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Best Forum Software?



32 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your Favorite Forum Software?

    • IP.Board
    • vBulletin
    • SMF
    • Xenforo
    • phpBB
    • MyBB
    • Other

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IPB hands down is the best. I've used all that are listed above and even some others that aren't listed and I gotta say, IPB is without a doubt the best. Xenforo comes in at a very close 2nd choice though. However, I've been with IPB since 1.x and love it. It just seems to get better and better with each new major version. ;)

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Don't you get spammed to death with phpBB? I've heard rumors of that.

phpBB, like most other forum softwares have anti-spam mods you can install to prevent spambot registrations. ;) However, phpBB, in my opinion, is a real pain in the butt to work with. It's way of modding is quite arcaic and doesn't have a nice hook/plugin system like IP.Board, Xenforo or vBulletin has. A lot of the mods work with a 3rd prty "Auto-installer" but that doesn't come with it's flaws and many mods will require you to hard code them into your files and templates. Which is why I prefer IPB over everything else. Less hassle, better looking, fast and overall just a better user (and admin) experience.

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That depends on how up-to-date you stay with the software. They are hacked easier because of a few things:

  1. They are so hard to modify due to having to manually edit the forum code, it makes updating to the latest version a real hassle so many admins won't bother to update their forums if they have a lot of mods and/or customizations added to it, thus leaving them open and susceptible to security holes.
  2. Many hacks/mods may have security holes within them and if you have it installed on your forum, even if you are on the latest version of phpBB, you may still be at risk for a security breach.

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I like vBulletin the best because I am familiar with all the plugins for it and I can always find a plugin for whatever I might need.


Normally, I don't like to use free software because they tend to get flooded with spam. But I will be building up a new forum built on Vanilla soon so I hope that doesn't hold true for all the free software. The reason I am opting for Vanilla this time is because I want to go back to the basics for this particular forum. I don't need plugins or any other fancy stuff.


So I guess it really depends on what your needs are and what software can accommodate those needs. My vote goes to VB for this poll! ;)

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I'm going with phpBB here. I know I'll be in the minority but I have my reasons.


When I install a forum, I like it to do what it says it will, without hassle. phpBB does that. But - and here's the catch - I don't need a whole pile of mods, themes, skins, changes, addons, plugins and other stuff. I just want it to do what it does and do it well. For me, phpBB is the simplest to install, the easiest to manage, the quickest to set up and, for the few changes I do want to make, dead simple to recode. The knowledge and user bases are absolutely gigantic because it's such an old dinosaur, so there's never any trouble finding info.


I'm sure it's not the smoothest, cleverest or most gadgety of the boards but, for me, it's like using a paper notepad to write notes in. I could go out and buy a laptop or a tablet or a smartphone but I'd be wasting 95% of the functionality because I simply don't need it.

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I used SMF always so I am going with SMF today.

I love XenForo too though because its new its good looking and easy to manage.

I had experience with all those forums...vb, smf,phpbb,mybb,ipb,xenforo,yabb and many more and I can give them those ratings :

Most Simple to use:


Most Attractive:

Tie VBulletin and XenForo

Most Attracting for members

Again Tie VBulletine and XenForo

Best Mods:


Best Theme:


Most Professional Looking:


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I think you should consider retrying IPB I mean its a great software I can't find a reason why you didn't like it. IPB I think is one of the most powerful software's out there without a doubt. Its easy to use and looks so professional that it scares me sometimes ;):) anyhow I also wonder what problems you encountered when you used that software :)

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When I used to run forums, I've tried a variety of different forum software options, and I have to say that vBulletin was my favorite. The extensive customizability and control you have with vBulletin is unmatched by any of its competition.


IPB is also very nice, and I would use that in the case that vBulletin wasn't available to me, but it is lacking that customizability/control and the massive community that vBulletin has. phpBB is the worst out of all of the options I've tried, but I guess that's because you get what you pay for. There is a pretty big community behind phpBB as well though, so I'll give them that.

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Until now I have worked with the following: phpBB, SMF, MyBB, IPB, Vbulletin and XenForo. Started with PhpBB and then moved from them when the 3.x series got out. Tried SMF and it was impossible to skin it as I would have liked. I still hate the script today :) Worked with IPB for 2 years, then I had to close down the forums since back then they didn't have ONE decent anti-spam plugin. Won't ever use it again. MyBB was my choice for free scripts and it was OK, but was also limited. So now my forums use VB, which I actually like and Xenforo. Have used XF for less than 1 month but I am so impressed it's my favourite now.

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