[email protected] | Write For Us | About Us

12 Best Forum Softwares To Beat Your Online Competition

We hope you will be able to identify the best forum softwares for your aims as you check through the list of the following twelve platforms.

Online platforms have been credited with the state of the art medium of communication in recent time, which includes instant messaging, video calling, conference calls, amidst all other mediums of making communication come easier faster and better.

The communication gap that is bridged here seems to be credited to some basic platforms probably due to their popularity among the online platform users.

These platforms include the various social media networks and blogs. These platforms accommodate users of varying background, such as race, religion, culture, tradition, professions, philosophies, etc.

Related: Survey Bypass Tools, Best Screen Recorders, Windows Wifi Analyzers

Our List Of The Best Forum Softwares

We hope you will be able to identify the best for your aims as you check through the list of the following twelve which are part of the best forum software you can tinker with.

The list for consideration includes the following:

  • phpBB
  • MyBB
  • WordPress
  • Joomla!
  • Drupal
  • Vanilla
  • Simple Machines Forum
  • FluxBB
  • BBpress
  • Discourse
  • Vbulletin connect
  • Xenforo

Right away, let’s plunge into a discussion about these softwares and see why they stand out amidst the many forum softwares that are obtainable today.


Who doesn’t love freebies? None. This is virtually free to set up and use by you and your users.

PHPBB is a forum software that is customizable which grants you access to create different boards where users who are registered on the created platforms can post their messages.

Best Forum Softwares

Upon setting up the forum, internal message boards can be created limitlessly to feature different topics of discussion.

This software can be customized conveniently and the extensions available ensures that you’re spoilt with all options needed.

The platform boasts different features which includes ability to accommodate a massive number of users which is rudimentary upon the hosting service engaged.

The engagement of hundreds of extensions which can be used to add many options to your online forum.

A theme system that helps you to configure the appearance of your forum.

Flexible profiles and post features that ensures that users opinion are voiced via these two segments, an adorable community that is everyone increasing day by day.


· It presents a powerful platform posing multiple options.
· Users are not restricted in the customization of their account profiles & posts they make.
· It grants access to different moderation options.
· You can reset your forum with the aids of themes and extensions it provides.
· The software is extremely powerful and responsive.


· Nearly all themes that are obtainable in PHPBB appears outdated by standards trending in 2018


A uniform trend of features amidst the best forum softwares include the capability to create various message boards, perform moderation and enable the user sign Up process.

Best Forum Softwares

These functionalities are rudimentary to any forum software options. MYBB is not going against these features as well. In addition to the rudimentary features:

MYBB possess various of other features that are also present in PHPBB which includes extensions, themes, an active community and a pronounced flexibility.

MYBB can be considered an improvement on the PHPBB, presenting the same set of features in a stylish way.

The extensions on MYBB are not as numerous as presented in PHPBB though it seems much more acceptable style wise because it presents themes that are up to date with the expectations of the modern users hence, making the users to feel important and have an experience that is worthwhile


· Grants access to a relatively free platform that possess basic features which can be considered a necessity.
· Access to themes and extensions that help to personalize forum.
· Presents a user reputation system.
· With MYBB, using the calendars in scheduling events is fun.
· Provides a stylish platform that presents up to date styles


· The tools in MYBB are not as solid as what is available in PHPBB.


Changing our focus slightly from forum designated softwares to multi purpose softwares, our first port of call is “WordPress”.

WordPress is a popular name, especially amidst online audience since it’s arguably considered the most popular and sought after Content Management System (CMS) globally.

Best Forum Softwares

With its massive collection of plugins, you can create different types of websites and forums for your online users.

Some of the extensions that help in creating a forum on WordPress include wpForo forum, Asgaros forum, bbPress etc.

These extensions ensure you are set on track with all features that are necessary along with those that might be needed.

Because this is a multi purpose platform, it might prove difficult and energy sapping to use the multipurpose platform as a driving force for the online audience.

However, a CMS such as WordPress is one of the best forum platforms to be considered while setting up a website and a forum simultaneously.


· Grants access to a wide variety of themes and extensions.
· Allows you to create websites and community boards
· Makes personalized experience possible by providing access to a number of forum plugins.
· WordPress is not primarily designed for forum creations, hence some work is needed to configure and setup.
Primarily, WordPress is great to use and most bloggers make use of it.

As an existing user of the platform, you can use it to set up your forum. Understanding it’s usage will create more opportunities for you.

Recommended  3 Best Antivirus Softwares to Protect Your Windows & Mac

JOOMLA! – More Customizable Forum Software

One other content management system that is adequately used for website development and creation on forum platforms is Joomla.

Synonymous to WordPress it features a powerful theme system and an extensive bank of extension making its usage flexible enough for users.


The point of note which places Joomla and WordPress at variance with one another is volume of control given to users over projects, Joomla makes you in control as compared to the provision of WordPress.

With experienced users, the best at web development, while using Joomla can only be better as you proceed.

Extensions are also available for Joomla users and some of the extensions that adequately cater for the need of your users include ChronoForums, Easy Discuss, Kunena etc. Joomlas’ features can be effectively harnessed as a premium user, the free version is limited.

Whether Joomla or WordPress, the two are king in their domain but if you’re just coming on board, WordPress is the deal while you can tinker with Joomla after gathering experiences online


· Presents a personalized control over your website.
· Presents different extensions that can be harnessed to setup and customize your online forum environment.
· Endowed with an inbuilt security level that is very powerful along with a feature of Search Engine Optimization that is equal to the task.


· Probably due to the features it possesses, getting started with Joomla proves slightly more difficult than most other platforms.
· Unlike WordPress where you are spoilt for choices, the extensions you’re provided with is limited.

DRUPAL – No Need For Extensions & Addons

Drupal is another powerful and widely accepted content management system (CMS), though in consonance to both WordPress and Joomla.

It’s slightly propelling above them because of its default features. It is very powerful and the precision with which it can be used to discharge duties is unrivaled.

Best Forum Softwares

Drupal is therefore much more sophisticated than both WordPress and Joomla, an attempt by a first timer to online platform might be discouraging and frustrating which depicts that experience about online forum is pivotal in creating an online forum platform using this software.

Drupal like other forum softwares also, comes with the basic features of an online forum platform, offering a massive database of mods and themes which help to improve your online experiences.

A forum set up functionality which helps render extension options slightly useless and an advanced forum that ensures that the inquisitive and exploring mind is not restricted to the core features only.

The choice of Drupal as your online forum platform, especially as a developer will help to attain an enterprise level.


· Varied customization options for users
· An inherent forum function that ensures you can neglect extensions
· Access to mods and themes that help to improve on the forum from time to time
. If you want to compare CMSs in a much detailed manner, there are a number of services available.


· Naivety about web development can pose a huge threat to setting up and getting started with Drupal.

VANILLA – Best Forum Softwares For Gamers

Vanilla is another online forum platform which can be accessed from two viewpoints, either as an open source which is free and restricted or as a premium version that offers unlimited options and features to optimize the user experience in creating and making use of online forums.


Vanilla’s free version comes with sufficient features that are obtainable on some regular platforms while it’s premium version, basically designed and propelled towards enterprise-level customers is presented at a whopping sum of $599 joy

Generally, this platform is considered unique, presenting a high level of polished environment which features a fantastic message board, theme and plugin system that are used to design profiles and the forum.

On the premium version there are many more paid extensions which grant the premium subscribers huge access to them all while the free source users are mainly restricted to the default features.

Apart from the rudimentary features that classify any online forum platform, there are other features of functionality which are obtainable here, they include a powerful text editor, post auto saving etc.


· With the basic themes and extensions, you can set up and run a wonderful forum.
· Users have access to a powerful text editor.
· The contents are automatically saved as you wrote.
· Promotes interpersonal relationships with the options for setting up private groups.


· The database of features obtainable with this software is limited and not as substantial as you might have been envisaged.


Simple machines forum is much more closer to PHPBB, and a quick comparison between the two forum platforms will prove that they are indeed similar.

Best Forum Softwares

The only and major upper edge that simple machines forum possesses over PHPBB is the suppleness of its mods and theme systems.

This software is open source in its entirety and users can really do much more using it.

The software is saddled with varying features which includes a package manager to create a forum and ensures that the modules installation and updates can be a walk over for users, an extensive array of themes and extensions which are obtainable at any open source forum platforms etc.


· No other open source forum platforms can offer you the volume of modules and themes presented here.
· A quick access to multiple languages that can be navigated and switched in between with a single click.
· Provides a simple way of creating a premium subscription possibility for your users.

Recommended  17 Best Manga Sites to Read Manga Online! iRiverAmerica


· Users are restricted in the area of profile customization.
· It presents a collection of themes that appear old fashioned.

FLUXBB – Most Simple Forum Software

Before writing on this, most of the softwares earlier considered, depicted what their prowess or superiority is to what they appear to be comparable with.

Developers are often about outsmarting one another, hence the varieties in the earlier considered softwares.


FLUXBB however, exemplified itself, the developers implies that the rat race is not theirs to be involved in.

Little wonders the app is highly simplified and only boasts of features that are necessary for the software to be up and running.

It is a very light alternative to most of the other softwares for forum creation and yet it is performance oriented. Embracing simplicity in this regards doesn’t take away its effectiveness, from this software.

The rudimentary features for any best forum software is available, messaging boards can be created with ease, themes and plugins are made available though their functionality is reduced to the nearest minimum.

For a simple platform that is performance oriented, you need FLUXBB.


· Provides an effective performance even for those lacking experience
· It removed complexity in softwares
· Ensures you to configure plugins and themes really fast.


· The feature presented repels off inquisitive users who want to experience challenges
· There is flexibility in themes are plugin usage, they are just narrow minded.

BBPRESS – Famous WordPress Forum Software

BBPress is an open-source forum platform which is totally free to set up and use. It is built as part of the plug in system designated to work on top of the WordPress Content Management System (CMS).


The BBpress platform is compatible and supported by nearly all WordPress themes.

The developers understand the need to satisfy customers and therefore are always in constant development of the software to meet the expectation of users.

BBpress is easy to set up and some of its additional features apart from its basic features include, a step by step installer, divide forum option which helps to partition forums into clearly defined sections, an easy to setup and clean forum experience etc.


BbPress is a no-brainer for WordPress enthusiasts. If you’re familiar with the CMS, then getting this platform up and running will be easy.

Furthermore, bbPress offers excellent documentation and an active community of its own. That makes it simple for new users to pick up the platform and troubleshoot any issues that may arise


Since it’s open source, some of the features obtained on the premium versions of other softwares are lacking here

DISCOURSE – Sleek & Modern

Discourse is probably one of the softwares that appear sleek and modern.

It is a forum platform software, but a platform with a difference because it prides itself on modernity and embraces adaptation to modern ways and approaches.

best forum softwares

The basic features as expected can also be found here, but a reasonable number of its features are designed and optimized for mobile devices.

Discourse is an open source platform, though it offers forum hosting packages solely for businesses.

Some of its key features include, accessibility to your platform by users from any of their social media accounts, a well stocked extension, advanced community moderation settings and an optimized usage on touch devices


This forum platform has a decidedly modern look, providing a more current take on online forums.


Those addicted to the traditional forum structure will find this challenging

vBulletin Connect – More Use Friendly

vBulletin is not open source as it requires the purchase of a license before it is accessed.

The license cost $249 dollars and upon purchase and effecting, it offers several forum solutions, including an enterprise service and enough features to justify the price tag slam on it.

Coming with more advanced options and solutions, vbulletin connect offers the following as its features, access to its revolutionary site builder tools that can be tampered with, for the creation of a community website in a matter of minutes, wide range of themes that can be manipulated, a built in search engine optimization, an optimized version to provide smartphone users with quality experience, expanded multimedia capabilities among other astonishing features.


· Ease of handling and flexibility
· Mobile friendly
· An admin zone that’s user friendly


· Inaccessibility due to high cost of license

XENFORO – An advanced Forum Software

Xenforo is open source, ample and easy to use. It is an online forum platform that is accessible to all kinds of users either experienced or naive.

It is designed with the basic features of an online forum platform and still possess the following features, different advanced features for optimization and moderation, such as gasification, reward structures for users, which encourages them to come back as they feel accomplished for completing tasks, among others.


· A set of advanced features, e.g. gamification
· Flexibility in design
· A reward system that captures users’ attention


· It has few features

What Features Should You Look For In The Best Forum Softwares?

Most of the forum platforms are on the average, straightforward, precise and eschew clarity about the processes involved.

They require users to sign up for an account with them, create threads, follow a trend and create post replies to preceding users’ messages.

best forum softwares

Often, forums also integrate a user role management system which allows the selection of administrators and moderators who are given the task to manage the site, while the regular users have minimal permissions regarding the site management.

Recommended  20 Best Quicken Alternatives - Money Management Made Easy!

The above serves as the basis of functionality in any online forum platform, apart from the basics, there are some other notable features that you might need to look out for in selecting the best online forum software.

that will meet your demands if you’re willing to provide a competitive and reliable platform for your users which will give them experiences to look forward to, these features include:

· Profile customization options: Giving a free hand to users to customize their account profiles can tempt them to use longer time on the platform than intended.

Users feel they’re in charge and hence become bossy about the impression they pass on to those who view their profiles.

· An advanced text editor: Forums and activities revolving around it are basically text propelling, you therefore need to provide your users with powerful text editor that will always capture the inquisitive mind and also endear the passive users in creating and customizing their posts.

· Private messaging option: Because of its uniqueness, many of the online forums are all centered around public discussions because the views of the participants are important about the topic of discussion. Provision of private messaging will surely encourage interpersonal relationships amidst users.

· Comment signatures: Using signatures while commenting is a sure way to endear users to always drop comments. This signature is synonymous with their identity and help to lure them to its activities more while they have fun as well.

· Achievement systems: Another medium of increasing users’ activities on the online forum is the achievement system. A series of user levels are designed which are linked to one another.

They reward users for their activities on the forum and a certain volume of activities is attained before each level gets unlocked. All of these features may be hard to come by in a single online forum software.

But whichever software you end up picking should have features that will be in tandem with the sort of interface that you want to provide users with.

The ultimate aim of the forum should be considered and the software that best suits it or have a higher potential to help in achieving such aims should be considered.

Most forums should, however, provide modern features as many as possible to bring a closer experience to that obtainable at the social media platforms so users’ attention doesn’t get swayed.

The task of getting a forum software that best fit in is a bit hectic, hence our research into the best possible online forum softwares.

Final Words

Creating, setting up and ensuring that your website is effective all follows the acquisition of a reliable host and tools which will work in compliance to all the resources you need to achieve the objectives of setting the website up, forum creation is synonymous and follows the same trend.

However, if the quest within you is to set up a community where people from all walks of life with like minds, people who can be present at an online platform and discuss on issues that are solely pertinent to them or topics that affect them on a general note.

Then the two platforms earlier mentioned i.e. social media networks and blogs become ineffective and goes below par in satisfying your yearnings. For such yearnings as yours, your arguably best bet with close to perfect feature presentations for you is a FORUM.

A forum provides you with the opportunity to set up an online community that is designated for as many topics as you desire and also provides its users with a privilege of sharing their thoughts on a regulated platform.

Setting up a forum and getting started on it might appear to you a huge task possibly because it may be a new concept for you, but here, well hold you by the hand and take you through the step by step of setting up your forum for attaining its maximum potential.

Getting started, let me introduce you to some outstanding platforms that even a layman in this field can use in creating an online community to meet designated objectives.

In here, you will be learning about their key features and also prying into the various communities that you can effectively use any of these forums to set up. They are suitable for differing purposes which would be deciphered as you read through this write up

Without mincing words, forums are essential and rudimentary to internet and internet related activities, and no gainsaying if they are designated as the forerunner of the varying known social media communities, for instance Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Setting up of a forum software and allowing the users to effectively communicate with each other has never been easier than it is today. The only bone of contention which is not alienable solely resides on determining and identifying the best forum software to meet your set goals.

With the features the described online forum platform possesses, we hope you’ll be able to identify and make use of the best forum softwares for you.

If you liked this, you will love:

Survey Bypass Tools, Best Screen Recorders, Windows Wifi Analyzers

Rate this post