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WHich is the best FREE forum software?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by medusa, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. #1
    vBuletin is the best forum software, IMHO. But $160.00 is a hole in anybody's pocket...

    Which FREE forum software is comparable to vBulletin in features and aesthetics? I am planning to start a forum on medical education, but do not want to start with vBuletin directly. If I use any other FREE program, can I switch to vBulletin later without losing content and userbase?

    Thanks
     
    medusa, Sep 18, 2005 IP
  2. alext

    alext Active Member

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    #2
    I am no expect on forum software, but I don't see any replies yet...

    My understanding is that phpbb is considered the best free forum software.
     
    alext, Sep 18, 2005 IP
  3. subseo

    subseo Guest

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    #3
    I would say simplemachines.org is near. Also, I think that VBulletin has an importer/converter for SM database. Apart from that, VB have also importers for many other boards, if you want to transfer later, just make sure the one you choose is on the list. Also phpBB comes to my mind, I wouldn't choose it myself, but it has lots of functions and people are used to it as it is very popular free board.
     
    subseo, Sep 18, 2005 IP
  4. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Well-Known Member

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    #4
    PHPBB is great and easy to use, but boy are the updates a PITA if you have modded your forum. You are also worried about the constant hacking that goes on with it. That said, I use it and love it :)
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Sep 18, 2005 IP
  5. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #5
    I'd be interested in opinions on SimpleBoard which is designed to be integrated with Mambo (& Joomla?) sites
     
    sarahk, Sep 18, 2005 IP
  6. programmer

    programmer Guest

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    #6
    that's it phpBB is the best one and if you install proper mods you can make it much better then vbulletin ( its my thinking ).
     
    programmer, Sep 18, 2005 IP
  7. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #7
    OWG, do yourself a favor and install the latest version of EasyMod. Do that and the updates are a 1 minute or less snap.
     
    minstrel, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  8. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Well-Known Member

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    #8
    I am playing with easy mod, but it killd my test forum :(
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  9. bentong

    bentong Banned

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    #9
    http://mybboard.com
     
    bentong, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  10. Skeleton

    Skeleton Peon

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    #10
    Try Simple Machines. The best feature of this forum software is that it is XHTML and CSS validated.
     
    Skeleton, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  11. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #11
    What did it do? I have a total of four forums I'm maintaining, two quite heavily modded, and EasyMod hasn't hurt any of them.
     
    minstrel, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  12. yfs1

    yfs1 User Title Not Found

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    #12
    I had easy Mod completely bring down a board once and ever since I do my Mods by hand.

    It is a great tool but if it makes one mistake it can take a long time to find it.
     
    yfs1, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  13. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Well-Known Member

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    #13
    I uploaded it, and then I totally lost access to my admin section. All i get now is a 404 error. I am going to pull the board down, reinstall it, copy the files over again and see what happens. The forum istelf is working ok (or appears to be anyhow)

    Out of curiosity, how do you get at easymod once it is installed?
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  14. yfs1

    yfs1 User Title Not Found

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    #14
    It should be in your Admin Panel
     
    yfs1, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  15. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Well-Known Member

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    #15
    Seeing as it broke my admin panel I am up a gum tree then :D
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  16. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #16
    Since EasyMod creates an automatic backup of every file it modifies, as long as you have FTP access all you need do is download the backup files and reupload to the server to reverse any changes. The best strategy is to make sure you test the board thoroughly after installing any new MOD before adding a second MOD.

    As for it dumping your admin panel, OWG, do you mean during the installation?

    I started using EasyMod when it was an alpha release (had to do the SQL changes manually back then). I've had some MODs mess things up (remember, this IS open source and not all mods are created equal) but I've never seen EasyMod itself mess anything up.
     
    minstrel, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  17. yfs1

    yfs1 User Title Not Found

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    #17
    I will clarify that that is what I meant. A Mod which was signed off on brought down the board, not EasyMod itself. There was a stupid mistake in the Mod which if I was doing it by hand, I would have easily noticed. Unfortunately it started a chain of events that took hours to fix.

    I have tried reversing a Mod but it never seems to work :confused:
     
    yfs1, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  18. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #18
    Once you apply a MOD using easyMod, look in the {forum root}\admin\mods\{modname}\backup folder via any FTP program. You will see all the oriiginal files there backed up as {filename}.tpl.bak or {filename}.php.bak -- all you need do is FTP those back to your hard drive, remove the .bak part of the extension, determine which folder they should go in (from the MOD file, which will usually end in either .txt or .mod --), and then reupload ALL the original/unchanged files from those backup files. At that point, your forum is restored to whatever state it was in PRIOR to the application of the MOD.

    If the MOD comes with any NEW files (not previously in the installation), track those down and delete them via FTP.
     
    minstrel, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  19. Will.Spencer

    Will.Spencer NetBuilder

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    #19
    The best feature of phpBB is the enormous user support community.
     
    Will.Spencer, Sep 19, 2005 IP
  20. vbgamer45

    vbgamer45 Member

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    #20
    I recommend using SMF Forums from http://www.simplemachines.org

    I just out about this software in the last couple months and it is great. I have been converting all my phpbb boards to SMF, mainly tired of doing the updates and not really seeing any major progress with phpBB.

    For these reasons I think SMF is the best free forum software.
    -Many of the phpBB mods are standard features of SMF and which can be turned on and off.
    -Includes Subforums, attachments, karma system
    -Excellent mod system. You can download mods and then install them with a single click without editing any files.
    -Better template system, allows you to have more control and toggle features on and off.
    -Only a single security flaw in two years.
     
    vbgamer45, Sep 19, 2005 IP