I am starting off with a forum site. I have seen quite a few s/w available,but I am not able to finalize on one of them.

The design of forum is highly heirarchy based. So only few of them would be able to post reply in certain forums.
Eg: Normal user can create a topic, but only one class of "subscribed" users can respond to it. And I plan to charge for the subscription (yearly subscription). The customization should be based on certain forums only. Normal users can hang around in few of the general discussion forums also....

I would like to know which forum software provides this level of customization. I should be able to enable professional users to subscribe and start using the service....in other words, integration of transaction processing to user registration.

Could someone please suggest the easiest and best way to do it.

Thanks in Advance.

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I know Jive supports what you're looking for (I coded part of the functionality myself...).


Mind I've no commercial interest in them, I was a part of the group that coded the initial version before the project leaders went commercial with it (effectively kicking us all out, as we'd have to buy a license to be allowed to get at the sourcecode).


This is way above my budget.... I was looking at something like vbulletin... Can this be done using vbulletin? I think from an implementation/design perspective, it will be similar to the freelance websites like getacoder.com or rentacoder.com....

I would like to understand the level of user customization provided by Vbulletin...can I give only "create thread" permissions to one set of users ( general users) and "reply permission" to "VIPs" ...general users cannot reply...

However, VIPs, cannot delete posts or threads, that'll be done by Moderators only...
I am sorry if I was off-topic here, but I couldnt find this information elsewhere..

vBulletin has pretty extensive usergroup customization. For each usergroup, you can set permissions as far as what they can and cannot do. You can also auto-promote users among usergroups based on certain criteria.

Thanks!... one problem solved... Another question, is it possible to tag posts as premium posts....and put in some hooks within the vbulletin s/w? Eg, say I want to popup a new page to the "vip user" whenever he/she posts a reply? -> do you want your post to be premium? if so post the premium ones among the first few replies....

It's possible to put hooks into almost anything to do almost anything... But if your intended system is to be really customised, you may be better off buying or having something produced to meet your exact requirements.

Integrating a payment system into a forum probably wouldn't be too challenging; vBulletin is quite a big name, so I imagine they have a good application interface and developer community.

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