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7 Best Forum Software for Online Communities

Forum Software

vBulletin offers robust plugins and themes that enable companies to build feature-rich online Forum Software. It comes with SEO tools, engagement features powered by AI, advanced security, and powerful moderation options.

1.   PhpBB

phpBB is an open-source forum software solution that rivals vBulletin for one of the top spots in the community forum industry. It has an outdated look and only offers message board functions, but its advanced package manager allows for easy customization.

phpBB has the functionality you need to build and scale a community of engaged members. Its gamification and reputation-scoring features reward members for valuable contributions. Its other features include social sign-in, notifications, mobile optimized, user profiles, moderation tools, and spam blocking.

2.   XenForo

XenForo provides a premium community experience with unrivaled reliability, flexible deployment and data security. Members benefit from a wide selection of add-ons and core functionality including a rich activity feed.

XenForo has built in SEO tools to help drive more visitors to your site. The platform is easily extendable with a large selection of addons found in the resource manager. Users can personalize their content and account profile pages with an easy to use color changer.

Built-in categories make it easy for users to find content that is relevant to them. It also allows you to create subscription plans to monetize your forum.

3.   Discourse

Discourse is a free, open-source community forum with plenty of features and functionality. It’s available to host on your own or as an all-in-one platform for a monthly fee.

Look for a community tool that offers a wide range of customization options to ensure it’s aligned with your visual branding. Also consider tools that support mobile devices and social log-in for added user convenience.

The open-source platform is widely chosen for its gamification features and polished message boards. It also offers an advanced management dashboard and a wide range of marketing integration options.

Modern forum software must-have features that entice users to stay active on your community. These include quality-of-life improvements like user profiles and email notifications. Some also have community growth functions that make it easier for new members to join.

4.   Flarum

Flarum is a new forum software that prioritizes user interface customizability and functionality. Their forum platform is used by companies like GiffGaff as a peer support community for customers and helps them reduce ticket volume and improve customer support read more.

Look for forum software tools that offer features like social sign-in integrations, polls & voting, and private messaging to enhance the consumer experience. Additionally, consider gamification features to encourage engagement.

5.   Drupal

Drupal offers a mobile-friendly forum solution that allows users to create communities and forums with ease. It features discussion-specific notifications, a reputation system, private messaging, and social sign-in options.

The community-building software also includes features like a community dashboard, personal profiles, following and news feeds, upvotes, and reactions. It also converts every post into a ticket and imports them into a centralized support inbox.

6.   FluxBB

FluxBB is designed as a lighter, faster alternative to some of the more traditional feature heavy forum applications. It is easy to use and has a proven track record of stability and security making it a great choice for your online community.

Most forums face continuous attack from spammers. Be sure to check how well each system is geared for defense.

Unlike Bettermode, inSided is more geared towards B2B SaaS and subscription-based companies looking to scale customer success. The platform caters to the needs of these businesses by focusing on a specialized product and a community that helps them improve client support and increase conversions.

Moreover, it offers customizable branding and a robust Design Studio. However, the focus on B2B SaaS and subscription-based industries may limit the platform’s functionality for some users.

7.   Tokister

Tokister is an open source forum software solution with a mature plugin system to extend functionality. It features single sign-on, social sharing, real time updates, live chat, mobile compatibility and gamification plugin extensions.

Final Thoughts:

Use our buyer’s guide to compare Tokister with other solutions. Our advisors have gathered 300 insights from buyers to help you assess how Tokister fits your community management needs.

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