Those who are running an online business or have their own website invariably have to participate in various forum discussions and have to post their comments. To make a successful discussion forum capable of hosting thousands of visitors every day, handling thousands of messages, and making money out of it, you have to take the help of a special type of software called internet forum software.

While hosting a successful internet discussion forum, there are lots of factors to consider. Firstly, take the server speed. You require an impressive server speed capable of coping with loads of visitors. In addition, you should also look at your site safety. The internet forum software that you use should protect your site adequately. Keeping these and other aspects in mind, we will have a comparative survey of some of the best internet forum software available, and check out how they rank in terms of all the vital aspects.

The top-rated and widely used forum software is vBulletin, PhpBB and SMF. If you are looking to invest in forum software to fire up your discussion forum, it will be prudent to first check out how all the three software compare with each other, and then select the one that is most suitable for your requirements.

vBulletin is a widely used Internet forum software, which can be run on any machine that supports MySQL and PHP (eg. Solaris, Linux, Mac, Windows, BSD).The best feature of vBulletin is its ease of use. It is the most viable option for those who are new to web development and programming. Apart from being extremely secure, it also features some out-of-the-box SEO products which add more SEO value to your forum, and are very easy to use too.

Here we will compare the pros and cons of SMF and Phpbb.

SMF:

pros:
– The installation/un-installation of additional mods is performed by an automatic package manager
– Option to show the query count/page
– supports numerous languages all at once
– Cookie and session based validation
– Full and partial word censoring
– spell checker

Cons:
– Doesn’t support custom BBCode buttons
– No user rating
– No customizable profile fields
– No custom private message filters
– No search flood control

PhpBB:

Pros:
– It has many free mods, plugins and templates
– supports MSSQL, MySQL, and PostgreSQL database engines
– Password protected forums
– Search flood control
– Sorting of posts
– Private message filters that can be customized

Cons:
– No automatic mod installer
– No HTML in posts
– The setting up of some of the supplementary mods may need more sophisticated encoding skills
– No user rating
– No RSS

Our recommendation is elect to choose one quickly and get on track to create your forum. These are excellent and have much support websites, numerous themes accessible and are user-friendly. If needed flip a coin or decide a theme you like foremost and tone with that. Spend your time to analyze your forum and not selecting between three master pieces of software.

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