Which Forum Software Is The Best?

Which Forum Software is the Best in your opinion?

  • Invision Community

    Votes: 18 18.8%
  • phpBB

    Votes: 2 2.1%
  • SMF

    Votes: 6 6.3%
  • MyBB

    Votes: 4 4.2%
  • vBulletin

    Votes: 4 4.2%
  • WoltLab Burning Board

    Votes: 3 3.1%
  • XenForo

    Votes: 31 32.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 8.3%
  • nodeBB

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Discourse

    Votes: 3 3.1%
  • Vanilla

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • Elkarte

    Votes: 4 4.2%
  • Don't know

    Votes: 12 12.5%

  • Total voters
    96

Ashley S

Adherent
Joined
Jul 16, 2011
Messages
385
To be honest I've always liked MyBB it's been my favorite forum software for years.
Easy to modify templates, moderate the forum etc.

Free = MyBB
Paid = XenForo
 

gConverter

Participant
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
76
It depends on your website. If you only use forum I think the best choice is stand-alone forum softwares:
  • Free: phpBB
  • Paid: XenForo
In case your website is not based on forum only and you run WordPress, the best choice will be:
  • bbPress (light forum)
  • wpForo (full-fledged community)
Also, another good criteria is the GC-Rank provided by our company. It depends on number of From/To migrations for each forum software. Here are some examples of popular forum software GC-Ranks. The full list is available here: https://gconverters.com/statistics/
  • phpBB - 6
  • XenForo - 6
  • vBulletin - 5
  • SMF - 3

gConverter-GCRank-phpBB.png gConverter-GCRank-XenForo.png
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,511
One thing I do wish... IPB was the 3.x line. IPS refers to the newer 4.x branch (name change by developers). IPB (3.x line) is nowhere near what XenForo 1.x was nor 2.x and the difference between it and 4.x IPS is like night and day.
It can get rather confusing when people continue to refer to IPS as IPB. ;)
It was always IPS Invision Powered Services from 2002 its what the company is called. The product is IP.Suite or IP.Blog, IP.Gallery etc if you only want to address one.
 

Tracy Perry

Opinionated asshat
Joined
May 25, 2013
Messages
4,991
It was always IPS Invision Powered Services from 2002 its what the company is called. The product is IP.Suite or IP.Blog, IP.Gallery etc if you only want to address one.
Actual users of the script have tended to refer to the 3.x line as IPB.... with the rebranding the newer line (which is what this poll was a discussion of) is referred to as IPS - with IPB designating the older no longer supported line.
This was along the times that IPS processed the changes to allow them to get out of the "life-time" support/upgrades that they offered with the 3.x line that they did not want to carry over to the 4.x line.
 

Alfa1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
4,002
Also, another good criteria is the GC-Rank provided by our company. It depends on number of From/To migrations for each forum software. Here are some examples of popular forum software GC-Ranks. The full list is available here: https://gconverters.com/statistics/
What is the time span of these rankings? If there is no time limit, then it will look very different than statistics of the last 12 months. Take vbulletin for example which was great many years ago, but not doing well.
 

gConverter

Participant
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
76
What is the time span of these rankings? If there is no time limit, then it will look very different than statistics of the last 12 months. Take vbulletin for example which was great many years ago, but not doing well.
These data were collected during last 365 days. It's being updated everyday with each migration project. The time span 365 days. The recent migration projects are listed on right sidebar.
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,511
If they do not track the same domains you will get different results.
 

gConverter

Participant
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
76
Weird that there is such a vast discrepancy between your vbulletin import statistics
View attachment 50507

And Digitalpoint Cookie search for Commercial Forum Software Migrations:
View attachment 50506
https://tools.digitalpoint.com/cookie-search
gConverter Ranks based on live cases, customer orders, migration projects we do. There is not more realistic counting method.
To tell the truth I don't see how you compare these too statistic, I think they cannot be compared. They are totally different. The GC-Rank display To/From migration parts for each forum individually, it doesn't compare forums together. The Diagram you've mentioned is a total count and based on unknown method and it based on comparing. Also I don't see the time span there. GC-Rank is counted for last 365 days.
 

Alfa1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
4,002
Also I don't see the time span there.
Thats a good point. You can click 'show historic charts' which will show you the changes per month. But I am not sure what time span it counts.
 

Dragonchilde

Participant
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
59
I'm currently testing DIscourse for my site's transition from a custom-built (and inadequate) solution to new redesign. We run on Ruby, and our tools have been inadequate to say the lease.

Discourse is making me rethink how I do things; some stuff we've always done because that's how we do it, you know? Discourse works differently, and I think it's going to be interesting. I don't like how some things aren't possible because of the founders' design philosophy (no blocking, because users should be able to drum someone out of the community, or something) but the administrative capabilities are incredible. I mean, really awesome. The tools for moving, sorting, merging, etc, are just the best.

We'll see how it works in practice, though.
 

Splinter2

Participant
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
55
The question's as broad as it's long. Best to use as a member or to administrate?
I used SMF for about five years, mainly because it's free and I had zero experience in running a forum. It had fairly regular updates, but was a tad limited for customisation (in my opinion). What many members were asking for was an auto-save feature which I believe is still in beta. I liked it overall, but when compared to what's on offer elsewhere, the shortcomings stand out. Support at the SMF forums was however, outstanding.
I'm currently using WoltLab, since at the time of choosing it was the most cost effective and apart from a recent hiccup, I'm very pleased with with how it performs.
It's very mobile friendly and the WSC Connect app is superb. Gets my vote simply because I don't have experience with any of the others apart from SMF.
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,658
I used SMF for about five years, mainly because it's free and I had zero experience in running a forum. It had fairly regular updates, but was a tad limited for customisation (in my opinion). What many members were asking for was an auto-save feature which I believe is still in beta.
Limited for customisation? Limited for out of the box configuration, perhaps, and limited perhaps in terms of what could be done with available modifications, but that's not really the fault of the platform since the platform's package management could let you literally do anything - and I certainly did some crazy, crazy things with it. I ported WordPress themes to it readily enough, I made blogs using it (so specific boards were blogs with a blog layout and the rest weren't, including using boards and doing things like tagging posts with GPS coordinates to be able to do a sort of travel blog - on a forum package)

But then again I'm a programmer and can tweak it literally however I like, which may be the difference.

Autosave has been available for many years as an addon, in fact I think there are even multiple addons for it, but it is core now or will be if 2.1 ever manages to get released.
 

Splinter2

Participant
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
55
Pete
Easy for you but not the majority of us who are not programmers and yes, there are plenty of add-ons for SMF but I could never get any kind of auto-save to work and waited patiently for the core to be updated, until it eventually became vapour-ware.
In broad terms though, WoltLab needs a more varied selection of plugins.
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,658
here are plenty of add-ons for SMF but I could never get any kind of auto-save to work
I even wrote one of the auto-save solutions a number of years ago for 2.0...

2.1 isn't vapour-ware, it's still in quite active development, downloadable from the same place it's been available from for the last nearly-7-years: https://github.com/SimpleMachines/SMF2.1 - though I won't deny it's taking overly long to get anywhere which is why I stopped and started my own fork of it for my own needs.
 

Vekseid

Participant
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
96
Moved my MyBB forum to XenForo. Members were using it in a way that MyBB was simply not equipped to handle.

My SMF forum is going to be moving to Elkarte.
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,658
It’s interesting, if 2.1 ever actually gets released, it will outperform Elkarte in quite a few ways for bigger boards.

The thing about Elkarte is... I see a lot of work but I couldn’t tell you what it actually brought anyone.
 

TrixieTang

Politically Incorrect
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
8,509
Years ago, I never would have imagined a "Best Forum Software" poll getting more votes for SMF than vBulletin.

Never forget that the best forum software of today will eventually be the has-been of tomorrow.
 
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