10 Forum Applications, Addons and Extensions

By Sam Deering
Despite the rise of social networking many of us are still into discussion forums. Suppose you have your own website, discussion forums are a great way of ensuring active participation from your site’s visitors. We’ve collected some free open-source forum install applications, scripts and add-ons that can help you improve your current forum or get a new forum going on your website. Enjoy!

1. Advanced Electron Forum

The community is relatively smaller, so you’re riding on just the documentation for support, if needed. Looks more like a dated copy of phpBB, but it does have an integrated shout box and news system to its credit.
Pros: Integrated shout box and news system
Cons: Small community

2. bbPress

Offers excellent integration with WP and comes from the same stable as WordPress and. It shares the same database as WordPress, so if a user registers on the blog, he or she automatically gets a forum account.
Pros: Light-weight, superb integration with WP sites
Cons: Basic and limited features (in comparison to the others)

3. E-Blah

Can be termed as the unexploited talent among forum software. It is still relatively lesser known, but has several unique offerings up its sleeve.
Pros: Options to create a portal, etc.
Cons: Less popular, so small community support

4. Flux BB

It is free and highly responsive forum software that, at the moment, seems to show a lot of promise.
Pros: Light-weight, easily customizable
Cons: Still comparatively new, so there might be apprehensions about the future

5. FUD Forum

Is yet another light weight and easy to use forum software with great features such as Import of XML feeds as well as easy syncing with mailing lists.
Pros: Terrific features
Cons: Outdated (and dull) interface

6. Mini BB

Has numerous features and is one of the fastest growing forum software (in terms of popularity).
Pros: Awesome feature set, well support
Cons: Fast enough, yet not the fastest software around

7. MW Forum

Has nothing extraordinary to offer to its credit. However, most forum scripts are based on PHP. MW Forum, on the other hand, employs Perl.
Pros: Very fast
Cons: Basic set of features

8. Nova Board

Has a sleek interface and is extremely easy to use. It is suited for beginners and intermediate users.
Pros: Regular updates, nice design
Cons: Small community

9. Phorum

Is one of the oldest players in the game (since 1998). Obviously, it enjoys widespread usage. However, of late, the update frequency has been lesser as compared to the newer alternatives.
Pros: Reliable, easy to install
Cons: Feature set becoming outdated

10. phpBB

It has been in active development since 2000. If you’ve been into web development for some time, chances are, you’ve already encountered phpBB in action somewhere. It also has bridge and integration options with certain CMSes.

  • webtechnoloog

    Phorum: Feature set becoming outdated

    I think you are wrong here. Phorum is fast, reliable and very stable, especially notable when you have a huge forum.

    But the main reason why phorum is my favorite: it seperates the core phorum code from al desired add-ons. tweaking phorum happens via hooks. You can “insert” your own code by a hook-system.

    2 Advantages:
    You can “easily” add your own code and phorum updates leaves your added codes untouched.
    Integration with existing websites, even your membersystem, is quite easy, compared with other forum scripts.

    Once you understand their hook-system, you will realize that Phorum is the most flexible forum ever created.

    i have tried different forum scripts for several years, but phorum is my favorite:)

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