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Forum Software: 5 on 5

Posted on 8.08.2007
vBulletin is one of the most popular commercial forum software solutions on the Web. Used by many large scale websites, vBulletin has proven itself to be a powerful, scalable and robust package for online communities. Developed in PHP, vBulletin operates on a fast back-end database engine built using MySQL, making it accessible for a large portion of the Web community. Our reviewers of vBulletin were most impressed with the ability to customize the platform in an infinite number of ways and for the relatively modest license cost of $160 for indefinite use.

phpBB is an open source bulletin board package that is used by many online communities. The ease of installation has made phpBB one of the more recognizable forum applications on the Web. In addition, phpBB has a very user-friendly interface (easy to learn how to administrate), is simple and straightforward for moderators and users alike. The downsides are that customization can be a little cumbersome, and there have been numerous issues with security (abuse of built in email member function for one). For those getting started with an online community however, phpBB is a stable choice and a reliable alternative to commercial solutions.

Invision Power Board, an award-winning scaleable bulletin board system, allows you to effortlessly build, manage and promote your online community. Advanced yet intuitive features like multi-moderation allow you to focus on developing your community, rather than wrestling with complex settings.

SMF (Simple Machines Forum) is a free, professional grade software package that allows you to set up your own online community within minutes. Its powerful custom made template engine puts you in full control of the lay-out of your forum and with our unique SSI - or Server Side Includes - function you can let your forum and your website interact with each other. SMF is written in the popular language PHP and uses a MySQL database.

Jive Forums powers the most demanding online communities and continually sets the industry standard for Enterprise-class forums. Jive Forums is the only open architecture, standards-based solution on the market, and the only solution with deep features that boost community participation, question resolution and knowledge reuse. The richest-featured Enterprise-class edition, the new Jive Forums Gold includes theme support, reward systems, status levels, presence, instant messaging, question queues, escalation, and expert notification.
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