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What Forum Software should I use?

I'm looking for a forum that meets these requirements:

  • Login using Facebook/Twitter/OpenID etc.
  • User profiles with reward system
  • Voting/thumbs up function
  • Categories and tags for sorting threads
  • Custom category pages with moderated static header
  • Embeddable threads and categories (For example, a whole category or single thread can be integrated into wordpress)
  • API to users, discussions etc.

I've looked at forums like Vanilla, Disqus, OSQA etc, but none seem to match the above "hybrid criteria". Hosted or self-hosted doesn't matter but I'm really looking for something that can be integrated into an existing CMS to replace comments while at the same time have curated category pages and user profiles.



3 Answers 3


Try the bbpress plugin. It's in development, and not yet released, but the alpha/beta version works well enough. There are still some bugs, and it is not a stable release, but with a bit of coding you could customize it to your needs.

BBPress is a wordpress plugin that adds a forum to wordpress (a CMS).

Download it here: http://trac.bbpress.org/browser/branches/plugin

It does not have all of the features that you have described, but there are wordpress plugins that do those things (GD Star Rating, Simple Facebook Connect, etc.) that you could customize to work with bbpress (that is the coding part). Check out http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ to find a list of plugins that do what you described, but only for wordpress, and download them and customize them for bbpress.


Drupal does this out of the box. Written by Dries Buytaert, he wrote it as a forum message board among colleagues.

Drupal integrates well with many different API's and would be a great solution.

You can see an example of their forums on their drupal.org/forum.

If you don't like the out of the box example. Drupal also has various contrib(uted) modules that do a little more what a phpbb would do.

Contrib Modules


vBulletin has both an advanced forum and connected CMS.

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