Forums or discussion boards are more interactive than websites. They help in connecting with different people who have different thoughts on a particular topic. A number of forums have gained huge popularity and helped the people behind the forums earn a good amount of money. They also help in having restriction to the discussion happening in the community within registered members. Examples are Digital Point Forums, Stackthatmoney, etc., If you’re interestsed in creating such forums, discussion boards or communities around a particular topic, we’d help you with the list of free, open source and premium forum software.
List of free, open source and premium forum software
The following is a list of the best free, open source and premium forum software. Choose the one according to your requirements. The list has been sorted alphabetically and according to their nature (free or open source or premium).
Free forum software
The following is the list of the best free forum software which helps webmasters to develop or create forums without the need of spending money on expensive or premium forum software that require licenses.
Many of us use WordPress as a content management system or blogging platform. Bbpress is a forum software made in the WordPress way. If you are frustrated with forum or bulletin board software that was slow, bloated and always got the server hacked, bbpress is a perfect solution.Created with a twist from the creators of WordPress, bbpress helps you in easily setting up discussion forums inside WordPress.org powered site.
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When it comes to the look and feel of forum, many of them have the routine look which is cluttered and cumbersome. Codoforum is a forum software solution that is fast and provides a beautiful UI which is clean and simple. It provides a responsive layout because of which there is no need of a separate app for serving your mobile users. It also provides users with WYSIWYG feature that helps in seeing the content to the right at the moment it is typed. It also has a social login feature with the help of which the members of the community can login using Gmail, Facebook, Twitter accounts. The users of the forum can mention others by mentioning their username and @ before it. The daily stream and formatted emails make the engagement on the community increase. In short, these features have helped us make the decision of choosing this as the forum software solution for one of our online communities.
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Mybb is a free and open source forum software that everyone loves. It has been carefully developed to be powerful and extremely efficient. It has many features which make discussion a highly engaged one and can be considered as a forum software which is discussion centered. The extensive plug-in system helps the developers or webmasters to easily add new features to the forum. The many features, plug-in system, customizable themes helps a developer or a webmaster to create a forum that they would like to do in order to have an engaging community over a particular topic.
If you are looking for a forum software that can handle and scale itself to higher levels, Phorum is the perfect forum software solution. With the help of this community software solution, you can handle more than 2000 new posts per day on a single forum and can host 4000 forum installations on one server. The flexible hook & module system allows webmasters to create modules for using external authentication, alerting message data before it is stored, adding custom information about users or messages etc., The software also gives power to web designers and rearrange the data in any shape form or fashion they would want.
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Phpbb is the best free, open source flat-forum bulletin board software. It can be used to stay in touch with a group of people or can power your entire website. The extensive database of user created modifications and styles database containing hundreds of style and image packages will help in creating a customized board in minutes.
Simple machines forum
Simple machines forum is an open source forum software which is written in PHP and uses MySQL as a database. It is elegant, effective, powerful and free. SMF is a package that gives developers an easy to use forum with many powerful features and has minimal impact on the resources of the server. It features a powerful package manager which allows developers to quickly apply any of the hundreds of modifications in database or change the way the site looks with a variety of custom themes available.
According to the developers of vanilla forums, online communities should be intuitive, engaging and true to your brand. It provides cloud and open source community forum software that powers discussion forums on more than 800000 sites.The software allows developers to create a customized forum or a community which rewards positive participation, curates content automatically and lets members moderate it in order to keep it clean. Vanilla forum software is built for flexibility and integration. Hence it is one of the best and most powerful community (forum software) solutions in the world.
Yabb is an open source forum software based on Perl. With the help of Yabb, you can provide users with real time chat and support system without the need for spending thousands of dollars. It is easy to customize and operate. The software also provides built in security (encrypted user names and passwords, nofollow links and banning tools), censor tools and spam eliminators.
Premium forum software solutions to create online communities
The above are some of the best free and open source forum software to create discussion boards or online communities. If you are looking out to create a serious business out of the discussions happening, a premium forum software solution should be the best pick. The following are some of the best premium forum software solutions that are highly scalable and good for business.
Aspplayground is a premium forum software solution built using ASP.NET The premium forum software provides webmasters with a wide range of features which include plugins for Tapatalk, social media signin, integrated analytics, third party tools integration, survey polls etc. It also has the ability to handle many concurrent users hence making it a forum software solution that can handle a good amount of traffic.
IP Board forum software solution is used by many of the brands which are small and large. It provides tools which facilitate effective discussion and aid in user engagement. It also provides webmasters with the flexibility and choice. The content gets noticed to a wide audience when it is shared. This discussion board software provides necessary and required tools which help in sharing the content.
Vbulletin premium forum software provides forum administrators with a number of features. Hence, the investment made on this is quite worthy and can help in creating a serious community. Some of the features it provides are inbuilt seo, world class support and engaging nature. Vbulletin also provides users with a cloud solution (include hardware and hosting) so that you can primarily concentrate on taking your forum to the next level instead of spending time to maintain and operate it technically.
If you are interested in making the user engagement go to the next level on your forum or community, Xenforo forum software can help you. It has an intuitive “like” system which makes the user feel appreciated for their participation in a thread. Hence, it helps in creating a compelling community experience. It also provides additional set of features like recent activity stream, sends alerts to users when they receive a reply or receive a trophy etc and helps in increased user engagement. The look and feel of the community built with Xenforo can be customized and it comes with the power of many SEO features (human readable URLS, semantic HTML with embedded microdata).
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The above are some of the best free, open source and premium forum software solutions to help you in creating discussion boards or online communities. If we’ve missed out any that could have helped or if you’ve used any of the above forum software, please drop your comments below.