forum software


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For awhile it seemed like vBulletin was the forum of choice for site owners looking to implement a community bulletin board system. For the longest time I saw forums running this software everywhere. Even my brother chose vBulletin for his website despite my best efforts to persuade him in giving open source a try first. He had his mind made up on vBulletin, so this is where I got to get my hands wet with the software. I’ve never owned it myself, but whenever he had a question, I got to log in and poke around, so I became somewhat familiar with the ins and outs of the back end.

I had used phpBB at this point, so I did have something to compare  it to, and I don’t think it was that much better to warrant paying nearly two hundred dollars for a forum, but my disinterest in forums might be making me a bit cheap about it. I do remember finding features that made me think this was like a premium version of phpBB, so it’s definitely not inferior by any means. It’s probably as good as a forum can get at the moment, but there are just so many other options for building communities that it’s hard to justify spending the money when you can get a similar alternative for free.

The folks at vBulletin must realize this because they now have a Publishing Suite for sale for a few bucks more, but it has the forum included with the addition of blog and article publishing as well. This covers more options and I believe it was a very smart move of them. Having a forum as a stand alone site might work at times, but you’re allowing your visitors to leave when they seek more in depth information on the same subject being discussed in your forums. By having articles and blogs with a community of users, you can keep those visitors right there on your site clicking pages and earning you additional revenue.

Whether you’re thinking of starting a forum or an entire community, vBulletin may be an option to consider depending on your budget. I do have to admit that the list of features is quite immense, so it’s certainly worth checking out. The forum is definitely tops as far as being built out. I will say that despite my indifference to forum software, if I desperately wanted to start a forum and spending money on a license was not an issue, vBulletin is definitely the one I would choose.

WowBB Php Forum Software

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WowBB is a commercial forum script that I wasted my money on because I abandoned the script on a site of mine. I’m not saying I wasted my money because of the script itself, but it’s more of how I feel about starting forums. They’re tough, and I’ve decided long ago that my interest in starting one has waned.

On the other hand, if you have your heart set on starting a commercial forum, WowBB is a pretty nice piece of software. With so many forum sites powered by VBulletin out there, it’s refreshing to see a different look and feel in a fully functional bulletin board system.

The WowBB forum files have long been deleted from my hosting account, but what I do remember liking about this software is that you could try it for free for thirty days to see if it’s the right choice. Of course, you’ll have to try it on a subdomain of, but it still gives you the opportunity to test drive the forum administration before forking over some cash for it.

I also seem to remember something about maps being integrated so you could see the graphical locations of users and sort them by specific locations. Users can also create polls which is great encouragement for user participation. A user can also upload a custom avatar or select from galleries you provide which you can add to at any time.

The admin section offers the ability to view user IP’s, a layered and extremely flexible permission system, graphical visitor statistics, and the ability to create custom profile fields in a users control panel for fields not provided in the default view.

There’s plenty more that I haven’t mentioned, so if you’re tired of phpBB and looking for something a little different, go check out all of the WowBB features over at the website.