Free Forum Softwares


Forums or bulletin boards are one of the building blocks of modern internet since long time and we all have used forums to communicate with like minded people sometime.

Today in times of facebook and twitter forums are not used that much but still for topic specific talks forums are preferred. Even today starting a forum is not a bad idea.

Like other things forums are evolving too and If you are planning of starting a new forum I suggest you go with the modern forum software I have listed below but if you want to go with the old ones they are good too.

PhpBB

phpBB free forum softwares
  • PHPbb is around for a long time and still first choice for lot of people.
  • PHP and MySQL based forum.
  • Extensive database of user created modifications and themes.
  • Completely free and open source.
  • Can be used on any cPanel based hosting

MyBB

MyBB free forum softwares
  • Free and open source.
  • PHP and MySQL based forum.
  • Can be used on any cPanel based hosting.
  • Free and paid Themes and plugins available.

Vanillaforums

Vanillaforums free forum softwares
  • Free and open source.
  • PHP and MySQL based forum.
  • Can be used on cPanel based hosting
  • Free and paid Themes and plugins available.
  • Hosted option also provided by the developer.

Discourse

Discourse free forum softwares
  • Discourse is modern forum software.
  • Ruby and PGSQL based forum.
  • Can not be installed on cPanel based hosting.
  • Requires VPS or dedicated server for installation.
  • Requires more technical knowledge to maintain it.
  • Huge memory requirements compared to others.
  • Slowest of all modern forum software.
  • Well built spam control system.
  • Dedicated developer team.
  • Free and paid themes and plugins available.
  • Paid hosted option is also provided by develper.

NodeBB

NodeBB free forum softwares
  • NodeBB is modern forum software.
  • Can not be installed on cPanel based hosting.
  • Nodejs, MongoDB and redis based software.
  • Requires VPS or dedicated server for installation.
  • Requires less memory and CPU resources than discourse.
  • Faster than discourse forum software.
  • Requires more technical knowledge to maintain it.
  • Dedicated developer team.
  • Free and paid Themes and plugins avaialble.
  • Paid hosting option is also provided by developer.
  • I personally use this forum software.

Flarum

Flarum free forum softwares
  • Not fully developed. Still in beta and not recommended by developer to use in production.
  • Flarum is modern forum software.
  • PHP and MySQL based software.
  • Can be installed on cPanel based hosting if you have SSH access.
  • Plugins and themes available but limited.
  • Fastest of all the modern forum softwares.