Best forum software for small\tiny communities?

lopar

Aspirant
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
19
Because most users on TAZ are familiar with XenForo so they recommend XenForo. It's what they're most comfortable and familiar with, not because they've actually broadly surveyed the market.
That's exactly the problem I feared. I'm not newbie in forum owning\administrating, tried a lot but in the past. So this question meant to be more a survey about new market positions of forum software for small communities, not for the huge or fast growing ones. I do not rule out the possibility that forums made their steps into standartization of solving complex problems and giving most functionality, when we have 2-3 forum software names to fill 'em all. But even this point needs a confirmation.

No-no, not Jive anymore! I used to work as Jive integrator. That 9-12 physical servers solution is completely monstrous! When I tested it on my home PC, I used almost 30GB RAM only for basic virtualisation needs. =)

Are you looking for paid software, or free ?
I don't really care now.
 

Destroy Repeat

DestroyRepeat.com
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
280
That's exactly the problem I feared. I'm not newbie in forum owning\administrating, tried a lot but in the past. So this question meant to be more a survey about new market positions of forum software for small communities, not for the huge or fast growing ones. I do not rule out the possibility that forums made their steps into standartization of solving complex problems and giving most functionality, when we have 2-3 forum software names to fill 'em all. But even this point needs a confirmation.
TAZ isn't representation of how popular a forum software is. No site is, but if you look at trends - xenForo is growing in popularity and migrations. More big boards are migrating to xenForo. TAZ and sites like it are authoritarian sites that have influence in how people perceive emerging forum software.

It's ultimately your decision though.
 
Last edited:

stijl

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 1, 2006
Messages
34
In my opinion of your serious and want to build a community no matter what your target size and have the budget for paid software Xenforo or IPB is the way to go and if you have no budget find a script that can be migrated into a better paid product.

Bottom line, building a community is hard work and time consuming start with a great foundation.
 

paul_from_minibb

Neophyte
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
7
You may try miniBB, but it may not each and every function you request, still it's the best for a cheapest hosting and a small community, because the software itself is very small in size. "Likes" option is on hold of its development, you could easily add a 3rd party module for translations (despite I'm not sure how it could be used for a small community), and what is "fast and cute experiences"? :) If you have a budget it's also possible to order customization you only need. This software is free and there is no annual license, only the common one. And it's still gradually maintained.
 

DanielGarneau

Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
151
Because most users on TAZ are familiar with XenForo so they recommend XenForo. It's what they're most comfortable and familiar with, not because they've actually broadly surveyed the market.

There are honestly a ton of community platforms out there with different flavors, from enterprise (Jive and CMNTY) to brand marketing (Influitive) to content collaboration (Breezio) to digital sales (Salesforce) to paid forums (Xenforo) to community suites (Woltlab and IPS) to free ones (SMF or MyBB or Discourse). You can even use social platforms like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups or chat communities like Discord or Slack or even choose WordPress, which has plugins for forums, social sites, dating, ecommerce, etc. I think the best thing is to articulate your needs in more detail and think deeply about how you want to grow your forums for the next five years.

Switching to premium forum software is appropriate when you're ready to make the move and enjoy a professional community solution thats constantly updated and professionally supported. I used to use SMF too, and got tired of the lack of updates. I made the move to Invision Community six years ago, which has helped me to establish a suite of forums, gallery, downloads, and online databases. It has a mobile responsive skin, responsive editor, reactions, giphy support, emoji support, etc.

I read a lot about paying and free forum software, and then tried out many of the free forum software offerings before going live with my own tiny forum nearly three years ago. Some of the factors I considered were, for example, did it provide an easy way to export to other forum software if I ever chose to move elsewhere. Strangely, everyone said PhpBB was one of the hardest free forum software to learn how to use. True, it offers a lot of functionalities, and there is a learning curb that one must accept as part of using that package. But, in the end, I chose it because it suited me best in light of my purpose and personal perception of ease.

My forum will soon have been online for three years. I like the fact that there are not that many updated with PhpBB, because I tend to lag behind when those come around. When I initially chose it, it was one of those that worked best on devices other than Personal Computers. And it still does quite well on a phone or tablet. Some of the others did not match PhpBB when I tried them out. Perhaps this has changed now.

I am also involved in several of the main social medias, as well as in a number of FaceBook groups. With time I came to understand that people tend to prefer FaceBook groups or Google+ Groups because these are platforms that they have already joined along with some of their acquaintances. Whenever I post something on FaceBook that points to an article I wrote on my web site or on my forum, people tend to respond on FaceBook, and less frequently on my forum or site. I am also a moderator of a forum from a large editor in the same field that is dealt with on my site and forum, and people do not interact very much there either.

If you are interested in specific information about what forum software I tried out or my experience with social media, just look me up on TAZ. I have documented most of my findings as I went along. But you will also get to read some of the very excellent comments I received from other TAZ users more experienced than I.

Honestly, I love best the look and feel of the XenForo implementation at TAZ. I did consider moving toward XenForo software. But my user-base does not justify it.
 
Last edited:

Silchar

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
1
Hey Fellow Users and Admins

I need your opinion regarding forum software I have education website based on India where I post important Indian education institutes information like exam time tables, admit cards, exam results, etc some time jobs posting also here is my main question is that I would like to integrate Forum where my visitors will help each other with relevant information Please Suggest me The best forum Software for my website URL is kvsrosilchar.com
 

overcast

Adherent
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
486
I think Xenforo, IPB, Vanilla can be good forums to start with. I prefer to avoid other ugly ones like mybb.
 

samuel99

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
1
I had already used phpBB Forum on ask.learncbse.in. My concern is whenever I'm using the same software on upscbuddy.com; it is throwing conflict error, can you suggest me the alternative of phpBB? Apart from that, I had tried Xenforo but can't get a proper tutorial to understand it, resulted in the same issue.

Can you give some other suggestions?
 

Hentai

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
166
For a small community, like really small, wouldn't a cloud-hosted platform like Tribe be really suitable?

The main limitations of the free tier, 10,000 members and only 5 admins, would be a non-issue if you are small and administration is a breeze versus something self-hosted because you don't have to worry about things like VPS, server administration, etc.
 

cheat_master30

Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
3,873
For a small community, like really small, wouldn't a cloud-hosted platform like Tribe be really suitable?

The main limitations of the free tier, 10,000 members and only 5 admins, would be a non-issue if you are small and administration is a breeze versus something self-hosted because you don't have to worry about things like VPS, server administration, etc.

That runs into issues if you want to move elsewhere. From what I found they do have the ability to provide some data to export into other software, but I'm not sure if the likes of IPB/XenForo/Burning Board/whatever have converters available for said data, so you may need some technical help if you want to keep the same content on your new site.
 

Hentai

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
166
That runs into issues if you want to move elsewhere. From what I found they do have the ability to provide some data to export into other software, but I'm not sure if the likes of IPB/XenForo/Burning Board/whatever have converters available for said data, so you may need some technical help if you want to keep the same content on your new site.
That is something I hadn't considered.

My first message board was on a hosted platform ZetaBoards/Formotion and when we got big enough that we wanted to transition to self-hosted there wasn't a convenient way to get our data out. I think it was either start from scratch or in the case of the ZetaBoards -> phpBB move we did, almost a decade ago, we had used a scraping tool with some success to take some of the content with us.

Something to consider that I overlooked. Hosted is fine if you don't have plans for growth, but if eventually, you see yourself outgrowing or wanting to move your hosted platform, you may need to leave your data behind.
 

overcast

Adherent
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
486
Phpbb, MyBB are kind of design trash and no amount of themes can fix it, if you get what I mean.
 

Panupat

Habitué
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
1,624
Very subjective. I agree they look quite dated, PhpBB more so than MyBB. Something about their rigid grid design does feed to my nostalgia somehow lol.

Some of the modern ones like Discourse looks really nice at first but after using it on a few software support community I found I don't enjoy them that much. Loading on the fly thing makes it difficult to navigate backwards. It seems to work well for support I guess where you really only want to keep up with the most recent replies.
 

HallofFamer

Habitué
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,336
It will depend on whether you expect/hope your forum to stay small/tiny, or that it will grow bigger in future. Choose a free forumware for the former, and buy a paid license for commerical forumware if the latter is true for you.
 

overcast

Adherent
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
486
I had already used phpBB Forum on ask.learncbse.in. My concern is whenever I'm using the same software on upscbuddy.com; it is throwing conflict error, can you suggest me the alternative of phpBB? Apart from that, I had tried Xenforo but can't get a proper tutorial to understand it, resulted in the same issue.

Can you give some other suggestions?
You should either go with the Xenforo or Vanilla or IPB. I think those are lot more suitable for you. Phpbb, mybb and SMF are not worth keeping up with. Extremely poor design on phpbb, mybb part and SMF is hell lot slower on updates.
 
Top