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Best Free forum software from a performance perspective

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Danny, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. #1
    Hi,

    I know there are always a lot of questions on which is the best forum software, however I am currently on the look out for which one has the best performance. I don't need massively feature rich forums, just something that operates smoothly and with the best overall performance and least drain on resources.

    I currently use SMF 1.1.11. It has more than enough feautures in fact more than I need. However it doesn't always perform the best under load and I get some regular dropouts when my forum gets too busy.

    Some info on my forum and setup
    - Database size - Approx 180Mb
    - most users are around 140 at a time, and thats fairly average
    - Server Quad core - 768Mb Ram

    I want to find the best balance between everything and want to minimize the dropouts but in my experience, SMF tends to cause a fair few drains on resource.

    So I am looking at all free options again but finding hard facts are hard.

    So does anyone have any or have they done any benchmarking on the options out there?

    Oh I also use Joomla for my main site framework, and am considering Kunena, but my thoughts on fully integrated solutions generally are that the performance just isnt there.

    The main feature I need is fully private forums also. So i can have a few select hidden forums.

    I find that SMF is pretty good but once loads increase the memory consumption can go through the roof, even with all the advised tweaking etc. I am thinking about moving to SMF 2 to "see" if that helps but facts would help tremendously.

    Anyway your suggestions are appreciated.
    SEMrush
    Dan
     
    Danny, Aug 4, 2010 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Techmafia

    Techmafia Member

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    #2
    Sorry to drop into it

    but even i need this advice

    i am looking for PHPBB 3.0.7 as its open source and with loads of mods + themes + Support

    and how to chosse the best from free Forum softwares would be good if anyone could help (From Performance perspective )
     
    Techmafia, Aug 14, 2010 IP
  3. -Aw-

    -Aw- Active Member

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    #3
    MyBB is an excellent forum software, with AJAX to reduce pageloads, and overall a feature-packed yet lighter package than phpBB (along with the fact that our plugin system is much more efficient than file editing and/or AutoMOD), why not give MyBB a chance?
     
    -Aw-, Aug 14, 2010 IP
  4. Techmafia

    Techmafia Member

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    #4
    i tried installing myBB on my localhost

    everything went smooth

    loved initial template

    but styles is what MyBB is missing and that is one of the IMP factor for me :(
     
    Techmafia, Aug 14, 2010 IP
  5. Nuno Brito

    Nuno Brito Active Member

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    #5
    Well, the good part is that styles can be ported from vBulletin onto myBB with relative ease. Just choose one that you like and ask around DP for someone to volunteer doing the port in exchange for allowing the link to be placed on the footer if you don't want to spend any money.

    I'm also partial to myBB, been using IPB for several years on a big board (200k unique visitors and half-million pageviews per month) and I'm preparing for the change after testing on smaller sites of mine and seeing how it works on bigger boards.

    --------

    To improve memory consumption, try using Lighttpd instead of Apache. This brought to my forum a huge speed improvement. If pages are served faster, the memory used by each connection is also released faster.

    Using PHP cache and page compression is also a powerful ally. Also, try hosting all images outside of your server as this will speed up loading of the page and move away the extra load on your server.

    This can be done also for the theme images. If your forum is only serving a HTML page and no images, you'll notice a serious performance increase as well.

    So, try these up before moving to MyBB or anywhere else. If they're not enough, at least it is not wasted time as you can use them with any other forum system as well.
     
    Nuno Brito, Aug 15, 2010 IP
  6. Danny

    Danny Active Member

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    #6
    Mybb seems like the way to go for mine as well. I have been keeping a close eye on it for some time now. An I have liked what I have so far seen.

    I mocked up a design for my site to and it was pretty easy to include. I also like that there is a vBookie mod something my members have been pestering me about for months and I just havent gotten around to writing.

    Thanks for the suggestions
     
    Danny, Aug 15, 2010 IP
  7. ~kev~

    ~kev~ Well-Known Member

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    #7
    If your looking for free, I suggest you look at mybb. In fact, mybb just released an update that was supposed to add some new stuff.

    If your looking for paid software, take a look at XenForo - http://xenforo.com/community/ It looks promising, but its still in the development phases.
     
    ~kev~, Aug 17, 2010 IP
  8. TheMostCreative

    TheMostCreative Active Member

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    #8
    Mybb has it all and doesn't need anything proof : http://iseotalk.com ( made it like 4 days ago )
     
    TheMostCreative, Aug 19, 2010 IP
  9. Techmafia

    Techmafia Member

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    #9
    is that a theme?

    free one?
     
    Techmafia, Aug 19, 2010 IP
  10. TheMostCreative

    TheMostCreative Active Member

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    #10
    I dont know i got it from a friend.
     
    TheMostCreative, Aug 19, 2010 IP
  11. Techmafia

    Techmafia Member

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    #11
    can u give me the link (If free )
     
    Techmafia, Aug 19, 2010 IP
  12. TheMostCreative

    TheMostCreative Active Member

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    #12
    Sorry can't, its free but i can't get you link because i dont have it
     
    TheMostCreative, Aug 19, 2010 IP
  13. borbole

    borbole Greenhorn

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    #13
    MyBB is the best forum among the free forum scripts. You can customize it with ease to how you like.
     
    borbole, Aug 19, 2010 IP
  14. RectangleMan

    RectangleMan Notable Member

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    #14
    You only need one style. Custom mybb themes can be done dirt cheap compared to VB or IPB. Typically $40-$100 gets you a decent custom theme. That's very reasonable. I've even converted phpbb and VB themes to MyBB as long as the theme was licensed to the end-user.

    MyBB will certainly be one of the best for resources. I know for fact that SMF code is not optimized very well for large forums. Some of the features they have as default are simply resource hogs.

    I could run a site 2 times that size with a MyBB forum with lots of plugins installed.

    btw MyBB just released version 1.6 with more bells and whistles.
     
    RectangleMan, Aug 19, 2010 IP
  15. Poupoutane

    Poupoutane Active Member

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    #15
    with today hosting and isp, the performance does not really depends on the script used to run the forum, but rather on the number of UV that frequent it. Free scripts are numerous, do not worry about the performance of the script if you have less than 100 simultaneous visitors (and consider being Happy if you sustain such a frequentation for a whole day)
     
    Poupoutane, Aug 23, 2010 IP
  16. madaboutart

    madaboutart Peon

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    #16
    I too liked myBB forum software and found the script easy to install and customize... You need a lot of time with forums these days or good mod support though, I had to close mine down with not enough time to sort out the spam posts!
     
    madaboutart, Aug 23, 2010 IP
  17. dynashox

    dynashox Premium Member Staff

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    #17
    dynashox, Aug 23, 2010 IP
  18. Nuno Brito

    Nuno Brito Active Member

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    #18
    Come on, you close down a forum because of spam? Add better registration measures, delete ghost members. But you're right, closing down the forum will surely close down spam as well.. :cool:


    To be honest, performance is a term that depends on the eye of the beholder.

    What do you mean by "performance"?

    Do you mean that is runs faster? If this is the case, are you aware that some forums are true hogs to be loaded under dial-up modems while others use more fancy ajax routines that are a blessing from heaven?

    Performance could also be the degree of attractiveness of a given forum to convince people to join. Wouldn't this also depend on the forum software that you use?

    Or by performance you mean memory wise where some forums will seem to slurp away all the RAM available on the machine every time a bot decides to crawl up the pages for indexing.

    The term "performance" is tricky, saying that the forum "script" doesn't really matter when the forum is small does not entail the truth as a "good" forum script can indeed be decisive to bring a forum to popularity.
     
    Nuno Brito, Aug 24, 2010 IP
  19. RectangleMan

    RectangleMan Notable Member

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    #19
    Serving the pages efficiently with the best possible usage of resources like bandwidth and cpu.

    No...performance is something measurable. We're discussing the forum software here which gets installed on a server not the ability of a forum owner to market and manage their site. You don't have to be a race car driver to own a Ford Mustang or to compare it with a Chevy Camaro.

    But that's not the context it's being discussed here. No one but you has mentioned layout.

    Read OP again.

     
    RectangleMan, Aug 24, 2010 IP