If you were building your own Forum; What Forum would you emulate??

30 replies
I am in the early stages of building a forum and seeking input as to the best features to include in my forum. Excluding the forum content; which forums do you think are the most user friendly and have the best features? What features do you like in a forum and what don't you like? Are there any forums that have a visual appeal you like? I look forward to your input.
#building #emulate #forum
  • Profile picture of the author Ross Cohen
    I find this forum rather intuitive. I think most Warriors would agree. Perhaps it's part of what made this forum so successful.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    One of the features I have found lacking in other forums is the 'Like' or 'Thanks' button. I think it's a good way for members to reward one another for posting valuable and meaningful content. You will also want to have some sort of report post feature like this forum has... otherwise getting rid of spam will be a nightmare.

    Vbulletin, the forum software this forum uses, is definitely one of the leaders. It has most of the features you are ever going to need and they are constantly making updates to help protect the software and make it even more user friendly.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeraldNitram
    The thanks button here is a good way of showing your appreciation to the person who made that post that you think gave you the answer that you're looking for. There's another feature in another forum that I like; I don't know if you guys know it, but you can take a look at some of those forums with the "Add Reputation" buttons. Through those, you can agree, or disagree with whatever is on the post.
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  • Profile picture of the author Woodward82
    Vbulletin seems to be good because of its strong community and thousands of addons and plugins.

    Personally I like xenforo from an admin standpoint and ease of use.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandor Verebi
      Hi MrPitBull

      Any forum software is as good as you haven't issues with it in using, like...


      * installing is not complicated

      * updates are easy

      * troublehouting isn't too complicated

      * the navigation is easy, not a nightmare

      * efficient enough in completing your job

      * it hasn't security leaks (I know, I know, the perfection is not yet invented)

      * has elements of rewarding or sanctioning users

      * users can build connections easily between each other


      Of course, the point is that the users are happy with it. So, I think, VBulletin can be your solution. At least I think it is good.

      Best,

      Sandor
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      • Profile picture of the author FertilityCoach
        I really like the thank you feature this forum gives.
        A like button is always fun--
        Report Spam buttons are a must.

        I'm not sure if you have ever heard of baby gaga but I personally like the way things are set up there. Very user friendly with tons of great features!
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    If you were building your own Forum; What Forum would you emulate??
    You would look at all of the big boards for inspiration, but then listen to your members for the final product, each board has its own unique twists and turns, and probably more evolves than is born out of the box.

    To emulate another board alone would not mean that you would gain the same popularity, if this was true then every member here could emulate / clone the warrior forum and we would all own boards such as this.

    Many people have tried this before I would suspect and I am sure many more will try moving forward with little to no success, so in that a emulated board has little to no value.

    A real community is just as much about its people as the board layout itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author elzafonv
    check out vanilla (i think this is the script name) - cool framework.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrPitBull
      Originally Posted by elzafonv View Post

      check out vanilla (i think this is the script name) - cool framework.
      Elzafonv, thanks for the suggestion. Is Vanilla a Vbulletin product? Doing a Google search for vanilla would be fruitless without a little more to go on.
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      • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
        Originally Posted by MrPitBull View Post

        Elzafonv, thanks for the suggestion. Is Vanilla a Vbulletin product? Doing a Google search for vanilla would be fruitless without a little more to go on.
        Vote for the Best Forum Software of 2012 | Forum Software Reviews

        my vote goes to ipb
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        • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
          That was an interesting link. I had no idea MyBB had that much support.

          Just a caution for people suggesting vbulletin. The latest versions have had problems. If you look at the source code from the index page of this forum, a few lines down it shows we are on version 3.8 or so. (At least it did the last time I checked.)

          VB users have been switching over to xenforo.com

          Versions 4.xx have been out for about a year and a half. There is probably a good reason for not updating.
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  • Profile picture of the author williamk
    Banned
    I think you should concentrate on getting traffic rather than making it look good. Try out various promotional strategies for making it get more members. Forums are not easy to get started but they are handsfree once you get enough members who are regulars.
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  • Profile picture of the author daddykool
    None, come up with your own niche or a combo of niches/subjects/interests...

    There are normally only ever one good forum sites, for each thing you can think of, check out each subject and you will see the authority sites are just that!

    A new forum is hard to build, but if you capture the right niche, it will boom!
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    • Profile picture of the author sethdrebitko
      I am currently running vanilla successfully. Some of the benefits it has are:
      • The ability to show one continual stream of all discussions on the main page. The right sidebar contains the list of categories that can be clicked to filter all discussions but those. This has the HUGE benefit for a start up because it ends up making the forum look more active than it might be.
      • Incredibly easily set up a mailing list of every forum member.
      • One of the goals of the company is to make the forum capable of integrating with as many other things as possible
      I think a key question is really how do you want to profit from your forum in the short and long term? Each has its advantages in certain areas.
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      • Profile picture of the author MrPitBull
        Originally Posted by sethdrebitko View Post

        I am currently running vanilla successfully. Some of the benefits it has are:
        • The ability to show one continual stream of all discussions on the main page. The right sidebar contains the list of categories that can be clicked to filter all discussions but those. This has the HUGE benefit for a start up because it ends up making the forum look more active than it might be.
        • Incredibly easily set up a mailing list of every forum member.
        • One of the goals of the company is to make the forum capable of integrating with as many other things as possible
        I think a key question is really how do you want to profit from your forum in the short and long term? Each has its advantages in certain areas.
        I understand now that Vanilla is an open source solution. So far I have not ran across any sites using it. I will have to see if I can find some. What is the address to your forum?
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        • Profile picture of the author sethdrebitko
          community dot koboldenterprise dot com traffic has died down a bit latley because I haven't had time to promote it. This should give you an idea of what can be done with almost no effort though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Litherland
    I think i 'like' or even an 'unlike' button would be a good option?

    good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I think I would emulate a mix of the old snowboards(IGN's old boards) and the warrior forum. I think the old snowboards were among the best boards from usablity but there are features here like the "thanks" I would add.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Nesbitt
    Just remember one thing...Moderators can kill your forum so becareful who you let Mod. I've seen Mods ban 5 people for having a discussion that he didnt like. I've also seen some sites that should be successful but arent because a Mod has to approve every post. Case in points is the forums on Tony Robbins website. His forums should be exploding, but they do stuff like make you wait 2 weeks(or longer) until a Mod approves your registration and if you post something, you might not see it for a day until a mod reads it and approves it. If they dont approve it, you will not get a notice. Its like the same 10 people on that board when in reality, that board should have at least 100,000 members just because of Tony Robbins name.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrPitBull
      I appreciate everyone's insight!
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  • Profile picture of the author elexmedia
    1. Which forums do you think are the most user friendly and have the best features?
    Warriorforum. The site is really tidy and well-order. It's very easy to search and consume information here, because you are not distracted with too much ads. The best features of WF is the WSO sub-forum of course

    2.
    What features do you like in a forum and what don't you like?
    It'll be great to have a marketplace sub-forum that you could get bargain price.
    I don't like blinking ads that placed in everywhere, just in order to make you click the ads.

    3.
    Are there any forums that have a visual appeal you like?
    I really like the visual of Sitepoint Forum. It really easy to read the contents on the forum.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrPitBull
      Originally Posted by elexmedia View Post



      3.
      Are there any forums that have a visual appeal you like?
      I really like the visual of Sitepoint Forum. It really easy to read the contents on the forum.
      Thanks! I agree. Sitepoint has a very nice look that is inviting. I like the site too.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    I've had or moderated a forum since 1994.

    We use vBulletin, same as WF, at our Seeds of Wisdom forum (12 years).

    Choosing software and features to include depends on what you want, how many people your forum will serve. I'll give you a couple of examples.

    I once had a private forum at my Mr. Chattel website. It was a "closed" forum, for members only and was restricted to 100 people. So, if you are going to operate a paid forum, your needs will be different.

    The software used here is very powerful, allows you to have paid sections, like the War Room, and to accept advertising. I've seen scores of people try to emulate the WF, and all have failed. This was built over TIME.

    Most of the web hosts, such as HostGator, have built in forums, everything form Simple Machines to more complex forums, and they are free.

    So, I'd ask you first what is the INTENT of the forum?

    Who is your TARGET market, who will be coming to your forum and why?

    How much moderation time do you have and will you have other moderators?

    HOW will people find your forum, what is it you want from them?

    Visual appeal, is the least important thing, I've belonged to some ugly looking forums but the CONTENT and expertise on the forums were what made me participate.

    So, in my opinion, you need to answer some questions first about what you are wanting to do and for whom...as it stands, it feels as if you are putting the cart before the horse. Good luck, forums can be very profitable if done right.

    gjabiz
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    • Profile picture of the author MrPitBull
      Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

      I've had or moderated a forum since 1994.
      So, in my opinion, you need to answer some questions first about what you are wanting to do and for whom...as it stands, it feels as if you are putting the cart before the horse. Good luck, forums can be very profitable if done right.

      gjabiz
      Thanks gjabiz. I already run a website that has a fair amount of traffic. The forum is going to be an extension of the site I am currently running. Getting visitors to the forum is the least of my concerns. I want to present a package that is superior to the ones already operating in my field. Some of the thoughts presented here are helping me in that regards.

      Visual appeal is very important, despite what some may want us to believe. The fact is, no matter how nice a girl is; the pretty ones get all the attention. Building a site with a nice visual appearance, that is easy to use, and to navigate, will help in building membership.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    A guy named Dexx in the "offline marketing" section of this forum has a great forum that you can emulate.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrPitBull
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      A guy named Dexx in the "offline marketing" section of this forum has a great forum that you can emulate.
      Thanks Randall,
      I looked him up, but did not see any links or mentions to his forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Just don't make it too heavily moderated. I always tend to flock towards forums that have less rules and are advocates of free speech and thought (where I can come straight out and question a certain gurus credentials rather than get banned for it).

    Internet wasn't made to censor people, but so many forums do exactly that, censor people.

    -Red
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  • Profile picture of the author Butazi
    Gamefaqs.com
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    I am posting while working for a company, or else I would use my name as my username. Yeah...they stalk my name.

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  • Profile picture of the author tmoby
    If you make a forum about internet marketing on a similar topic, I highly recommend a reputation button.

    I like the simplicity of Warrior forum, I would just like to see an itrader and add reputation button to be added and it'd be perfect!
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