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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru
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    Best (and easiest) Forum Software?

    Hi,

    Can anyone advise me on the best and easiest forum software. Is their a clear market leader. SitePoint runs on vBulletin, is that the best software to use?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    vBulletin is good enough, but I don't like it because of difficult and hard-to-use administration interface. Plus, it costs some money and not everyone may afford it. And IPB is easier to use, I believe.

    If you need free solution, I suggest testing SMF. It's the best free forum software I have ever used!

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tailslide's Avatar
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    I'd suggest either PunBB or SMF or if you'd like a simpler solution, Vanilla is lovely.
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot Kayarc's Avatar
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    SMF is probably the best free one out there. Vbulletin is amazing for its price. I've also played around with PHPBB and have had success.

  5. #5
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I love Vanilla, it's standards compliant, simple and well crafted, though if you want something more comprehensive I do still have a soft spot for phpBB, Invision and vBullitin (which as pointed out this site uses), it really depends on what you need in a forum solution to which will suit your needs.

  6. #6
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    How easy is SMF? Is it a straight forward as something like Wordpress.

    I'm looking to create a business orientated forum as a test and then potentially merge in with another site if it takes off and works. Im aiming for aroung 1,000 people but within quite a large market sector.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Evangelist rhysboy84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justlukeyou View Post
    How easy is SMF? Is it a straight forward as something like Wordpress.
    Have you thought of bbPress? Out of the box it's not much, but it's easily skinnable, compatible with wordpress, and with an abundance of plugins.
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  8. #8
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    phpBB installed with fantastico!

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot sb225's Avatar
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    yes vbulletin is best and its a paid software however if you need free one then i recommend to you mybb or SMF.If you are looking for easy to use then those softwares are too easy to hack your forum

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by justlukeyou View Post
    How easy is SMF? Is it a straight forward as something like Wordpress.

    No, it's even easier. You can always give a try - it cost you nothing to install and play with this application.

    If you consider vBulletin, be aware to patch and update it often due to security flaws.

  11. #11
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    if you dont take care with proper updates may face problems in vbulletein

  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist snecz's Avatar
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    My vote for SMF:
    - since some time you can easily update in from administration panel
    - nice bridge with CPG
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  13. #13
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    vbulletin all the way, simply because so many sites use it , people are already used it to ..

    if you use smf people who are not computer literate will be lost

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by giftedwon View Post
    if you use smf people who are not computer literate will be lost
    Are you SURE? I believe it makes as much sense as saying "If you have been driving BMW, you will be lost when trying to drive Audi".

    I believe all forum systems are very similar and their interfaces are not so much different.
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  15. #15
    From space with love silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosting24 View Post
    vBulletin is good enough, but I don't like it because of difficult and hard-to-use administration interface. Plus, it costs some money and not everyone may afford it. And IPB is easier to use, I believe.

    If you need free solution, I suggest testing SMF. It's the best free forum software I have ever used!
    If your refering to the Invision Power Boards when you mention IPB then I believe that they also cost money.

    The OP needs to think carefully about how much traffic they expect to get a day. If it's low traffic, say less then 100 posts per day, can they really justify to themseleves the value/cost of a paid for forum.
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Yes, IPB costs money too unless you will find trial version (the last trial was 2.0.3 if I remember right). This trial does not expire...

    I still remember old words of IPB publishers - why should you pay for forum software if you can get it free? Unfortunately, it's not free anymore
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayarc View Post
    SMF is probably the best free one out there. Vbulletin is amazing for its price. I've also played around with PHPBB and have had success.
    Vbulletein is doubt the most preferable one.but SMF is also a good choice

  18. #18
    From space with love silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosting24 View Post
    Yes, IPB costs money too unless you will find trial version (the last trial was 2.0.3 if I remember right). This trial does not expire...

    I still remember old words of IPB publishers - why should you pay for forum software if you can get it free? Unfortunately, it's not free anymore
    How long ago could you download a trial version if IPB? I just had a look, could not see a trial version available for download.
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Hi,

    They do not offer trial version on official site anymore, but I'm sure you can find it on various file sharing forums (using old version which was marked as trial is legal)
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  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot cpace1983's Avatar
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    PhpBB and VBulletin are the most common. PhpBB is great for a budget minded site (the software is free), but the security issues of PhpBB to require extra hardening of the installation (PhpBB has had a less than stellar record security wise).

    With any software, expect to check for updates, and apply any available security patches ASAP.
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  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast burNMind's Avatar
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    I have used vBulletin, phpBB and SMF. If you want to spend some money go with vBulletin. The best free solution is SMF.
    blogging @ burnmind.com

  22. #22
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    I have to say from my experience that if you are serious about your forum, use Vbulletin and if you want to make web site only for hobby...use PHPbb

  23. #23
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by seopeter View Post
    I have to say from my experience that if you are serious about your forum, use Vbulletin and if you want to make web site only for hobby...use PHPbb
    OK, what features SMF lacks when compared to vBulletin?
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