BEST FORUM SOFTWARE???

33 replies
Hey folks, I'm in the early stages of getting a forum community up n running. Can you guys n gals throw up some advice on the best forum software to have a look at?
Thanking you
Nick
#forum #software
  • Profile picture of the author phowell23
    vBulletin is no doubt the best. If you are serious about creating a professional forum, this is the route to go.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joel Young
      Originally Posted by phowell23 View Post

      vBulletin is no doubt the best. If you are serious about creating a professional forum, this is the route to go.
      vBulletin has shot itself in the foot the past few years. Have you seen version 5? It's nice but really still has issues and I wouldn't recommend it. As a vBulletin user since 2001, and test team member since 2009, I can honestly say that it's no longer something I would use.

      Have a look at XenForo for a better solution.

      If you want a free software, phpBB is quite good these days, much improved over previous versions.
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      • Profile picture of the author coalminer
        XenForo has nice pricing too.. thanks for that Joel.. have to do some deeper digging.. never have looked into that 1
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          It depends what facilities you need, to what extent "design" is important to you, and so on.

          I use phpBB version 3.x and like it very much (I'm speaking as a non-techie, and everything's easy to do). You can get nice-looking "skins" for it, as well. vBulletin is doubtless more flexible and capable (and complicated).

          (phpBB is free, by the way).
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      • Profile picture of the author datingworld
        Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

        vBulletin has shot itself in the foot the past few years. Have you seen version 5? It's nice but really still has issues and I wouldn't recommend it.
        correct, version 5 has some issues,
        i recently launched one with them and after lots of recommendations, I went for version 4 instead of 5..
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      • Profile picture of the author phowell23
        Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

        vBulletin has shot itself in the foot the past few years. Have you seen version 5? It's nice but really still has issues and I wouldn't recommend it. As a vBulletin user since 2001, and test team member since 2009, I can honestly say that it's no longer something I would use.

        Have a look at XenForo for a better solution.

        If you want a free software, phpBB is quite good these days, much improved over previous versions.
        I have seen 5 and wont touch it until they get it everything ironed out. I still use 4.x and I love the amount of forum themes and plugins out there. Plus, just google your issue with VB and there is most likely already mutiple threads discussing how to correct it. However, I have not used XenForo...
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    • Profile picture of the author taylormetric
      Originally Posted by phowell23 View Post

      vBulletin is no doubt the best. If you are serious about creating a professional forum, this is the route to go.
      This is not necessarily true. vB is great, but IPB (Invision Power Board) is certainly right there with it. It's a matter of taste and needs/wants.

      IPB vs vB is really where you'll want to concentrate your research if you want to build a robust and feature-rich community.

      Disclaimer: I owned an IPB forum with 120k+ members that generated a healthy $40-60k / mo in ad revenues. I've also built out several vB installations in the past, and I tend to like both forum softwares pretty equally. Fwiw

      Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Iain Ainsworth
    Have you looked in your CPanel?

    Go to Fantastico and you'll see that you have two options for forums: PHP and SMF

    Easy to set up - but I can't give you any other input as I've never had need to use a forum.
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    • Profile picture of the author coalminer
      thanks guys,, vbulletin looks sweet, but that's interesting too Iain.. I will take a look later
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  • Profile picture of the author pdrs
    I use phpBB - it's free, it's easy to install/maintain and I have no problems with it - vBulletin is probably better for doing customization stuff though I can't say for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    how about forum plugins for wordpress or buddypress?
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  • Profile picture of the author B001ean
    The future of forum software is in discourse Discourse although this project is young, it looks very promising.
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  • Profile picture of the author cheddarben
    I have used a few forum websites that seem to be the same as WF. I think it is easy to use and functional. Perhaps not the prettiest, but easy to use and functional.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joel Young
      Originally Posted by cheddarben View Post

      I have used a few forum websites that seem to be the same as WF. I think it is easy to use and functional. Perhaps not the prettiest, but easy to use and functional.
      WF uses an older version of a software that isn't available anymore unless you purchase a license for the latest version.
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  • Profile picture of the author David McGimpsey
    vb is good once you get it running and get it functioning the way you want.

    I have three installations of it, all for educational groups. It has performed well, but if I was doing everything from scratch again I wouldn't go for vb without giving the competition a serious test drive first, and here's a short list of why:

    1. The backend is cumbersome to use

    2. My installations span several versions and it feels like new functionality is just tacked on because you need to often jump through hoops to get things to work. For example "Forum Permissions" is accessible from multiple locations and acts in a weird manner based on how you get there.

    3. My experience with support is not good:

    When I first purchased I wanted to do something I thought was relatively simple...

    Each "class" or "group" on my vb forum has it's own private forum and shouldn't be able to see anyone else's forum due to privacy. So I wanted each usergroup to default to having access to no forums and be able to assign a single usergroup to view one particular sub-forum.

    For example, Usergroup A can only see Forum A, Uergroup B only Forum B, etc.

    I thought this would be simple because you can do this easily in SMF (free software). It turns out it is anything but simple. You can do it but not without a lot of admin.

    When I asked tech support about it, the response was along the lines of "Why would you want to do that?"

    Anyway, that's my experience, your mileage may differ.

    Cheers,
    Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
    vBulletin has been the leader for a long time, but I've noticed a lot of big forums moving to Xenforo. I personally use MyBB because of the awesome admin panel.
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  • Profile picture of the author tks
    I made comparison recently about most popular forum software. I decided to use MyBB after installing and trying all free forums on my local machine. It has been running for the last 3 months and in my experience within this time says, my decision to use MyBB was right!
    MyBB comes with lots of mods (plugins) for various purposes like SEO and having a very active community free support. This free software is highly customizable and friendly administration interface. I recommend you to try it at least once locally.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Stacy
    vbulletin I must say. Because it have got more advanced options than any other forum software. You will notice that the biggest forums usually use vbulletin.
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    • Profile picture of the author nathanf
      Another here for vbulletin. SMF is pretty good too as a Free option.
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  • Profile picture of the author joaquin112
    Most people will say vbulletin or phpBB because that's what they used. Since I have used all the different forum software, I must say that I like Xenforo the most.
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    • Profile picture of the author owais211
      Banned
      Since you are in the early stages of getting a forum community up, I would recommend
      PhpBB version 3.x for a starter its a way to go, with its interface user friendly design and free open source there's no doubt that it would be a highly recommended forum software.
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  • Profile picture of the author tourist
    discuz! is a best forum software .it has sns element.
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  • Profile picture of the author run
    There is no the best. The top forum softwares are all good that's why they could stand up till now. The best is for the functions that user need. I've always use PHPbb for my forum projects because it's comfortable with me and most importantly it's free with tons of help of user generated community like Wordpress itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedark
    Stay away from fantastico stuff. You should use it only for testing purposes.

    I also like vbulletin, and it is my choice for forum, unless the forum is an extension for my already up and running wordpress based membership website. In that case, I would not want to have all my users register again and again. BBpress is the most popular wordpress plugin for forums. The great thing is that it will be easy integrated with your wordpress website.

    If you start you business with the forum, then go with vbulletin.
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    • Profile picture of the author aritrim
      1. If you are looking for a free forum software, then you can go for MyBB.
      MyBB + a few plugins = vBulletin.

      2. You can check Vanillaforums also. It depends on your forum topic.

      3. Avoid phpBB as it has been hacked to death and is a dinosaur now.
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      • Profile picture of the author Joel Young
        Originally Posted by aritrim View Post

        3. Avoid phpBB as it has been hacked to death and is a dinosaur now.
        Have you seen the most recent version(s) of it? I feel they have come a long way since the earlier days. More secure, etc. For a free software it's not bad at all, and not even close to being a dinosaur.
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        • Profile picture of the author aritrim
          Originally Posted by Joel Young View Post

          Have you seen the most recent version(s) of it? I feel they have come a long way since the earlier days. More secure, etc. For a free software it's not bad at all, and not even close to being a dinosaur.
          I have. It is my personal belief that MyBB (being free) has an edge over Phpbb in terms of setting up, admin panels, plugins and speed. Phpbb is still a bloated script from a programmer's perspective.

          It is just that I will not recommend it personally.
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  • Profile picture of the author nocturnal911
    Use SMF if you want a free one, if you have money go for vbulletin it is the best forum software.
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  • Profile picture of the author ConnorMRR
    I'd recommend XenForo. For years I had used vBulletin and never had a problem, I never intended to move away from it but then that changed early last year when a heck load of bugs started playing havoc, I eventually decided to move over to XenForo and really don't regret it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
    I like vBulletin but frankly never tried anything else..

    Cheers,

    Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author coalminer
    Phew thanks everyone, some very good advice. I think I am more confused now though. Some great software out there by the looks, paid or free. Will have to look into exactly what I want to get out of it then proceed as needs suggest.
    Thanks again
    Nick
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