Forum Software - What Are Your Recommendations

by kyleb 14 replies
Looking around for some forum Software.

Of course I've looked at the basics, SMF, PHbb, VBulletin. VBulletin looks like the best for the whole shebang at $500. The others are free.

I know there are a lot of smart people on here who know a lot more about forums than I do and was wondering what your recommendation is, and why.

I don't mind paying but off the get go I'd probably want to get a free one or relatively cheap one to see what kind of following w are going to build for the particular niche. Then of course there is the issue about upgrading in the future and then losing the forum and all the discussions, so.... Probably best to just get something and stick with it.

I appreciate any help and insight into this.

Thanks!

Kyle
#main internet marketing discussion forum #forum #recommendations #software
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by kyleb View Post

    Looking around for some forum Software.

    Of course I've looked at the basics, SMF, PHbb, VBulletin. VBulletin looks like the best for the whole shebang at $500. The others are free.
    Also consider Invision Power Board. Not a fan, myself, but many people like it.

    In my experience, phpBB is a complete pain in the arse, you spend an awful lot of time hacking on it to make it work right. Then there's an upgrade and you have to start hacking on it all over again.

    SMF is pretty cool. I like it. I like the team. They do a good job. Amazing that it's free.

    vBulletin is my personal favourite, but there's been a schism and split; the Xenforo dev team is made up of former vBulletin developers, and aims to make a better vBulletin than vBulletin.

    Currently, I set up forums on SMF, because it's cheaper than using vBulletin every time. But when I next do a major authority site forum, I'll take a hard look at Xenforo.
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  • If you're serious about running and growing your forum, paying for vBulletin's license is worth every penny. There's no other forum script like it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

      If you're serious about running and growing your forum, paying for vBulletin's license is worth every penny. There's no other forum script like it.
      The one created by former vBulletin developers is actually better XenForo - Compelling Community Forum Software

      I've used pretty much all bulletin board systems, MyBB is my favorite free, and Xenforo is my favorite paid at this point.

      Caleb
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      • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
        You can easily resell a Vbulletin license if you decided not to go on with your forum.

        It will be more difficult with the other paid software.
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        • Profile picture of the author kyleb
          Thanks for all the tips guys! XenForo looks compelling. So it sounds like that may be better than VBulletin? I was always under the impression VBulletin was the creme de la creme of Forum software?

          I'll be looking at the differences between the two. I am stoked to get this going.

          Anyhow thanks again for the suggestions and I appreciate anymore you have.
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      • Profile picture of the author kyleb
        Originally Posted by Caleb Spilchen View Post

        The one created by former vBulletin developers is actually better XenForo - Compelling Community Forum Software

        I've used pretty much all bulletin board systems, MyBB is my favorite free, and Xenforo is my favorite paid at this point.

        Caleb
        So why do you say it is better? I look forward to your response.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
        Originally Posted by Caleb Spilchen View Post

        XenForo - Compelling Community Forum Software

        I've used pretty much all bulletin board systems, MyBB is my favorite free, and Xenforo is my favorite paid at this point.
        Good man

        I can't speak from as much experience as you have. I've just worked with SMF but all the reading I'm doing looking for my next choice, points towards those two.

        Originally Posted by kyleb View Post

        I was always under the impression VBulletin was the creme de la creme of Forum software?
        Not at all. Mostly it is riding on its past reputation now. If you check the source code for this forum, it is version 3.8.something. The 4 versions have been out for about a year and a half now. They have been getting complaints, and have been driving people to xenforo.

        I'm quite active as a user on a VB 4.xx forum, and it is very clunky compared to this one. Seems like it's a sign of the basic intelligence behind this forum that they didn't do the upgrades.

        Originally Posted by kyleb View Post

        Then of course there is the issue about upgrading in the future and then losing the forum and all the discussions, so.... Probably best to just get something and stick with it.
        Nope that's one thing you don't have to worry about. The paid forums have the ability to import nearly everything from the major free ones. That's where they get a lot of their customers.

        You might lose a few items in transition, but not much.

        And here is a page where forum owners voted on their favorite free software.

        Vote for the Best Forum Software of 2012 | Forum Software Reviews

        I was rather surprised by the winning margin of MyBB. SMF got about 3% of the vote.
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  • Profile picture of the author dadamson
    vBulletin is awesome! I've used PhpBB and it was good but I wouldn't use it again, it was a nightmare.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Whisonant
    I actually like phpBB. It does have a learning curve but once you get the basics down it works great.
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    • Profile picture of the author kyleb
      Ok guys back again... Lookgin to do a project for a Client and again looking at the best one. I like Mingle and BuddyPress. I like the idea of having an integrated forum in wordpress, but is VBulletin or XenForo - Compelling Community Forum Software better? I really don't care about being paid but BuddyPress and Mingle sure do look good and it seems there is a lot of functionality with them. I notice Mingle has a lot of additional addons you can purchase for cheap to get it to do specific functions.

      Any thoughts on these or the best one to use integrated with Wordpress?

      Thanks!
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      • Profile picture of the author yorkiedale
        Originally Posted by kyleb View Post

        Ok guys back again... Lookgin to do a project for a Client and again looking at the best one. I like Mingle and BuddyPress. I like the idea of having an integrated forum in wordpress, but is VBulletin or XenForo - Compelling Community Forum Software better? I really don't care about being paid but BuddyPress and Mingle sure do look good and it seems there is a lot of functionality with them. I notice Mingle has a lot of additional addons you can purchase for cheap to get it to do specific functions.

        Any thoughts on these or the best one to use integrated with Wordpress?

        Thanks!
        Hi, I've been looking at this as well, ie integration into wordpress. One that seems to come out favourite in reviews is Simpleress - free to download, but if you need extras, plugins etc or support from the forum, you pay $99 for 12 months or $39 for 2

        I've tinkered with buddypress, which has in-built forums, and also runs a kind of social network, but the forums it uses are bbpress, which I don't really like.

        I mod a largish (39,000 members) phpbb forum The Mitsubishi Pajero Owners Club® :: Index and a couple of others, and once they are set up, they are good, but they do need some "hacking" etc to get to how you want it

        I think simplepress is the way to go, as it slots straight into wordpress, but buddypress and mingle also seem good, especially if you want the social network features that buddypress offers, although then you are working with buddypress themes, plugins etc which are less available than wordpress ones

        let me know how you get on

        cheers

        Yorkie
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I myself use SMF and have been told by many that there are better solutions...That being said; as of two years and 4,000 members and almost 160k in profits later, I still cant figure out why I would need anything different. Maybe if you are as big as WF it makes a difference, but thats some pretty tall cotton that most of us wont be stepping into anytime soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeLugar
    MYBB is the best free forum software. Vbulletin as a paid solution.
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    • Profile picture of the author kyleb
      Ok thanks for the input. Any ideas or thoughts on Mingle? It seems like it is very nice and integrates well with Wordpress. MyBB doesn't look like it integrates with wordpress easily unless I missed info about a plugin for it.
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