Which forum software to use?

Discussion in 'Community Forum Software' started by sepsi, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. sepsi

    sepsi Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    First Name:
    Seppo
    I'm building my first community site and was hoping some guidance on which software to go with.

    I have a book that teaches people with acne on how to get over it with diet and lifestyle changes. So far I've been selling it as an ebook, but now I'm going to release a big portion of it freely to the internet. Then I want to build a community around the idea. I will monetize by selling a hard copy of the book and related product.

    The question is which software package to go with. Here are few guidelines on what I would like to achieve with the community. Hopefully based on these some of your more experienced guys could offer me a little guidance.


    • Naturally it needs robust forums with good moderation and spam prevention capabilities
    • Other user generated content (blogs, articles, product reviews and possibility to comment and rate other content)
    • Possibility to revard and motivate user who put out good content; for example the content they post could have their AdSense code and/or their affiliate links to my product, their content could include a blurp like 'Did this person help you? Support them by buying from these links'.
    • Dating style 'friend finder' feature people could use to look for people who live close to them. Making lifestyle changes is easier when it's done with someone else and I would like to facilitate this. This would probably require some custom fields in the profile and the ability to search for them.

    I understand that some of these features require mods or custom coding, and I have no problems paying for that. Basically I need the software to be as extendable and flexible as possible to support any features my members might need in the future.

    I'm also more than happy to pay for a working solution that comes with good support.

    I would appreciate any suggestions or ideas you may have.

    Thanks already in advance.
     
  2. Zash

    Zash Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    MyBB is definitely the answer to all of your questions!

    MyBB offers advanced moderation features:

    • Add moderators to particular forums, set their permissions or allow them to moderate all forums
    • Extensive logging of all moderation activities performed
    • Open, close, stick and unstick threads
    • Move or copy threads between forums, merge threads together, split posts from a thread
    • Inline moderation - mass action multiple threads or posts in one go
    • Create your own moderation tools to perform multiple actions at once
    • Moderator control panel allowing moderators to perform some light administrative tasks, such as announcement management, moderation queue management for the forums they moderate, and basic user profile editing.

    To prevent spam, MyBB has built in CAPTCHA and flood-control, and it comes with the free Akismet plugin.

    While MyBB does not have this feature built in, MyBBAddons offers blog/gallery addons, or you can bridge MyBB with Wordpress using WordBB.


    There used to be a revenue sharing plugin, but it's not updated for MyBB 1.4. Instead, maybe you could give your users Awards?

    Currently not a default feature, and would require you to probably hire somebody to develop. Custom profile fields are default however, and I believe MyBB 1.6 (coming out eventually) includes search based on custom fields.


    Hope I can be of help. If you need anything else, feel free to ask :)

    Also, if you are new with MyBB, I suggest you sign up with my host MyBBWebHost (signature). I can help you get started with your forum such as free setup, plugin installation, and I would be glad to give more advice.
     
  3. sepsi

    sepsi Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    First Name:
    Seppo
    Thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at MyBB. Though as a noob I feel more comfortable with paid software and paid support. At least that way there should be someone whose job is to answer my questions.

    Initially I looked into vB 4 and with the CMS is looked like a perfect solution. But with all the negative PR and bugs galore I don't think I want to go down that route. IPB with IP.Content and Blogs looks like a nice solution. It seems that with IP.Content you can create almost any kind of application; at least as far as their marketing speech goes.

    Instead of Award I would prefer to motivate people with affiliate links and revenue sharing. That way they also market my products at the same time.

    Anyway, I keep my eyes and options open still.
     
  4. FullMetalBabe

    FullMetalBabe Zealot

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,912
    Likes Received:
    339
    Paid or free, doesn't mean you will get more or less help. MyBB staff helps as much as they can, and if they're not available, users from the community are more than happy to help.
     
  5. tech

    tech Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    11
    Did you make/write that book? If not how do you know your allowed to sell it?
     
  6. sepsi

    sepsi Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    First Name:
    Seppo
    Yes I wrote it and I've been making a living by selling it for the past two years.

    True that you can get as good, or even better support, for an open source software as you do for paid one.

    I'm thinking that IPB would be better for the kind of community I'm looking to build; emphasizing community, not just forum. But I may be wrong about this and hence I posted the question here.
     
  7. MordyT

    MordyT Grand Master

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    50
    First Name:
    Mordy
    Paid - IPB. Does everything you can want as far as I can tell and the support is great. Take a look around, one of our members herte runs a IPBA site which you can benifit from if you go with it.
     
  8. sepsi

    sepsi Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    First Name:
    Seppo
    Thanks MordyT. Do you have the URL for that website?

    I tried searching it in Google, but IPBA produces rather interesting results, such as:

    The Irish Pipe Band Association
    Inter-Pacific Bar Association
    Ireland Poland Business Association
    International Progressive Breeders' Alliance

    I have an intuitive feeling it's none of the above :D
     
  9. FullMetalBabe

    FullMetalBabe Zealot

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,912
    Likes Received:
    339
    u_u :rolleyes: http://www.ipbadmin.com/ =IPBA
     
  10. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    7,444
    Likes Received:
    219
    Although MyBB may give great support, it's not guaranteed. With paid software, you are guaranteed support, no matter what. So essentially, it does mean you will get more or less help.
     
  11. Zash

    Zash Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    And that's where my blatant self promotion comes in :p

    MyBBWebHost has a team of MyBB-savvy support staff who are guaranteed to answer just about every question you may have regarding MyBB (and are payed to do so). If we happen to not know the answer (very rare), I do have connections with official MyBB support staff.

    And anyways, I always to try to help out and answer questions in the MyBB Community forums - but I can't because the staff always seem to get to it first.
     
  12. 50calray

    50calray Grand Master

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    603
    Likes Received:
    40
    First Name:
    Ray
    Welcome to AA!

    Anyhow, I've been a huge fan of vBulletin long before I ever started my first forum. If a site wasn't using vB, I generally moved on to the next site. Then years later when I opened my first forum I decided to use PHPbb3 since my friend was used to it. That lasted about 6 months before I got tired of it and upgraded to vB. It's not a bad system but I just find vB more appealing and for me more user friendly.
     
  13. sepsi

    sepsi Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    First Name:
    Seppo
    Thanks for all the replies. vB indeed was my first choices, but with all the bad PR it has gotten over the version 4 I'm not comfortable into going with them.

    So far IPB seems like the best option. I like the fact that I can get blogs and CMS system seamlessly integrated to it. MyBB could probably do the same. I'm just wondering if using plug-ins from different developers leads to problems later on (during major platform updates, support, developers abandoning plug-ins, etc).
     
  14. Grizzly

    Grizzly Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    6
    Theres always the chance that a developer will abandon plugins. But, with MyBB you will spend hours and hours installing plugins to do the default features of IPB. I personally recently converted over to IPB from MyBB and I prefer IPB. BUT, if you want support I'd go with MyBB community over the ticket system for IPB lol. I haven't spent much time with IPB community forum yet so I don't know how it is. The MyBB community forum you'll generally get your questions answered pretty quick and skinning MyBB is quite easy, you can get a custom one for about $40 or easily customize it yourself. I'm not too thrilled with IPB's ACP template/skin editor.

    Overall I'd say IPB with the IP.Blog and IP.Content probably fit your requirement better. There's also a plugin (not sure how much it costs) that is basically a store you can use to sell your ebook directly from the site.
     
  15. Zash

    Zash Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Like what?

    And it took me hours to install simple plugins when I had IPB because of core file edits, with MyBB it's simple upload and done.
     
  16. Mark.B

    Mark.B Guest

    I would say the *only* two products worth considering at the moment are:

    PAID: IPB
    FREE: MyBB

    At this moment in time, nothing else comes into the equation, certainly not vB, and I say that as a vB user. vB4 is not fit for purpose.
     
  17. MordyT

    MordyT Grand Master

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    50
    First Name:
    Mordy
    I forgot to mention, for free usage with excellent plugins, SMF all the way. I used to be a firm phpBB believer, not anymore.
    I am seriously considering switching all my forums to SMF.
     
  18. Ryan Ashbrook

    Ryan Ashbrook Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Everybody here can say which is the best, the only problem is... what "works" for one person, simply may not work for another.

    There is only one answer to this question that isn't biased in one way or another, and that is... use the forum software you feel most comfortable with.

    With this comes some work. Most Paid solutions offer a demo that allows you to play with it as an administrator. Go have a go with these:

    Invision Power Board: Invision Power - Community Forum, Blog, Gallery, CMS, and more - Try a Demo
    vBulletin: http://www.vbulletin.com/admindemo.php
    UltimateBB: UBB.threads / UBB.Gallery - Discussion Board and Photo Gallery Software

    With free ones, you can simply just download, install and try for yourself in a "realtime" environment on your own webspace. You can even simulate a live community by invited friends to join and post to help you test it.

    My Bulletin Board: MyBB - Downloads
    phpBB: phpBB • Downloads
    Simple Machines Forum: SMF Downloads

    So, give them all a try, and find the one you like the most. One thing you need to know, being a new administrator, is that research on certain topics is required. This is one of those topics.
     

Share This Page