Forum: Host or on separate domain?

Firstly, I had a quick look on Google and on the forum search box and I couldn’t find a similar topic to answer my question. If there is another then please link to it.

I am looking to add a forum to one of my larger websites (tens of thousands of visitors a day) which runs ASP.NET. As anyone on ASP.NET will tell you the pickings for forums are quite poor, and the best solution I have come across seems to be YetAnotherForum. Quite frankly, I think we can do better…

What I would like is to have vBulletin, although to my knowledge we don’t have an available MySQL database, nor is PHP installed on this server. I do, however, have a PHP host that I could host this on a separate domain. This seems to allow me two options:

  1. Set up on my main host and install YAF.

  2. Set up on another host, add heavy links to the first website throughout the site and go with my preferred choice of forum script.

Naturally, we want there to be some form of SEO benefit to having a forum, although I’m struggling to see how much of a benefit having a forum would do in regards to SEO. Any idea or wisdom on this train of thought would be welcomed.

Anyway, in terms of SEO, what is better. Hosting my forum on my own website or having it on a separate domain? If there is a way to link to another host I would also appreciate some information on that. Most importantly, if you have advice please cite your sources. We get enough people posting on here who cannot back up their “facts” and I’m hoping for this to be a relatively fluff-free thread. :slight_smile:


I tried yetanotherforum once before I moved to vbulletin. Yetanotherforum customer support is horrible; takes days to answer; if you ask them how to fix something they say they would fix that on next version!

I think its best for you using a subdomain like or

In terms of SEO having forum as part of the website would have been better of course. But I dont think you have much choice there other then having it separate.

That’s what worries me. There are very few good ASP.NET forums, and to be honest I’d rather go with a proven PHP solution like vBulletin, or even phpBB. Sadly, as my host doesn’t any database other than SQL Server I’m sort of limited to it from this host.

If the SEO drop would be that catastrophic, then I guess I’ll have to use YAF, but if it’s only a minimal issue then I’d be happy to host elsewhere.