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Do you think that the forum software that's used makes a difference for a community? Suppose, for example, forum software all has the same options available. And we're talking about the same community of people.

For a forum visitor, does seeing powered by vBulletin strike a softer note than seeing powered by phpBB? Not because of features - but simply because vB is commercial software?

In other words, if a community had the same content, would a visitor think of the forum as more serious / reputable / better simply because of the software used?

Just throwing this idea up in the air people. Interested in hearing responses.

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Last Post by Arwym
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The general answer would be no, I feel, and my answer would be no. phpBB, vB, iPB... all viable solutions. The difference will always be the administrator and leadership that is provided to the community. Attention to detail, management skills, community enviroment, etc. are all much more important than the forum software you use, as long as you use a decent solution, like one of the ones mentioned above.

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Yah . Nobody really cares what platform the forums are on just as long as they are on!

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Myself, I tend to shy away from IPB powered forums as I personally have had bad experiences with the President of IP, and I don't care to support their product in any way shape or form. But it all really boils down to the community aspect of the community; to this day I still see communities going strong on those old Message Boards that were:

Topic
- Reply
- - Re: Reply

:P

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As for me, I really don't give a crap on what software is used. What's really important is the contents of the forum, and secondly, how is it administered. Because the main reason you read posts is because you want to learn something. right???

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Oalee you have never used vBulletin compared to other products?

I only have 2 IPB forums on my entire list. and tahts because i staff for a game on one and im a supporting member of the second.

But i dont touch IBP UBB or phpBB communitys with a stick otherwise.

The adminstration and user end of each are yucky imo.

The forums system has abit to do with it, for the long run on the admin side you want somthing that can change adatap and is easily upgradable for secutiry reasons.

starting with phpbb or ipb will require a ton of basic hacks just to start making it work like vB2 OTB and a hell of a lot more to make it work like vB3 OTB. My members love vB3 and its features. theyve totaly left one or two otherboards for mine. Im sure that if i had somthing besides vB they might not have moved.

Security and Ease of Adminstration are two of the most important things both which vBulletin does well.

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Dani did this just to annoy me. :P

While I agree that phpBB 2.0.x offers few features that most other boards offer, it's important to keep in perspective that it's quite old - several years or more in fact. phpBB 2.2, the newest version they plan to release, offers many more features, in fact practically all those that most people require of a forum (including some new ones that neither vB or IPB offer ;)). But the developers been very careful not to "overburden" the software - they like to think of it strictly of forum software, and therefore decline to add features such as calendars and so forth - this means that phpBB 2.1 (development version of 2.2, as per Linux Version Numbering Scheme) runs very quickly compared to say, vB, which has every feature under the sun thrown in ;).
Though one thing I might add is that subSilver, the phpBB default style looks far more "professional" than vB's. But that's just a matter of opinion.

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Have you seen vBulletins new Default style? (www.vbulletin.com/forum ??)

vBulletin 3 runs faster and better than IPB1.3 and phpbb. Even with most of the features turned on, but in vB3 everything that can be turned on can also be turned off ;)

You dont even need to have the DHTML ;)

It shows when people who like to slam other software dont know what their talking about (not you Roberdin) But in general, when i browse the IBP forums from time to time, they all like to say vBulletin is more bloated, however most have never used it them selfs ;) they have no clue what their talking about.

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Ah we all know you meant me really :p

Remember that php is a run-time interpretted language so everything, including the stuff within if() blocks is parsed during page execution, and that vB can afford to have very powerful servers - they hardly want to look slow on their own site ;)

However, I must admit that the new vBulliten theme looks much better than before, though having vB in half the icons is slightly annoying - I want to know that a forum contains new topics, subforums, or is locked, not that it is powered by vB. :P

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The images currently being used on the vBulletin.com forum are just temporary. We're still in vB3 release candidate stages. New images are being released when vB3 goes gold within the next few weeks. :)

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I think it makes a difference. I go to some Ikonboards and they really don't look that good. It's the LAYOUT of the software/service that is the best.

Last week I was running on YaBBSE and it was slow, has some bugs and it really didn't appeal to others. I am now using SMF (Simple Machines forums) and they are AWESOME! They have a good layout, you can make custom templates with HTML and PHP so it has WAY more features.

But on the downside to SMF is you have to install it, it's still in beta and you have to upload stuff.

Meh, oh well. My vote goes to SMF.

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In other words, if a community had the same content, would a visitor think of the forum as more serious / reputable / better simply because of the software used?

Just throwing this idea up in the air people. Interested in hearing responses.

You perhaps have a point.

I seem to be partial to phpBB. I'm not exactly sure why though. Likely because it's familiar and tends to generally have a more clean aesthetic than other types of forums.

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I just want to add that while vBulletin is feature-rich, almost every option can be enabled or disabled from the admin panel. In addition, it is perhaps the cleanest, object-oriented php code I've seen in a long while.

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My two personal favorite bulletin boards are vBB [www.vbulletin.com] and Woltlab Burning Board [www.woltlab.de]. Both are feature rich, and have a good support/hacking community. The downside to both is that they're pay only bulletin boards, with Woltlab being the cheaper of the two.

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I've never heard of Woltlab until you just mentioned it. I headed off to their site to check it out and it just doesn't seem very robust to me. :-/ How does it compare to phpBB, Invision Power Board, and vBulletin?

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I'm thinking of setting up two more sites alongside my current forum. Even though I don't like phpBB that much, thats what I'll be using as finances are tight and I can always screw everything up at a later date by converting to vbulletin when the finances allow. :D

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Do you think that the forum software that's used makes a difference for a community? Suppose, for example, forum software all has the same options available. And we're talking about the same community of people.

For a forum visitor, does seeing powered by vBulletin strike a softer note than seeing powered by phpBB? Not because of features - but simply because vB is commercial software?

In other words, if a community had the same content, would a visitor think of the forum as more serious / reputable / better simply because of the software used?

Just throwing this idea up in the air people. Interested in hearing responses.

Even though it makes a difference to me, I don't think it does to *most* users. Most users probably don't know that phpbb is free and vBulletin is not.

Me personally - if I want to find a forum on a topic I will first try and find a vBulletin powered forum. If I can't find one (which is rare) I'll take whatever option seems most appealing from there. To me, all other forum software is an equal #2 behind vBulletin :lol:

I know I'm biased though, and don't think most users really care as long as the forum is not slow. That will kill off a member base faster than anything else. Poeple don't pay $50/month for broadband so they can post on a slow forum. I don't think I have ever found a slow vBulletin forum.

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Do you think that the forum software that's used makes a difference for a community? Suppose, for example, forum software all has the same options available. And we're talking about the same community of people.

For a forum visitor, does seeing powered by vBulletin strike a softer note than seeing powered by phpBB? Not because of features - but simply because vB is commercial software?

In other words, if a community had the same content, would a visitor think of the forum as more serious / reputable / better simply because of the software used?

Just throwing this idea up in the air people. Interested in hearing responses.

Good question Dani,

For people (guests visiting a forum) that are looking for a long term community, or possibly serious answers, I feel that seeing vBulletin does make a difference.

Why? Simply put, vBulletin isn't free, and those that end up buying a license, or even leasing one are at least show one thing... That they are willing to invest $$ in their community and are less likely to just give up or throw it away.

I know there are other factors and probably no real surveys to back this up, but those that are serious about making something that is going to go the distance are going to spend the money for the best products and have probably also made the long term plans.

Most of the communities that I am active in, or at least have registered for are vBulletin. This doesn't mean that phpBB, SMF or the others are bad. Heck, I have run them myself, though never on a community I am looking at for the long haul.

Just my 2 cents. Not dogging any other software but I do feel vBulletin is the best there is to be had...

David

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I see some talking about Bloat. I've heard that a lot but my forums even with 700 concurrent members and heavily hacked is pretty fast. Yes, I have a dual Xeon dedicated with 2gigs of ram and dual scsi's but I also have two other vbulletin forums running each usually with between 20-75 people on average and a bunch of other sites with small forums.

I think PHPBB and the other free "project" forums appeal to the open source and coding community that doesn't like having to pay for anything. A close friend of mine talks smack about vBulletin all the time and is on the SMF (used to be YabbSe) "team". He is also an old school coder / "hacker" and for the longest time talked smack about my servers running cPanel and me running XP Pro at home. WELL, guess what... He discovered cPanel / WHM and hasn't looked back. He also now runs XP...
After lots of talk we put my hacked up vbulletin 3x system with about 350 concurrent connections (not who's online but active people) against one of his SMF forums with about 75 concurrents. Guess what? I had substantially better load times. His site is also on a similarly spec'd server.

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I think it can have an impact on that first impression, but when it comes down to it, forum software is like coke and pepsi. If they like what they see topic wise they are going to register and start posting. Sure there are the die-hard vb fans and phpbb fans, but they're a small minority. Its my opinion that the majority of people who come to forums are going to talk if they want to talk, regardless of which software you are running.

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yes because knowing most(KEYWORD BEING MOST) people pay for vbulletin and you see that then its like I have to join to support that they put a lot of money and time in it.

Then again No say you have 2 forums that are different but with the same software if you see a vbulletin with 165 members and a phpbb with 20,000 members you'd mite want to go with the ones with most members

Then again it depends on the look. If people like the looks then they will join

If u ask me I am more of the how many members are there?

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The most impressive forum software I've seen is Active Data Online's Discussion Board.

Its WYSIWYG editor is far superior to that of any other, including vBulletin. There's even an English spell checker!

It is an ASP.NET system and it supports SQL Server, Access, Oracle and MySQL.

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I like their WYISWYG but the forums itself, IDK, dont just feel right.

Most of the WYISWYG editors work poorly in anything but IE, which is intrinsically evil.

There is a new kid on the block, WOWbb. I bought a liscense just to check out the code. And I'm one of those phpBB dudes/hackers that don't pay for anything.
;)

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Well I think a poorly designed (from the point of view of usability) forum application would affect whether a community flourishes or not.

On forum software, here's a site that allows people to search through the features of various software.

www.searchforsoftware.info

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yea, WowBB been out, but for some reason just aint right. It doesnt matter on a forums style, as long as it performs well. Like with a car, you could have a nice, hooked-up ride, with a piece of sh*t performance rate, haha.

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phpbb and Integramod
Well, I would like to draw everyone's attention to Integramod. Everyone is simply dismissing it as a MOD/hack to phpbb. As someone who has used phpbb for over 2 years now I can tell you that the only place that integramod is similar to phpbb is the forums and that is it.

I was always annoyed that you couldn't have subforums within forums. I wanted a free version to stick with the spirit of open source since my website is completely powered by open source and deals with open source topics. I host it at home and don't pay a dime for anything but the domain and DNS. I want to keep it that way as long as I can...but phpbb ticked me off with no subforums...This issue is solved with integramod:

[img]http://linuxportal.sytes.net/snapshot.jpg[/img]


Notice under 'Distro Central' that you can have subforums...You can even have subforums within subforums. This is something They've been promising for quite some time but haven't delivered on at phpbb.com.

What's so great?
So you might be saying...oh, that's nice...but it's full of holes...it's a security nightmare right? The last security flaw noted for integramod was the phpbb board bug that required an upgrade to phpbb 2.0.11 which was out the same day as the phpbb.com fix was. I've never even seen a bug in all of the other robust code from integramod...and it is robust with close to 2000 files for the install and 80 folders/subfolders. If you'd like to give it a try and see what functions it has, I've created a daniweb user to demo my site. Goto http://linuxportal.sytes.net and login with user: daniweb, pword: daniweb. This account will be active for the next 7 days only. Anyone reading this after that time, please pm me here and I will setup a demo for you...or you can just register at the site :cheesy: to check things out.

Some functions

Integramod has a downloads manager that can be used to integrate with sourceforge, it has an entire gallery based on smartor, a knowlegebase function, an acronyms function that will substitute advertising for words throughout your site, a points and ranking system, an events calendar, and a digest/newsletter function, banner manager, news/article function, a post approval system, an attachments management system, and my favorite...a robots.txt manager that detects search bots and logs their IP addresses allowing you to add urls for around 10 different search bots. You can also rebuild your meta tags based on the content on your website by optimising your search function in 2 clicks. I haven't found its equal in open source management systems.


Not a supporter, just a person
Feel free to login with the demo account info provided above and look around. The account once again will go inactive after 7 days (that's a function of the board as well...it's called Pseudocron and is just like linux Cron jobs). I'm not here to say that integramod is perfect...just that it is something very valid for those of us that do this out of the goodness of our heart without monetary gain.


TKS

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