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Forum Moderators: rogerd
I love the software behind this site but as far as I know it is not for sale etc.
I also like the forum behind the popular uk diy site screwfix.
As far as I can tell that has been custom coded but I could be wrong.
I really want to have full control and have the forum within the site rather than the forum being the site.
any suggestions guys?
If you want to pay, pay, and pay, then go for vbulletin, it's popular but overrated IMHO. I bought it and used it for a while but didn't care for it.
If you did a search of all the webmaster forums where this question has been asked and had a poll attached to it - you will generally find that 60% of the votes are for vB and the other 40% is shared amoung the rest.
All of the forum solutions can be installed in a directory. Mine is called /forum/ and is only a part of my site. That allows me to do what I like with homepages and other content.
It was having to do the mods that put me off phpBB. Seem to be a very enthusiastic bunch over there who update their software very regularly. Fantastic until you need to integrate all your mods into a new version every month. I moved away years ago for this reason - is there a plugin system these days?
You can probably figure out which solution I use from rocknbil's link. But VBs direction seems to be diverging from mine, and their last major upgrade doubled my CPU usage so I'm waiting for reports about their current really big update before handing over money.
PS - I wouldn't build your own. I've spent the last 6 months building my own shop software (everything else seemed useless) but forum software is even more complex and all the ones mentioned above work fairly well.
I moved away years ago for this reason - is there a plugin system these days?
I guess you can call it the first plug-in and will be included with phpBB 3.0.6. It will be for the captcha system that will allow you to plugin new captchas which I'm sure is going to make bot spammers happy. :)
As far as updating phpBB3 it has a auto updater specifically for people with heavily modded forums. Haven't used it myself but I do know many people have used it with much success. It will go through the updates and when it runs into a file that has been modified where the update may interfere with mod it will notify you and give you a few options including skipping the file to manually update it.
Personally I just use Winmerge and it usually takes a 5 to 10 minutes.
I believe the reason most phpBB mods have stuck with modifying the phpBB files is for performance. There is hooks system but it hasn't been utilized much. There is also a module system for the ACP, MCP and UCP which is basically plug in.
Now I use the auto update process, holy man does it ever save you time and hassle. Easy stuff to upgrade now no matter how many mods you have.
So really to me the only downside to phpBB is it's "reputation" of days gone by. Updates are less frequent now, it has plenty of features, updating is easy, etc.
I got an e-mail from Internet Brands a little while ago about vb4 because I have a vb3 license. I went to check it out and at the time there was no demo or screenshots, just a "better buy it now before the price goes up". Not a good way to do business IMHO. I just kept the cash in my pocket. I agree vb is good but I don't think it's worth the price difference at this point. phpBB is so close to vb it's just not worth shelling out renewal fees, vbseo scripts, etc.
Depending on your particular setup you may have to purge the cache from the ACP which is usually a good idea after making any changes anyway.
You do need to have the hardware to support high volumes, but vB is definitely capable of carrying just about any load you can throw at it.
I'm lucky because I purchased my IPB license ages ago and can use the software forever. Nowadays, I believe it's a bi-annual fee. You do get rock solid security however, and this is crucial in forum software. They are also doing some interesting stuff with spam mitigation.