Forum software for a big community

Discussion in 'Forum Software' started by poinc, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. rusty105

    rusty105 Habitué

    Why do you assume paid would be better?
  2. Kamahl

    Kamahl Developer

    I really does not matter if the software is payed or free. What matters is its quallity and community which will support you. phpBB is definitely best in quallity however it has lack of modern features (which you can add using tons of MODs for phpBB). On the other side there is vB which has tons of features however it is definitely not so secure as phpBB. Now it is up to you
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Oooh, something shiny!

    I'm surprised only person has actually asked the above yet. If the OP's requirements are based on a current forum then it would be worth finding out what platform they are currently on, what about it is not working for them, and go from there. If the OP's requirements are based on a 'some day' scenario then it would be worth finding out what their short term goals are since they could likely start off with a free platform and make the switch to something more robust as the needs require it.
  4. dojo

    dojo Passionate admin

    because it is. Let's please not discuss script we can't afford. I really doubt there are too many people who BOUGHT an IPB, XF or VB and then, after using them PROPERLY and having some real experience with them (theme design, running the forums for a while etc.) have said: OK, let's ditch the license, I want to run phpBB or MyBB till I die.

    it's clear, the premium scripts are premium not just for the price. And that comes from someone who used ALL major scripts and started with the free ones. i would never ever in my life consider anything under a paid script (well, I'd never use anything by XF, but that's another deal) :D
  5. rusty105

    rusty105 Habitué

    Kind of a broad answer "because it is" don't you think?
  6. Kamahl

    Kamahl Developer

    Are you php or any other programming language experienced? If not, then you can valuate only how the script looks. It has nice features, nice themes but it dont have to be the best.

    From my personal experience, I was customizing free scripts as well as payed scripts. (phpBB, MyBB, Wordpress, vB, yoomla, prestashop, opencart..). Now I can say, phpBB has the cleanest, most secure, most logical and easiest to customize code. The second one is new wordpress I would say. And vB? Well I will never customize it again it is really a pain.

    Yes I know people who bought vB then removed it and asked me to do a conversion to phpBB. Honestly, there is pretty a lot of them.

    Please dont think I am a hater, my posts are based on my personal experience and I am happy to share them.
  7. Judge Dredd

    Judge Dredd Old Guy

  8. poinc

    poinc Neophyte

    The forum doesn't exist yet, I'm in a planning phase. The reason why I asked the question is that I really don't want to be switching to another engine soon.

    I only have experience with customizing zencart. It wasn't hard for me, so customization shouldn't be a problem.
    I'll take a look at source codes of vB, XP and BB. The code however won't have a big weight when making the decision. What I care the most is how complicated is to build the forum so it'll meet my requirements and future expendability.
  9. eva2000

    eva2000 Habitué


    My personal opinion is start with vBulletin. I've personally worked on and optimised 100s of vB forums over the past 11+ yrs all the way up to 30+ million posts, 600k to 1 million registered members and 2,000 to 10,000+ vB users online.

    I maybe a bit biased of course since I work for vBulletin since 2001 and been a customer since 2000 with vBulletin v1.x :D

    Best part is virtually every other forum software has an importer for vBulletin so if you ever need to switch you can.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  10. vladl

    vladl Neophyte

    Vbulletin or IPB. Vbulletin is for more advanced Webmaster with a simple look. IPB is for beginners with a great web 2.0 look and easy to use ACP. I have had Both on my forum (Upgraded from IPB to try vB) and i have to say vB is better. Unless you want your forum to have a great look IPB is the winner.
  11. TrixieTang

    TrixieTang Custom User Title

    My completely 100% biased opinion is that you should choose my personal favorite software because it's what works for me and that means that it must be perfect for everyone. :thumb:

    Really, any software can work for a big community. There are even huge forums using Vanilla and ProBoards... yes... ProBoards... so I think it's safe to say that the solution that would be best for you isn't necessarily going to be a solution that's popular among everyone else.

    In other words, this is a decision you should make on your own rather than on the personal opinions of others.
  12. Casmic

    Casmic Software Developer

    Most forum systems are salable because they all use the same underlying technology: PHP. It could even be argued that more advanced scripts are less salable, because they have a lot more that has to be loaded with each page view. I think you should just choose whichever has the best user experience in your opinion.
  13. Taylor

    Taylor Sexier Than You

    When we decided to move our big board from vBulletin 3.7, we spent about 6 months testing various software. MyBB worked fairly well, but it couldn't handle the large forum permissions cache (user groups x unique forum permissions). IPB and vBulletin 4 also worked well, but they did not have all of the features that we hoped to include. Eventually, we settled on XenForo as the best option for our community. We migrated to XF in early March and haven't regretted the move.
  14. rafalp

    rafalp Desu Ex

    No, you are wrong. PHP is far from perfect as platform that scales for big sites.

    Every and all PHP applications that doesnt run as server have to pay "stand up" tax for every incoming request. This tax eventually becomess extremly costful to overcome. Facebook had to develop custom stack and native PHP implementation while Yahoo is all "gosh, we need even more hardware".

    Have you tried ASP or Java servlets? Sure, deployment is more costful, but languages are faster and because your application runs as server, "stand up" tax is far smaller than one in PHP. And because tax is smaller you can serve more requests in same resources you would in PHP.

    Sure, they optimalised PHP memory management in 5.4 and applications writen in object frameworks will profit greatly from that, but if you really plan on running forums that are going see really big activity or plan to provide lots of fancy features like ajax-based notifications, PHP platforms just suck costs-wise.

    Now having said that... there are lots of forums out there that have tons for posts but never climb more than 1000 people online, thats reasonable traffic and pretty much no matter which one forum you will pick, if you are running on dedicated server all should handle that.
  15. poinc

    poinc Neophyte

    One thing that came on my mind is custom scripts implementation. Say I'll want to display a HTML table getting data from a DB within one post. Of course it will be a rare case, so it doesn't matter much how difficult it'll be. All I care about is to know if this is possible.
  16. BamaStangGuy

    BamaStangGuy Fanatic

    and a round and round we go
  17. Marshalrusty

    Marshalrusty phpBB Project Manager

    This is a pretty scary thing to read from someone who has "Forum Software Developer" as his/her title.

    Saying that all PHP forum scripts are almost equally scalable because they use PHP is somewhat akin to saying that everything written in English is equally poetic.

    Sure, a basic operation in C will typically consume fewer resources than in PHP, but this only sets efficiency limits and is not what makes software inefficient. Software written in PHP with proper caching can be far more efficient than the same software in any low-level language you can name without similar precautions. You don't have to take my word for it either because benchmarks of popular software have been posted here before, and they are quite different.
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
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  18. DelDrago

    DelDrago Enthusiast

    vBulletin 4 is excellent. There is a lot of ill will towards it in some quarters, because it launched prematurely with lots of bugs. But it's in great shape now, and can handle your requirements easily.
  19. Casmic

    Casmic Software Developer

    I'm aware of and dislike PHP's problems, but the real problem is that most of the shared hosts use PHP. While many large communities won't run off of those, most forums aren't very popular, which results in almost all of the forum software being developed for shared hosts -- and PHP. If you're looking for something that's already written, all of the good web software uses PHP because it's the standard. I'm sure the original poster of this topic could pay a few dozen grand and get his own custom JSP software, but can he afford it?

    My point was that they all use PHP and incur PHP's overhead. Thus, they all use equally terrible amounts of resources. That is, unless you can find a good JSP forum system. If so, then that may, in fact, be better.

    Do you have a link to any benchmarks? Google only turns up a website which is showing a CentOS test page.

    Without having seen the benchmarks, I would imagine that there'd be three tiers of results: commercial, free, and lite. The commercial results would be the highest, as they have an incredible amount of features (and things that have to happen each page load). Free software is generally less intense in this regard, but many of them do the same basic things on each page load (get data from a database, insert it into a template, and display it). Lite software would be the fastest, as these would not have very many things going on on each page load.

    I doubt the benchmarks are so profound that phpBB could run a website on a certain server while MyBB, for instance, could not. I'd guess that this difference might be noticeable, though if you compared Phorum to vBulletin, or maybe even phpBB to IPB.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  20. BamaStangGuy

    BamaStangGuy Fanatic

    It's bloated and been hacked together by piles of developers that seem to come and go. I would hardly call that excellent.
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