What on earth is going on in the world of forum software?

Discussion in 'Forum Software' started by accyroy, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. accyroy

    accyroy Giant Hedgehog

    My forums are in dire need of a refresh but I'm stuck on what to do!
    vBulletin seems a bit of a disaster zone vb4/5 don't inspire me, vb.org mods/styles seem to hardly get updated and its still running on vb3?! Most things appear to be abandoned. vBSEO= abandoned, Photopost stuck in year 2000, almost abandoned.
    So thats all the stuff I currently run... Now lets look around at others...
    XenForo, looked so promising, now abandoned.
    IPB - I keep going back to this, but I've just been browsing the support forums and it just wasn't working for me!
    PHPBB, logged on there and I don't think it has been updated for 10 years, it almost looks like myspace :D
    MyBB/Simple machines, both look severely dated!

    So thats as far as I've got. Is there really such a lack of innovation going on or am I missing the next big thing?

    Is there another level of quality forum software that I need to know about?

    I don't want to pay more than $400 really, but if something out there is really really good then it would be considered.

    I've not been keeping up with all developments so the above is just my impression after browsing the last couple of days.
  2. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    For serious boards, IPB is great if budget is not a problem. Features like 'archiving' can greatly reduce ressource consumption, among others.

    These 2 scripts appear to have been improving significantly.

    BurningBoard 4 is looking good (xenforo-like, cheap)
    PHPfox 5 looks like vb5 done right (suite)
  3. PacMan

    PacMan Tazmanian

    I think many owners feel the same as you. Im in the process of converting my VB3 forums to IPB as it was the best choice for me after evaluating and buying several forum scripts. Even after years if not being maintained, I feel that VB3 is still ahead of IPB in many ways.
  4. Tatl

    Tatl Developer

    I agree.

    It's actually mind boggling how horribly IB screwed up vBulletin. They had the gold standard of forum software on their hands and threw it all away.

    At any rate I think it's a sign of changing times. I know nobody wants to hear that and everyone is going to jump all over me for it, but the golden ages of running your own website or community are long over. In the past you could launch a fansite for your favorite video game or TV show and have relevant information that people wanted to know, have a forum attached for people to talk about, and everything was a-okay. Nowadays people use wikis (vast vast majority being wikia or wikipedia) for information and social media to talk with people they know about that information.

  5. ajustesen

    ajustesen Coder/Designer

    I've been an avid user of phpbb and vb in the last and current but lately vb just royally Sucks.

    I've been toying around with wordpress+bbpress lately. The verdict is still out on that but it's much easier to use.

    Sent from my Galaxy S3.
  6. Keep an eye out for forks and rewritten software - I'm told that Wedge is looking promising and YaBB is in the process of being completely reworked. And many forum softwares do have modifiable skins so you can create your own modern look (Just because the default skin is old-fashioned doesn't mean that what's under the hood is.)
  7. ajustesen

    ajustesen Coder/Designer

    Thought just occurred to me. Launch . Forums is also looking promising although development seems stalled.

    Sent from my Galaxy S3.
  8. Noles

    Noles paypal+

    What was wrong with the IPB support forums? Did you have a question about the software? Official support is done through tickets.
  9. dyrer

    dyrer Enthusiast

    myBB ιs working on version 2 but they dont have any time table. For the best option is IPB
  10. HallofFamer

    HallofFamer Habitué

    Well to some extent VB3.8 was way too successful, the expectation for future versions was always high but IB just couldnt make our wishes come true. Perhaps all good things must come to an end at one point, no matter how prosperous they used to be?
  11. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    Not necessarily. All a software house needs is their priorities straight (ensuring the satisfaction and benefit of customers) and control over its plans and destiny.
    The moment clueless folks at the top of ivory towers get involved, suddenly vb4 and infinite wallet weeping!
  12. Or the programming is handed over to 'gee lets do all these whiz bang things' programmers when all the users wanted were bug-fixes - but the programmers left the bugs intact. :banghead:
  13. MannyRUA

    MannyRUA Fan

    We use SMF on two sites, and I find it to do everything we need.
  14. GeorgeB.

    GeorgeB. ............

    IPS's real support is in the tickets. They are responsive, though you sometimes have to poke and prod them to do anything beyond getting something to just work. Big board owners seem to get sufficient attention.

    The support forums are fairly worthless. The staff doesn't officially support you there and the people smart enough to help are running their own boards or trying to make money with mods.
  15. Hayek

    Hayek Fan

    I think people focus on this way too much. How many threads asking roughly the same thing are active on TAZ right now?

    I think the simple answer to this question is there is no perfect software- find something that is secure and meets your specific needs (which you know best) and go with it. If you have the resources or knowledge you can always edit the software to your needs. Beyond that, more people should probably focus more on building and promoting the forums than choosing software.

    This isn't directed at anyone in particular, it's just maybe the 10th thread I've seen on this topic in the past few days.
  16. whocky

    whocky Adherent

    Hayek i have to totally agree with you, i mean it really does come down to your own personal choice and if it works. Just because one software is good for someone doesnt always mean its good for everyone :)
  17. dojo

    dojo Passionate admin


    I'd give you a like for this one :)

    It's true, the software is just the engine. You can change it, you can have a programmer custom code it etc. Just choose what YOU LIKE and move on.
  18. echo_off

    echo_off Life is an illusion...

    I've not had a problem with the IP.Board support, it's always been brilliant for me. Take a look at the IP.Board forum demos, they're really good. Or even, if you want, take a look at mine.
  19. Dyonis

    Dyonis Real Sugar Certified

    From the sounds of it, vBulletin is having some serious issues. This is just from an outside observer though - I've never used it. What I can say is I'm seeing LOTS of complaints with the latest version. I don't see a future for phpBB3, it seems to have gone uphill and kind just was left to gut itself after that. I'll stick with MyBB, but I'm looking at a Xenforo conversion, which incidentally, uses phpBB3 as a transition.
  20. miscbyproduct

    miscbyproduct Aspirant


    Forums still have their place.
    They just need more to them than a tabbed post on a grocery store cork board.

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