Forums are a great way to generate and boost engagement on your websites. This allows users to interact with each other and even with the owner through polls and voting. These forums can be installed for every kind of websites whether they are tech-based, solutions-based, or any others. So, check out these best forum softwares that you can try. And some of them are open source and also available for free.
Best Open Source Forum Softwares
This is a modern discussion platform with unique features. By using this software, users can build a community where the focus is given to conversations rather than the pages. What this means is that instead of clicking to go the next page every time, Discourse provides a feature of in time loading in which users just have to scroll down to read more conversations.
And this software was specifically designed keeping high-resolution mobile phones in mind. So, you don’t have to worry about its responsiveness. There are other features provided as well like Spam blocking, Social login, and many more. Pricing for this software begins at $100 per month.
This is the most popular and free open source forum platform. Using this forum, you can create a community where the registered users can interact by posting and replying. These users can also customize their profiles if they want to. And if you are confused as for how to use this software then you can always take the help of guides and tutorials available at their official website.
Because of PHP7, HTML 5 and CSS 3, this software is highly responsive and also cross-browser supportable. It even lets you add various plugins through which users can connect to other applications such as My native SQL, cache, CAPTCHA, Facebook, Google, and so on. The forum in phpBB can be divided on the basis of categories and can be protected by a password.
This software has its name as Vanilla because of its simplicity and plain interface. Using this tool, users can make the forums interactive by adding polls and even mentioning other users by typing @username just as anyone does in Instagram and Twitter. Coming to themes and customization, this package is a treat for website owners. You can apply different themes, upload favicon, URL customization, and so on.
Using QA feature, you can interact with customers easily which is always good for product boosting by getting feedback. And you can also connect Vanilla to other applications such as Salesforce, WordPress, Zendesk, and Github. Pricing starts from $689 per month.
MyBB is also a free forum software which is multilingual as it provides translations for more than 30 languages. This is great for a newbie because of its friendly forum style. And like many other tools, this is also extensible with the help of so many additional plugins and themes.
It is perfect for those users or owners who want full control of their forums as administrators. There is a reputation feature in this software through which users can rate the other users on the basis of their action in terms of negative, positive, and neutral ratings.
This free software is known for its lightweight and faster speed as compared to its competitors. It does have limitations when it comes to features because FluxBB didn’t want to include any functionality which is not essential to the users.
Using this software, users can connect to database applications like MySQL and SQLite. Coming to forums, you have the option to merge, move and split the topics according to your own convenience. And all these topics can be divided into appropriate categories.
An innovative tool which is built by adding unique features and bundled in a neat and simple design. Jumping directly to the features, users won’t be needing to go through all the unread discussions and opening multiple tabs for the same because of the two-pane interface. It supports infinite scrolling so that users don’t need to click on the next page in order to explore more discussions.
Coming to mobile interface, Flarum was designed keeping touchscreen devices in mind. The interface is responsive as the buttons and touch are smooth for navigation. Even the installation won’t take more than 30 seconds.
Now, let’s look at some software or forum scripts that are not open source.
Best Softwares To Create Your Own Forums Easily
Another free PHP forum software which offers a fresh and new style of forums in a clean and simple way. Codoforum is more than responsive enough to properly fit into small mobile and tablet screens. Through their SSO & Integration, users won’t have to create separate credentials for their website and forum as well.
Just like Vanilla, you can also use @ to mention some other users in this discussion tool. You can divide your forums into multiple categories by using tags. And you can inform your visitors about any new and interesting content through a specifically designed email using Daily and Weekly Digest feature. Their paid plans start at $49.
A total package for discussion at your website. Muut is 3 in one discussion system which includes forums, commenting and messaging also. It was specifically designed to work for all screen sizes so that the users don’t have to worry about its responsiveness. And it even works efficiently on those mobile devices which have a comparatively slower internet connection.
Apart from all these features, Muut is one of the most widely used forum software in the market. It has over more than 1.8 Million communities with more than 13K new users joining on the weekly basis.
vBulletin is one of the World’s leading community software out there. There are two versions of this software available in the form of vBulletin 5 Connect and vBulletin Cloud. Registered users can communicate with each other using vB messenger chat in this forum. And it also does provide built-in SEO and security too. It even offers easy setup and customization which is always great for a newbie.
10. Invision Community
It was previously known by IP.Board. This software is for those users who want to focus on making engaging communities. And what could be a better way to boost engagements by allowing more connectivity through social media platforms. Users can easily share the content on their social media networks. Even they can use their social media credentials such as Facebook and Twitter for signing into this forum software.
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According to me, phpBB is the most convenient option for you because of its free pricing along with latest technologies as I have mentioned earlier. And their support system is also efficient. Which one do you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.