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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

The best forum software

 11:29 pm on Jun 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you had to build a new forum tommorow what software would you go with?



 12:54 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Probably vBulletin, it is a robust product that is well-priced and most users would be familiar with the interface.

I preferred the 2.x versions to the newer version 3 but that's probably just reistance to change ;).

Gossamer Forum (from Gossamer Threads) might be of interest too if you are looking for something different.


 1:20 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'd second vBulletin as a robust product with strong support and a reasonable price. PhpBB is free, and has a very busy support forum. There are also some very good ASP programs, both free and paid.

Choosing forum software is a personal process - I'd recommend visiting forum software sites and then checking their feature lists (to be sure they'll do what you need) and example sites (to see what some other sites have done with the product). If you expect a high volume forum, be sure that you can see good examples of busy forums in your preferred software. Some software tends to hit the wall at higher volumes of posts/traffic/members online. If possible, download a demo to play with.

Note, too, that your server may determine your direction. If you are on a Linux server, the ASP forums probably won't be viable choices, for example. Good luck!


 1:32 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

thanks guys - I have leaning the vbulletin route already - so you guys helped make that decision.


 6:09 pm on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

well I've definatly gone with Vbulletin - to the guys that have used it - is there any "must have" mods that I should be working with - or is it pretty SE freindly out of the box?


 8:37 pm on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

And I'm a happy Threads Admin. To each their own.


 8:53 pm on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Did I miss something?


 1:28 am on Jun 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

phpBB. I just do NOT like vBulletin.


 2:10 am on Jun 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Call me crotchety, but I still like YaBB, for the shear number of mods available, the most "worked-out" security, and a vast community of users and support available.

YaBB 2 is still Vaporware, but it shows a lot of promise, especially when it comes to reducing server load.

And people are familiar with it. It's one of the most heavily used BBS packages out there. And if you're worried about the chunky "look-and-feel" it has out of the box, then you should check out the template vault and the massive number of mods available.

Also, from an administrator standpoint, Perl is 10x easier to hack and mod than PHP, any day of the week.


 2:47 am on Jun 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

KevinC, vB3 has been out for a while and seems to be getting spidered fairly well. One feature that may help is its archive, which is a set of forum pages that look static (no query string) and are very lightweight (they eliminate all the busy junk on a regular vBB page and have just links and text.)

Here's the tricky part - to have the archive function properly, PHP must be compiled as a module on your server. This doesn't seem to be SOP at most hosts, so expect some additional effort on their part. On a shared server, they may not do it for you. You'll also need GD installed if you want to do image-verification during registration (to prevent bots from signing up). Alert the host about this before they compile PHP; otherwise, they'll have to do it again.

I don't think there are any must-have hacks since vBB is quite full-featured, though you can browse vbulletin.org to see what's available.


 4:09 am on Jun 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have gone and purchased Vbulletin - thanks for the info.

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