Best Forum Software in your opinion

Which is the best forum software?

  • Burning Board

    Votes: 19 7.8%
  • IPB

    Votes: 55 22.6%
  • vBulletin

    Votes: 12 4.9%
  • MyBB

    Votes: 17 7.0%
  • phpBB

    Votes: 10 4.1%
  • NodeBB

    Votes: 4 1.6%
  • SMF

    Votes: 13 5.3%
  • Others

    Votes: 14 5.8%
  • XenForo

    Votes: 99 40.7%

  • Total voters
    243

Kevin

Oooh, something shiny!
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
3,450
VB4 - released a decade ago
Well, nuts, now I feel old! I still remember some of the more "spirited" (for lack of a better a description) conversations that took place before vB4 was released to the public. Has it really been 10 years already?! :barefoot:
 

Leaf_Green

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
116
90vGbnd.jpg
 

Steve

Fanatic
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
3,743
Basically that ^^, vB is no longer a contender, let alone a 2nd place one and the poll clearly shows that.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,751
I guess what it really comes down to is what defines the best at which point many factors come into play.

In terms of innovation I'd still vote Invision. For a large corporate site Khoros (formally Spredfast+Lithium) is amazing if you have very deep pockets. For everything else I'd go for either Xenforo or SMF. XenForo because it's affordable and well supported, SMF because it's free, fast and secure. It also helps that I know it inside out.

The bottom line for me is that there isn't one product that ticks all boxes so it makes sense not to put all my eggs in one basket. I'll use what I think best suits the community I'm trying to support.
 

Leaf_Green

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
116
I do like a lot about vBulletin, but I probably haven't helped how this has sort of changed into a "Change My View" thread rather than the original aim. So I feel that listing what I like about vBulletin and why I've chosen the software will devolve into:


:morganna:

Different strokes for different folks.
 

overcast

Adherent
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
486
Even after development stop phase VB> Mybb. I mean mybb looks like some childish project. They just don't want to grow.
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,215
Yes, I do not mind. I also don't mind agreeing to disagree. I've seen these arguments for years—not only since vBulletin 4 was EOL. I've come to learn the usual pompous attitude from a number of (not all) XenForo users. That's not to say you don't make any good points. It's just that XenForo users often try to push the software onto people who are perfectly happy with vBulletin.

This discussion shouldn't spiral into more hostility. Thank you.

I think the feeling about VB's 3/4's days being numbered are not something you'll see from a number of Xenforo users, but it's a rather widespread opinion among those running many different software packages.

Sure, there will be holdouts, but they will get fewer and farther between if for no other reason that hosting companies will retire servers with PHP 5.x and 7.x over time. You're arguing a point much like saying BBSs aren't going anywhere --- I heard many similar arguments back in the day with those... but when support for a market disappears no matter how entrenched the market is it will eventually become an endangered species.

It's not hostility or pompousness, just a matter of the practicality of continuing, along with the feature set getting more antiquated with each passing year.
 

MagicalAzareal

Magical Developer
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
758
vB is much like a horse. I could buy my own horse and ride it on the road, but horses are so far gone at this point that it would practically be ridiculous to do so.
 

Leaf_Green

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
116
But... hypothetically speaking if my hosting company doesn't retire PHP 7.1 for a long time, it isn't a huge deal?

XenForo simply isn't for me. I'm not saying that there aren't good mods for customisation (I guess there must be), but I can't think of a single XenForo site that left an impression on me. vBulletin and software of the same ilk, often quite the opposite. Everyone has the right to bash older forum software, but it's loud and clear that we're heading down a road to a minimalist internet. (If you don't think we're there already.)

I agree that I'm being a dinosaur. I'm stuck in the golden age of the internet which is arguably already antiquated in terms of design.

And I bloody well like it. :)
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,751
But... hypothetically speaking if my hosting company doesn't retire PHP 7.1 for a long time, it isn't a huge deal?

Unpatched security issues will be your biggest problem, especially on a shared server. To be honest nobody should rent server space from any host prepared to run unsupported software.
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,215
But... hypothetically speaking if my hosting company doesn't retire PHP 7.1 for a long time, it isn't a huge deal?

It will be when a security exploit is found for the version of PHP you're still using. And based on history, one will be found.

XenForo simply isn't for me.
Then consider something else. The forum world has many great forum packages.

i'm not saying that there aren't good mods for customisation (I guess there must be), but I can't think of a single XenForo site that left an impression on me. vBulletin and software of the same ilk, often quite the opposite. Everyone has the right to bash older forum software, but it's loud and clear that we're heading down a road to a minimalist internet. (If you don't think we're there already.)

Ultimately, the site's users, not you, are who you should consider. It's becoming more and more important to have fully responsive and lightweight themes, push notifications, etc.

I agree that I'm being a dinosaur. I'm stuck in the golden age of the internet which is arguably already antiquated in terms of design.

And I bloody well like it. :)

I like the Ford Model-T but my friends don't want to ride with me doing 35 MPH on the freeway. :)
 

Leaf_Green

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
116
My server is private and my choice is final. I'm not trying to argue here. On the contrary, we should respect the OP's intentions for the thread; not making it a contest.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,751
My server is private and my choice is final. I'm not trying to argue here. On the contrary, we should respect the OP's intentions for the thread; not making it a contest.

I don't see it as a contest, just suggestions from other forum owners based on their experiences. Most of us will have run a vBulletin forum at some time in the past and some still do. It probably was the best and most popular paid script going but for various reasons that's no longer the case.

If your choice is to keep running vB4 then one option would be to engage with other forum owners with a view to making it compliant with a supported version of PHP.
 

whitetigergrowl

Participant
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
55
Here's my take it on it all. I've used and continue to use and test IPB, VB, and Xenforo. I've been trolling around for years and I have the looks to back it up. ;)

IPB was my start point, with VB next in line. IPB is still my first love with Xenforo in second place now.

That being said, VBulletin is an option for some people. BUT they are no longer the leader and I can't even say they are a good option anymore. That's being battled out between IPB and Xenforo now. VBulletin when it was bought out by IB was still being given a chance by many in the forum community. But IB really shafted people.

On top of that, their god awful slow development, poor customer service skills, and poor coding and lack of community support don't help. Even when Kier and them left to create Xenforo people tried giving the benefit of the doubt. Until they sued Xenforo which effectively slowed or stopped development for over a year. Which didn't help Xenforo at the time or VB.

IPB is the only one that's just been trucking along on its own path with steady updates and good community support overall.

The problem with VBulletin right now is that if you use older versions of VB prior to VB5, you are effectively limiting the forum itself and its potential growth. There are those above me that made valid points.

From a security standpoint, the longer you stay on the older software, the more you open the risk of irreparable damage to users, yourself, and your site should it be hacked or compromised in other ways. As well incompatibility issues with newer browsers, technology, and tablets/cell phones, etc will rear their ugly head. Those things can turn off members as well.

You may be fine with things right now, but all it takes is one compromise to completely lose support of your members and kill your forum. While it can happen on new software, it's exceedingly more likely on older no longer supported software. And you don't want members getting tired of problems with the older software that they move on elsewhere to the point the forum decline can't be saved.

As well, should the webhost EOL the last supported version of PHP for the software, now you're going to be in a race against time to figure out what to do. You have mods you may not be able to find a suitable replacement for and can't move it's contents to the new software.

VB5 is a trainwreck on many fronts. Coding, lack of community support, and aging software are a few of the problems. Many upgraded to VB5 from VB3 or 4 and completely regretted it.

Xenforo has its own issues too. But they recently announced full steam ahead on forum development.

IPB is fairly consistent and is rather undisturbed by other forum software issues.

Long story short, VB isn't in second place. All stats and indications clearly show its decline in popularity and usage. Many forums won't upgrade to VB 5 because of how bad it is. That should tell you something.

VBulletin USED to be the best. Now I question if 3rd place is even good enough. I'm no Xenforo fanboy. And I prefered VB 3 and even VB 4 for the longest times. Those days are gone however. Part of a bygone era.

At a minimum I would highly recommend starting to look to the future and what direction you want to go and what you are gonna do if you can't upgrade without significant damage or loss to the site in terms of features, content, etc.

That is, unless the integrity and long term viability of the forum doesn't matter. But that's your call.
 

Abizaga

I am a tuna sandwich!
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
512
Really, it would depend on the time and the situation. If it was 2007 still I would say vBulletin because it was when 3.7 was out. If it was a freebie I would have said Invisionfree, and today for a ppremim I would say Xenforo.
 
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