Comparing Different Forum Software Platforms

Steve Freides

Sep 2, 2016
I have admin'ed a XF forum since 2015. Before that, the same forum used WP's forum software, which was very much not up to the task. I also admin a bunch of Facebook groups for the same

I see a note that Invision is hiring, and it makes me ask for an overview of what the forum software offerings are these days. My understanding is that XF has the largest share of the market, but I'm interested in learning about its competitors, just for my own edification.

Thanks in advance for your replies, and I guess Invision would be a good place to start.



Dec 6, 2012
What exactly is your goal with this thread? I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to do? Or what you're asking for here?

This subforum is for people to ask the thread starter questions "about anything". Are you wanting people to ask you general questions about life, forums, and everything in between?


Aug 26, 2010
I've moved this thread to a more appropriate forum.

To answer the question posed, I'd say this...

Invision Community currently has a rapid development path which in my view has put it well beyond the competition in terms of core functionality. I also believe it's better geared towards the mobile user with further powerful advances planned for the future.

Xenforo is as correctly surmise still the most popular product with a healthy number of third party developers contributing further functionality to the core product.

Personally I don't believe one product is better than the other and of course there are many others that you might want to take into consideration. It really depends on what will best fit your budget, your needs and most importantly, the needs of your community.


Apocalypse Admin
Jun 29, 2008
Xenforo is a better starting point for a simple experience, but you'll likely have to install many addons, each of which could have different prices for acquisition and access to updates/support, support lifecycle and code quality.

With Invision Community, many of the features you needed addons for on other platforms are included in the core offering, officially supported and coded to the same standards. If you get only the forum, pricing and renewals match xenforo's and you're just getting much more for your bang. If you're not budget-constrained, IPB is the better value for either hobbyists or deep-pocketed webmasters.

it makes me ask for an overview of what the forum software offerings are these days
Free software is no longer lousy, and suits fine communities whose audience mostly browses from mobiles (all forums roughly look and work the same on a smartphone display). You got Nodebb, Discourse, Vanilla... All major stepups above wordpress-based solutions.