5 Open Source Forum Software

So far, we’ve only talked about open-source forum software.

By default, 000webhost accounts come with a free subdomain such as www. The software is being used by millions of users who wanted a place where they could discuss, gather and share information. Not only that. Forum could be argued that they are the first social media spots online. Mods are distributed free of charge which is great.

What do other customers think of the service? Our own go-to forum software is phpBB or WordPress, due to their wealth of features. NodeBB integrates into your existing website and social media networks, allowing you to maximize your outreach and establish close relationships with your users. Best of all, they can usually be installed in just a few clicks, directly from your account control panel through its graphical user interface. Forumotion is one such example, offering themes covering a wide range of topics. This wealth of options enables you to implement nearly any feature you want on your forums.

An internet forum (sometimes referred to as a message board or discussion forum) is a website or an area of a site where people can have discussions with each other.

When you throw in the fact that you can post mentions to other users much like Twitter, Flarum goes from an ordinary forum program to one of the best free forum software. Paid plans are quite pricey. Overall, Drupal is a strong choice if you’re looking for enterprise-level features and scalability. Here is a list of the best forum software, based on popularity and functionality: A forum or message board is a common place on internet where like minded people hang out for sharing and discussing on any given topic, product or anything you can imagine.

It is written in PHP and makes use of the MySQL database server. Forums are some of the most useful places on the internet: One of the following databases: Forums can help you enrich your website with new content all the while interacting with your visitors and giving them a platform for discussions. When it comes to communicating on the web, social media networks and blogs seemingly get all the glory. If you type a URL in a message, it automatically becomes an active link. Original messages are not automatically quoted in the reply box.

And we also have many addons. You can create links that go directly to specific discussions, or even specific messages from your website. Those who need to hire a blogger post potential jobs and job seekers can read the posts and private message the potential employers. For that reason, you’ll want to look for the best forum software that offers as many of the above features as possible, even if you don’t intend to use them right away. This host is rated #1 by our readers. Use this discount link to get special pricing.

The way forums look depends on your theme, but not every theme supports bbPress.

Ways To Build Your Community Using A Forum Software

Finally, if you are unhappy with your web hosting plan, you can take advantage of your 45 day money back guarantee. Community users who are knowledgeable about the subject matter of the forum and willing to spend a few minutes a day helping the community grow will make good moderators. Despite its age, SMF continues to receive regular updates. Address questions and complaints. It is likely the humor that keeps people coming back to this site and that is something you can implement on your own forum no matter the topic. It is the most widely used forum software on the internet, running on sites visited by millions of people daily.

Even better, maybe another forum user has faced that same problem and can answer their question before your service reps even see it.


5 (w/Zend Optimizer), Ruby on Rails (Ruby 1. )There are many advantages to using ProBoards' free forum hosting service. It offers such class areas as "conferencing", "link sharing", "document", "class schedule" and "class members. "However, forum traffic patterns are unpredictable — user activities can peak and trough rapidly, and often irregularly. Changes can be easily made via the package manager. Edit/Trash/Spam - Self-explanatory. SMF is written in the popular language PHP and uses a MySQL database.

Image courtesy of Joomla! The only drawback of this open source software is that you should be a little bit technical as it only going to install using Docker. However, with so many different solutions available, many people have a hard time deciding which web forum software suits their needs best. Overall, this platform stands out from other options due to its high level of polish.

It also helps that Vanilla Forums has a knowledge base system included, so businesses can cut down on support tickets by having a self-serve option. Offers an easy to set up and clean forum experience. Forums are a staple of the internet. SiteGround, InMotion Hosting, A2 Hosting*. The moderator keeps the discussions fresh by starting new topics and removing inappropriate content. It can be easily customized, is multilingual and offers private messaging functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

The discussion topics on the current online forums, however, are preset, and teachers have no control over both the development of the discussion and the participants. What’s more, it even supports paid subscriptions for your forum members, as well as all the other features you’d expect to see from any solid forum tool. There's also an option for users to authenticate using their Google, Facebook or Bit. What level of management is provided? This happens in a more controlled setting than in social media, which offers unique benefits. Each group generates a discussion topic from class readings or lectures and discusses their respective topics while responding to other groups. The pages created using this software are XHTML-compliant.

More Info On MyBB

From domain name management, FTP accounts, statistics, sever information and more. The best-known example is probably Dave's ESL Cafe. Nobody will join your online community if they don't know it exists. It offers all the basics you need to set up messaging boards, along with plenty of moderation options. On the other hand, there are many forums that are open source, so you are not forced to commit to your initial choice if you do not want to. After stable release, it can be proved the best alternative to Discourse forum. Discourse is a from-scratch reboot, an attempt to reimagine what a modern Internet discussion platform should be today, in a world of ubiquitous smartphones, tablets, Facebook, and Twitter.

Users are able to report spam or illegal behavior. It only takes minutes to install plugins, which can be handily updated via the admin panel. The organization of these messages and topics varies depending on the structure of the message board. It's especially useful if the forum is highly active and new topics are created every few seconds.

BoardHost offers totally free hosting for forums and also support many online apps to be embed in your forum or website. Optimizes your forum for search engines. Security and Anti-Spam – phpBB is constantly audited by third-parties and community for any vulnerabilities. For more than two decades, phpBB has been considered the premier free bulletin board for users across the globe. MyBB, for example, shares a lot of features with phpBB. Beautiful and responsive – This is forum software for humans.

You'll need to configure user permissions to restrict access to the forum.

  • Your forum can only hold 300 posts.
  • The admin panel gives you a lot of options for personalization.
  • Phorum is high performance and offers a wide range of modules allowing users to customize their forum to their specific liking.
  • (7 & Rails 3), Python 2.


Your choices for forum plugins are more limited than with WordPress. Best of all, Vanilla offers an on-boarding process with useful checklists, training materials, and help from one of their support reps. Optimized for use on touch devices. We have easy to use forum hosting solution. Some typical forum features, like user images and emoji (smile icons), contribute to a very cluttered user experience that may not be appropriate for your audience. Phorum is among the oldest surviving forum creations software available today, so much so that the makers brand it as ‘the original PSP and MySQL software’. NodeBB is an open-source forum software that starts at $250 per month.

Moderating: Forum Administrators and Administration

Translations are contributed by the community, officially PunBB does not make them, but they are supported. Footer legal, going to this option increases prices exponentially. I appreciate the quick learning curve you're already providing. Let’s dive in.

Including business information as a means of informal networking. As your forum grows, it will consume more server resources which can cause you to outgrow your current plan. SMF also has a modification database that includes a wide variety of add-ons that can be used to change the bulletin board. Its administrator's control panel allows you to customize your forums in a number of ways, including forum appearance, members and access control, moderator features, and discussion style. The best paid video hosting, " Many of these companies also offer their own user-generated video sharing website both for commercial purposes and to show off their platform. Does the web host offer good technical support? Vanilla is a cloud and open source-based community forum building software, which powers over 700 thousand sites, forums and threads. It’s a software that’s best suited for anyone that requires an easy-to-use forum program.

Some of the benefits of choosing forum hosting over regular website hosting include the use of servers optimized for handling this type of website. Best of the rest, you can have an unlimited number of websites with this plan and get unlimited storage space and unlimited bandwidth as well. This allows it to be quick and lightweight enough to not slow down your website. The core settings of the administration panel are:

NodeBB doesn’t stop there.

Alternative Forum Software

The administration options are also straightforward so it’s not a hassle to manage your forum on your own. But most of the services you need for your forum are free. The web address (URL) for your message board is a hard-to-guess bunch of random letters. The cheap web hosting features you'll need, value for money is exceptional. Each separate discussion forum within your community should have its own moderator. PunBB is a fast and lightweight PHP-powered discussion board. Discourse can take a bit of getting used to and isn’t easily modifiable, especially if you’re more familiar with the traditional forum software. Most of us have experienced it over some thought or another.

The discussions on the forum cannot be saved or archived. As such, conversations aren’t broken into pages—there’s an endless scroll, with a handy bar showing where you are in the discussion. I'm going to make a game fan forum. It has everything you need to successfully manage your forum without a hassle. There’s a lot of debate around whether it’s better to use WordPress or Joomla! Comes with advanced community moderation settings. Hence it offers beauty, simplicity, and key features to make a thriving online community.

Hosting Your Own Message Boards

It’s an elegant forum software best suited for individuals as well as businesses. One of the native styles, prosilver, is a responsive theme, meaning that it has been optimized to be used on devices with different screen resolutions to guarantee excellent user experience. Dataplugs, in short, Anonymous hosting is where you don’t have to disclose your personal details to anyone. That means it’s simple and lightweight (built with as little code as possible). The best web hosting for wordpress, the design is clean and straightforward, which is what you need when building a site. By default, forums are enabled site-wide, meaning anyone would have access to your forum. It is a discussion-oriented application that supports: VBulletin is a premium forum software, but it’s at the top of the list because it’s quick to set up, has sophisticated capabilities, and has the option to host the forum software yourself, or through their affordable and reliable cloud hosting. PunBB PunBB is a forum software solution focused on being lightweight. Four different forum design packages are included.

For comparison, phpBB has 300K lines of code.


Comes with a step-by-step installer. Comes with anti-spam functionality. This column judges the ability to allow users to export data from the forum installation and then import it in new installations of the same software (cf. )Forumotion – http: With the code being open-source, various extensions and modifications have been developed by the community to compensate for the features phpBB might be lacking and to further extend its usability. This focus is also reflected in the price since vBulletin is located in the upper price range. People love to share or self-promote. Your visitors get points for each question they ask.

345,"bigWidth": Keep in mind that you should probably be an expert or in close contact with an expert on the topic as your members may have questions for the moderators and owners of the site. Commonly, a discussion board software offers compatibility with more than one database to store information in. Here is a list of the best website forums/ bulletin boards. It’s that simple. Visitors to your site can exchange views on a wide range of topics and thus have a reason to come back to your website. This is a robust CMS that will power your forum plugins like Kunena or EasyDiscuss, which are specifically created for Joomla! True to its name, SMF was developed with the thought of being clean looking, quick to install and light on server's resources.

SiteGround is your best bet for premium service and support. You can get your forum launched in about 15 minutes and personalize it to suit your tastes and match the overall look of your website. I happen to cover both below so you have a better understanding of the significant differences. If you want more server control, make sure you pick a standard web host.

If you’re looking to use this robust CMS to power your forum, you’ll need to choose the right plugin to do it.

Best Forum Software Conclusion

It supports social media log in, single sign-on, and you can also import from other forums. 9% uptime guarantees. When shopping for forum software, key considerations include the platform’s price, installation and configuration processes, and compatibility with other web development tools. If you’re familiar with the CMS, then getting this platform up and running will be easy. Furthermore, it’s at the center of one of the largest communities for an online forum, which means that you’ll be able to find help no matter the issue.

This open source free forum is responsive that means it looks awesome on both desktop and mobile browser.

Related Posts

An easy to set up option for WordPress enthusiasts. Topics include very specific areas, such as: If you prefer a managed hosting solution instead of self-hosting your forum software, there’s an option for that and it starts from $100 per month. By default, the message editing area doesn't provide extensive formatting features, but those can be enabled with help of plugins. Provide an appropriate forum for this and they’ll be more likely to get involved in your site. Basic general information about the forums: In case of downtime due to your server down time your forum visitors will be affected, and the visitors will prefer going to some other forum(s). The vBulletin software package powers over 10,000 sites globally.

Its front-end is built using JavaScript and it is powered by the Ember. We received almost a perfect score (4. )In that vein, FluxBB focuses on providing a performance-oriented light alternative to other forum software. Since it's so popular, users are likely already familiar with its interface and won't have trouble navigating your forum. It’s open-source as well as self-hosted forum software.

It offers a customizable spell check.

Anyone in your group can choose to get an e-mail every time there's a new message on your board. While it is unfortunate that some people have to be banned, you sometimes have to do so for the sake of the rest of the community. Comes with advanced security settings, including IP blocking and time-outs. Flarum is a new contender in the forum software market. It also comes with a trust system and so much more.

Banning or deleting membership should come as standard, with the ability to blacklist the username, email address or IP address for variable time spans.

It's always surprising when you visit sites oozing with new technological bells and whistles and wind up seeing a message board that looks like something from 1998!

↓ 05 – bbPress | Demo | PHP & MySQL

As a creative writing area: If you are just getting started with the process of choosing forum software for your website or blog, the sheer number of options available can be daunting. Answer those questions and you'll have a better idea of the niche area your community should cover. Web hosting packages are not generally focused on, or marketed as, ‘forum-friendly hosting. Students can choose to edit their messages with or without passwords after posting them.

The theming system is mediocre not like WordPress in terms of easy accessibility. Students have to read postings of their fellow students and online articles hyperlinked to the postings. XenForo is a self-hosted premium forum software best suited for businesses.

Frequent users of other online bulletin board systems. Bluehost, however, if you want premium features with your package, choose their GrowBig plan. Provides a ton of customization options. There are over 100 million posts on the site and about 7,000 users participating in discussion. Spectators – Only allowed to browse the forum, but not make posts or create new topics. This proves to be a great boost to the marketing and customer support efforts of a firm. Categories on the forum are clearly laid out with new categories on top.


Most phpBB themes look a bit outdated by 2020 standards. Integrated SEO features such as search engine friendly URLs, meta keywords, and description tags are designed to ensure more success with the search engine. Picking the right forum software comes down to what’s suited best for your needs.

You’ll be up and running in no time. The best forum hosts offer optimized installations of the top message board programs. In fact, you could say they’re the precursors to social media platforms such as Facebook. Were you able to choose the forum software best suited for your needs?

How to select an audio output device to route audio from Chrome

Our goals remain unchanged and clear, to continue developing and supporting a stable, free, Open Source forum system. Don’t miss out., siteGround pricing increases are huge, although it is completely common in the web hosting industry. You can also set your custom domain to show professionalism too. Many web hosts support phpBB and even provide one-click installation of it through their control panel, via common tools like Softaculous, Simple Scripts, or another install wizard. With several free and open-source alternatives available, the natural question is: