The Design of Software (CLOSED)

A public forum for discussing the design of software, from the user interface to the code architecture. Now closed.

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Looking to Setup a Forum

I'm looking to setup a forum (mainly for "tech-support" reasons for my desktop application).

I'd like to hear any recommendations people have for forum software! I'm a good C++ developer, but my web development is very limited (I can edit HTML and modify existing code, but I've never written new code for the web), so I'm looking for something REALLY easy to setup.

So far the best I've seen are:

1)Web Wiz[^]

2)Instant ASP[^]

I'd like a "hosted" version if possible, or for "non-hosted" I'd like to use if possible, as I already have a website there.

As long as it's < $1000 cost isn't a big issue.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!


Warren Stevens Send private email
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Do you like this forum?

If you do, then you can buy FogBugz hosting from ValiantHost (no affiliation with him, the owner is regular in Business Of Software forum) and buy FogBugz for 100$. The ValiantHost folks will set up the Fogbugz for you! :)
JD Send private email
Thursday, January 12, 2006
JD Send private email
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I wonder what InstantASP's license transfer policy is because I bought full licenses to both their forums and their KB products but no longer intend to use them. We looked at them all and they were the best avialable, but it turns out that we're not setting up that site any longer. If a license transfer is ok with them I'd sell them to you cheap if you'd like.
--Josh Send private email
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Wait for me to finish!! I'm creating something that's way better than anything else out there. And no, it's not a steaming pile of ad-filled crap and it's not free either. :)

oh well.. it's going to be 6 months anyway.
oh noooo!
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I need a few more options (like "sticky" topics), so I need something with a few more features than this board (although I thought about this one - and it was very close to being what I needed).

"...If a license transfer is ok with them I'd sell them to you cheap if you'd like..."

I just found the installation service on their site, so I think I'm going to use that (and I'll have to buy a licence from them to get that).

- oh noooo!

Sorry, I can't wait 6 months for you - but then again I won't be the last person looking for this either.

"...and it's not free either..." <-- Good idea, there is so much free buy crap forums out there.

My advice would be to focus on making it SIMPLE to setup. That's my main complaint at this point. Forget having 8 billion features, just make it easy to start using it.

Warren Stevens Send private email
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I used PHPbb ( for my forum on my site. I set it up the other week and it took about 10 minutes. It's free and you can run it on your own hosting server. Needs Mysql and php support for your hosting though.

Check out my website from the link below and click on forum to see it in action.
Steve Haunts Send private email
Friday, January 13, 2006
I've had okay luck with PHPBB. It's free and open source and it's got more features than I can keep track of. It's template driven so you can customize L&F. The code's kind of convoluted though. for instance the login mechanism makes my head spin.
Rowland Send private email
Friday, January 13, 2006
I didn't make any code changes to phpbb. I just used it straight out the box. The only thing i changed was the template to make it fit the look of my website more.
Steve Haunts Send private email
Friday, January 13, 2006
If you check out Programmers Corner

And then look at their forums, you can see where we modified a template for phpBB to match the rest of the site.  They blend really well.  The only thing to watch out for with phpBB (as with any popular product) is make sure you keep your forums up-to-date.

We got crashed once by some stupid script-kiddie who exploited a bug in the board software.
Eric D. Burdo Send private email
Friday, January 13, 2006
Another Fogbugz host:
Bob Walsh Send private email
Friday, January 13, 2006
I spent quite a bit of time about 4 years back evaluating Forum software as I needed to move to something better than I was running at the time. In the end I went with vBulletin and remain pleased with that decision.

phpBB didn't have enough control for what I needed and I didn't much like it. The other commercial program which came second was Invision Board.

There are a few new players these days and some CMS packages have Forums, but I've not realy tried to keep abreast of the why's and the wherefor's.

vBulletin is used by some of the very big forums, is well supported and reasonably priced. Hard to go past IMO.

Mine is at in case you're interested.
Neville Franks Send private email
Saturday, January 14, 2006
I've run Ultimate Bulletin Board, phpBB, and vBulletin all on high-traffic sites, and I've been happy with none of them.  Both phpBB and vBulletin have terrible security records.  We got hacked 3 times on phpBB before I gave up on it and switched to something else.  With vBulletin, I swear I get "URGENT SECURITY NOTICE" emails twice a week.  Nobody takes security seriously when they write the software to begin with, it's always an afterthought.

Ultimate Bulletin Board was okay, we used a really old version for a long time and had minimal problems.  But it was a pain to back up and all the threads were stored in flat files.  It was also very difficult to change the look & feel.
Monday, January 16, 2006
I like the flickr board. They are clean and attractive.
son of parnas
Monday, January 16, 2006
Check out Simple Machines
Dave Send private email
Thursday, January 26, 2006

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