Start with free or paid forum software?

Jason5

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Jun 18, 2013
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If you are going to start a project (either for fun or serious) what forum software you will go with?

Will it be a free forum software to get started and paid or will it be Paid when starting?

Now i have started with free and if i am really serious or see a good growth i will move to paid forum software
 

palhanow

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Jun 23, 2016
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138
In my humble opinion, every depends if you are willing to spend money or not.

The great advantage about using a paid software is the indisputable general quality of the system. The biggest counter, is the money, of course.

The great advantage about using a free/opensource program is... Because it's free.

So, everything comes to the money question:

Are you ready to expend some considerable amount of money on a project that probably will not generate an income for you for a long time?

In my case, i did started with MyBB and is a great piece of software. Now I'm with XenForo.

But if I had the money back then I would definitely go to the XenForo directly.

Opensource projects are a great thing, but demands some knowledge and technical skills that are not normally required in a paid software.

You should try a free software first, then, move to a paid one if you really want to enter in the Forum business. Is the safest way for doing this. Many administrators abandon their projects after some months because the lack of patience.

In my humble opinion, patience is the mandatory skill, even more important than what software you want to implement.

Godspeed.
 

haqzore

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Dec 6, 2012
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I think the 1 rule I would stick to, without question, is to go self-hosted.

Whether free or paid, as long as you're self-hosted, you have freedom to change later.

More directly, depends on seriousness & research.
  • If you're serious, have done research to know what the potential is, and have a plan laid out BEYOND INSTALLING THE SCRIPT - there is less risk in starting with paid scripts.
  • Conversely, if you just got the itch and "feel like starting a form"... Go free.
 

zappaDPJ

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I think the 1 rule I would stick to, without question, is to go self-hosted.
I agree, that's a must. As to free or paid, I go for the product I think best fits whatever it is I want to achieve. I use free software for professional support forums and paid software for hobby sites. There are no hard and fast rules, some of the biggest sites in the world thrive on free software.
 

palhanow

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Jun 23, 2016
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I agree, that's a must. As to free or paid, I go for the product I think best fits whatever it is I want to achieve. I use free software for professional support forums and paid software for hobby sites. There are no hard and fast rules, some of the biggest sites in the world thrive on free software.

Do you have any examples for this?

For me really didn't work any free software, forums systems, Windows softwares, nothing.
 

zappaDPJ

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Very impressive, done with SMF. Incredible.
Thank you. The reason I've used SMF for that particular forum is it's highly customised by me and I wouldn't have the knowledge required to do the same with a paid product.
 

overcast

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Mar 17, 2019
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I don't like the way phpBB works, I prefer something like Flarum, Fluxbb, Mybb instead. Even the SMF is better. Phpbb is just ugly and it's blocking controls are poor.
 

palhanow

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I don't like the way phpBB works, I prefer something like Flarum, Fluxbb, Mybb instead. Even the SMF is better. Phpbb is just ugly and it's blocking controls are poor.
Well, can you be more correct?

I have the same impression with phpBB, specially with the code.

MyBB was the reason why I'm trying (with >30 years old) to learn how to code and understand the language.

I don't know how the specialists in php call this, but the MyBB code was to me (note: a very amateur guy) a "nice reading", a good start point to begging the learning process.

Now I'm in XF and totally lost again :oops:
 

Russ

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If you go with with paid, one thing to consider is buying a forum license that you're able to sell and transfer in case it doesn't work out so you're not out as much money.
 

haqzore

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If you go with with paid, one thing to consider is buying a forum license that you're able to sell and transfer in case it doesn't work out so you're not out as much money.
I was going to say the same.

On the same line of thought, go paid, but used/2nd hand, to also save money.
 

overcast

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Mar 17, 2019
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Well, can you be more correct?

I have the same impression with phpBB, specially with the code.

MyBB was the reason why I'm trying (with >30 years old) to learn how to code and understand the language.

I don't know how the specialists in php call this, but the MyBB code was to me (note: a very amateur guy) a "nice reading", a good start point to begging the learning process.

Now I'm in XF and totally lost again :oops:
XF has pretty good controls for blocking users though. Here you are pretty much shielded from user content unlike phpbb where in blocking the target user can see your content and you just get one broken block that says you blocked that user. In XF you get blank space whenever that user posts something in forum.
 

palhanow

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XF has pretty good controls for blocking users though. Here you are pretty much shielded from user content unlike phpbb where in blocking the target user can see your content and you just get one broken block that says you blocked that user. In XF you get blank space whenever that user posts something in forum.

Oh, sorry. I did misinterpreted your post. You were talking about something and i was replying with a completely different matter.

So, in my XF board, my users are always asking for a better blocking tool.

Since my Forum is about politics, i get a lot of head around there, so, the blocking is very common.

But they complain and demand to implement some kind of "super block", like in Twitter, because sometimes the OP's don't even want to show their own content to some other guy.
 

southernlady

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May 8, 2005
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Oh, sorry. I did misinterpreted your post. You were talking about something and i was replying with a completely different matter.

So, in my XF board, my users are always asking for a better blocking tool.

Since my Forum is about politics, i get a lot of head around there, so, the blocking is very common.

But they complain and demand to implement some kind of "super block", like in Twitter, because sometimes the OP's don't even want to show their own content to some other guy.
I’ve needed a FB like block for several years. I keep asking but no one has made one.
 

overcast

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Mar 17, 2019
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Oh, sorry. I did misinterpreted your post. You were talking about something and i was replying with a completely different matter.

So, in my XF board, my users are always asking for a better blocking tool.

Since my Forum is about politics, i get a lot of head around there, so, the blocking is very common.

But they complain and demand to implement some kind of "super block", like in Twitter, because sometimes the OP's don't even want to show their own content to some other guy.
Yes I think super block pretty much blocks the content from both sides of the user. Facebook too has it. I don't know if any forum software dev even considered this. It's a good feature.
 

MagicalAzareal

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Apr 25, 2019
Messages
562
I personally like simple solutions without as many boilerplate or bugs.
As they say, the more complicated the system is, the fancier it tries to be, the higher chances of bugs cropping up. I absolutely hate bugs.

Free is theoretically better when it comes to this, as they don't need to go crazy with functionality that only serves for propping up PR but the major players are ridiculously dated and carry around a large amount of legacy code, so they often end up being the very opposite.

I also don't like things which aren't open source. If the code is not visible, then there could be any number of problems and there often are as information doesn't flow in quite the same ways it might otherwise and if someone slips, then it is infinitely more likely to be overlooked.
 
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