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Any recommendations for forum platforms?

Discussion in 'Website Design' started by Siusaidh, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Hi,

    For one of my projects I want to set up a forum.

    Some of the parameters:
    Aesthetically pleasing.
    Nests comments in separate reply threads.
    Profile function for participants.
    Posts to be pre-modded before going public.
    Relative admin simplicity (I'm a nurse - I'm better at giving enemas than tweaking code).

    Previously I've used phpbb
    It gave me quite a headache (with help) to set up, but did work reasonably well, though I never felt quite in control - maybe I made it too complex.

    I'm basically asking if any people here have had good experiences with a forum platform that is not too mind-blowingly complex to administer. Thanks for all advice!

    Siusaidh
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    You mean like this one then? (i'd avoid phpbb, old hat).
     
  4. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I used to use SMF, but apparently it's not so well supported anymore. vBulletin is the way to go.
     
  5. DesD

    DesD Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    I have an 11k member community on SMF. The software was excellent in its day but is outdated now.

    I would look no further than the software Acorn uses (link in footer). It works very well on mobile and has the added advantage of bridging well with WordPress.
     
  6. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    I do like the layout of this forum a lot. It feels clean and I like the left column for members' details, and the Recent Posts and Threads on the right.

    But I prefer to have comments nested, up to three or four indents, so threaded conversations can be seen.

    I don't rule XenForo out if it can meet those parameters.
     
  7. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Thanks Ben and Des for your advice too. I don't use WordPress so I don't need compatibility with that platform. Have either of you got a link to your SMF sites which you feel able to share - or else I'll look for other examples. Have people here used vbulletin, and your experiences of it?
     
  8. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I wouldn't use SMF now as it's support is very lacking. It was the crème de la crème of forum software about 10 years ago. Now it's not so cool. I'd look toward vBulletin, only because it's paid and fully supported because of that fact. XenForo is also quite good but it's not as popular.
     
  9. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    I have another forum that uses vbulletin, yuck, much prefer this one.
     
  10. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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  11. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member Full Member

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    • Informative Informative x 1
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  12. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Thanks a load, all of you. And for sharing examples.

    The sort of nesting, style and functionality I would quite like to model and copy is something like this:

    An example of the sort of nesting of comments I like

    So I don't know whether the platforms you have mentioned offer nesting like that. Otherwise, I definitely like the XenForo layout that's used on Acorn.

    Do you get problems with bot and spam? I haven't seen spam posts appearing here, so is there a filter or do you have to remove manually?

    I'm wanting to develop an invitation-only forum initially, with pretty strict moderation, prior to comments being published - individual checking of each comment in advance.
     
  13. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    We get spam but it's easily manageable and we act on it quickly. There is a spam detection tool which reduces it by detection of spammy IP/ email or username, it then flags the registration and holds the account approval back for moderation. We also have a great spam deletion tool whereby if a new user turns out to be a spammer I can click one button and ALL of the users threads and posts are deleted and so is their account, with 1 click. The man to speak to is @Adam H
     
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  14. DesD

    DesD Active Member Acorn Supporter

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  15. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Hmmm... poker player...

    Memo to self: beware trying to win negotiations on price with this gentleman.

    Nice looking forum.
     
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  16. DesD

    DesD Active Member Acorn Supporter

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    Haha, recreational player at best. Decent organiser though, and holding events everywhere from the pitch of Wembley Stadium to Caesars Palace in Vegas has provided a really interesting hobby.

    We have 160k members, but most of our community work is now done through our Facebook page and group.
     
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  17. super-whois United Kingdom

    super-whois Active Member

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    I wouldn't use anything other than https://discourse.org/ myself, it's a bit of a pain to set up, but it is more modern than anything else I've seen and works extremely well.
     
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  18. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Xenforo 2 or discourse depending on your requirements and abilities, there is nothing else that can complete from all aspects from clean developement, ability to scale under load and size. Good standards in regards of scematic markup, performance and out of box SEO friendiness. Of course all aspects can be improved but but the basis is there which can't be said for most other platforms. I wouldnt even consider setting up with anything else, vbulletin I'm afriad is a ghost of its former self and wouldnt touch with a barge poll.
     
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  19. Siusaidh United Kingdom

    Siusaidh Active Member

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    Many thanks guys.

    I will investigate but I think everyone has helped.

    I love this kind of friendly support!
     
  20. gregfindley

    gregfindley Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for XenForo, I think it was started by an ex lead dev of vBulletin - which seems to have continued to go downhill in recent times.
     
  21. Ben Thomas

    Ben Thomas Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Ooh that's sexy. I see Digital Ocean have a nice little package that'll set you up on Discourse automatically. https://marketplace.digitalocean.com/apps/discourse