Best forum software?

Discussion in 'Community Forum Software' started by NadJ, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. NadJ

    NadJ Regular Member

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    Setting up a forum for my website, was wondering what forum software is best, It's quite a big community and I'll be using alot of plugins.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Lee G

    Lee G Regular Member

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    Depends if your looking for free forum software or paid forums software
    If paid, what your budget is and what you want in a forum, extras like photo gallery, blogs, articles etc
     
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  3. NadJ

    NadJ Regular Member

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    Paid NO budget, Photo's, No blogs as not needed, Articles will be on main site.
     
  4. Lee G

    Lee G Regular Member

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    If you look at this section, you will find forums for IPB, Xenforo and Vbulletin
    http://admin-talk.com/forums/community-forum-software.24/

    This forum here is running on xenforo
    There is a test forum for vbulletin 5 and I believe IPB

    Don't rush into making your decision, asking what the best forum software is, can be comparable to asking what the best colour is
     
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  5. NadJ

    NadJ Regular Member

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    Thank you :) I prefer people opinions, What ever I receive most positive feedback for I will go for. As the forum isn't for me it's for a community so if the majority of people recommend a Forum software the majority of my community are going to bound to like it.

    Probably not the best tactic to take but hope it pull off, Thank you for your help. Think the probability of me going for Xenforo is 80% had a lot of feedback from other forums.

    Thanks Again that post was helpful checked the demo's for the other software's as well Didn't do much justice for my decision.
     
  6. Lee G

    Lee G Regular Member

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  7. NadJ

    NadJ Regular Member

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    Well again, I thank you on your advice and help. You have certainly helped me with my decision and I shall be updating you in the near future if all goes well.

    Thank you Again, Really appreciated.
    Dan
     
  8. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Regular Member

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    If you don't mind me saying, I think you need to give a more information in order to get a properly informed opinion. For example you say you have a big community. How big and does that mean you already have a forum running or is the community based around a blogging platform?

    You also state that you will be using a lot of plugins. Why? As plugins generally compensate for functionality not present within the forum software itself, you really need to give more detail about the what kind of functionality you expect to get from plugins.
     
  9. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    As someone who uses both IPB and most recently Xenforo....your two best choices are likely IPB and Xenforo.
    (Burning Board is a good 3rd choice as well...but i have no experience with them)

    As said above, don't rush into a choice. I did that last year and it wasn't until actually the other day(And the past couple of weeks) i really sat down, paid attention and did my thoughts and realized what it was I needed and wanted to do.

    Ignore base prices...IPB is slightly more expensive than XF(True) but it is negligible imo especially when you add in other things you may need.

    Questions to ask yourself
    1. What are all the features you need from the Core Product? Can both(or any of your choices) do them and which can do them better?
    2. What plug-ins do you need?
    3. Adding up Renewal Fees and seeing what you're comfortable paying.

    With IPB you do get a suite of everything with perfect integration. Integrated Chat, Gallery, Blogs, CMS, Downloads, and Store. It's integration is what makes it great. However, not all products are created equal and while they integrate well-together, they may not all be as Perfect as next one.

    Are they bad products? No of course not. But they do use a little more work to improve but in the end, i've seen some AMAZING IP boards and it is why it is my favorite software because you can truly create an amazing website.

    With Xenforo, you do lose more 1st party integration and there is also a heavier reliance on 3rd party developers. While the products are greatly made by these 3rd party developers, I sometimes worry what happens if I buy a gallery from this guy and it is no longer developed or what if it messes up with another add-on that causes conflict.

    That's not to say that it does/has happened, but those are things i ask myself.

    I switched from IPB to Xenforo...for my site Xenforo works. However for any future sites I use, it'll be IPB simply because overall i still find IPB to be the best overall COMPLETE package and I find Xenforo to be an Excellent FORUM platform but it's not a complete package and I don't like relying too heavily on 3rd party developers. I like to know the guys who make these features know the product inside and out(not to mention, spending cash on 3rd party add-ons only to have them later integrated as 1st party features bugs me, which is why i don't like 3rd party development).
     
  10. BamaStangGuy

    BamaStangGuy Administrator

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    XenForo is the most consistent, reliable and steady software that exists today. This is after all they have gone through to get to this point. Kier and Mike also were a large key in vBulletin's success before it was taken over and they were run out of the company. It is a no brainer for me.
     
  11. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    ^While it is a great software, calling it the most consistent, reliable and steady software implies that IPB nor Burning Board or even free software like mybb for example are not consistent, reliable and steady.

    Those same 3 words can be applied to any software that is not Vbulletin 5 and seems a bit.....silly to use to ONLY describe Xenforo.
     
  12. BamaStangGuy

    BamaStangGuy Administrator

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    My opinion. I have used all you have quoted at some point or another to give them a shot and I find XenForo along with Kier and Mike's history while at vBulletin better than all of those. That is why I use their software and have consistently stuck with them since 2004.

    If that is silly to you then fine. I'm not going to keep getting into back and forth drama forum wars with people. I answered the question and you can try to pick it apart as much as you want from here on out ;)
     
  13. Lee G

    Lee G Regular Member

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    See, I told you there was a big difference in opinion

    As for vb5, from my own testing, everything and more can be done with vb4, without the bugs or the 60 seconds to post a new thread
    vb 4.2.2 was released late 2013, with 4.2.3 in beta, but its coming to end of life
     
  14. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Regular Member

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    The best software is the one that suits your website needs. Picking software is hard you need to make a list what you want on your site and what your goals are. After that you make points like:

    Forum
    Gallery
    Blog
    Wiki
    Store

    After that you know what software can or can't do the above then you go look for smaller stuff like Forum you want inline moderation that is fast and simple. You go do demos and so on you then know what your favorites are you make a sheet with plus and minuses after that you know what suits our need. But remember that you look from 0 months till 18 months from now so you'll need room to grow.
     
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  15. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Regular Member

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    vBulletin. Used to be the king of the hill. A new company bought them and as new products came out, admins started migrating their boards away from vBulletin. It is a very troubled company. I would only use a legacy version in specific situations.

    Xenforo. Made by the same programmers who used to develop vBulletin back when it was great. Because of their reputations they were able to quickly get off the ground with sales of their new products. They are growing rapidly in sales. Might be the fastest selling board right now. It's still somewhat feature-poor. People tend to use a lot of plugins with it. And that means depending on third-party vendors to keep them updated. But it's very popular.

    Burning Board. This board has been around awhile and sold mostly to German speakers. They are trying to move more into English language sales. This product is more mature than Xenforo, has more features, and costs less. It also has more company supported addon modules (assuming you need the ones they have). But Xenforo developers are not sitting still in the face of this new challenge. Also, Burning Board does not have a large English speaking community of users for peer support.

    Invision Power Board. They have been around awhile. Like Burning Board, they have company supported addon modules. I think more than Burning Board. I have not counted. They are also among the best. Lots of good features. I'm not sure what their pricing model is now.

    One of the best things you could do is join forums that use the software. See how it works from a customer point of view. This is much different than simply running a few tests on a demo site.
     
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  16. Andy R

    Andy R Lurker Administrator Admin Talk Staff

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    I've been working with forums for over a decade and run dozens of rather large sites. We are very happen on vBulletin 3.x but plan to convert at some point in the future to XenForo. I like XenForo over IPB for a few reasons.
    1) The velocity of the XenForo developer base for add-ons seems to have the lead right now
    2) XenForo has carefully thought out their features and has been publishing updates on a regular bases that introduce new features
    3) XenForo is mobile optimized out of the box.
    4) The owners of XenForo have been developing forum software for decades (former vBulletin guys) and are personally handling issues on a daily basis.

    IPB has been promising their newest version for quite some time. The release has been delayed and delayed even though they keep promising amazing stuff. At this point there hasn't been any worthy of rave reviews released on that so IMO, the best option is XenForo. I also don't like the maintenance fee model of IPB. We have to pay $75/6 months and when it expires the spam prevention service stops working. IMO, that should be a free service. Maybe there are StopForumSpam and other spam add-ons that can be added but I always thought that was an overly aggressive strategy.

    Another thing that encourages me to support XenForo over IPB was the horrible customer service we have had with the IPB support team. Once we had an issue they would not help is trouble shoot it on a development site. They assured us that they could fix it on the live site and we allowed them to proceed. They did their work and left us with a site that was upgraded but had tons of issues because of customized templates (that's why we wanted to get things right on the test site first).

    I have not looked closely at Burning Board yet but hear good things.
     
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  17. A.Chakery

    A.Chakery Regular Member

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    I 100% agree with Andy , plus I have to mention that XenForo is the most optimized forum software which means its fastest.You can easily optimize XenForo powered forums in few minutes with no need for any plugin.

    It would be a great advantage for SEO and the future of your website.
     
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  18. Andrew B.

    Andrew B. Regular Member

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    Good point. This is one of their strengths. When BB 4 came out their reply system was superior to XF. But now I see XF is matching BB with their upcoming 1.4 release. BB says that their next release will surpass the reply system they have now. And if that's true, they will pass XF again. Thing is, though, even if the two companies maintain a see-saw competition, if XF is always faster to catch up, they will be more attractive to customers.

    Anyway, it will be interesting to see how BB handles their updates from now on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  19. A.Chakery

    A.Chakery Regular Member

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    IMO BB really seems more promising than vBulletin 4 and 5 but not XF. As I mentioned before I really love to see when the developers of a software really do care about all aspects of their work. BB really looks nice but they have not done any effort in combining their JS files which is an important factor in decreasing page load time.

    Please take a look at this image which is the page load breakdown of a page in XF.com :
    [​IMG]

    The red sections are related to the script itself and blue ones are external data like FB, twitter , etc.
    As you can see there are only two JS files being loaded.

    And now please take a look at WoltLab's BB results :
    [​IMG]

    There are 18 JS files !!!!


    I think XF developers know what they are doing and they do pay attention to all aspects of their product.
     
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  20. BamaStangGuy

    BamaStangGuy Administrator

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    Its not about wowing me with the latest and greatest. Its about stability and consistency. That is what XenForo offers along with great features and support.

    They know forums and its not some cash grab for them.
     
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