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What Forum Software should I use?

What forum software is out there?

I've used PhpBB in the past, but that was a long time ago and I'm guessing there might be better stuff out there.

My requirements are:

  • registration required to post (name, email, password)
  • public viewing
  • some ability to customize
  • needs to look reasonably good (it's not for geeks)
  • hosted or self hosted
  • if self hosted it needs to be PHP & MySQL
  • free or paid

(I can't add tags, but I wanted to tag this "forums".)

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marked as duplicate by danlefree Feb 12 '12 at 2:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Made CW as per: meta.webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/212/… –  JasonBirch Aug 11 '10 at 0:29
    
take a look at askbot askbot.org it's in python though –  Evgeny Aug 11 '10 at 4:04

6 Answers 6

PunBB seems good. I've tried it as a user on two sites in total. I have not hosted it.

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I have to stick a vote up for your old one, phpBB.

I have used it for absolutely ages with very few issues.

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bbPress from the makers of WordPress is worth a look.

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Yes, I've seen a few instances of this around the web and it looks great, not as horribly bloated as phpBB and vBulletin. –  DisgruntledGoat Aug 11 '10 at 10:09

I've been quite happy with Vanilla Forums on the sites I've used it on. It's not for everyone, but I like its simplicity. It's not too hard to install or administer or customise the themes.

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+1 for Vanilla. It's awesome. –  Srirangan Oct 16 '10 at 12:16

I've been a happy vBulletin user for years and years - if vBulletin doesn't already integrate a feature, there's a plugin for it (or you can write your own without too much difficulty).

Licensing seems to have increased in price fairly dramatically with the release of vBulletin 4.0, however, I think you'll find it's a worthwhile investment if you plan to have a busy forum.

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