Best Forum Software in your opinion

Which is the best forum software?

  • Burning Board

    Votes: 19 9.1%
  • IPB

    Votes: 44 21.1%
  • vBulletin

    Votes: 8 3.8%
  • MyBB

    Votes: 16 7.7%
  • phpBB

    Votes: 10 4.8%
  • NodeBB

    Votes: 4 1.9%
  • SMF

    Votes: 11 5.3%
  • Others

    Votes: 14 6.7%
  • XenForo

    Votes: 83 39.7%

  • Total voters
    209

overcast

Adherent
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
379
For me SMF and IPS are two good software. I recently checked out Flarum which is from the fluxbb developers. It's a good forum script too.
 

MagicalAzareal

Magical Developer
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
562
For me SMF and IPS are two good software. I recently checked out Flarum which is from the fluxbb developers. It's a good forum script too.
Flarum is a merger of two projects. EsoTalk by Toby and FluxBB which joined in way later.
That said, I don't think EsoTalk was ever that high profile lol
 

ips_doug

Aspirant
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
33
For me SMF and IPS are two good software. I recently checked out Flarum which is from the fluxbb developers. It's a good forum script too.
For me too. Smf and Ipb are the best forums out there till now imho.
 

R0binHood

Habitué
Joined
Nov 23, 2011
Messages
1,337
There's a big one missing off the list these days.

Not because it's the best, but because it's one of the most prevalent, and that's facebook groups.

Love it or hate it, it's the forum and community software of choice for a massive amount of people in 2019, 5 years after this thread started
 

MagicalAzareal

Magical Developer
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
562
There's a big one missing off the list these days.

Not because it's the best, but because it's one of the most prevalent, and that's facebook groups.

Love it or hate it, it's the forum and community software of choice for a massive amount of people in 2019, 5 years after this thread started
We'll see how long that lasts with the crazy AI and moderators who are constantly trying to commit suicide, let alone make reasonable decisions.
 

R0binHood

Habitué
Joined
Nov 23, 2011
Messages
1,337
I’ve been trying to use it more recently and it’s lack of organisation, insistence on sub threaded threads and reliance on AI to drive content to me other than purely chronologically and via categorisation is driving me nuts. They have the users and media contribution and consumption bandwidth and capability, but the usability game in terms of discoverability is leaving it all up for grabs at the moment. The question is whether classic forums will seize the opportunity to grab communities back or not given the global forum climate.
 
Last edited:

MagicalAzareal

Magical Developer
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
562
I’ve been trying to use it more recently and it’s lack of organisation, sub threaded threads and reliance on AI to drive content to me other than purely chronologically and via categorisation is driving me nuts. They have the users and media contribution and consumption bandwidth and capability, but the usability game in terms of discoverability is leaving it all up for grabs at the moment. The question is whether classic forums will seize the opportunity to grab communities back or not given the global forum climate.
I'm not surprised, Silicon Valley is obsessed with AI right now, even when it would be better to use something far more normal.
 

Bluefish

Aspirant
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
15
I've read these boards over the years and finally joined. In fact, this is my very first post... but I don't feel like I'm new here. I've been lurking around for a very long time. I suppose what pushed me to join was the fact that a forum I have had for about 20 years is pretty much dead. I can't bring myself to bury it for some reason. At its peak, I had over 600 active users and averaged about 150 posts a day. Now I'm down to a dozen active users and some days we get no posts at all. On average, probably about 4 a day. Most of my users gave my forum up for Facebook. I design and manage websites for clients, and Facebook has become part of my job description. More and more my clients want me to know how and be able to utilize Facebook for their benefit. For someone who despises what it is and what it has done (and is doing) I still find myself spending more and more time there. I hope there will be a turn of popularity back to this type of social interaction, but I'm not seeing it.

As to the OP's question -
I've experimented with Burning Board, but never used a live version of it.
I've used IPB and it's superb. Couldn't ask for a better forum.
I've used vBulletin for a very long time. It's a very reliable forum.
I used MyBB for a short period and found it to be quite acceptable.
I've use SMF the longest and have extensive experience with it. Maybe it's because I'm more used to it than the others, but it always fit best for me.
 

whitetigergrowl

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
39
So back on track, I see that IPB and Xenforo primarily are the 2 most popular by a large margin, at least on the poll.

For those that use those 2, why did you end up choosing the one over the other? What makes you stick with them?

I see quite a few people complain about Xenforos seemingly slow progress and lack of becoming more of a CMS like IPB.

But I also see a lot of people using IPB that complain about how it's overly complicated/confusing. Or that it's slow.

Those are just a few examples I see fairly often as complaints and of course depending on your setup can vary.

If you are with IPB for example, why did you choose that or decide to stay with that over going with Xenforo....and vice versa.

And do you have any concerns about either one long term?
 

haqzore

Devotee
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,243
So back on track, I see that IPB and Xenforo primarily are the 2 most popular by a large margin, at least on the poll.

For those that use those 2, why did you end up choosing the one over the other? What makes you stick with them?

I see quite a few people complain about Xenforos seemingly slow progress and lack of becoming more of a CMS like IPB.

But I also see a lot of people using IPB that complain about how it's overly complicated/confusing. Or that it's slow.

Those are just a few examples I see fairly often as complaints and of course depending on your setup can vary.

If you are with IPB for example, why did you choose that or decide to stay with that over going with Xenforo....and vice versa.

And do you have any concerns about either one long term?
I have 2 live sites. 1 on XF, 1 on IPS. Simply put...
  • I'd choose XF if a forum was to be the feature attraction of the site for now and the foreseeable future.
  • I'd choose IPS if I wanted an ecosystem of apps (in addition to a forum) to accommodate broader community needs, whether now or potentially in the future.

It's fair to mention IPB is more than just the CMS you point out. The CMS is powerful, but so are the other integrated apps like Calendar, Clubs, Commerce, Blogs, File Sharing, features like social media promotion, upcoming mobile apps, etc etc etc... And the fact that they're all first-party, in-house, fully integrated with each other? Icing on the cake.

Don't need 'em? Don't use 'em. But it's sure nice to have the option if you ever get an urge to experiment in the future.
 
Last edited:

Leaf_Green

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
116
There appears to be heavy XenForo bias (I'm sure with good reason) and there has been for several years now, but I definitely think that vBulletin at the very least should be a semi-finalist for the second-place prize. Even though vBulletin is very popular, I think a lot of it being nearly last in the polls comes down to hate towards Internet Brands. When I think of vBulletin I think of vBulletin 3 and vBulletin 4, and the hard-working community at vbulletin.org who supported users for many years and developed excellent modifications, both commercial and free. A lot of people were shafted by IB, but I try to forget they exist. Because they shouldn't.

Yet, that's not a good reason to dislike vBulletin as a whole. The community doesn't deserve that and I think vBulletin 4/5 are both great software. No offence, but the attitude I sometimes see from XenForo users reminds me of the snobbery often displayed by users of "better" game engines. A tool is only as good as the hands that wield it.
 
Last edited:

Leaf_Green

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
116
There is no future for either of those, EOL for a while now.
I have to disagree. Of course, it's technically unsupported, but that isn't necessarily true when you look at vbulletin.org which is still a great and active resource. So many people are preoccupied with what's current. I'm a strong believer in newer not always being better. vBulletin 4 has served me well and I expect it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
 

Steve

Fanatic
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
3,743
I suppose if you don’t require a modern interface useable on mobile devices then you would be fine with it. At least until webhosts end support for EOL versions of PHP which is getting more common. Or if you’re able to program your own fixes I guess.
 

Leaf_Green

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
116
When it all comes down to it, it's a subjective matter. Since I'm receiving vague responses, personal preferences aside I think only one question is needed:

Does it work?

Let's try that again in a few years. If the answer is no, I'll migrate.
 
Top