Forum software platforms are a staple of online communities since the first days of the web . In spite of the earth-shattering growth of social media networks over the last decade, these platforms have remained a secure haven for those looking to attach with like-minded individuals on a more global, anonymous scale. Nowadays, the practice of making a forum is becoming increasingly popular among businesses, as online communities have proven to be an incredibly valuable asset.
Forums are often wont to bring your audience together and permit them to attach with one another , or as a source of feedback and inter-user support. no matter what purpose you aim for these platforms to serve, one among the foremost gratifying results is usually the strengthened sense of connection between users and your product or services. Take a glance at this selection of the simplest forum software available and begin planting the seeds of your future thriving online community.
Best forum software
- website build and design
- Simple Machines Forum
- Invision Community
01. website build and design Forum
website build and design Forum may be a drag-and-drop forum software that permits you to create outstanding community sites without one line of code. you’ll build a site from scratch or choose one among the platform’s professionally designed website templates. In both cases, you’ll be ready to customize every aspect of your forum and complement it with additional apps.
This solution is concentrated on building vibrant online communities and providing powerful social features that encourage users to interact with one another and make meaningful relationships. website build and design Forum takes a page from the favored social media book to supply users with personal profile pages where other members can see all their posts and follow them.
Unlike the overwhelming majority of free forum software solutions, website build and design Forum isn’t self-hosted. this suggests that you simply won’t need to buy hosting, nor be responsible or fixing any technical problems which will occur. Furthermore, if you don’t want to make a forum website separated from your main site, this platform allows you to simply merge the 2 together.
- Built-in advanced SEO tools
- Customizable interface
- Social features
- Mobile-friendly platform
- Members and profile pages
phpBB is one among the oldest and most well-known forum solutions out there. First launched in 2000, this platform is consistently updated to stay up with the newest industry trends including mobile-first indexing compliance and anti-spam capabilities.
The forum’s user-friendly interface, paired with a solid administration panel and documentation, make it highly accessible even with little technical knowledge. It includes all the essential features needed on a forum software, like user moderation, notifications, security, and multi-language support. Additionally, there are many free extensions available.
phpBB is open-source and self-hosted, which suggests that you simply won’t got to buy its use but will need to invest during a robust website hosting platform. On a high-quality host, this forum software solution can handle an outsized number of message boards and thousands of users.
- Detailed documentation and video tutorials
- Robust messaging capabilities
- Built-in SEO tools
- Extensive management panel
- Responsive design and cross-browser support
Price: Plans for vBulletin Cloud start at $14.99/month, vBulletin 5 Connect license requires a one-time $249 payment
Broadly considered one among the simplest premium forum software, vBulletin has been around for over 20 years . This platform provides powerful administration, security, and SEO tools, and has an AI-powered engagement feature that encourages community growth.
This forum software was created with large communities in mind. additionally to using machine learning and tongue processing to spice up participation, vBulletin also allows users to make private forums and groups. Furthermore, it’s possible to make a blog within the platform so as to supply added value to members and strengthen the forum’s SEO performance.
The platform offers both self-hosting (vBulletin 5 Connect) and cloud hosting (vBulletin Cloud) options, making it equally accessible for users with varying degrees of technical knowledge. Both versions are often found out in only quarter-hour and supply an equivalent features.
- Mobile device optimization
- Highly customizable themes
- Powerful media capabilities
- Built-in SEO tools
- Task scheduler
As its name suggests, MyBB allows users to form the platform its own. This powerful open-source forum software is fully customizable, providing ready-made templates and a topic editor to form it easy for users to realize their design goals. Its customization capabilities also are available for end users, as they will easily adjust the way they view discussions.
This solution provides all the essential features of a solid forum software, also as several additional plugins available for those that want to require their boards a step further. samples of these include anti-spam tools, gamification features, email blast support, and CDN capabilities.
While the list of extensions offered by MyBB falls in need of the variability other solutions during this list offer, its easy accessibility and modern style make it a feisty contender within the fight for the title of best forum software.
- Database management integration
- Multi-language support
- Complete design customization
- Broad range of plugins
- Email blasts
Price: Free open-source version, business plans start at $689/month
Vanilla offers both open-source and premium versions of its forum software. the previous provides users with a self-hosting platform with basic features and community-built plugins, while the latter may be a powerful cloud-based solution aimed toward enterprise-level customers.
Some of this forum software’s most famous features include a good array of selling integrations, automatic content curation, and gamification practices. These aren’t only aimed to support and increase user engagement but also to empower business effectiveness.
Vanilla also can be used as a help desk software to make a strong ticket system for customer support efforts. The platform’s built-in knowledge domain system also makes it possible for businesses to simply develop a self-service that relieves support demand.
- User-friendly found out process
- Mobile-friendly interface
- Social and data sharing integration
- Wide range of themes and plugins
- Auto-saving feature
Despite being relatively new within the space and still being on beta, Flarum has already made a reputation for itself together of the simplest forum software out there. the most reason for this lies on the core ethos upon which the answer has been built: simple, modern, and fast. It’s fair to mention that these values are quite present in Flarum’s platform.
But what truly makes Flarum stand out is its two-pane interface. This unique feature provides users with a versatile environment where they will participate in numerous discussions without opening a couple of various tabs. Other engagement-focused capabilities include a floating message composer, discussion-organized notifications, live chat, and user mentions.
- Easy forum found out
- User-friendly design tools
- Two-pane interface
- Advanced permission settings
- Comprehensive APIs
07. Simple Machines Forum
Also known simply as SMF, Simple Machines Forum is an open-source forum software built with large online communities in mind. Its interface stays beyond flashy decorations, opting instead for a transparent and sober approach that provides the platform knowledgeable look.
In order to permit for optimal performance and scalability, this free forum software offers a broad sort of customizable features and plugins, along side structured code documentation. As a result, SMF’s module and system is among the foremost flexible within the space.
Furthermore, SMF’s advanced package manager allows users to implement large-scale user modifications quickly. in only a few clicks, you’ll be ready to apply changes to large user databases. Long gone are the times when these modifications took endless hours and features of code.
- Advanced security measures
- Highly customizable extensions
- Supports 46 languages
- Paid user subscriptions
- Built-in SEO tools
Price: Free open-source version, business plans start at $100/month
Discourse offers a contemporary combat the notion of forums. a fast check out the platform’s interface makes it evident that this open-source solution has little in common with the normal forum structure. This, combined with an extended list of obtainable features and integrations and complete mobile optimization, have granted this solution a spot among the simplest forum software.
One of Discourse’s most groundbreaking features may be a unique user ranking system that gives experienced members with certain moderation capabilities. This leads to a self-moderated community where users are rewarded for his or her engagement and meaningful collaborations.
If you’re curious about this open-source forum software and don’t skills to host an internet site or don’t have the resources to try to to so, Discourse offers a managed hosting solution for a monthly subscription starting at $100.
XenForo may be a self-hosted forum software created for business. The platform presents a chic interface which will be easily customized to match the business’s brand identity. You’ll be ready to change the forum layout, create your own typography style, and implement your brand colors without one line of code.
There are quite 2,000 plugins available within the platform, starting from enhanced search capabilities to premium area paywalls. Among these, one among the XenForum’s core defining features is that the use of gamification to encourage user engagement. This includes social sharing, activity milestones, appreciation tools, and a gift scheme.
In addition to the essential yearly license, XenForo offers several premium services users can increase their forums like a media gallery, enhanced SEO tools, and advanced resource management. Extra additions are often purchased from third-party vendors.
- Built-in SEO
- User engagement rewards
- Robust content tools
- Customizable templates
- Wide range of add-ons
10. Invision Community
Price: Plans start at $45/month
Invision Community is deemed to be one among the simplest forum software solutions for businesses and enterprises. It combines a totally customizable interface with rich content creation tools and a comprehensive admin panel that creates it easy to line up and manage.
The platform enables users to customize every aspect of their forums, right down to the activity prey on a user basis. This flexibility extends to end-users also , as they will create and manage their own online communities within the forum. referred to as clubs, these areas get designated managers and may control private forums, galleries, and calendars.
Furthermore, Invision’s solution are often used beyond forum platforms to create fully functional and mobile-responsible support ticket systems, blogs, file-sharing networks, eCommerce sites, content management systems, and more.
- Achievement rewards
- Premium clubs memberships
- Powerful business tools
- Advanced security settings
- Comprehensive content apps