current lease.
Do you charge VAT to European customers?

We currently only charge VAT to customers in the United Kingdom.

Our VAT ID is GB975108406, registered to vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Support & Services [-]
I'm having problems downloading the software

The problem maybe caused by a firewall. Temporarily disable any firewall software prior to accessing the Members Area. Then try the download again. Once you have the file, reenable your firewall. If you continue to have issues, contact support.
Can I speak to a vBulletin sales person?

If you wish to speak with a vBulletin sales representative, please call our US toll-free number: +1 877-326-6444. This service is available between the hours of 9am to 5pm Pacific time (GMT-8), Monday to Friday.

Note: In order for us to offer the best level of customer service, the operator will request your name and email address prior to transferring you to a vBulletin representative. Your contact details will be used to send you a summary of your call, and/or any information requested by you during the call. Your email address and telephone number will not be added to any list, or provided to any third-party organisation.
Do I need to know PHP or MySQL to use vBulletin?

You do not need any programming skills with PHP or MySQL to use vBulletin.
Do I need to know HTML and/or CSS?

If you want to do advanced customizations to the user interface beyond fonts, colors, borders and backgrounds then you will need to know at least basic HTML and CSS techniques.
Will you teach me HTML and/or CSS?

We do not offer this service. If you need to learn HTML and/or CSS please visit http://www.w3schools.com for tutorials and exercises to learn these.
I can't post in the forums!

To be able to post in the support forums you need to be a licensed customer and register for Priority Forum Support. To do this, please visit the Priority Forum Support form.

Enter your email address (the one you used to register on the forums) in one of the boxes. You'll need to have your customer number and password to access that page.

Unlicensed customers can ask questions in the Pre-Sales forum.
What do I do if I want to move my forums to another server?

The instructions for moving servers are here. Note that this requires having telnet or SSH access to both servers.
How can I change the contact information assigned to my account?

To alter the contact information assigned to your account, please contact the support team.

After we've verified your request the contact details will be updated.
Help - I have forgotten my vBulletin customer number and password!

If you would like us to resend your customer number and password to your registered email address, please visit the lost password page.

If you no longer have access to your registered email address, please contact our sales team with the following information about your order:
  1. Your name
  2. Registered email address
  3. Billing address
  4. Payment method
  5. Date of purchase
  6. Type of license ordered
Product & Features [-]
Do you offer other language version of vBulletin?

At present we only support English and German language packs.

With vBulletin you can translate into many different languages using our Language Manager in the admin control panel. This allows you to translate the vBulletin language into your own language or several languages, as well as being able to import language packs created by others. Your users can then select the language they prefer to view the board in.

We do have a Languages Packs forum where you can find packs donated by our customers and also receive help for creating your own.

Please note, the Language Management System only covers the board text and not individual posts. The posts themselves will be displayed in the original language they were written in.
Will my existing custom language pack still work after upgrading to vB 4.0?

All existing translated phrases and language packs will still work with vB4. However there are new phrases in vB 4.0 that you will need to update and provide translations for.
Can I import posts/threads/members from other forum software?

We currently offer import utilities for Forum for more than 70 competitive products. We are currently working on import scripts for several popular platforms.

For further details on the current status of the vB3 import scripts and an overview of the data that is imported for each of the different boards please see the ImpEx Systems section in the online manual.

These import utilities are available to all customers via the members area.
Is it possible to upgrade from 4.0 Forum to Publishing Suite?

Yes, just upload the Publishing Suite files and run the upgrade script as usual.
What versions will I be able to upgrade from directly?

You will be able to upgrade to vB4 directly from versions 3.6 or higher. For versions earlier than 3.6, you should first upgrade to 3.8 before upgrading to 4.0. (more detailed info from mod forum)
Will vBulletin work on an NT/IIS/Solaris/Unix/Linux/other server?

vBulletin will work on any server platform that can support PHP and MySQL - which includes almost all Windows and Unix based operating systems. For complete information about PHP and MySQL, please visit PHP.net and MySQL.com.
Will vBulletin work with Oracle/Sybase/MS SQL/other databases?

vBulletin is only compatible with the MySQL database system.
Do you offer an Active Server Pages version of vBulletin?

At the moment we do not offer an Active Server Pages version of vBulletin (for use on NT/IIS servers). If you wish to run vBulletin on a Windows based server, you can download Windows versions of PHP and MySQL from PHP.net and MySQL.com.
Is vBulletin a hosted solution? Can you recommend a web host?

vBulletin does not provide a hosted solution at this time - when you purchase a license, you will be able to download the software and install it on any server that meets our system requirements.

For more information about vBulletin hosting options, please visit the community forums.
Why did vBulletin decide to discontinue supporting Project Tools?

We want to use our resources on the highest priority and most requested features. Because Project Tools was not very popular product, we have released it as an open source project on vBulletin.org, with it's own development team. If you wish to download Project Tools, you may do so here: vBulletin Project Tools 2.1.0 Open Source
How difficult is it to use vBulletin? Do I need any special knowledge?

vBulletin is easy to use and manage. No prior knowledge of PHP, MySQL or programming knowledge is needed, as all the options are manageable in the Administrator Control Panel.

If you have any questions we'll also always be glad to help, through our Community Forums or support systems. Additionally, there is a very extensive online manual available that explains most of the vBulletin functions in detail.
How much disk space do I need to install vBulletin?

We recommend that you have at least 100 MB of hosting space to install vBulletin.
How does vBulletin utilize disk space?

With vBulletin there are 2 different types of disk space usage:

Web space - For the PHP scripts and images of vBulletin.

MySQL database space - Which is separate from Web space, and you need to make sure your host gives you enough space in that department.

When you use vBulletin, you have to take into account both web space and MySQL database space. vBulletin 4.x consists of:

PHP scripts and image files in the zip file you download. You will need 20 megabytes of space for the files in vBulletin 4.0 Forum. vBulletin 4.0 Suite takes 25 megabytes of space.

MySQL database space which holds the actual vBulletin data:

On initial install the MySQL database space used is approximately 20 Megabytes, and that is mainly the database table structure and initial data in the database tables.

Once you start posting, adding threads, members, polls, private messages, attachments, avatars etc, your MySQL database space is the one that grows and should be your main concern - MySQL disk space.

How much MySQL disk space is used is highly dependent on the type of forum you run, and factors such as:
  • your average allowed attachment and avatar size
  • how many attachments and avatars you have stored in your vBulletin database
  • how many private messages you have stored in your vBulletin database from members
  • how many posts and threads you have and the size and variables you have set for your searchindex
  • how many members you have
  • how many forums you have
  • etc.
For example, an installation that has 5,800+ members, 40,000 threads, 662,000 posts, 70,000 private messages and 8,000 attachments has approx. a total MySQL database size of 940MB - which comes to around 140MB per 100,000 posts. Please note that it does vary from forum to forum, so your mileage may vary.
Will my existing styles and add-ons still work?

Because of the new vBulletin 4.0 Template Engine, pre-4.0 styles will not work with vBulletin 4.0. Add-ons may or may not work, depending on which functions they use.
How do I convert my existing Styles to the new vB4 Style?

Since the underlying markup has been converted from the old table-based structure to semantic XHTML, styles have to be re-created from scratch for vB4.
The Company [-]
Why did you move operations and development to California?

Some who follow us closely have asked why we’ve migrated vBulletin development from the U.K. to California. The primary reason was the availability of technical talent and proximity to the resources of our parent company.