My favourite forum as of right now is my hosting provider's forum InstaFree Community. We all are friends, and seeing just how sociable and interactive Bryan, the admin, is with members, it's fantastic. They may be a free host, and a free host from first sound of it is just another junk host that's blacklisted, and/or that covers your site with advertisements and is incredibly slow and probably also requires you to be this active on their forum to have an account.
InstaFree, Bryan is strict, has a huge banned country list, and firm terms and conditions. But then him being strict where he needs to be, beyond that, is where the strictness comes to an end
He does make exceptions to those he feels he can trust, raises limits on accounts and he even is happy to give ssh access in cpanel to the right people, something that many paid for hosts wouldn't even dream on doing.
For me, for my TeamSpeak server, I mentioned to him I probably will need to upgrade soon to the 25 slot but I want to pay at new year, and I wasn't asking for him to upgrade me then. He did, and said pay when you want and don't worry about covering for that time before I paid. It was November he did that. I was just stunned.
Then it came to when I was wanting to play around with making a website, though he says you need to have a website up within a certain time, and not just have a hello world wordpress sitting there, I did the hello world as a joke for him, and I whoops left it there for about a month and a half. Bryan forgived me though haha.
One of my friend's friends, he was doing a hosting company, not working particularly well. He saw me with my TeamSpeak server (now Discord as free and more suited) and my wesbite etc. He asked me for advice on how he can get his hosting company working. I just took the advice request to Bryan, but even before that I pretty much said to him to have a community forum and show you are a interactive human and not a robot sitting behind a so and so day response time email support wall. Then I just told him to talk to Bryan.
The head company he was being a reseller company with, they bailed out on him. Since that happened, he now is a happy client with InstaFree (which is full of kitties by the way), and he's given up the idea of doing his hosting company and is now doing some over plans.
Rightly so in my opinion, and Bryan's too. To be in with the game and be successful, you need to know what you are doing, you need to be experienced and appear more than just robots who don't care for you. When you're asking around how to be successful in web hosting and many things, you very likely aren't going to.
Bryan, he's had about 20 years experience in web hosting. Why he knows the game well. A community run by someone with so much experience, you just always want that, and Bryan, he sure shows it.
From what I've seen here in the short few hours I've been here and been posting lots of things and writing essays like this LOL, I am really impressed.
An old time favourite of mine used to be PC Advisor Forums, ever since 2009 I've loved that forum, but then more recent things on there from myself pretty much sum up why I no longer go there, because I used to love going there showing off things I have been creating, many old time members really got on well with but then times change, others come along and dominate the forum who aren't so tame like the older bunch.
I was originally part of a forum and Discord server for this project, but then whilst I had been given moderating status, on theur Discord all I was able to do was kick people. A public server, what use is that, kick and then they come running back in. Same as shutting down your computer instead of banning you from the forum.
That community, the developers, and some of their friends I caught them saying some utterly disgusting things insulting and saying things that can be and is triggering. So I pointed out to them how disgusting it is and to put it lightly, they just couldn't be grown up.
A community needs serious moderation happening, and if you aren't careful, it just becomes toxic.
I personally for my communities have a huge rule list. It does the trick and it's saved my back before that's for sure.