Which Forum Software Is The Best?

Which Forum Software is the Best in your opinion?

  • Invision Community

    Votes: 24 19.5%
  • phpBB

    Votes: 2 1.6%
  • SMF

    Votes: 8 6.5%
  • MyBB

    Votes: 4 3.3%
  • vBulletin

    Votes: 9 7.3%
  • WoltLab Burning Board

    Votes: 4 3.3%
  • XenForo

    Votes: 40 32.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 11 8.9%
  • nodeBB

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Discourse

    Votes: 3 2.4%
  • Vanilla

    Votes: 2 1.6%
  • Elkarte

    Votes: 4 3.3%
  • Don't know

    Votes: 12 9.8%

  • Total voters
    123

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,576
I have to admit I was completely wrong about Xenforo. I have to admit that it is one good piece of forum software and yes in my opinion it is better than all versions of vbulletin.

I think it's fair to say that XenForo is what vBulletin could have been and a lot more if it hadn't been for the legal shenanigans. It's the natural successor and a product that former vBulletin users should already have some familiarity with.

Was it anything in particularly the caused you to have a change of mind?
 

NYCGuy76

Fanatic
Joined
Jul 1, 2006
Messages
1,167
I think it's fair to say that XenForo is what vBulletin could have been and a lot more if it hadn't been for the legal shenanigans. It's the natural successor and a product that former vBulletin users should already have some familiarity with.

Was it anything in particularly the caused you to have a change of mind?
The turning point for me was the built in giphy but to be honest after a few weeks of steady usage and having my custom style designed by sultan themes it just won me over. So I guess you could say it wasn’t just one specific thing.
I have to agree with you in regards to your vbulletin comment.
 

dojo

Passionate admin
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
3,781
It's been a while since I cared about it, but since I run 2 forums now (one just as a case study to confirm some of my SEO tricks), I chose Xenforo because it's responsive. I loved MYBB back in the day, but not being responsive is a huge deal. XF has some serious SEO issues as well, but I am ranking pretty well on my main keywords even so, which makes it OK :)
 

borbole

Adherent
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
338
Before Ipb released their latest version, 4.5. my vote would have been xf without a doubt. But now I did vote for Ipb as 4.5 is excellent and much much better than the other forums imo.
 

Michael_

Aspirant
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
24
For me personally vbulletin 3 is overall the greatest software ever made.
I also still love the old free burning board lite 1.0.2pl3 because its so easy to modify. Its my favourite as long as you dont need features like multilanguage support and plugin system.
But of course this is already 20 years old software and therefore not what most websites demand these days.

From todays systems i think IPS is the best overall.
Followed by xenforo which is also very nice but IPS in my opinion is better if you also need a CMS. :)

When it comes to free forum software there have really been better days in my opinion.
I think myBB is great but will they ever come out with 1.9 / native responsive templates?

I've never been a fan of phpBB 3 or smf. It works but i dont like it and would not want to use it on any of my sites.
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,921
I still maintain the next evolution of forums will be about differentiation from their peers rather than core evolution - the core differentiators between IPS and XF now are the first party plugins ecosystems and the subsidiary functionality in IPS (like clubs or some of the social integrations)

Let's face, the core posting experience has basically been nailed at this point. And even the niche entries out there that do weird things have that figured out - so it'll be about what other options there are for specific types of sites whose requirements are knowable but too big for just collections of mods. (cf my thoughts on RP-focused forum software)
 

R0binHood

Habitué
Joined
Nov 23, 2011
Messages
1,504
Let's face, the core posting experience has basically been nailed at this point.

Not really. No one has nailed the first party full cross platform experience yet with native apps (is the IPS app actually out yet?)

And some of the high quality 3rd party apps are insanely expensive or you have to roll your own.

Video is still a nightmare to deal with for self hosted forums, so all the big social media sites still have a massive edge there, and that makes up a huge amount of content created and shared these days. XF has transcoding of video for their media gallery, but nothing for video uploaded directly to posts yet, and I'm yet to see any decent 3rd party integrations to offload that processing requirement.

Mux looks promising though.
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,921
Depends what you consider the core posting experience, though. You make it sound like everyone wants to upload video all the time... but frankly, number of times I’ve wanted to upload video is single digits, and the number of times I’ve wanted to consume videos on any social media is still pretty limited.

I don’t consider “first party app” a requirement for posting, nor video. The elemental unit of forum posting is the post with words in...
 

R0binHood

Habitué
Joined
Nov 23, 2011
Messages
1,504
The elemental unit of forum posting is the post with words in...

Absolutely. And text posts have been the bread and butter of classic independent forums for decades. Text posts through desktop computers. But that's not the case anymore.

For the best possible core community experience these days, you need to cater to all platforms, and all media types. I'm not talking add ons like clubs and dice rolling, I'm talking about the basics, just staying connected, getting relevant alerts/notifications and posting the content types that people can create and will try to post.

People are posting from mobile phones, and laptops, and tablets, and powerful desktops. They're creating all sorts of content, whether it's written, images or video. Just because you're not posting video doesn't mean the rest of the world isn't. See the explosion of the likes of tik tok, instagram, instagram stories, youtube, youtube shorts. Every social network accepts and processes vast amounts of video, and it's around that video that huge conversation is then happening. Independent forums cannot yet handle or cope with that.

Until classic forums have the ability to handle all basic content types thrown at them and much better cross platform experiences, they'll always be inferior (in terms of technical capability) to the other options from the big tech companies, and this will inhibit the growth of new communities on those platforms.

There's too many competing services and platforms that are free and just work.
 
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