I am working as website designer for last three years. I used a lot of scripts paid and free to make the sites. Today I am going to tell you about the forum softwares. And as usual I am going to discuss on the free or open source forum softwares.
Forums are used for creating a community of same mannered people. Sometimes some of the webmasters use forum not only for discussion but they create forums for providing downloads. The main theme or the backbone of a forum remains same, but due to the webmasters need it changes in outlook and functionality. So defining the best forum software depends on how much it is flexible to convert or to add the extensions. Let’s see what I have used and what my favorites are.
01. Simple Mechanics Forum (SMF)
From any other forum software out there- I like SMF best. Because of its simplicity and the easy administration system SMF has become the most popular free forum software. There is a running community for the SMF users. All kind of SMF related help and support can be found there. Tips to modify the default designs and lots of free pluggins, you can have everything for free.
The better thing of SMF is that it uses less server resources, that’s why the loading time is very little than other forum softwares. If you want an easy to use and user friendly forum software then you should use SMF. Both Linux and Windows hosting can be used to install SMF. It uses MySQL to store the data. What more you want to know? Go to their official site at: Simplemachines.org
This is another great forum software. The eye catching thing of phpBB is its design. Mods and extensions are available for the users. But there is a problem I always face – a site/forum with phpBB takes much more time to load. phpBB forum’s supporting community provides a good support, so it’s in second position of my choice list.
If you are going to use a forum with your existing website then integration of MyBB is not a bad choice. I have worked on MyBB and found it simple and easy to use forum software. Loading time is little and continuous developments from the active community will take it to a new height.
Another free and open source bulletin board. It’s written in perl. This is yet a growing open source thing. But I have listed it here because it will give you the experience just as the MyBB or EBlah bulletin board. YaBB forum is here.
Now you can tell me there are more forum softwares those are free and open source, why I haven’t listed them. Because I said- these are my favorites. But rather than SMF and phpBB the rest of the forum softwares are still in a growing phase.
I know most of you are thinking why I haven’t listed the vBulletin? Though it is a great software but it is not free. I think you gyes have already seen a lot of popular forums are made of vBulletin. Powerful, customizable and gorgeous outlook has made vBulletin so popular amongst the paid forum softwares.