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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast intruth's Avatar
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    Do you run a forum or message board?

    I was thinking about a contactors message board for self employed contractors like myself. Right now I'm just toying with a blog in my area of expertice which you can tell by my sig.. I have never built a forum and was hoping you could tell me of the best program to use or easy to use to build a forum. Thank you John

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict Fanhost Owner's Avatar
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    yup, i sure do. vbulletin is the best.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict Diether's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as "the best".
    It all depends on your needs and your likes.
    Personally I like SMF the most.
    That's also what I'm using on my 2 forums
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict Fanhost Owner's Avatar
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    ^

    This is true... I guess, I have tried several over the years and in my personal opinion, VB has been the best for me on an available features and customization level.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diether
    There is no such thing as "the best".
    It all depends on your needs and your likes.
    Personally I like SMF the most.
    That's also what I'm using on my 2 forums
    I'm about to change over from SMF to VB on one of my forums. The reason being is that the support for SMF sucks, the admin doesn't have the features I want and there aren't the mods available for it.

    SMF is far better than phpBB IMO, but they are both still a little lacking...

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict
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    Support for SMF sucks? How so?
    I'm on the SMF Team and I rarely see support questions go unanswered. Admittedly there are occasionally questions that are difficult to solve, but usually they involve problems with servers, in which it would be better to ask the host for support.
    "Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what
    it might appear to others that what you were or might
    have been was not otherwise than what you had been
    would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    vbulletin should be the best right now but it is not free, you will have to buy it, phpbb is ok too

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast Vitop's Avatar
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    I run a phpBB forum and a custom forum that was put together by our developers.

    Phpbb support is first rate for a forum that's free and very easy to install. I'd look into using some of the security mods if you go with it as our forums get hammered by busy pesky spam bots.

    Our custom system is fast as work great for our small community but by-an-large we will need to scale it into either vBulletin Board or phpbb before to long.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    One approach you could take would be to start with the free version of phpBB and then if your forum grows and becomes an integral part of your site you could switch over to the better vbulletin.

    Tim

  11. #11
    SMF Compliance Manager Oldiesmann's Avatar
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    Why not just use SMF? It's free and works well no matter how large your community is.
    The Oldiesmann
    Compliance Manager, SMF
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Not familiar with SMF so sorry for not recommending it

    I did just receive a request to integrate my review script with your forum to utilize the same user/login system so you may be hearing from me....

    Thanks,

    Tim

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member T4DE's Avatar
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    I think IPB is the best. But for beginners, I'd go with phpBB, which Im running on at www.t4de.com/board The support really is great, but IPB comes with all the nessacery/wanted features.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru
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    Stick with vBulletin.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldacar
    Support for SMF sucks? How so?
    I'm on the SMF Team and I rarely see support questions go unanswered. Admittedly there are occasionally questions that are difficult to solve, but usually they involve problems with servers, in which it would be better to ask the host for support.
    Questions go unanswered, the search on the forums intermittently turns itself off (something about high server load - error message) which is really annoying.

    The main reason I am opting for a switch is features and an admin with more options.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast Munky's Avatar
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    I use vBulletin and have for quite a while now. I have used phpBB and SMF before but I'm used to vBulletin so that's what I mainly use.
    "Humor is reason gone mad." - Groucho Marx
    kyleajohnson.com :: @kylejohnson1985

  17. #17
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Have used vBulletion, Invision, and phpBB.

    Overall Invision is possibly the better product, but it depends on which features you want, would like to have, or don't want at all. Currently thinking of switching a site to another product, due to Invision's new announced feature set. Don't want any of the new features, and can see some problems with troublesome members allowed to run with the options.

    Post at a site which uses SMF, about the only problem l have with that product is the PM system which isn't as developed as the three products previously mentioned. I assume the SMF guys will improve on that in future releases, or it might be an ACP setting or something.

    If unsure of the site you want to start then run with one of the free products, phpBB or SMF would appear to be best of breed. You can later move to either vBulletin or Invision if wanting the luxury of paid support. No offense intended toward the free products, but l work under the assumption you get what you pay for.

    Not sure of the wider SMF community, but Invision, vBulletin, and phpBB have a wealth of modification sites and skinning/theme/template sites backing them up. Generally you'll get better support from one of the third party help sites than the actual forum company sites imho. All three products have great communities, who will help you out with the technical aspects of the software.

    Good luck with your site, hope it goes well for you.

  18. #18
    Necromancer
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    Whenever this topic comes up vBulletin pretty much always gets the most votes, including mine.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by aj510
    Questions go unanswered, the search on the forums intermittently turns itself off (something about high server load - error message) which is really annoying.
    Search has been fixed since we bought an extra server.
    "Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what
    it might appear to others that what you were or might
    have been was not otherwise than what you had been
    would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

  20. #20
    SitePoint Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldacar
    Admittedly there are occasionally questions that are difficult to solve, but usually they involve problems with servers, in which it would be better to ask the host for support.
    Yet, another reason to go with vBulletin. Their support is really good, and frequently can solve problems even the host can't figure out. Plus vB support stays involved until the problem is solved.

    To the OP: You can't go wrong with vB. If budget is an issue...vb is actually worth saving up for. Seriously.
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  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast igrowyourbiz.com's Avatar
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    I have had to research forums for my coaching clients - and in the end vBulletin wins - if for no other reason than they keep on top of security-- phpbb on the otherhand seems to be the "most hacked" IPB and SMF are good - but features, options, ease of use, security and support - vB has them all beat it seems

    Also I just started a forum for entrepreneurs - 7 weeks ago. I began on phpBB and had to upgrade the first week to vB due to how fast its growing.

    I would consider giving you a special section just for contractors if you like.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat
    Yet, another reason to go with vBulletin. Their support is really good, and frequently can solve problems even the host can't figure out. Plus vB support stays involved until the problem is solved.

    To the OP: You can't go wrong with vB. If budget is an issue...vb is actually worth saving up for. Seriously.
    You pay your host for support. Why pay someone else to do what they should do for you? If your host can't fix their own servers.. then you need a better host.
    "Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what
    it might appear to others that what you were or might
    have been was not otherwise than what you had been
    would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast igrowyourbiz.com's Avatar
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    hosts support for issues with their server - not with software you have installed on them - and not for hacks you have added to the softare and not for issues with language (php) or (mysql)

    No host does that. So when you install a board - IT has to have good support or you are up the river, no paddle, waterfall approaching...

  24. #24
    SitePoint Addict
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    Of course a host wouldn't provide support for your scripts, but they should provide support for their servers.
    "Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what
    it might appear to others that what you were or might
    have been was not otherwise than what you had been
    would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

  25. #25
    SitePoint Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by igrowyourbiz.com
    hosts support for issues with their server - not with software you have installed on them - and not for hacks you have added to the softare and not for issues with language (php) or (mysql)

    No host does that. So when you install a board - IT has to have good support or you are up the river, no paddle, waterfall approaching...
    Exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by eldacar
    You pay your host for support. Why pay someone else to do what they should do for you? If your host can't fix their own servers.. then you need a better host.
    I have a fabulous host with fabulous support. But even better than that is the paid support from vBulletin. Like someone said...you get what you PAY for.

    Another reason to go with vBulletin, is you don't see their 'reps' on other boards shilling. Their product speaks for itself via word-of-mouth from happy customers.
    TheWeighWeWere.com - Weight Loss Success Stories from A to Z!

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