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Best Free Forum SW?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Netsultants, May 16, 2011.

  1. Netsultants

    Netsultants Active Member

    FYI - I own two XF licenses and two VB suites.....

    That said, I'd like to know your thoughts on what's the best free forum sw. I have a site I'm developing that isn't quite ready for a paid solution.

  2. Wuebit

    Wuebit Well-Known Member

    phpbb? (y)
  3. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    MyBB without a doubt - it's very similar to vB 3.8 and is packed with features.
    borbole and RastaLulz like this.
  4. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    I hear wtfbb is very good. (y)
    Fuhrmann, Kim, Bob and 1 other person like this.
  5. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member


    MyBB is a very good free software.
  6. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    phpBB3 is pretty good. So is MyBB.
  7. Netsultants

    Netsultants Active Member

    Ok, cool..I'll check them out.

    Now, do these have conversion paths in case I want to upgrade to XF later?

    Anyone using these? How's the spam handling?
  8. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  9. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    SMF used to be OK, I have used that before for some projects for people.
    Jethro, principia and SilverCircle like this.
  10. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    I've tried quite a few, as I've been in forums since the mid 90s.

    MyBB I haven't tried in a few years, but I hear it has come a long way. When I tried it (probably in '07 or '08?), the features were very limited.

    I've had phpBB2 for ages on a few sites, and have also used phpBB3. Seeing how slow their development cycle is, I would not recommend phpBB even to a competitor's forum. Wouldn't wish that headache on anyone. phpBB3.1 is still versions behind where vB was a few years ago. Their support forum is horrible.

    SMF had a nice following, but development is essentially dead. They've been in version 2.0RC status for years now. Behind the scenes, the development team had split up and were warring with whoever operated the website IIRC. It was promising, but having been burned by being stuck on a very heavily modified phpBB2, which took a good five or six years to make it to the next major version, I won't get myself stuck again. I have one or two sites still using SMF that need to get migrated, and soon.

    I can't recommend bbPress at all: I've tried a few versions, and the backend has way too many shortcomings for a busy forum operation. I liked that it integrated somewhat with Wordpress (in fact, it is a WP plugin now). It just lacks way too much and IMHO, they are reinventing a wheel that has already been over-invented dozens of times.

    MyBB appears to have an active and enthusiastic development team, and a healthy following. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of them in the future. Having been with two dead-end free forums (phpBB and SMF), that would be my own top "freebie" pick.
  11. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    Who knows, maybe one day it'll go paid, like IPB did. :whistle:
  12. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    Didn't vB start out with a free (or Lite?) version when they first came out? For some reason I remember considering phpBB2 vs. vB at the time.
  13. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    I dunno. I started off with phpbb as well.
  14. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    Same Here phpBB then ipb then omgbb then a short spat using definetelynotgoingbacktoitagainbb
    Peggy likes this.
  15. fos

    fos Active Member

    I have used phpbb, mybb, and smf. Of the three, I prefer smf. I have had good success with it. It is simple and has nice features. The support community is much better than the one for phpbb. Mybb is much better than vB 4.xx!

  16. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    I really hate giving up my old phpBB2 though: I probably hand-coded at least 20 or as many as 30 modifications into it, whether it was code, spam protection, template edits, etc. It was so easily hacked though. A friend of mine installed it for his Windows support forum and I had a frantic IM from him saying he'd been hacked, and we managed to clean it up. He then got hacked a lot worse just a couple of weeks later. We stuck the admin directory behind password protection (using htaccess) and it put a stop to the hacking. It took phpBB quite awhile to patch that vulnerability...
  17. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    So is root canal! :D
  18. User

    User Well-Known Member

    I think that's really "Best Practices" no matter what forum software one is using and how much trust one puts into that product.
  19. 0ptima

    0ptima Well-Known Member

    Maybe you can pick up a cheap VB license ?
  20. SRK

    SRK Member

    MyBB and Burning Board Lite.

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