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Which is the best Free forum software?
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Which is the best Free forum software?

According to you which is the best free (Open Source) forum software? Is it SMF, myBB, phpBB, vanilla or any other?

Points to consider:

  1. Security

  2. Functionality and ease of use (autoupdates, plugins, extensions)

  3. Customization (Themes)

  4. SEO and Integration with CMSs like Wordpress and Joomla

If you are voting for a software, please explain why do you think it's the best.

Best free (Open Source) forum software
  1. which is the best free (Open Source) forum software?53 votes
    1. myBB
      33.96%
    2. phpBB
      26.42%
    3. SMF
      22.64%
    4. vanilla
      16.98%

Comments

  • There is no such thing as best, it is what is the best compromise for my needs.
    I personally use phpbb for many years, even when it was insecure as heck.
    Today is more secure and widely used, fully maintained and supported and easy to integrate.
    That works for me, but I never did SEO, so I dont know about that.

    Extremist conservative user, I wish to preserve human and civil rights, free speech, freedom of the press and worship, rule of law, democracy, peace and prosperity, social mobility, etc. Now you can draw your guns.

  • RalliasRallias Member, Provider

    @Maounique There's no such thing as secure, only relatively less insecure. PhpBB has a history of vulnerabilities, so I'd not trust it. SMF has some really recent vulns, so I wouldn't touch that. As everyone here knows, so does Vanilla. MyBB has a few once in a while but it's not had the same issues afaict.

  • MaouniqueMaounique Member
    edited November 2013

    I never said it is secure, just more secure than before.
    If you remember there was one vulnerability a week some years ago...

    Extremist conservative user, I wish to preserve human and civil rights, free speech, freedom of the press and worship, rule of law, democracy, peace and prosperity, social mobility, etc. Now you can draw your guns.

  • phpBB until you get serious with your forum.

    VPSCraze.com - VPS Hosting | FTP Backup Storage | Instant Setup - Chicago, IL [US]

  • MyBB since it has more core features and haven heard muh security issues with it.

    Cheap KVM in 3 locations | Sign Up!

  • How about YaBB? According to www.forum-software.org, YaBB had only 4 advisories from 2003 to 2013.

    Don't let questionable websites get hold of your email addresses. Give them Crazi4U - Your one hour inbox instead.
  • cfgguycfgguy Member, Provider

    mybb :- eats resources a lot. Not very fast and practically not recommended for big board.
    phpbb - The only problem is spam. Their spam control system is either badly written or its broken.
    smf - It looks good but internally the code is broken and community is helpful but you will always find something wrong.
    vanilla - Its good except the theme portion.

    I would recommend fluxbb. They are good, fast and secure. No Spam at all.

    KGR

  • MitsuhashiMitsuhashi Member
    edited November 2013

    Tested stuff the last few months:

    FluxBB was very fast, but also very limited in features. I had quite a few spambots registered that never posted. Dealbreaker was modding -- huge pain up the ass. My test site broke while adding anti-spam measures, and it took days or weeks or something to even get one reply on their forums.

    MyBB was pretty good. Dealbreaker was theming -- huge pain up the ass. Just look at all the themes available for it. They're pretty damn ugly. I ended up asking a very talented forum theme developer why he doesn't make MyBB themes, and he told me that MyBB was too outdated to make pretty.

    phpBB is my current software of choice, mostly because I found a beautiful theme for it (sold by the above-mentioned developer here). The backend could be a little better, but... dat amazing frontend! Works perfectly on mobile, too, without materially gimping the site.

    Vanilla I skipped after seeing what happened with LET.

    I'm really talented at telling SolusVM to reinstall my OS. I can help you do it, too, for absolutely fee.

  • @Casius said:
    MyBB since it has more core features and haven heard muh security issues with it.

    MyBB has had a lot of security problems. The last one was in October.. There's a whole page full of past security problems listed here: http://secunia.com/advisories/product/4479/?task=advisories

    Vendor     MyBB
    Affected By     56 Secunia advisories
    158 Vulnerabilities 
  • The hearsay factor is directly proportional with the userbase.
    If the userbase is big, chances are you hear about defacements and other issues like that.
    If I use my own script you will probably never hear of a problem with it if you are not a visitor to my forum.

    Extremist conservative user, I wish to preserve human and civil rights, free speech, freedom of the press and worship, rule of law, democracy, peace and prosperity, social mobility, etc. Now you can draw your guns.

  • jorjee001jorjee001 Member, Provider

    I think SMF is the best.

  • phpbb ia awesome. since 3.x its security has been greatly improved

  • CltcamCltcam Member
    edited November 2013

    Vanilla is the best, and I'm quite thankful that it's free. It's the only free forum software that I could costing money instead of being free.

  • MyBB +1

  • @Mitsuhashi said:

    MyBB was pretty good. Dealbreaker was theming -- huge pain up the ass. Just look at all the themes available for it. They're pretty damn ugly. I ended up asking a very talented forum theme developer why he doesn't make MyBB themes, and he told me that MyBB was too outdated to make pretty.

    Dont I know it! I took a month and rewrote the whole theme system from tables into css for my own forum. Then, I got bored, and stopped working on mybb.

    Thanked by 1Mitsuhashi

    C, Bash, Perl, Python, PHP, and JS hobbyist. VPS collector. Blog

  • Vanilla is just so polished compared to all the rest.

  • I am inclined towards phpbb, great functionality and there are some awesome themes. Are there any decent themes for mybb or SMF?

  • k0nslk0nsl Member, Member without signature

    I am mainly accustomed to phpBB, Vanilla and now recently found myself experimenting with NodeBB. But I would probably recommend Vanilla Forum for stable usage + it has very good features and is readily extendible.

  • Since this is lowendtalk, don't forget about forumfive. ;)

  • I will say SMF for lazy dudes and FluxBB for dudes with basic coding and design knowledge.

    Pentesting with open source, BackBox Linux

  • I use myBB, it has it's issues but I have quite a few forums. I used to use VB until it went, well wierd with V5. It's not perfect and has it's issues like they all do, maybe I just like it because it quite like VB.

    It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt

  • I always liked phpBB. Bad reputation earned mostly with old 2.x versions, but not much issues since 3.x
    Thing which I like the most with this feature rich forum software is huge community behind, gazillion modifications, themes...

    @Infinity580 said:
    phpBB and BurningBoard its paid

    Burning Board Lite, smaller brother of Burning Board is free.

  • MyBB has the best aesthetics for a free script

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