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Looking for alternatives

  • I apologize beforehand if this isn’t the proper section for this – it’s the best that I thought fit.

    I’m starting to look for alternatives to bbPress. I went with it initially because I was impressed by WordPress – so much functionality in one package, all basics included, and the offbeat requirements were largely fulfilled by third-party plugins. bbPress as a forum were also innovative, quick, and the “new generation” designed with the mistakes of current forums in mind.

    However, unlike WordPress, the basic package doesn’t quite provide the basic functionality – and having 3rd party plugins do the essential jobs needed is unreliable. For some things, there is no such plugin yet, for others the plugins are outdated, or poorly designed.

    Does anyone know of similar forums – designed to be lean, and up to date on today’s web design and technology?

    I’ve looked at a whole bunch lately, and am eyeing Vanilla right now. However any suggestions are welcome.


    edit: sigh, my ampersand is being replaced with & which leads to some trac ticket…

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • A week ago, before bbpress 1.04a I tried all forums for wordpress that I know and the only one that I could make it work was simple-forum plugin.

    I was on the point to start working on this forum but I don’t like it at all because it is too complex and because I wanted to accurately match the template of a new custom wp theme, forms, buttons…

    With simple-forum this task is a hard work as result of all its bells and wistles

    Fortunately, bbpress 1.04a came out and I can develop my projet quite easily, despite the fact that it still needs more development and perhaps more literature.

    I guess it depends on what you want a forum to do.

    Make a list of what you need, being firm with yourself to separate your WANTS from your NEEDS. For example, for me a PM system is nice, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. Whereas sharing IDs and Passwords (and cookies) with WP is a must have. Include things like ‘cost’ and support. Do you want to be able to call up the company, or is a support forum okay.

    Then check out a place like to compare some of them. Like a quick check comparing SMF, bbPress and Vanilla may help you out (see my results).

    bbPress is a young product, it’s not even ‘live’ yet, and having been there as a user for SMF back when it was YABB and then YABBSE and THEN when it moved on to SMF (not to mention IPB, the big bad daddy of fat forum software) … well, I’ve tried a lot of forums. They all start out about this level and some improve and some don’t. It’s hard to tell at this stage, but bbPress feels like it’s headed the right way to me :) I do understand why it’s not right for everyone, though!

    Yeah, I guess posting my req’s would’ve been a good start.

    The forums need to accommodate a community. The community is for a open-source program – so the forums have an ideas, support, general talk, scripting (it can be done in the program by advanced users), and an offtopic section (means embedded images and whatnot).

    Avatars, PM’s, a featureful button toolbar, support for code pastes (so no forum breaking, highlighting), post attachments, email post notifications, and support for embedded images is what’s missing for me currently. Oh, and a search bar…

    If you want to integrate the forum with wordpress latest version, you have two options; bbpress and simple-forum plugin.

    If you need a stand-alone forum I’d go for phpbb3. It has everything that a forum should have.

    I don’t need any integration, and phpbb doesn’t cut it unfortunately.

    If phpBB isn’t good, you may have to end up with a paid system. You can try SMF (free) and it may meet your needs, but past that I dunno.



    There are only two other solid options IMHO. Vbulletin and SMF.

    If you are running a commercial or for-profit site, Vbulletin, otherwise SMF.

    You will never get them to blend with an existing site however

    and writing your own plugins for either can give one brain damage.

    Vbulletin makes me want to cry, regularly. I used to use Invision (someone else paid for it) but their templating system made every upgrade a two day project. SMF similarly, though the code is much easier. That ain’t saying much :/

    Not that I think bbPress is perfect. If I had to pick anything but bbPress, I’d do SMF.

    Something about SMF’s inability to use a trusted open-source license though as a project turns me off. I’ll check it out though.

    It was a legal thing that stemmed from their split with YABB (they used to be YABBSE) and people taking their code and claiming it was theirs. How rude! YABB, by the way, stored passwords in CLEAR TEXT at the time that all went down. I think it was 8 years ago?

    Anyway, it’s not an inability, it was a decision based on a bunch of jerks. They’re good coders, and decent peoples.

    Their situation is understandable, but there are licenses that require attribution for that case.

    Anyway – SMF isn’t really fitting because it mostly seems to be a clone of the traditional forum systems. I’ll give a test install of Vanilla a try, hopefully that’ll have everything I need. There is also Phorum that I found, looks kinda interesting (thanks for that ForumMatrix)

    I run phpbb in combination with WordPress. It’s not the best package, but it’s free and looks good .



    vBulletin is installed on , they are thinking about switching and asked my opinion. Anyone knows major pros & cons of BB vs vBulletin vs SMF?

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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