Along with some basic functions, phpBB allows you to use extensions to add new functions to the forum. There are hundreds of free extensions that you can use to add just about any forum related feature you want. In addition, phpBB includes a theme system, which you can use to change the overall look of your forum. Users also have a lot of options for customizing their profiles and posts.
Finally, phpBB is open source and benefits from having an active community. Overall, phpBB is an easy recommendation if you're looking for the most customizable forum software you can find. With extensions, you have access to all the features you might need to start an online forum. MyBB shares many functions with phpBB.
This free and open-source software offers robust plugin systems and themes, has an active community and is easy to use. The main difference is that MyBB doesn't offer as many extensions. However, it has an advantage over phpBB when it comes to customization. With a wider selection of topics, MyBB forums tend to have a much more modern look.
MyBB offers an excellent alternative to phpBB if you want something that looks more modern and elegant. Although phpBB offers more advanced features, MyBB is still robust enough to manage popular forums. Overall, Vanilla Forums stands out from other programs because of its high level of polish. The message boards that you can create from the start look fantastic.
You also have access to theme systems and plugins. You've probably heard of WordPress before, since it's the most popular content management system (CMS) today. What you might not know is that this platform allows you to create almost any type of website, from starting a blog to an online store, thanks to its huge collection of plugins. Some of your best options for setting up a forum with WordPress include Asgaros Forum, WPForo Forum and bbPress.
All of these plugins provide all the basic online forum functions you need. It may seem counterproductive to use a multipurpose platform to boost your online community. However, a CMS like WordPress is one of the best options if you want to set up a normal website and forum side by side. If you're a WordPress user, it makes sense to use the platform to set up your new forum.
In addition, knowing how to use WordPress can open up a lot of opportunities in the future. When it comes to functionality, Drupal is one of the most powerful CMS platforms available. However, those additional features also mean that there's a steep learning curve. Trying to use Drupal without any development experience can be a bit overwhelming.
That said, the platform offers a robust collection of modules and themes to further personalize your experience. However, you don't need to use any extension to set up a forum with Drupal; the platform includes that functionality among its main features. Overall, Drupal is a good choice if you're looking for enterprise-grade features and scalability. If you're looking for a quick comparison, Simple Machines Forum is very similar to phpBB.
What sets this forum creation software apart is the great flexibility of its module and theme systems. Simple Machines Forum uses a package manager that makes installing and updating modules a simple process. In addition, it offers the most extensive collection of plugins and themes you can find for open source forum software. In addition, Simple Machines Forum supports paid subscriptions for your forum members, as well as all the other features you'd expect to see in any premium forum tool.
However, if you want something that looks more elegant, Simple Machines Forum might not be for you. In addition, Flarum allows you to connect with an international audience. Download, install and add any of the 32 available localization packages. The system will automatically translate the original interface and help users from all over the world to become part of its community.
Our preferred forum software recommendations are WordPress and phpBB because of their ease of use, flexibility, and a wide variety of features. WordPress also offers an easy way to turn your website into a forum with its incredible selection of forum plugins. As with phpBB, users can easily install the software using Hostinger's automatic installer or the Softaculous application installer. Having an attractive web design is fundamental to the success of a site, since 38% of visitors leave the site if it is not visually appealing.
If you've been around as long as the Internet, you'll realize that forums and forum software have somehow existed since the beginning. They have always been a place for like-minded people to come together and develop an organic community. Although they are usually anonymous, with the current rise of social media, more and more brands are looking to use forum software on their websites to help better grow these online communities. Forum software allows you to create a space where you can gather your audience and give them a place to connect.
It is also used as a means to gather feedback and allow users to offer inter-community support. But first, let's consider what features are important to consider when evaluating which forum software is right for you. This allows them to create stronger connections, get to know each other better, and ultimately build a community. Therefore, it is often an essential feature when considering forum software.
As companies create more likable brands, you'll want to be able to customize the interface to match. When evaluating different forum programs, look for those that offer features such as customizing your brand theme, giving users the ability to edit profiles, fonts, profile images, and more. With strangers interacting with each other, you'll want to make sure you have the right tools and features to effectively manage everything from the backend. The forum software that ranks first is one that provides you with management and community building tools.
Mighty Network is designed for scalable member communities. It provides companies with a single platform to create their brand networks without enduring the unnecessary distractions that are typical of popular free social channels such as Facebook. Most of their customers are content creators who need a flexible solution that allows them to attract users, monetize their digital products and offer a better community experience to their customers. The forum is highly customizable and shares a wide range of functions to allow greater control over the group.
Nearly 50,000 companies use Mighty Networks, including big names like TED and Fortune. The forum is also popular for its easy accessibility. Its branded application makes logging into the community incredibly convenient for users. This forum software is designed with content in mind.
Companies often use Circle, so when looking for forum software that encourages discussion about their content and ultimately converts these users into paying customers. For these reasons, Circle, so, is commonly used by influencers and bloggers who seek to connect more with their audience and also open up a debate between them. It's also popular among those whose main goal is to create a community around a particular product or brand. Circle, so its focus on participation and community content involves relevant features that will help you achieve this.
First, they offer integration within your current website. While forum software, such as Discourse, must be hosted on a subdomain, Circle makes it easy to include a new forum on an existing website. Its customization options are elegant and give you the opportunity to choose colors that are representative of your brand. They allow you to use custom domain names and they also provide the basic functions that we know we need to consider, such as private messaging.
In addition, since many coaching companies use this forum software, they like it because of its ease of use to share content created from online course platforms such as Teachable and Thinkific. As we mentioned earlier, forum software has been around for a while and phpBB is one of the true originals. After first launching their company in 2000, they continue to thrive today and are constantly updating their software and features to keep up with digital trends. This forum software is a popular choice among companies because it is open source software.
Which means that there is a huge database of extensions that have been created and shared for free with other users. This allows for a great deal of customization and the entire platform is completely free to use. To be a free forum software solution, they offer users a wide range of features to choose from. Because the forum software is self-hosted and open source, the community is constantly adding new extensions and tools for free use.
The open-source forum software, free to download, Vanilla Forums is a forum software that is well known for its easy to use administration panel, a wide range of features, and advanced marketing integration options. They offer more user experience features in the control panel compared to their competitors. This forum software is widely chosen for its gamification features, well-designed theme templates, and business tools. The Vanilla payment plan is commonly used by medium and large companies, as it offers integrations and in-depth marketing tools.
However, Vanilla also offers users to download its open source software for free. It's simple, flexible and commonly used by smaller companies that don't need extensive business and marketing services. These detailed features focus on improving the user experience and helping companies increase participation through forums. These features include elements such as social media integration, member notifications, automatic content selection, a seamless onboarding experience, and customizable profiles.
Its features also make it a popular tool used by companies that need a ticketing system. Includes knowledge base systems and articles where users can search for frequently asked questions and answers to their problems. A free downloadable version of your open source software. It's also an open source platform that allows users to customize it through various integrations and extensions.
Offering users the ability to host the platform for free on their own and customize it however they wish. In addition to a hosting solution with a monthly fee for those who want a solution made for them. Discourse offers modern features such as mailing lists, long-form chat rooms, gamification features, and more. One of the most outstanding and well-known features is the exclusive rating system, in which users have certain moderation capabilities based on their activity and experience in the community.
Free open source software download Invision Community is a popular forum software used by medium and large companies. It's easy to configure and manage, and offers a customizable interface with unique tools for content creation and a detailed administration interface. Invision Community offers several features, from content applications to moderation and user management. Your flexible functions give you and community members the opportunity to create and manage communities within the main forum.
They're also called clubs, where you can give managers special access to manage forums, calendars, and private galleries. Although it is less customizable than open source forum software, its functions for managing complete support systems are what make it attractive to large companies that want to use it exactly for this purpose. Unlike its competition, Flarum is a forum software that hasn't existed for many years. Rather, it is one of the newest and makes sure that its interface reflects that.
As a newer forum software, it is a platform that is based on providing its users with a modern, user-friendly and efficient platform. Flarum is also an open source platform, which means that its users can download and use it for free. As a new software, more focused on design, its appearance, customization and functionality of the forum attract a lot of attention. One of the most popular reasons people come to Flarum is its two-panel interface.
This provides users with an environment where they can take part in numerous discussions at once without having to open multiple tabs. Open-source forum software, free to download, vBulletin is another forum software that has been around for a while, more than two decades to be exact. They developed their platform with larger communities in mind, including participation features powered by AI technology. This forum software provides users with SEO tools, AI-powered participation features, advanced security, and powerful moderator and administration tools.
vBulletin uses this technology together with natural language processing to help increase organic participation within the community. This forum software also allows its users to create private groups and forums, helping to boost general participation among them. In addition, vBulletin allows you to create blogs directly within the platform. Ultimately, this helps with things like the SEO ranking of your forum and gives you the ability to provide valuable content directly within the forum.
MyBB is another well-known open-source platform that can be used and customized completely free of charge. This is a good forum software to choose from if you're looking for more design options. They provide a theme editor and several templates that are ready to use. Compared to its competitors, they offer fewer extension options, but the modern design and customization capabilities of the theme make it a popular choice among companies.
In addition to their customization options for themes and templates, they also offer similar customization options to end users. Where they give them the ability to adjust the way they view the discussions they are a part of. MyBB offers all the key features that you should normally consider when evaluating different forum programs, from gamification options to mass mailing and support, security features and more. They are also known for their multi-language support.
Open source forum software that can be downloaded for free Simple Machines Forum, also known as SMF, is another open source software that has been designed with large communities in mind. Many corporate companies like CMF, as it avoids cumbersome design features and provides a clean, professional look. This forum software is popular among those who are technically savvy and want full access to customization. They provide several plugins and functions along with clear and structured code documentation.
As open source software, they provide a valuable advanced package manager that gives their users the ability to quickly implement user changes on a large scale. This is beneficial for large companies that have to work with large databases. In addition, they offer advanced security features so that large companies can feel safe with their users on the platform, built-in SEO features, multi-language support and highly customizable extensions. Open source forum software for free download The best forum software is the one that meets all your requirements.
phpBB is also a relatively conservative forum platform, often maintaining the simple but familiar spirit of the early 2000s forums on modern and elegant designs. As such, phpBB's default theme system can sometimes lack some advanced functionality. Despite its conservative nature, phpBB has always kept up to date with important updates, such as mobile responsiveness and security measures. Speaking of hosting, one of the main drawbacks of phpBB is that it's a self-hosted forum service, which means you'll have to host it on your own server.
You may also need some coding knowledge to set up a phpBB forum according to your needs. But if you don't know how to do it yourself, you can often find someone from the phpBB community to do it for much less than a full-time web developer. phpBB has stood the test of time. When it comes to practical and scalable business plans, Vanilla Forums is a name that often comes up in the discussion, thanks to its naturally intuitive control panel and the selection of free and premium versions.
In addition, Vanilla Forums is known for its gamification features, including user badges and posts, “best of” lists, rankings, social media-like reactions, and leaderboards. Naturally, these functions are always welcome in any thriving community forum. And if your online community depends on several platforms, you'll be happy to know that Vanilla Forums offers a wide range of integrations with marketing software, communication platforms, other support forums, product management systems, and more. Vanilla Forums is among the most popular forum programs because of its continuous innovation, dedicated customer support, and robust features, which are perfect for most mid-sized businesses and up.
Invision Community is a powerful forum software solution with a very business-oriented design, designed to adapt to medium and large companies, thanks to its successful administration tools that facilitate forum configuration, user moderation and forum segmentation. Speaking of segmentation, Invision Community not only allows you to create numerous forums with different permissions, but even users can create smaller private subforums, known as clubs, to accommodate smaller groups within the online community. Many companies also use the Invision Community forum software to create help desk forums for their customers using the support ticket system that allows them to easily manage many messages and requests. Invision Community doesn't neglect smaller companies either.
Finally, Invision Community offers a lot of customization through the admin panel. Invision Community is one of the best forum software solutions for businesses, especially if they need a diverse community platform that allows for easy segmentation. If you're looking for something similar to phpBB, then Simple Machines Forum (SMF) is your answer. And we have to say that the more than 20 years of competition made them refine their platforms to the best standard, even today.
And like phpBB, SMF follows traditional forum practices from the early 2000s; that is, it's free, open source and self-hosted. SMF also offers an advanced level of security, SEO features, support for more than 45 languages, and a paid subscription model that you can implement for your members. Simple Machines Forum is flexible and powerful and has proven its effectiveness over the decades. Unlike other forum programs on this list, Wix Forum is available on its app market as a free add-on that you can install on an existing website rather than a standalone platform.
Since Wix Forum is an add-on, you can combine it with features from other Wix services to create a versatile website. But unlike its 20-year-old competitors on this list, MyBB has always kept up with contemporary design standards, which is reflected in its colorful and robust themes. Some solutions, such as phpBB and Simple Machines Forum, offer traditional, familiar forums with simple designs and a focus on content. By contrast, more modern forum programs, such as Vanilla Forums and Wix, are more liberal with their designs, functions, and integrations.
With this discussion forum software, you can create Q&A and comment threads, organize your forum with category trees, set permissions and controls, and mark content as a favorite for later. It comes with a feature-rich control panel that allows you to view and moderate various aspects of your online forum, such as statistics, posts, users and groups. Customer and employee forum software is suitable for newer forums with low traffic volumes, as well as for large, well-established and high-traffic forums. The popularity of forums pales in comparison to social networks, but many forum sites continue to receive thousands of visitors every month, and the largest online forums number millions.
Their forum software, Wix Forum, is equally easy to use with drag-and-drop templates specially designed for community sites. In addition, Codoforum offers a daily and weekly summary feature so you can send visitors recent updates, events, or content via a beautifully designed email. A forum can benefit any brand or company by creating an online community around it, which will increase user participation and generate greater growth. phpBB helps you establish an online community through its forum software, although it doesn't have the advanced feature set that you can find in many other solutions on this list.
However, with so many different solutions available, many people have a hard time deciding which web forum software best suits their needs. Creating a forum is a great way to foster your online community and increase user participation through natural communication and the exchange of useful information among your audience. Discourse is another free, open-source forum software that offers a modern but simple user interface for community discussions. The faster you can get your forum up and running and your employees or customers interact with it, the better your shopping experience will be.