I'm launching a Q&A site similar to StackExchange.

Does anyone have any recommendations for free self-hosted Q&A software that is easy to customize?

I've seen this wordpress theme but it isn't free and, therefore, isn't what I'm looking for.

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  • I would like to see more PHP/MySQL technology – daron Jul 22 '10 at 18:49

OSQA is also a nice implementation and is relatively easy to get up and running. What I don't like about it is how close it is to SE sites as far as design. Granted, its hard to come up with a better interface, but hopefully you make your's a little more unique :)

This is also GPL, so it's free as in freedom and free as in free beer.

Its written in Python/Django and should work even on the most basic shared web hosting.

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    OSQA looks like a perfect match, but its written in Python. I am not sure if i can install it in my Apache server with MySQl. – daron Jul 22 '10 at 18:34
  • @daron - it should go right in .. are you self hosted or using someone else? – Tim Post Jul 22 '10 at 18:38
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    @daron - its almost obligatory .. python is likely there, its a matter of how your web server sees (and runs) it. (assuming GNU/Linux hosting) – Tim Post Jul 22 '10 at 20:23
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    Can this work on Windows IIS and SqlServer also? I have not read visited the site, just need to know incase... – Julius A Jul 22 '10 at 20:32
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    Relevant link (and also shameless self-promotion which I swear is merely a side effect): webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/1541/… – David Z Jul 26 '10 at 23:25

Since you are using PHP/MySQL, I'd recommend Question2Answer. I've used it and I really like it. Although the default interface isn't as polished as Stack Overflow, it's still better than the other PHP Q&A apps I've seen.

  • That actually looks rather neat :) +1 – Tim Post Jul 22 '10 at 18:05
  • The interface was not that great. i am not sure how far we can go for customizing it. – daron Jul 22 '10 at 18:48
  • You can customize every aspect of the layout/style without much difficulty, see question2answer.org/advanced.php#theme-advanced. The developer is really helpful too if you have questions. – DisgruntledGoat Jul 22 '10 at 23:04

Check out Stacked, an open source implementation of a Q&A site like Stack Overflow.


MSO has a huge list.


There are some pretty nice options available to you when it comes to Open Source, I've listed the best 3 that I'm aware of below for you:

  • OSQA is an open source Q&A platform similar to StackExchange, definitely worth looking at if you're considering open source.
  • Askbot is also a Python Django platform modeled on StackExchange, so should be considered as well
  • Django Brainstorm is again, a Python Django based platform developed by Sunlight Labs and can do the job also

You may also want to consider a SaaS solution if you're considering open source, as these solutions are automatically updated/updated/supported and require much less maintenance...but of course you have to pay for those perks:) Here is a list of powerful SaaS solutions that are also available for consideration.

  • Answerbase.com is a good service supporting some brand-name customers, serving a few different markets when it comes to Q&A interaction, worth looking at.
  • Qhub.com provides a nice Q&A community platform, very user-friendly and a nice Web 2.0 look/feel.
  • Shapado.com offers a clean Q&A experiece for either a community or for enterprises looking for internal collaboration.

Good luck with your Q&A community/platform:)

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