From Online Manual
There are several steps to increasing the performance of SMF. They start at the lowest level with choosing the right host and go all the way up through configuring SMF.
- Choose the right host.
- Be real with yourself. You probably don't need a dedicated server when first starting out, but that doesn't mean you should go with the cheapest, overselling host you can find.
- See how they setup their servers and what software is installed. See what web server they are running (Apache, nginx, lighttpd, etc.). Check the PHP info file, their MySQL parameters, the web server modules installed, etc. See what you will need and how that corresponds to what they have.
- The following only relates to having a dedicated server or VPS. Choosing the right operating system and configuring it
- Linux or Windows - the choice is yours
- Linux distro -
- Choosing web server and configuring it
- Apache - simple and most common. The A in LAMP/WAMP.
- nginx - becoming even more common. A lot of tools to convert from Apache to nginx. Fast, reliable, and used a lot by Big Forums.
- IIS - common for Windows
- Choosing and configuring RDBMS (database)
- MySQL - best support by SMF and the rest of the web. Fast, secure, reliable. A lot of tools by Simple Machines and third-parties to tune MySQL
- Postgres - good support by the web. Many bugs for SMF
- Configuring and tuning PHP and its modules
- Opcode and variable caching
- Tuning SMF options and settings
- SMF customizations (themes and mods)
Okay, maybe that is a little verbose, but at the very least the main ones should link to pages which link to sub-pages.