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What is the best free forum hosting website ?

Discussion in 'Web Hosting' started by UnitedKingS, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. #1
    Hello !! , That's my first post here is this forum :D , and i think it's a really pretty forum aswell . Well , after some long search for the best section to post this topic :cool: , here i am ..

    I'm going to make a game fan forum .I searched alot for some free forum hosting websites , some said invision free and some suggested other websites but they never tell me why :confused: ?? they just say this one is the best and that one is really really good ...

    Anyway i would like to know what is the best free forum hosting website?
    SEMrush
    and i really want it to support these features :
    -Banning Users or ip .
    -Having Poll or Vote system(It would be great if it will be on it :D )
    -Edit/Delete Posts .
    -Assign Member Titles/Rank (ViP , ETC )
    -Assign Moderators .
    -Lock Threads, Topics .
    -Changing the member's Color , for Vip members , Moderators , Admins ETC .
    -Pin Threading/Sticky
    -Support Images posts .
    -Support quoting !

    I found these 4 forum hosting :
    http://www.proboards.com/
    http://www.zetaboards.com
    http://www.forumotion.com/
    http://www.invisionfree.com/

    But i was wondering which one of those that support these features ?
    And If any one knows a free forum please tell me the possible one to choose .

    Thank you .
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
    UnitedKingS, Jun 16, 2013 IP
    SEMrush
  2. JoshSmith100

    JoshSmith100 Active Member

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    #2
    Proboards is by far your best option when it comes to free forum hosting. They have pretty good support, relatively easy to use and have all the features you listed. I used proboards for a good amount of years and never had a problem with it.
     
    JoshSmith100, Jun 16, 2013 IP
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  3. UnitedKingS

    UnitedKingS Greenhorn

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    #3
    Thank you for your reply :)
    I have found a nice compare : http://www.forum-software.org/forum-comparator/forumotion-vs-proboards-vs-zetaboards
    It seems that Forumtion wins a little bit and i just found that Proboard have ads :( , while forumotion not . Does any one have a second thought about forumotion ?
     
    UnitedKingS, Jun 16, 2013 IP
  4. hosting_spec80

    hosting_spec80 Active Member

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    #4
    Invision powerboard and PHPBBForum are both a good choice.
     
    hosting_spec80, Jun 16, 2013 IP
  5. JoshSmith100

    JoshSmith100 Active Member

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    #5
    Why dont you think ProBoards is a good choice?Just curious on why you dont like it.
     
    JoshSmith100, Jun 16, 2013 IP
  6. hosting_spec80

    hosting_spec80 Active Member

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    #6
    I didn't say that I don't like it, I simply didn't use ProBoards before and that is why I didn't mention it.
     
    hosting_spec80, Jun 17, 2013 IP
  7. UnitedKingS

    UnitedKingS Greenhorn

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    #7
    Well , i don't really like to have some ads on my forum as in ProBoards and i already found that invisionfree
    doesn't support some features which i really want :oops: ... I just want to make an easy forum ,it won't be a bussines one :D . I searched for a compare as i mentioned before and i found that Forumotion have some more features like :
    Costum BBCodes - Costum profile fields , no ads , Support many Languages !!

    and some options which i don't really know what does it mean :
    Syntax highlighting <-- for coloring texts ? , friendly URL ,UFT-8 support , W3C Norms , RSS 2.0 Payment subscripation and Task schaduler .

    and all of these stuffs Proboards doesn't support :D except this option which is not in forumotion :
    Global moderator , which i don't know what does it mean either :S .

    Can any one make me a clear suggestion ? because right now i find that forumotion is a good one and i have to choose one today.
    Thank you all for your help :) .
     
    UnitedKingS, Jun 17, 2013 IP
  8. Luna89

    Luna89 Peon

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    #8
    Hello,

    My answer is maybe too late. But I advise you Forumotion.
    First, because it is free but also very easy to use. You have many option and the ProStaff and volunteers are very available all day (and night long)
    You don't want to have ads displayed on your forum? You can remove it. :)
    Hope it will help you

    Luna
     
    Luna89, Oct 9, 2013 IP
  9. MalcsPost

    MalcsPost Peon

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    #9
    Hi all,
    I think this information can be useful for you. Here is a good free web hosting provider
    They provide hosting absolutely free, there is no catch. You get 1500 MB of disk space and 100 GB bandwidth. They also have cPanel control panel which is amazing and easy to use website builder. Moreover, there is no any kind of advertising on your pages.
    You can register here: http://www.000webhost.com
    Make sure you press the Free button, try it out for as long as you like. You can always upgrade if you need extras but for most people the free Hosting is more than sufficient.
     
    MalcsPost, Jan 1, 2014 IP
    website1337 likes this.
  10. matt_62

    matt_62 Notable Member

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    #10
    I think I have tried out 3 of the free forum places that you have listed, and while I do not remember all of their features, I know that some of them were very good, but I also remember that some had an ad free period, and after that, it was *horrible*. You can expect alot of ads on your forum, and it might not be nice depending on what you are doing.

    BUT, is your site for fun? or a hobby site? Like for a gaming group? If so, its probly ok to go with a free forum hosting place, and have a free domain, but If this is something real, you might be better off to join a real hosting company, where you can install the forum of your choice, (like SMF forum software, or PHPBB forum software)

    One reason why I would prefer to go for this route, is that a free platform is never fully guaranteed. If you want to move later, the free domain is owned by them, not by you. I would prefer to get a domain name from namecheap, thats your domain, you control it. And then look for a host to choose.

    There are advantages of the free forum places, that said, sometimes if you look at what you need, costs for upgrades (or even ad removal), plus the loss of complete control as there are things you cannot do, it might be better to look at having your own domain name, and hosting with someone else. Nearly every host has 1 click software installers, where you can install a forum very quickly.

    Reaslistically though, you need to signup and try it out, and weigh up your options before you commit to really adding alot of content onto the forum. I would also recommend asking support about what happens if you decide to move your free forum, to a paid platform. Some free forums will provide support for this, others will make it impossible.

    From your list though, http://www.forumotion.com/ was the best. But again, I dont remember all its specific features, and its been years since I last tried it out.
     
    matt_62, Jan 1, 2014 IP
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  11. WSWD

    WSWD Well-Known Member

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    #11
    Matt makes a lot of sense here.

    The biggest issue with free forum hosting is that many of them make it impossible to move once you forum gets big and you decide to use your own hosting. You will likely have to pay them all sorts of money.

    As far as the ads are concerned, if you are going to have ads placed all over your forum, why not just buy a paid hosting plan and put the ads there yourself? That will help offset the cost of the hosting, instead of having all that money going into somebody else's pocket.
     
    WSWD, Jan 2, 2014 IP
  12. XiNiX

    XiNiX Well-Known Member

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    #12
    I rec
    I strongly recommend you to get a FREE HOSTING and use MyBB/phpBB as your forum software. You will have better control, customization and plugin support.

    Plz in future as you grow, you can change to a better server eaisily.
     
    XiNiX, Jan 7, 2014 IP
  13. Seraphyx

    Seraphyx Peon

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    #13
    I have recently been searching for some good forums as well and I'm not having too much luck finding anything decent. What I was personally looking for is a pretty good repository of quality plugins/themes (user created or not) and a lot of basic functionality and customization options (change board colors, css, etc...). Plugins not necessary but it would be a huge plus.

    It seems like proboards is the closest to what I want from forums, HOWEVER (a very big however), the ads they put on your forums are absolutely insane and unreasonable. Not only do they have this "badge" system where users can spend real money to gift other users badges (it's misleading in my opinion, it does not say the money goes to proboards rather than the people who created the forums, and removing it is against their policy so they'll shut you down) and not only do they have banner ads and several lines of text ads in your footer, but they ALSO sometimes seem to play video ads when a user tries to login... The amount of ads they put is just plain shameless.

    I absolutely hate this because everything else about proboards is fantastic. They have very good and very user friendly customization options, a pretty good repository of mods, plugins, themes, etc... but the ads completely ruin it. It's so bad that I would even go as far as telling my users to just use adblock on my forums... That's my only issue with proboards and because of that reason alone I don't think I can bring myself to use it.

    I recently got myBB and it seems pretty good, the themes aren't bad but their website and organization/search filters are pretty terrible. People can also rate mods and themes without leaving a review which means a mod or theme that looks good to you might be rated 1 star and you have no idea why that is so it falls on you to figure it out if you want to waste your time checking and testing it yourself. And as far as mods go a lot of them seem much lower quality than what you'd find on proboards and again, they seem poorly organized and there's no way to filter results at all so it makes it tedious trying to find anything.

    I am tempted to just use phpBB but I've heard it has a lot of security holes and a friend of mine who has been running their forums for the past 5-10 years on phpBB has had tons and tons of problems with spam bots despite their best effort to keep them out and under control.

    Honestly, I don't know what to do. Maybe I will just stick with proboards despite their incredibly aggressive use of ads and other money driven features that you can't remove but I don't like it. Yes it's free but it shouldn't mean that it also has to create a negative or undesirable experience for users. I can't possibly recommend proboards if you want free forums unless you simply don't care about the potentially negative user experience due to aggressive ads, if you are looking to spend a bit of money maybe it's worth it but I would search out other non-free forum software first to see how they compare.
     
    Seraphyx, Jan 10, 2014 IP
  14. website1337

    website1337 Active Member

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    #14
    I would really suggest using a free hosting website such as 000webhost.com or hostinger.se. It gives you the big freedom of having full control over everything, which makes upgrading/changing host really easy. You can make backups of your whole database to an sql file and then you have all the content and users on the forum in one file so i you want to switch host / forum system it's really easy to keep everything. Use PhpBB forum system or something similar. Then you can download plugins for those features you want that doesn't exist in the forum system originally. If your site gets big your'e definitely want to have that sql file so you can switch to premium servers.

    If your really hardcore and have a lot of time you can code the forum yourself. I did it once and it took a long time, like many weeks. But the reward I got was performance, since the code was custom made to fit only the functions I needed.

    Anyway good luck! Don't forget to post the forum link here when it's complete.
     
    website1337, Jan 14, 2014 IP
  15. Luna89

    Luna89 Peon

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    #15
    Hello,

    My final decision is Forumotion. The staff is available 7/7 24/24 and it is very easy to use. http://www.forumotion.com/
    Many thanks for all your comments. It was very useful.

    ;)
     
    Luna89, Mar 24, 2014 IP
  16. KatnissEverdeen

    KatnissEverdeen Active Member

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    #16
    I have used forumotion before and never had any problems. Pretty sure it has all the features you are looking for. It is very easy to use. It is what I would recommend for you to use if you don't want to host it yourself.

    I have recently switched to hosting my own forum. Here's a link if you would like to check it out. Thanks. http://geek-2-geek.com
     
    KatnissEverdeen, Apr 21, 2015 IP
  17. webmaster44

    webmaster44 Member

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    #17
    When you go for free forum hosting, you can get all the necessary features you need. They will definitely keep some restrictions between free users and premium members. Now you have two options,, go for free forum hosting with some restricted features. Or else use your own hosting and install forum script in your control panel. Here you can use free hosting or paid hosting, its your wish. If you don't require much disk space and bandwidth then better to use free hosting.
     
    webmaster44, Apr 21, 2015 IP
  18. Isadore Kelly

    Isadore Kelly Peon

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    #18
    If you want to create a forum for free, there is a good service
    http://mybb.us
     
    Isadore Kelly, Jul 3, 2015 IP
  19. [ET]Alexander

    [ET]Alexander Well-Known Member

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    #19
    I recommend you just pay the $30-40 for a year of web hosting and host your own Forum, if not because using one of these free services not only looks unprofessional and are impossible to migrate, but also the fact you're limited in what you can do to customize said forum. $30-40 is nothing if you expect that you *might* generate some sort of revenue be it from advertising or donations the community provide you with to support the forum (which they will if they like the community).

    FREE is never the answer when it comes to something you plan on putting so much work and effort in to.
     
    [ET]Alexander, Jul 4, 2015 IP
  20. Sharebeast

    Sharebeast Banned

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    #20
    zetaboards.
     
    Sharebeast, Jan 26, 2016 IP