Once you have purchased a vBulletin license and have the archive with the last version downloaded on your computer you can proceed with the installation. The names of the archives are usually similar to the sample provided below:
vbforum_x_x-x- where the x-x-x is the version, 4.2.0 for example.
Extracting the archive and explaining it's contents
Extract the archive in a separate folder of your computer. It contains the following folders:
"do_not_upload" - This is a folder that contains additional maintenance files which are not obligatory to be uploaded.
"upload" - The content of this folder must be uploaded on your account. It contains the files and folders of your vBulletin forum.
Uploading the installation & forum files to your account
Now, that you have the archive extracted on your computer it is time to upload it on your hosting account. First, you have to make a decision where to have it installed:
If you want to use your website only for forum purposes then you can easily upload the content of the upload folder (without the folder) in the public_html directory of your account. Then the URL for your forum will be http://www.yourdomainname.com where you should replace yourdomainname.com with your actual domain name.
If you want the forum to be just a part of your website, but not the main one you can put it into a subfolder. The most used names of this folder are board, forum, community, but you are not limited to these names. You can have whatever directory name you want for your forum. Then the URL for your forum will be: http://subdomain.yourdomainname.com (e.g. http://forum.siteground.com/).
Upload the files and folders from the upload folder to the desired location and proceed with the database creation. You can learn more about how to upload files with FTP here.
What is MySQL database and why is it obligatory for the forum installation?
Like most of the applications, written in PHP (the most famous scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages) vBulletin is using a MySQL database to store its data. During the setup process you'll be asked to name the database and give a username that has access to it with a corresponding password.