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Choosing A forum Software


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So guys I was wondering if you can help me in understanding the criteria and advantages of various Forum Softwares.

 

I am familiar with Vbulletin. So I am interested in knowing about others.

 

Please post the ones you know about, why you choose them and whether it is free or paid.

 

What plugins do you use? And How taking is it on a VPS.

 

Thanks

Godric

 

PS: I really like the flexibility of this forum and easy ness in posting and editing. Although I have trouble finding the Rep button. :)

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Well each forum softwares have different features and offer different things to different admins. Your best bet to see which one would be right for you is perhaps comparing a few different types of forum softwares to see which would best fit your needs. Then try out demos for said forum softwares if you have multiple ones you're curious about. :-) That's the best advice I can give you. :-)

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From the user side, the best idea would be to check out the support forums on the official sites of each platform. They generally use the default style for that software and will give a good feel of what each is capable of while navigating around.

 

In terms of the admin side, I know xenforo has an option on their site to do a temporary install to get a feel for the admin panel. I'm not sure about the others.

 

From my own experience with phpBB (free), xenforo ($140), and vBulletin ($195), I'd choose xenforo. It's extremely clean and runs quicker than most, with an excellent and well laid out admin panel. Template editing couldn't be any easier as well.

 

There are a few other decent options as well with IPB being another big player, I have no experience with the admin side though.

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Godric : IPB is very good bit software has many apps/hooks free or paid plus good amount themes to go with the software again paid or free it has price tag $175 for 6 Months support/upgrades but don't need renew whats is $25 per 6 month. If go with not renewaling basicly can keep forum software live but if there upgrade you can't downloaded, but if pay the $25 you can upgrade but good thing is you can upgrade any stage.

 

If need test the forum you can get demo from the site allows you see what its like.

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I have the most experience with IP.Board. As far as server load, I have 4 IP.Boards running on my server and serving approx 2 Million page views per month. The server never even goes over 20% CPU usage or 1.5 gigs of ram in use.

 

Some reason I've went with IP.Board

-Live search for options in the AdminCP

-Spam protection from IPB as long as you keep your license active, I've never had a spammer come through.

-Great quick support

-Best mobile skin out of the box

-Great skins available

-Suite of products that I use, IP.Board, IP.Content, IP.Nexus

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Personally, I don't like vBulletin at all. I'd pick a forum software that has good support, i.e. email/phone/forums, and also has a good interface. Personally, I like IP.Board and XenForo which aren't that expensive. I am not sure what the support is like but it's probably pretty good as it is a paid software.

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Personally, I don't like vBulletin at all. I'd pick a forum software that has good support, i.e. email/phone/forums, and also has a good interface. Personally, I like IP.Board and XenForo which aren't that expensive. I am not sure what the support is like but it's probably pretty good as it is a paid software.

 

Support is good, I open a ticket and normally get a reply within 2-3 hours. If you leave your login information when you open a ticket normally on takes 1 time as when they reply back they have logged in and fixed whatever you needed. They also go over and above what they need to. They have helped me several times on customized things that don't have to do with the core of IP.Board.

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I see you mentioned you have a hard time finding the rep button. Well the rep button is actually replaced by the "Like This" button. It's better to use the Like This button than having a negative rep involved. Because from my perspective, I think no one deserves a negative rep.

 

And also, I like IPB as it very clean and professional. It's also very easy to use.

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Support is good, I open a ticket and normally get a reply within 2-3 hours. If you leave your login information when you open a ticket normally on takes 1 time as when they reply back they have logged in and fixed whatever you needed. They also go over and above what they need to. They have helped me several times on customized things that don't have to do with the core of IP.Board.

 

Seriously? I opened a ticket with them once and it took over 24 hours to get a reply. Useless support I thought.

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Seriously? I opened a ticket with them once and it took over 24 hours to get a reply. Useless support I thought.

 

Yeah always within a couple hours they get back to me. Unless I open one at 9pm at night, then I don't hear back until the morning.

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I guess I will try out IPB, Xenfro and Vbulletin. I like IPB a lot though. It hardly gets stuck. Although the price might be a bit stiff. Do we have to buy different license for all sites? Or will one licesnse be valid for all sites?

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There's no reason to choose vBulletin for a new website. The codebase is almost a decade old, the 4.x series has seen loads of security issues, and given all the angry customers it probably won't be around three years from now. That said, I won't include it in this comparison.

 

MyBB: Free and has many solid features, and the upcoming 2.0 release looks really promising. However, the current codebase is getting a little stale (minimal use of OOP), and it lacks the social features such as status updates that most forum-masters demand.

SMF: Free, and has the best package manager I've seen in a forum. The code is semi-OO which makes it a little nicer to work with than MyBB's, but most of the available themes are pretty ugly, and development is really slow. SMF 2.0 has been in development since 2005 and it was only released late last year!

phpBB: Most will agree that phpBB is the laughingstock of the forum world. Mods are a pain to install, it lacks a lot of basic features, and in my opinion the UI is really confusing to navigate. The upcoming phpBB4 is supposed to be based on the Symfony framework so it might be worth looking at then, but I'd leave it alone for now.

XenForo: It's definitely fresh and modern. I don't really like the default theme but that can of course be changed.

IPB: My favourite - $175 is a little steep but you will definitely not regret your purchase. IPB's SEO features are one of the best you'll see, the interface is modern and easy to use, and the codebase is really easy to work with. The official addons also make expanding your website simple and even fun!

 

All that said, I'd go for IPB if you can afford it, otherwise MyBB. I purposely left out Vanilla Forums because I think it's too basic for a serious site, but it's worth checking out if you're into exploring.

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There's no reason to choose vBulletin for a new website. The codebase is almost a decade old, the 4.x series has seen loads of security issues, and given all the angry customers it probably won't be around three years from now. That said, I won't include it in this comparison.

 

I couldn't agree more with vBulletin going downhill. Ever since they were bought out, support and customer service are pretty much non-existent and the software itself is just going in a bad direction.

 

Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, xenforo also has discounts for additional licenses. I'm not sure what the amounts are, but my third license was cheaper than my first two.

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Okay then. I think its settled, I will get IPB for my forums in the future. Is there any mass licensing? I dont like paying for each domain. :P

 

For IPB, bulk discounts actually start on your second license. Second is 10% off, third/fourth/fifth is 30% off, and sixth+ is 50% off. I saw that in a few topics in their pre-sales forums, but they don't advertise it too well for some reason.

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