Forums are the most important one to improve online communities. It is the best way to improve official websites and blogs. Many forum software available online. But new users really confused to choose right one for their websites.

Because each bloggers suggest different forum software. In fact many one not try any forum software. So we can’t choose right one at beginning.

Moving your threads and users in one forum to another forum is not easy. So i am decide to write this post to provide better guidelines for your online forum.

XenForo – Better choice for Web Developers.

XenForo is a best one to design community forums.

Advantages:

  • It provide many add-ons
  • Large community have many developers to solve problems.
  • Fully SEO friendly design ( They designed theme using CSS sprites & minum amount of .js & css files)
  • Responsive Theme.
  • You can easily customize styles & design in admin panel.

Disadvantages:

  • If you need to install your add-ons, you need to put each add-on files in your hosting folder(If it not contain .xml file only).
  • Redirecting deleted forum urls is not easy.
  • Creating menus need Add-ons.
  • XenForo have many features. But its hard to learn at beginning.

So its not suitable for beginners who not know web design.

vBulletin – suitable for ordinary users & designers

Advantages:

  • User friendly admin panel.
  • Now available in responsive web design.
  • Many old forums running under vBulletin. So they already solve many kind of problems.
  • Many themes now available for vBulletin.

Disadvantages:

  • You can’t get additonal support in theme, plugin and style modification compare to XenForo.

IP.Board – Best for Newbies

Advantages:

  • You can create various blogs in your forum
  • Attractive look.

Disadvantages:

  • Default IP.Board theme is good. But if you need many IP.Board themes, they are premium.
  • Compare to XenForo its not have best web developer community.
  • It have some bugs. Some modes not working.

phpBB (free) – Suitable for begginers

Advantages:

  • Free forum software

Disadvantages:

  • Attractive phpBB themes are premium
  • Installing Add-on is not easy one. Each Add-on take lot of time.
  • Making SEO friendly url is really hart one.
  • You can’t easily make Facebook & twitter logins.

MyBB – Best Free and opensource forum software

Advantages:

  • Many Free and Best Themes, plugins avilable
  • Easy user interface
  • You can create you own template.
  • SEO friendly urls

Disadvantages:

  • Responsive web design themes not available now
  • proper SEO plugins not available
  • Some features provide old internet site looking.

Vanilla Forums – Best For Easy Administration

Advantages:

  • Easily sign in using Facebook, twitter and Google login
  • Blog like look
  • Free Add-ons

Disadvantages:

  • It’s provide question & answer site look.
  • Some time it make lot of troubles.

Finally if you want to build best & SEO friendly forums and you can spend money for that, use XenForo, vBulletin or IP.Board. If you need free forum software use MyBB or Vanilla forums.