Which is the Best Hosted Forum Platform

Hi guys,

Today I advised a client to use an hosted forum instead of a self hosted in order to be simpler and for them to save money.

After searching a little bit I found a few options but I don’t have any experience with hosted forums so I can’t say which is the best option.

Any of you had experience with a hosted forum or know about any good one?


‘sitepoint’ is one of the best Forum.

what options did you find that you thought worked for your client?

Well I was expecting for some help from SitePoint users to guide me in that. Anyway the only platform that I feel more comfortable using is phpBB but that is a self hosted forum as opposed to a hosted forum.

My advice to the client in this case was for them to use a social networking site/app like Facebook Group or Twitter for several reasons, being some of them the ease of use, the fact that everybody already uses/knows how to use, the marketing possibilities, etc.

Does anybody have used any of this sites or others to work as a support group?

uxte, how big this forum is (or least is being planned to be)? I don’t think your client will save lots of money using your advice anyways.

The idea is not to save money but ease of implementation and what suits better their target audience.

As I mentioned before a Facebook Group for example has other features that a hosted or self hosted forum can’t offer.

As to answer your question the estimated users for the support group would be around 1000.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you wrote this:

“Today I advised a client to use an hosted forum instead of a self hosted in order to be simpler and for them to SAVE MONEY”

I do strongly believe that self-hosted scripts always offer better management and more advanced features.

You are completely correct… my mistake.

When I said saving money I wasn’t referring to how much a forum program would cost (some of the best are free ex. phpBB) but to the costs related to the implementation, design and management of a self-hosted forum.

I agree with you that a self-hosted forum offers more advanced features related to managing users, threads, posts, etc; but most of this features aren’t even necessary for most of the communities.

The three main reasons for my choice for a Facebook Group or Twitter, are the ease of implementation, the interface, that the majority of people know how to use, and the registering/login process that becomes either obsolete because a big percentage of the users are already registered or really easy because most of the people are comfortable with registering to a service that they know already.

There are other factors that should be taken into consideration like building your community inside a proven social network with millions of users that can multiply exponentially the visibility of the company.

Do you have a different view?

Well, it depends on company’s strategy and other factors. I always prefer self-hosted solutions because they look more solid, but I also know some successful businesses using Facebook.

I am looking for a self hosted community forum and am currently looking at phpBB. Are there other self hosted solutions?

Did you check SMF? I love SMF more than other free and even paid forum scripts

The most used and good are Vbulletin and phpBB. SMF is better, in terms of spam. They help you keep away huge loads of spam.

Well, I must admit Vbulletin 4 is a huge improvement over version 3.x, but it’s still away from perfect forum.

I prefer digitalpoint and site point are the good.

Thank you for the tip. However, I could not get SMF to install because I could not figure out how to setup an ftp account on my server (running opensuse 10.3 x64). I eventually settled for MercuryBoard as it is very easy to customize to match the rest of the web site.

Also tried phpBB3 but could not figure out how to customize like MercuryBoard. IMHO, phpBB3 also has a security issue that could compromise the forum. It automatically sends confirmation emails to new members that includes the new member’s username, password and url to login :rolleyes:

What exact issues did you experience? I have installed MSF about a month ago for last time, installation was fast and simple

Hi Hosting, when I started the installation, it kept asking for ftp account information. Tried setting up an ftp account on the openSUSE server but could not find a screen where I could create the ftp account.

Thank you for your consideration,


It was enough to enter FTP login details of domain you are trying to install forum on. Or did you make installation on localhost?

I run Apache on my laptop (openSUSE 10.3 x_64) and was trying to install it on the laptop (localhost) and it kept asking me me for ftp account details. I could not configure an ftp account on the laptop either.

TIA -spycxamaican

Well i also prefer Digital Point, V7n and site point, for me these three are the best forums ever.