Should I choose Burning Board or XenForo?

TrixieTang

Politically Incorrect
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
8,500
So, I'm thinking of starting up a new forum and I seem to have narrowed down my number of potential software choices to two, either Burning Board or XenForo.

I just need a forum with no big add-ons like downloads or a gallery, but I would like the following features.

  • Forum will be 18+ only, so I'd like to be able to restrict registration to those over 18. (Not that that ever actually stopped anyone from just putting in a fake DOB though...)
  • I'm planning on making use of prefixes/labels (possibly thread tags as well) and it would be best if they were easily searchable and sortable.
  • Needs to look good on mobile devices, because that's what's "in" right now.

Some of the advantages and disadvantages that I see in XenForo and Burning Board are listed below. (These are my personal opinions, deal with it. :p)

XenForo Advantages

  1. Allows you to set a minimum age for member registrations.
  2. More modifications available, and less of them are in German.
  3. Has user group promotions built-in.
  4. URLs seem to be prettier and easier to control.
  5. Built-in miserable users feature. (Got trolls? Troll them back with fake errors!)
  6. Doesn't use/require JavaScript quite as much as Burning Board does.
  7. Better anti-spam features such as the spam cleaner, StopForumSpam and question and answer verification.
  8. Has Facebook/Twitter/Google and other login methods.
  9. Seems to have a better system for searching through prefixes with its "filter" feature.
  10. It's not IPB.
  11. ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNO-KIER!

XenForo Disadvantages

  1. No joinable groups feature built-in.
  2. The default theme looks like the result of a 3rd grader breaking into a toothpaste store. (Sorry, but that's what it looks like to me!)
  3. Has tons of ugly and annoying JavaScript menus and overlays that tend to open way too fast and open when simply hovering over things for about half a second.
  4. The "responsive" design doesn't feel like it was actually made for mobile devices, more like it was just tacked on.
  5. ACP is more of a pain to navigate.
  6. User CP suffers from tab overload.
  7. No built-in dislike feature.
  8. Don't think it has built-in thread tagging.
  9. WHO PUTS THE "POST NEW THREAD" BUTTON NEXT TO THE BREADCRUMB!?!
  10. XenForo is responsible for a huge wave of forums that look exactly the same and have the exact same feel to them. That is bad and XenForo should feel bad.
  11. Is surrounded by a large, toxic cloud of pure internet drama.

Burning Board Advantages

  1. Has joinable groups.
  2. Looks better than XenForo does out of the box and will take a lot less work to get it looking how I want it to.
  3. I think I like the point system more than XF's trophy system.
  4. Better responsive design.
  5. Allows multiple labels (prefixes) per-thread.
  6. ACP is far easier to navigate.
  7. User CP is easier to navigate.
  8. The sidebar.
  9. Better member list.
  10. Has a built-in dislike feature so you can tell crap-posters that their crappy posts are crap.
  11. Has a built-in feature to ignore entire forums.
  12. Has thread tagging built-in.
  13. It's not as commonly used as XF and won't give the site that "just another XF powered forum" feel.
  14. It's not IPB.
  15. "Made in Germany, you know the Germans make good stuff." - ShamWow Guy

Burning Board Disadvantages

  1. URLs appear to be quite a bit uglier than XF's.
  2. Doesn't appear to have user group promotions.
  3. Only anti-spam option seems to be reCRAPTCHA.
  4. Doesn't appear to have a built in feature to limit registration to those over 18.
  5. Relies heavily on JavaScript and considers it "mandatory."
  6. No Facebook/Twitter/Google login.
  7. Less modifications available and more of them are in German.
  8. Changing your username doesn't update your name on past posts. (This is apparently working as intended, but I don't have to agree with it.)
  9. Quoting a post is a pain in the butt.

So, that's what I have so far. I'm sort of leaning towards Burning Board, but at the same time I have some concerns that XenForo might be the better choice in the long run. Now go ahead and try to convince me which software I should choose and why. :D
 

Alex.

The Ancient Dragon
Joined
Jul 1, 2007
Messages
11,578
XenForo with a lot of CSS changes. A lot. To be honest, I dislike them both, but I also dislike vBulletin and now the new IP.Board coming out. So you could say if it were up to me, I'd hand out stone and chisels to members if I had a choice.
 

Blind Bandit

Fanatic
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
3,487
I'm really glad you posted this. I've been thinking about which forum software I would with my self. And right now for me its down to three choices (BB, IPB, XF)

You did a real good job of laying out a realstic look at both software. For me the biggest draw back for XF.

Is your number three.
Has tons of ugly and annoying JavaScript menus and overlays that tend to open way too fast and open when simply hovering over things for about half a second.
Burning board seems to do the popups better. And if you use BB the text can be enlarged more than XF.

But as you mentioned from what I can see BB uses so much javascript it can slow your forum down.

So I guess I can't really help but I'm going to keep an eye on this thread.

XenForo with a lot of CSS changes. A lot. To be honest, I dislike them both, but I also dislike vBulletin and now the new IP.Board coming out. So you could say if it were up to me, I'd hand out stone and chisels to members if I had a choice.
I find myself in the same place. There aren't any options I'm really happy with.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,576
BurningBoard 4 out of the box handles multilingual boards, showing only sections, threads and activity (like latest posts, latest activity) in the language selected.
Very handy if you run a multilingual forum. Instead of needing to set a separate site per language covered or drowning english users with discussions in japanese.
 

meetdilip

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Jul 21, 2010
Messages
6,675
That is a very good comparison. Since not been used WotlabBB much and quite impressed with Xenforo, I guess it will be a good choice. I am also not a fan of Xenforo default theme but you can always customize your theme.
 

Nogitsune

Unleash The Beast....
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
1,753
I say be different and giving burning board a try.
as you said most forums powered by XF literally feel the same and it just feels generic.

Be a little different with your new community and go BB.
It seems like XF's disadvantages are more annoying to you than BB.
 

R44

Asperger's Network? Absolutely.
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
1,071
I find myself in the same place. There aren't any options I'm really happy with.
I have to agree with this - There are no options I am happy with which is why I am in the process of creating my own.
 

TrixieTang

Politically Incorrect
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
8,500
Is it worse than XF's ?(In XF it's hidden)
Scratch that complaint off the list then. I just took a closer look at XF's quote feature and it's almost exactly the same as Burning Board's, maybe even a little worse.

BurningBoard 4 out of the box handles multilingual boards, showing only sections, threads and activity (like latest posts, latest activity) in the language selected.
Very handy if you run a multilingual forum. Instead of needing to set a separate site per language covered or drowning english users with discussions in japanese.
That's nice if you want multiple languages, but it's not something that I'll be needing.

I am also not a fan of Xenforo default theme but you can always customize your theme.
I plan on customizing the skin no matter which software I choose. But it seems like it would take a lot more work to get XF looking how I'd want it to than it would with WBB.
 

dtdesign

Developer
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
562
  • No Facebook/Twitter/Google login.
That's all built in: ACP > System > Option > Users > Tab "Registration"

  • Quoting a post is a pain in the butt.
That was the least expected thing you could've said. I mean what is more awesome than just marking the text, click on quote selection (right above your text selection), hit "Reply" and got the quote inserted right away?
 

doubt

Tazmanian
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
4,855
That was the least expected thing you could've said. I mean what is more awesome than just marking the text, click on quote selection (right above your text selection), hit "Reply" and got the quote inserted right away?
That seems good...but what about older members who prefer to click on a quote button
which inserts the whole post without marking anything?
Do you have that option?
 

doubt

Tazmanian
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
4,855
We have both features available, either you select arbitrary parts of the message or you can simply quote the entire message. I have highlighted the "Quote" button on the screenshot.
Thanks!
 

bossArch

Participant
Joined
May 19, 2014
Messages
65
If I were to chose from what you have named, Id choose none...... why? Im programmer and is not that absolute to make (write) board system.
 

Jura

Devotee
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
2,166
Changing your username doesn't update your name on past posts. (This is apparently working as intended, but I don't have to agree with it.)
omgwat?

Relying on reCRAPTCHA is going to suck. Can you make questions for people to answer at registration at least?

A lot of forum software these days seem to be purposely trying to make quoting hard (including IPB).

I agree with the XenForo design and visual disadvantages. It looks like BB is the way to go for you except the lack of modifications.

Built-in miserable users feature for xF seems random and unnecessary as standard.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

VICE

tool
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Messages
2,735
This thread is an excellent opportunity for BB to shine itself. I hope to see more objective comparisons brought forward between BB Rep. and XF fanboys. So far so good for BB.

Personally, I think NodeBB will blow everybody up once it reach ver 1.0 but we'll see.
 

Bitnull

Fan
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
884
Personally, I'd go with XenForo.

I agree with the default XenForo style and hope in the future they revisit it – another reason why we're going with a custom style for TAZ.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,576
Jira said:
A lot of forum software these days seem to be purposely trying to make quoting hard (including IPB).
I believe it has to do with input savings, like how conversations have supplanted PMs. Unless you really want to include the quoted full posts in your reply, it's a better approach to keep them slim by only having them reference the post and display its text.

It also improves searchability, though no software is taking it particularly far (extending search queries and results to linked content, not just the direct results - say you queried for a post, you could also refine search to see which posts linked/quoted it and which users).
 

dtdesign

Developer
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
562
  • Doesn't appear to have user group promotions.
This will be added with Burning Board 4.1, along with other fancy stuff, e.g. switching from the horrible CKEditor to Redactor.

  • Less modifications available and more of them are in German.
All products offered in our official Plugin-Store offer full support for English, in fact is is a requirement that a product is available in English in order to submit it.
 
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