Practically speaking, do people take forum software into account...

Discussion in 'Community Forum Software' started by CM30, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. CM30

    CM30 Regular Member

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    When deciding what forums to join?

    Because while a lot of articles say how little the choice of forum software matters in terms of activity, I think that's actually rater inaccurate. It does matter. I have heard people say they joined the forum because they liked the software used (back in the olden days, I actually had people say they joined a site I was running because I used vBulletin).

    And I think it goes further than that. Look at a recent topic in the phpBB section here where someone clearly said they think phpBB correlates to 'newbie/start up forum'. How many people might have that attitude then take it further and decide not to join a phpBB or free software using forum because they're not certain the admin is going to stick with it or the forum stay around for long?

    How many others might join a forum if its the same script used as on other forums in the same niche? At some point, familiarity might mean that potential members have expectations of forum software that need to be met for them to join. Maybe because it's easier to join a forum using a script they know how to use than one they don't, similar to why many people use a QWERTY keyboard despite it not being the 'best' option.

    That's not even considering all the people who join your forums because they see a link to them in your signature on the official support forum. I used to have vBulletin.com and vBulletin.org members with an interest in the topic join as well based on my signature on those sites. Probably get others when I posted on Invision's support forums or what not.

    Do you think potential members take the forum software used into account when deciding whether to join a forum or not?
     
  2. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    It really depends on the niche. I think Webmaster/admin forums may have people who are snobbish and won't join a particular forum based on software.

    but everyday users probably dont know what mybb, xenforo, vbulletin, ubb or whatever is.
     
  3. Dan Hutter

    Dan Hutter aka Big Dan

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    I think you hit the nail on the head with the snobbish webmasters. I'm more likely to join a vBulletin or Xenforo board just because I'm familiar with it. IPB just confuses me for the most part. The choice of software has never stopped me from registering for a board with a lot of info/good members but with a just starting out board I probably wouldn't bother registering if I didn't like the software.
     
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  4. dojo

    dojo Regular Member

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    As a forum admin I consider phpBB to be for 'noobs'. I have used it 8 years ago and I consider it dated. In a non-webmaster niche you can get away with a free script (MYBB would be the best choice, if you ask me), even if I do open ALL my forums in paid script, no matter the niche. If you're working on a webmaster/admin forum and use a free script, you'll have a lot of heat because of this. Yes, webmasters are snobbish and expect a forum to run on a 'proper' script.
     
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  5. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    I am a bit iffy about Phpbb3 forums :D thank god, most forums I am apart of don't use phpb3.

    Of course on the flip side, I am like sick of Xenforo :P I am only 12 different forums(13 with my own) and most are xenforo and it's like I've lost the wow factor for when I joined my very first xenforo site and now it's kind of annoying since alot of them really dont do much to differentiate themselves from each other/the default skin.
     
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  6. SpacewardAsh

    SpacewardAsh Lurking From Space

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    I personally don't think so, I tend to join forums for the content, and as long as I know my data is safe, I can get around the site and read the information I'm after, I really could not care if it was using phpBB, MyBB, vBulletin, IPB, Xenforo, SMF or custom coded software, etc.
     
  7. cpvr

    cpvr Regular Member

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    I won't post on phpbb boards though, so I'm biased. If the forum looks nice on other major forum software, I'll become a member. I think its more about what the community offers - like is the content unique? Are the users friendly? Are there any helpful threads? Can I learn a thing or two from this community?
     
  8. Carlos

    Carlos Regular Member

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    PHPBB communities nowdays make me go like "EW!" And leave.

    I've experimented with them, and really hated the experience. As admin, as user, as mod... It's not intuitive.

    Most smaller niches use PHPBB as their software, most notably admin sites. Snobbish webmasters they are, they [admin forums] have various types of forum software types. MyBB, vBulletin, xenForo, you name it.

    However, vBulletin takes over a lot of gaming sites. Right now, xenForo is catching up in this regard.

    So, as you can see, I know the trends. But I'm partial to paid software over any other free-software solutions such as PHPBB.
     
  9. bauss

    bauss Regular Member

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    I think it depends, if it's a admin forum where a lot of users have a preferred forum software, I'm sure they take the software into account, I know I do. I prefer joining forums that are Xenforo, Vbulletin, IPB, or MyBB. I don't like PHPBB or SMF at all.
     
  10. Realitytvaddict

    Realitytvaddict Regular Member

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    I dont really mind the look as many of the forums I have been a part of look similar. I think you should just code your own forum so the look is unique. That is what I did. Almost every forum you see now has the same look with a different header and colors.
     

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