Which forum software should I use?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by ajstetson17, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. ajstetson17

    ajstetson17 Member

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    I'm thinking about making a web forum and was wondering which forum software I should to run it. I am looking for something sleek and modern with lots of features. It also needs to be free.
    I have found that Discourse and NodeBB might be what I'm looking but I am not sure which one is better or if there is something else out there that is even better.
    If you have any comments on either of these or have another suggestion, let me know.
     
  2. theteamk

    theteamk Member

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    I don't use Discourse or NodeBB. I use Simple Machine Forums (SMF) on my site and I can tell you that I am very happy with it. The SMF community is very helpful too and they also provide regular updates. SMF also has support for external themes (support for mobile devices too!) & modifications too!
     
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  3. essellar

    essellar Community Advocate Community Support

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    Both Discourse and NodeBB would require a VPS (Discourse runs on Ruby on Rails; NodeBB runs on node.js). There are PHP clones, of course, which would allow you to run on garden-variety LAMP-stack shared hosting, but I can't vouch for any of them in terms of anything under the hood (there are lots of "appearance" clones of just about all popular web software, but beyond a vague surface similarity they're often not much like the original at all, especially where performance is concerned).

    I'd suggest putting together a feature list first. Do you want flat or threaded? "Karma" system? Auto-promotion of "trusted" users to moderators (or mod-like users)? Navigation? Discoverability? Topic segregation? Auto-archiving (time-based closure of old threads)? Merging or redirecting duplicate threads? Anything else?

    With a feature list in hand, you can look for something that checks the most (and mot important) boxes. Almost anything can be skinned to look good and improve the UX somewhat, but for deep features you're at the mercy of the underlying data structures - and fixing them up the way you want them can be more difficult and frustration than building the whole shebang from scratch.
     
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  4. ajstetson17

    ajstetson17 Member

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    Thank you for the suggestion. I will definitely look into SMF.
     
  5. ajstetson17

    ajstetson17 Member

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    Thank you for all this information. After looking around a little more, I realized that the default look isn't as important as the feature set (as you said) For the hosting, I don't really mind using a VPS.
    For the features:
    Flat
    "Karma" system
    I am indifferent to the auto-promotion of users to moderators (like discourse trust levels).
    For the navigation, I would prefer to have a recent threads page as the home page with a separate category/topic page.
    I suppose auto-archiving might be useful in the future.
    Merging duplicate threads is a must have.
    I would like to have social media/external sign in options (Gmail, Facebook, etc.)

    I definitely will expand my horizons to look for these features. Thank you for your help.
     
  6. l4w2game

    l4w2game Member

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    I would use MyBB for any board that needed to be professional and serious. Actively developed, good community and looks great when customised :)
    I don't really like phpBB though.

    A friend I know seems to like MyBB also and that's why I tested out using it and it was good however the board I made it for was for testing reasons only.
     
  7. bigguy

    bigguy Retired

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    Seeing as I am a Support Specialist at Simple Machines I guess my opinion would be a bit biased, lol. Oh well, Personally I would get in on SMF forum software. The next major release is going to be very nice. It is in beta right now and should not be used on a live site but thier stable version is awesome as well. With a huge amount of modifications that are easy to install and a wide array of themes to pick from. You really can't go wrong. Of course, that's just my opinion. ;)
     
  8. jadenppc

    jadenppc New Member

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    If you can afford it, XenForo is AMAZING. If you are like me, and can't, use SMF, I love it too.
     

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