Starting a new forum...what's new?

Illumi

Ambitious dazzlement
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
197
Thinking about getting back into the forum game after being out of it for 7 years. Wanting to start a community and have considered Facebook Groups - but the lack of control and real ownership is a deal breaker.

What's the go-to and recommended software nowadays? Is it still XenForo?
 

Alex.

The Ancient Dragon
Joined
Jul 1, 2007
Messages
11,578
Coincidentally, after I walked away from forums and sold my stakes, I find myself being drawn back into the foray of forums. I'm toying with the idea at this point, but not confident if I want to put in the effort. XenForo seems to be the gold standard as of now, but honestly, vBulletin nowadays doesn't look bad. Have you tried doing any research into your selected niche(s) to see what they use and what you may give you an edge if you used something else or could address a problem with those sites?
 

Jason5

Adherent
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
281
I think your requirement in the forum will surely help you to filter the forum software. Xenforo has most of the area covered (plugin, theme, support, SEO, Like, Notification, Mentions etc.)
 

Ingenious

Fan
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
714
What's the go-to and recommended software nowadays? Is it still XenForo?
General consensus seems to be that you get what you pay for (ie. paid is better than free in terms of features, support and the all important continual evolution of the product) with the two good platforms being IPB and Xenforo. Each has its fanbase here. Some people like vBulletin too :rolleyes:

Very hard to get a forum going and keep it going these days. You don't need to go back far in any of the showcase forums to find dead links for those that didn't make it. You'll need a good idea, a gap in the market and lots of enthusiasm.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,531
Is your audience young enough they browse mainly on mobile and didnt experience classic forms's golden era? If so, any modern script like nodebb and vanilla will do, they all look the same on a smartphone's screen.

Otherwise, if desktop users and powerusers are your main target audience, you couldnt go wrong with either XF or Woltlab if you'd rather have the safety of priority tech support. XF is more mainstream, Woltlab has a lower total cost of ownership for equivalent features, is easier to manage and you dont need to pay extra annually for ticket support and security updates.
 

Alex.

The Ancient Dragon
Joined
Jul 1, 2007
Messages
11,578
General consensus seems to be that you get what you pay for (ie. paid is better than free in terms of features, support and the all important continual evolution of the product) with the two good platforms being IPB and Xenforo. Each has its fanbase here. Some people like vBulletin too :rolleyes:

Very hard to get a forum going and keep it going these days. You don't need to go back far in any of the showcase forums to find dead links for those that didn't make it. You'll need a good idea, a gap in the market and lots of enthusiasm.
Generally, many forums have a preset amount of life before they fizz out. The few forums that succeed do so because of recurrence in that niche. In other words, a forum about a game or series of games that get the axe won't ever do as well as a forum for a particular sport and leagues of that sport, a survivalist forum, or a weapons forum.

There's this one particular forum on the web that's mainly UK focused. It'll never die off, IMO. And sometimes it makes the news, like some dummy thinking dinosaurs were a fad item in history. Best described as TOWIE in print format.
 

Drastic

Habitué
Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
1,172
Just updated to XF2 and got back into forums myself.

I am amazed at how awesome XF2 is. I realllly like what they did.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,110
What's the go-to and recommended software nowadays? Is it still XenForo?
I'd say for a commercial product it currently offers the best solution for your money, especially if you are starting from scratch.
 

overcast

Adherent
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
411
I think Discourse, Flarum type formats are also good. If you like old Usenet type formats, then spectrum chat is another option. I love discourse like interface for forum these days. Modern and also makes people post comment instead of old forum designs where people hardly wish to even join.
 
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louisaclark

Neophyte
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
4
In Facebook groups, you are bound to one group for a specific topic, but forums are diverse; a whole community with users of all kinds and backgrounds interacting with each other on all kinds of topics.
 

DigNap15

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
107
I am planning to star a fourm based on user polls as my niche. Here in my country we are not very well served by our polling companies.
So I want to run regular polls.
Not to make money just to achieve a personal goal
I have bought my domain name (from Go Daddy) but now I need to chose my forum software.
I'd like a modern look that works well on mobile, mobile probably far more used than desktop.
Some of the paid ones look very expensive, unless I can get advertising.
But then I don't want to go for one of the free hosted sites, as I want to control it my self.
Any suggestions, I'm looking at MyBB and Phpbb.
But I will look into this Discourse
 

doubt

Tazmanian
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
4,864
I'd like a modern look that works well on mobile, mobile probably far more used than desktop.
Some of the paid ones look very expensive, unless I can get advertising.
But then I don't want to go for one of the free hosted sites, as I want to control it my self.
Any suggestions, I'm looking at MyBB and Phpbb.
But I will look into this Discourse
Because you don't want free hosting you have to pay for it.
Unfortunately if you want a script which is good on mobile you have to pay for it as well.
 

Kyrie

Fan
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
986
Because you don't want free hosting you have to pay for it.
Unfortunately if you want a script which is good on mobile you have to pay for it as well.
There's some leeway when they said "good" I'm using PHPBB and by all accounts I'd call it "good"
 

DigNap15

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
107
Thanks for that.
Its not that I don't want to pay for some sofwtare. I realise you get what you apy for.
Some seem to be very expensive
But I don't want to spend too much until I know if my site will work.
Also I need to make the right choice eg have some every specific needs (after having used forums for years)
 

Kyrie

Fan
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
986
Thanks for that.
Its not that I don't want to pay for some sofwtare. I realise you get what you apy for.
Some seem to be very expensive
But I don't want to spend too much until I know if my site will work.
Also I need to make the right choice eg have some every specific needs (after having used forums for years)

I think that MyBB and PHPBB and SMF all hit the same sort of market. All of them can do what you want with a variety of addons and stuff like that.
 

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
8,034
I’ve started one myself after years of not having one. This time, I’m having a different mindset. I’m not going to be concerned about statistics, I’m going to let it get as big as it wants naturally. :) but after careful consideration, XenForo looks like it is still the best solution for my needs. All the free software looks out of date anymore. I don’t mean that as a dis to them. They just don’t look updated that much.
 
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