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  1. #26
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    You really cannot do better than vBulletin. I've used it for a number of forums over the years and it has never let me down. It's a top-notch script with a fantastic community.

    However...

    The licenses are very expensive if you're simply looking for a forum for a small number of users, and open source software is climbing in quality. If you're looking to run a small forum I would recommend either MyBB, SMF or Vanilla. The most recent forum I've used was Vanilla and it felt spectacular.

    Feature wise, there's really not much difference, but from experience if you choose vBulletin any problems you have will be addressed almost immediately.

  2. #27
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    Light traffic? http://getvanilla.com/

    Heavy traffic? phpBB (free) or IP.Board (paid)

    IP.Board is definitely the best option out there. I've been around forums for years and used to create skins for them. Invision Power are constantly pushing forward with new concepts. IP.Board is the most modern by a long stretch.

  3. #28
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pittinose View Post
    Light traffic? http://getvanilla.com/

    Heavy traffic? phpBB (free) or IP.Board (paid)
    Huh? What makes you think phpBB can handle more traffic than Vanilla? I'd have assumed it was the opposite.

  4. #29
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    east or west PHPBB is the best

  5. #30
    SitePoint Evangelist rhysboy84's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of bbPress. Like Ryan said it's great for theming (scripting language based on wordpress, so if you're familiar with that, you're laughing) but they make it super skinny as mentioned. As a result, you need to integrate almost everything (private messaging, hidden forums, image posting etc).

    Nevertheless, it's the only one I use and recommend. Wouldn't recommend phpBB. It's horribly bloated (or it was 2 years ago...has it changed?).
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  6. #31
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I at least have to mention PunBB (http://punbb.informer.com/). It is nice, lightweight, and incredibly easy to modify.

  7. #32
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    If it is simple you are after then I say look at vanilla, you can start very bare bones and add plug-ins as you feel you need them. Very easy to set up and administer and I also found it very easy to hack and bend to my own will.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Enthusiast QuaffAPint's Avatar
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    Surprised no one mentioned MyBB Forum. It works just like VB, but is free. We've been using it for years at the ClipperSoft forums. It's well supported and seems to handle load just fine.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanhellyer View Post
    Huh? What makes you think phpBB can handle more traffic than Vanilla? I'd have assumed it was the opposite.
    I didn't say it could. I was suggesting entirely from a user/administration point of view.

  10. #35
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    1. support
    2. security

    Depends on how serious your client is about running a forum and what the goals are for it. Like Dan Grossman said, running a forum is a lot of work. IMO free solutions aren't worth it at all because if you are serious about running a forum, you are going to want to know you are supported and the product is secure. If the project really isn't worth spending 100-200 on a supported forum package, is it really worth putting all the time and effort into running it anyway?

    I have been using Vbulletin for 8 years and have administered many forums, including a big board. Vbulletin has been great in the past, but their new ownership has really blown it in terms of product updates and customer support. Customers there are so upset that they have made the customer feedback forum private and have been heavy-handed in censoring that forum and closing threads.

    IPB 3.0 is a new release and looks to have a lot of potential.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanhellyer View Post
    Huh? What makes you think phpBB can handle more traffic than Vanilla? I'd have assumed it was the opposite.
    phpBB3 can handle extremely heavy traffic. The Joomla forum at http://forum.joomla.org/ runs phpBB3 and has over 1.7 million posts and 300,000 members.

  12. #37
    SitePoint Addict
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    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned FudForum at http://fudforum.org/forum/

    It's GPL, so you can install it on your own server for free, or you can pay a small fee and have it hosted (and looked after) on the FudForum servers.

    You can read a review at http://www.forum-software.org/fudforum/review

  13. #38
    SitePoint Addict eanimator's Avatar
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    MyBB is not secure. just FYI

  14. #39
    SitePoint Zealot beeXtreem's Avatar
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    All this talk about security issues and bots is freaking me out. I will be managing the site for my client.

    Ok.
    1. What are the possible security flaws with SMF,phpBB, Vanilla, MyBB and vBulletin?
    2. Do all of these have the bot problem?
    3. with vBulletin, do I have to pay for additional MODs such as an ecommerce mod, blog mod, etc.
    JC Rocks!!

  15. #40
    SitePoint Member biswa's Avatar
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    If you think sitepoint forum is working fine then use vBulletin

  16. #41
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeXtreem View Post
    1. What are the possible security flaws with SMF,phpBB, Vanilla, MyBB and vBulletin?
    I doubt there are any known security flaws in any of them. If there were, the flaw would be fixed ASAP. All of those softwares are actively maintained and the developers usually plug security holes shortly after they are discovered.

    Quote Originally Posted by beeXtreem View Post
    2. Do all of these have the bot problem?
    All forum softwares suffer bot problems. There is nothing you can do about that. Some feature out of the box anti-spam methods. SMF2 has particularly good anti-spam features built in, but there are adequate ways to deal with bot problems in all of the other major softwares. bbPress has Akismet built in which is one of the least intrusive, but most effective anti-spam measures.

    Quote Originally Posted by beeXtreem View Post
    3. with vBulletin, do I have to pay for additional MODs such as an ecommerce mod, blog mod, etc.
    Most MODs for vBulletin are paid.


    I don't understand some of the posts above about commercial software being inherently better than free software. The commercial software has some advantages over the free alternatives, but the reverse is also true. I don't see anything which makes the paid softwares better than the free ones apart from the support, but you can pay for support with the free services anyway, so that seems like a moot point. AFAIK free software products tend to be faster at releasing security fixes than commercial alternatives as there are more developers working to fix the problem.

  17. #42
    Patience... bronze trophy solidcodes's Avatar
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    my choice is SMF. Simple Machine Forum.

    Free and the codes is very clean.

  18. #43
    SitePoint Wizard
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    For security issues, look up the software you are considering on a security advisory site.

    You need to create a list of features you desire and purposes you need to fill, and then compare all the software available to find the one that best fits your needs. All of us are list listing out software we know, which isn't very useful for you, so you need to provide us an idea of what you need. No one single forum software fits all purposes, because no one single forum software is that great.

    To start off, what kind of site is this forum for? What is the purpose of the forum (community? support?)? What are the type of people that will be visiting (their interests, age, etc., which determines how "unruly" the people will be)? How active will it become? What features do you need in particular?

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeXtreem View Post
    All this talk about security issues and bots is freaking me out. I will be managing the site for my client.

    Ok.
    1. What are the possible security flaws with SMF,phpBB, Vanilla, MyBB and vBulletin?
    2. Do all of these have the bot problem?
    3. with vBulletin, do I have to pay for additional MODs such as an ecommerce mod, blog mod, etc.
    I'd really recommend trying the demo of IP.Board. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's not like all the others.

    http://www.invisionpower.com/products/board/

  20. #45
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I own a half dozen vbulletin licenses and have been running a few good sized sites since 2001. I've been a huge advocate for vbulletin over the years but I feel pretty sour over the issues that have been going on as of late. If you could read the threads in the hidden "licensed customer feedback" forum, you would clearly understand why.

  21. #46
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    At this point, I feel like vBulletin is squeezing as many dollars as they can out of the same product. It's a good product, and arguably WAS the best, but new and free boards have definitely taken over.

    As a developer, I'd much rather work with phpBB than vBulletin.

    e39m5

  22. #47
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk89q View Post
    You need to create a list of features you desire and purposes you need to fill, and then compare all the software available to find the one that best fits your needs. All of us are list listing out software we know, which isn't very useful for you, so you need to provide us an idea of what you need. No one single forum software fits all purposes, because no one single forum software is that great.
    Good points.

  23. #48
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    Definitely vBulletin. One of the main things I like about it besides the support & community is that it already has all the features I need in it. I don't need to dig up all these different hacks just to make the forum work the way I want it to.

    For free, I'd go with SMF. I remember when I used phpBB *shudders* glad those days are over. Vanilla isn't bad if you want something very light & not too many features.


    Quote Originally Posted by ULTiMATE View Post
    You really cannot do better than vBulletin. I've used it for a number of forums over the years and it has never let me down. It's a top-notch script with a fantastic community.


    Agreed.
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  24. #49
    SitePoint Zealot
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    vbulletin, is for those with more money than sense. Great script, but why pay for it, when there are other equal/better options.

    SMF is my forum of choice....and has been for years. I've installed it many times across the web, and use it (post on forums) every day.

    Vanilla is also a superb script. And if you wait a few more days, Mark (the bloke behind Vanilla) will be releasing version 2.

  25. #50
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries View Post
    vbulletin, is for those with more money than sense. Great script, but why pay for it, when there are other equal/better options.
    That's already been answered: Support.

    If you're a busy administrator you probably don't have time to be dealing with a forum that could get very large. vBulletin scales very well for large users whilst many of the other forums out there seem to die out pretty quickly. phpBB is a great example of one of those forums that has required a huge amount of modifications to work under pressure. With your license fee you'll have access to immediate help for any technical issue and you can have a busy forum from the brink of a database error to working in minutes.


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