Category: "vBulletin"

Importing vBulletin 4 CMS Articles into WordPress

For vBulletin 4 owners who utilize the CMS aspect of vBulletin, there are no current converters for migrating vBulletin 4 CMS Articles into WordPress as Posts. If you intend to use WordPress as your primary software platform and you have hundreds if not thousands of vB4 CMS Articles you will definitely want to import all your articles! Losing that many articles from search results and rankings is not an option in the least so today we present you with a vB4 CMS Article to WP Post Converter!

If you’re planning on importing your vBulletin forum please do that first by using our article “Importing Forum Software into WordPress Forum using BBPress” before you import your CMS articles.

Now after you’ve successfully imported your forum, it’s time to import your CMS Articles from vBulletin into WordPress as Posts, this way they show on your WordPress home page. Let’s review the steps, then we’ll also discuss possible plugins you may wish to use.

  • Download the included converter.php and converter_inc.php files from our zip file vb4cmsarticlestowpposts
  • Extract the .zip file, edit the file converter_inc.php file and enter in your vBulletin 4 database details then save the file.
  • Upload the two files into your WordPress root folder.
  • Now simply call the script via URL, i.e. in your browser after your wordpress url add a slash and type in the script name, Example: /converter.php so if your site is example.com, it would be www.example.com/converter.php. IF you installed WordPress in a folder to test the import, then it would be www.example.com/foldername/converter.php.
  • The script will run, you will see data being imported on screen, depending on the number of articles in your vBulleitn CMS it may take more time to run for some than others. Once the script is finished it will stop, give a it a few minutes to ensure its not still processing before you close your browser window.
  • When you believe its finished, check your WordPress dashboard, check the Posts and ensure all were imported.

If you provided the correct database details and uploaded the script properly and followed the instructions above you should now be looking at all your vBulletin CMS Articles within WordPress! Enjoy!

What’s next? Good you asked! Now lets import external images, then attachments as the script does in fact show attachments in the posts but as images coming from your vBulleitn software and since you’ve just imported into WordPress its safe to assume you’re almost ready to remove vBulletin entirely and if you do so before importing external images and attachments then they’ll be removed when you do, ruh-roh!

First you need to install some WordPress plugins:

The two above scripts will import external images and attachments. Why do you need both? Good question, think of it this way, your WordPress is now “itself” meaning that it views itself as the primary software, so any links to external images such as those in your forum will be viewed as external images to WordPress so we need to ensure we import any external images AND attachments no matter how WordPress “views” or interprets them.

After you’ve successfully imported external images and attachments you’re then safe to remove your vBulletin forum (if using the CMS system remove the entire Suite). We do recommend you backup your vBulletin site before removing entirely, backup the files and database and retain a copy in the event you need to reference any data it can be restored and the data easily retrieved.

Credits:

  • This new script was made from the tutorial on Military Media however it would not run properly and had errors when testing so it was adjusted to work properly on WordPress 4.6 and 4.7 respectively.

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Google Analytics UI Changes and Improvements

Some site owners have noticed recently that there have been changes to Google Analytics UI (User Interface) and more such as security improvements in regards to browser use, namely that Firefox and similar browsers are not compliant with how the information is displayed securely therefor will not display the analytics content for review.

Let’s review a few of these changes and some useful tips!

  • Automatic alerts will be removed from Google Analytics soon. Custom alerts will not be affected and continue to be visible.
  • The In-Page Analytics report is being removed from Google Analytics soon. However, you can still get in-page analytics by using the official Page Analytics Chrome Extension.

Furthermore the Google Analytics Code itself has undergone another change, let’s compare an old snippet to a newer snippet of code;

Old Version:
<script type=”text/javascript”>

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-12345678-1’]);
_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]);

(function() {
var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();

</script>

New Version:
<script>
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new
Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-12345678-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

</script>

Using the above examples, you need to check your existing Google Analytics Code and compare, if it’s outdated then simply snag the new code from the Analytics Dashboard Admin area which is rather simple so let’s recap that as well:

  • Log into your Google Analytics Account.
  • Click on the ADMIN tab at the top.
  • Click on .js Tracking Info under the Property Settings.
  • Click on Tracking Code and now scroll down, you can view the new code and copy/paste that into your relevant software.
  • Allow upwards of 24hours for the tracking code to begin tracking properly (if no code existed already).

You can view more information on the upcoming changes and improvements here.

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Uninstalling Modifications – vBulletin

Uninstalling Modifications:

Note: On some occasions disabling the modification instead of uninstalling is best.

  1. Prepare yourself i.e. if you’re uninstalling a modification it’s best to know exactly what you’re uninstalling.
  2. Run a backup of files and database beforehand.

When to disable versus uninstall?

Note: When you disable a mod the data remains within the database. When you uninstall a mod all data is removed permanently. *With that being said if you uninstall a mod due to whatever reason, you will not be able to retain any previous data.

Example: A Thanks mod for thanking people on certain posts, if you uninstall and later decide to re-install all user thanks will be gone SINCE you previously uninstalled the mod – if however you disabled it and now upgrade the mod the previous data will upgrade with the new version of the mod and all users will still have their previous thanks amount.

  • If the mod only works on a certain version of vBulletin AND you’re unsure if an upgrade will become available then you could retain the mod by simply disabling it.
  • If the mod is a basic mod that generates no user data it can be uninstalled then re-installed at any time without the loss of data.
  • If the mod has a security risk you can either disable it so it cannot be exploited (some can even if files remain so you could disable AND remove the files to be safer than usual) OR uninstall it completely (*Refer to the Note above, be sure you want to specifically uninstall instead of disabling – knowing the difference can save you a headache later on if a mod was in fact required).

How to uninstall?

Note: Some mods have file uploads and some do not. The easiest way to know if it has file AND what those files are (since you remove all files associated with mods IF uninstalling) is to re-download the same version of the mod you have installed, within the .zip if it had files to upload all the files will be shown in the .zip and now you know what files to remove. IF the mod is no longer available you can inquire for assistance or for file names themselves from the community on vbulletin.org.

*We strongly advise against using warez/nulled sites for downloads as they can be compromised or you yourself by utilizing such sites and on top of that most are providing scripts, files, and much more without permission and are usually in violation of the law by conducting illegal activity – be careful!

*Not all mods are in the modification graveyard yet were removed from vbulletin.org so their author might have a version available on their site otherwise if it’s in the graveyard on vbulletin.org AND the company went belly up you must rely on Google and other searches to find the file names associated with the mod.

Directions:

> AdminCP > Plugins & Products > Manage Products > *Now to the right of each mod listed is a drop-down, select to disable OR uninstall the mod in question.

Note: The mods title on the left is a hyperlink. Hovering above the mods title on the left will reveal the url of the mod on vbulletin.org or the authors site, click it to view and possibly download the .zip required to know what files should be removed.

  • If a mod has no files associated with it and only an .xml file was present then no further cleanup is required i.e. a mod with only an .xml will not have files that need to be removed.
  • Some mods have manual file edits to default vBulletin files required before use, be sure you read any readme.txt or readme.html files to ensure that you remove all customization’s (easiest way to revert custom changes in a file is to overwrite the default vBulletin file with a fresh file of the same version). Another example would be changes to .htaccess in which case you should remove any custom additions and only retain what is required in a typical .htaccess file.
  • If you’re unsure about which files to delete (for example if you could not find a download of the modification and are using your best judgement to clean old files from your site) you can CHMOD them to 000 which makes them unusable by the server in a sense – if the file was required you will see some form of error on your forum in which case you now know the file was not a file to be removed and can CHMOD it back to the previous CHMOD permission value. *Only CHMOD the files to 000 AFTER uninstalling the modification from the product manager – If you CHMOD files to 000 before you uninstall the product it WILL produce errors respectively.

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Creating Terms of Service and Privacy Policy Documents

 

 

tos

From forums to ecom sites, the importance of current Terms of   Service, Privacy Policies and various other legal documents cannot be be stressed enough. Automattic has open sourced all of its legal documents, including a DMCA takedown notice.

To use Automattic’s legal document as a foundation for your sites document check the Auto Terms of Service and Privacy Policy plugin at WordPress.org.  Clifford Paulick’s, wrote the plugin to use content from Automattic’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, both are available to the public under the Creative Commons Sharealike license. The language of each document is generic and can apply to most sites or service providers, from single sites to subscription sites, blog networks, forums and others.

Github and its Legalmattic repository is another source to check for these documents.

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Potential vBSEO vulnerability

This is just out from vBulletin:

It has come to our attention that there may be a potential security vulnerability in VBSEO affecting the latest version of the software (and potentially other versions as well). We’ve attempted to contact the vendor, but as they have been non-responsive we felt we should alert the community as many of our customers use this add-on software.

If you beleive your running a vulnerable version of the software, there is a simple fix: just comment out the following lines in the file vbseo/includes/functions_vbseo_hook.php:

if(isset($_REQUEST[‘ajax’]) && isset($_SERVER[‘HTTP_REFERER’]))
$permalinkurl = $_SERVER[‘HTTP_REFERER’].$permalinkurl;

should be changed to:

// if(isset($_REQUEST[‘ajax’]) && isset($_SERVER[‘HTTP_REFERER’]))
// $permalinkurl = $_SERVER[‘HTTP_REFERER’].$permalinkurl;

If you are running the “Suspect File Versions” diagnostics tool, you will additionally need to generate a new MD5 sum of the above file and edit upload/includes/md5_sums_crawlability_vbseo.php to use the new MD5 sum on the line:

Please be aware that you are making these changes at your own risk. We don’t know if making this change affects the terms of your VBSEO license and we can’t be responsible if making this change breaks your site.

CVE-2014-9463 has been assigned to this potential vulnerability by cve.mitre.org.

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vBulletin 4.xx: How to remove navigation breadcrumbs on FORUMHOME

At one time it was thought they gave an SEO boost. Current thinking says not so much anymore and many users remove breadcrumbs, in favor of the cleaner look. The comment field isn’t necessary but is always a helpful tool to find modification at a later time.

Find navbar_link and make the following change;

<!– Breadcrumbs –><vb:if condition=”THIS_SCRIPT != ‘index'”>

<vb:if condition=”$show[‘breadcrumb’]”>

<li class=”navbit”><a href=”{vb:raw nav_url}”>{vb:raw nav_title}</a></li>

<vb:else />

<li class=”navbit lastnavbit”><span>{vb:raw nav_title}</span></li>

</vb:if>

<!– Breadcrumbs –></vb:if>

Next find and make the following change in the Navbar Template

<!– Breadcrumbs –><vb:if condition=”THIS_SCRIPT != ‘index'”>

<div id=”breadcrumb” class=”breadcrumb”>

<ul class=”floatcontainer”>

<li class=”navbithome”><a href=”index.php{vb:raw session.sessionurl_q}” accesskey=”1″><img src=”{vb:stylevar imgdir_misc}/navbit-home.png” alt=”{vb:rawphrase home}” /></a></li>

{vb:raw navbits.breadcrumb}

{vb:raw navbits.lastelement}

</ul>

<hr />

</div>

<!– Breadcrumbs –></vb:if>

That’s it. What you’ve done is wrap and if conditional for the index around the breadcrumb call.

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Remove vBSEO and redirect url’s with permanant 301 redirects.

vBSEO is gone and is not coming back. Coding errors leading to vulnerabilities killed the product and new versions of vBulletin can render it useless. Unfortunately, your links are indexed under its modified URL’s and just removing it will damage your sites search ranking. We’ve tried to compile a guide to remove it and the steps to that will keep Google happy while the site is re-indexed.

First to remove vBSEO;
1)    Go to the vbseocp, turn vbseo off.
2)    Go to admincp >Plugins & Products
3)    Uninstall vBSEO, you’ll have two choices.
4)    If you may want to reinstall vBSEO on the same domain, choose Keep vBSEO data in Database
5)    If vBSEO is going for good, choose Cleanup vBSEO Data.
6)    Delete all files listed below and for now, rename the .htaccess file. We’ve listed the files needing deletion below;

Delete the following vBSEO files

Important: Delete only the listing below with file extension. If you see something like “admincp”, that is a folder listing and is where you’ll find the files below it.
admincp
admin_vbseo.php
clientscript
vbseo_ajax.js
images
vbseo
anchor.png
delicious.gif
digg.gif
facebook.gif
furl.gif
goto_linkbacks.gif
linkback.gif
linkback_about.gif
linkback_url.gif
mister-wong
pingback.gif
post_linkback.gif
reddit.gif
refback.gif
spurl.gif
technorati.gif
trackback.gif
includes
cron
vbseo_serviceupdate.php
xml
bitfield_vbseo.xml
cpnav_vbseo.xml
vbseo_urls_001.xml
vbseo_urls_002.xml
vbseo_urls_003.xml
vbseo_urls_004.xml
vbseo_urls_005.xml
vbseo_urls_006.xml
vbseocp_deutsch (du).xml
vbseocp_deutsch (sie).xml
vbseocp_dutch.xml
vbseocp_english.xml
vbseocp_russian.xml
vbseocp_turkce.xml
functions_vbseo.php
functions_vbseo_cache.php
functions_vbseo_createurl.php
functions_vbseo_crr.php
functions_vbseo_db.php
functions_vbseo_hook.php
functions_vbseo_linkback.php
functions_vbseo_misc.php
functions_vbseo_pre.php
functions_vbseo_seo.php
functions_vbseo_startup.php
functions_vbseo_url.php
functions_vbseo_vb.php
md5_sums_crawlability_vbseo.php
modcp
vbseo_moderate.php
vbseo.php
vbseocp.php
vbseocpform.php
.htaccess

To redirect indexed content to your vBULLETIN URL’s, after removing vBSEO please reeview the following rewrite rules and pick the ones that fit your current url structure. To do this first create a new

If you have your thread rewrite rules set as forum-name/threadid-threadname.html use the following .htaccess
Code:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule [^/]+/([0-9]+)-[^/]+\.html http://www.domain.com/forums/showthread.php?t=$1 [L,R=301]

If you have your thread rewrite rules set as forum-name/threadname-threadid.html use the following .htaccess
Code:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule [^/]+/[^/]+-([0-9]+)\.html http://www.domain.com/forums/showthread.php?t=$1 [L,R=301]

If you have your thread rewrite rules set as forum-name/threadname-threadid/ use the following .htaccess
Code:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule [^/]+/[^/]+-([0-9]+)/ http://www.domain.com/forums/showthread.php?t=$1 [L,R=301]

Sitemap rewrite
RewriteRule ^((urllist|sitemap).*\.(xml|txt)(\.gz)?)$ vbseo_sitemap/vbseo_getsitemap.php?sitemap=$1 [L]

PLEASE NOTE: These setting are all general recomendation and specific coding or change in your site could invalidate. DO NOT Assume they will work and thourlghy test all changes before implimention.

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vBulletin Optimization, Provide a Better User Experience

Here at URLJet, we host forums of all sizes, from startups to long established forums with data base’s over 100GB and we’re often asked how to optimize vBulletin to lower server load and render pages faster.   The following how-to includes steps to enhance the user experience in forums of all sizes. We started with admincp basics and move to steps than should be taken as your forum grows.

  1. Optimize admincp settings;
  • Cookies and HTTP Header Options > At URLJet, turn GZIP off – It’s enabled by default and setting it twice actually slows things down. This is not true at all hosts so check first.
  • Cookies and HTTP Header Options > Remove Redirection Message Pages – Turn this off to reduce unneeded page loads and bandwidth.
  • Enable All AJAX features – Set to allow all AJAX Features. Ajax helps reduce server load by not reloading pages where AJAX is called. Quick Reply is an example > General Settings -> Disable AJAX Features and select Enable All Ajax Features.
  • Server Settings and Optimization Options > Cached Posts Lifespan –10 days, depending on disk space available is a good setting. When set don’t forget to rebuild your Post Cache under Maintenance > Update Counters
  • Server Settings and Optimization Options > Update Thread Views Immediately – Set to No. By default threads will update hourly via a cron. You can change the frequency by editing the Scheduled Tasks > Thread Views to a different time.
  • Server Settings and Optimization Options > Update Attachment Views Immediately – Set to No.
  • Message Posting and Editing Options > Quick Reply – This makes posting faster possibly leading to a more active community, also uses Ajax and prevent additional page loads when making a post.
  • User Listing & Profile Viewing > Show Last Post on Profile Page – Very server intensive process, set this to no, if you’re having load issues.
  • Message Posting and Editing Options > Quick Edit – Turn this on to prevent a new page load when someone simply wants to edit a post.
  • Message Searching Options > Minimum Time Between Searches – Set this to some value mainly to avoid an attempt to use the search to harm your server.
  • Forums Home Page Options > Display Logged in Users? – If you have issues with server load you can turn this feature off.
  • Forum Display Options > Show Users Browsing Forums – If you have issues with server load you can turn this feature off.
  • Thread Display Options > Show Users Browsing Threads If you have issues with server load you can turn this feature off.
  • Forum Display Options > Maximum Displayed Threads Before Page Split – Too many threads on a page loads more data and slows page load. Best to set the value between 20 to 40.

 

  1. Limit Search Spider Activity

A robots.txt files will save bandwidth and cut requests. Include any file or folder in it that you don’t want indexed in search. Keep in mind this file can viewed, meaning that if listed pranksters can get the folders and files you may not want them to see. Below is an example

User-agent: *
Disallow: /admincp/
Disallow: /images/
Disallow: /modcp/
Disallow: /attachment.php
Disallow: /search.php
Disallow: /newreply.php
Disallow: /newthread.php
Disallow: /editpost.php
Disallow: /profile.php
Disallow: /register.php
Disallow: /login.php
Disallow: /subscription.php
Disallow: /private.php
Disallow: /report.php
Disallow: /sendmessage.php
Disallow: /memberlist.php
Disallow: /misc.php
Disallow: /moderator.php
Disallow: /postings.php
Disallow: /sendtofriend.php
Disallow: /threadrate.php
Disallow: /usercp.php
Disallow: /showgroups.php

 

 

 

  1. Reduce HTML use for guests and users.

Cutting HTML can help render pages faster and reduce server load.

  1. Disable who is online for guests – Find the usergroup “Unregistered / Not Logged In” ( Admin CP > Usergroups > Usergroup Manager ) and set “Can View Who’s Online” to off.
  2. Disable Template Name in HTML Comments– More comments in HTML means more time to download and render the html. Ensure the template name in html comments turned off. Admin CP > vBulletin Options > vBulletin options > General Settings > and select No for Add Template Name in HTML Comments.
  3. Disable Posting Rules – Displaying posting rules on every thread and your forum pages really only adds to amount of HTML rendered. It cannot be disabled in admincp and you’ll need to edit one template to remove posting rules. You can disable for guests only or competly.. To disable for guests; edit the forumrules template by adding the following <if condition=”$show[member]”>, at the top of the template. At the end of the template add </if> That will display Posting rules to members only and not guests. If you empty the template Posting Rules will not show to anyone.
  4. Disable Forum Jump Menu – Disable forum jump completely from Admin CP. Experiment here, turn it off and if no one reports it, assume no one cared about using it either. Forum jump causes the server to work harder generating the menu and increases bandwidth by displaying it on each page load. Change forum jump options from Admin CP > vBulletin Options -> General Settings -> Use Forum Jump Menu.
  5. Disable username menu for guests on showthread pages – Showthread page shows posts and each post has a username, clicking a username loads a popup menu and that menu is rarely of use to guests as vBulletin, by default restricts email and PM to members only. Turn it off for guests DBSEO give this option.

 

  1. Move Attachments and Images from the Database to the File System

By Default vBulletin stores Attachments / Images / Avatars all in the databasee. Move them to the file system to reduce load and speed rendering

  1. Admin CP > Attachments > Attachment Storage Type
  2. Admin CP > User Albums > Album Picture Storage Type
  3. Admin CP > Avatars > User Picture Storage Type
  1. Move CSS StyleSheets From the Database to the File System

Again by default vBulletin renders the CSS in head part of HTML, this increases the size of each page. Storing CSS in files does 2 things; it reduces the code from each page and it enables the CSS files to be cached..

  1. Compress Output (GZIP)

vBulletin provides compression for HTML output but I prefer to get it done through Apache via mod_deflate. Disable Zipped output in vBulletin. vBulletin Options -> Cookies and HTTP Header Options -> GZIP HTML Output And add the following lines to your httpd.conf file in Apache.

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>

SetOutputFilter DEFLATE

# file-types indicated will not be compressed

SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gif|jpe?g|png|rar|zip|pdf)$ no-gzip dont-vary

<IfModule mod_headers.c>

Header append Vary User-Agent

</IfModule>

</IfModule>

Restart Apache web server. Additionally you should also use Apache to cache static content. Refer article by coderzone on How to Decrease Web Page Loading Time especially caching of static content.

  1. Full Text Search Type

You can use this option to greatly reduce server load when a search query is used on your server. Admin CP > vBulletin Options > Search Type. This change is a server intense process as it needs to alter the vBulletin post and thread table. If you don’t have many searches, this isn’t a needed change

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Leading Forum Software

Leading Forum Scripts

One question many forum owners are asking these days is which forum software systems are considered to be the best in terms of user numbers, reputation and overall features. Although most current forum managers have used PhpBB or vBulletin successfully in the past, many may now be looking for something new that offers a bit more.

The most common basic requirements sought still remain public viewing with registration required to post, hosting compatible with MySQL, and the ability to customize the pages.   Although PhpBB and vBulletin have dominated the market, PhpBB is free and open source and vBulletin costs a few hundred bucks and is closed source. Another big player these days that has been used by many popular forums is BigBoards, and Jive; Lithium and LiveWorld all have done well too.

For forum software with a mobile interface, there’s a WAP plug-in for vBulletin available, and Vanilla Forum is a lightweight easily customizable forum that also works well on mobile devices. You could also use Tapatalk, an app that works with any phone and provides free read-only access to forums. Because there are no similar plug-ins for PhpBB users, many PhpBB people have simply used mobile themes to get around the issue.

There have been many new developments in the free forum software field and some have been more well-received than others. In terms of general popularity with users and forum managers in particular, the top fifteen free forum software systems currently available today are:

1.     MyBB – released 2011-11-25  

2.    BurningBoard – released 2011-08-26  

3.    PhpBB(3) – released 2012-01-02  

4.    Xenforo – released 2012-02-07  

5.    Vanilla Forums – released 2011-11-03  

6.    FUDForum – released 2011-07-17  

7.    Simple Machines – released 2011-12-22  

8.    Wikid Forum – released 2011-08-24  

9.    FluxBB – released 2011-09-13  

10.  UseBB – released 2011-11-04  

11.    bbPress – released 2009-07-28  

12.   PunBB – released 2011-12-01  

13.   Phorum released 2011-09-09  

14.   MiniBB – released 2010-10-05  

15.   IceBB – -released 2010-12-02

If you are in need of high performance vBulletin hosting or managed forum hosting, look no further than URLJet. Why go with “vanilla” hosting when you can get vBulletin optimized hosting that will run your forum faster than anyone- period.

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6 Different Types Of Free Forum Software You Can Use To Build A Forum

6 Different Types Of Free Forum Software You Can Use To Build A Forum

One of the first decisions you will make when starting a forum is deciding on what forum software to use. There are many options, both free and paid. But that’s not to say that there aren’t some great free forum software option available. There is a respectable list of great forum software options out there.

Here are six of them:

#1 PHPBB

phpBB Forum Software
phpBB is one of the top free forum software options available. It’s open-source, but what is unique is that they provide a unique and helpful database which contains all user created plugins. Everything is organized well and easy to find. Like MyBB, there are several plugins to choose from to customize however needed so the two are close competitors. Deciding which is better would be based solely on preference.

There are few things that give phpBB an edge from my experience. One notable feature would be their support section, which is well put together and extremely informative.

As far as actual features go phpBB seems to have better security from the start. They also provide anti-spam tools. Other than that many of the features you start with are similar to that of MyBB, except for the reputation system which is unique to MyBB. This is where it becomes a matter of preference. Due to the many plugins available with both of them, it’s always possible to customize to your needs, but it all depends on how much you want to customize.

Get phpBB Forum Software

#2 XMB Forums

XMB Forum Software
XMB is a good place to start if you’re new to forum hosting. They provide all the basic tools you need to get started. You can edit administration settings, templates, add/remove topics, and member settings. There are other tools available, but for the most part, nothing too complex, just your forum basics. Great for beginners.

Get XMB Forum Software

#3 UseBB

UseBB Forum Software
UseBB has the simplicity of XMB, but with a little more to offer in terms of security and anti-spam features.
There are also extra features for users to customize their profiles like remote avatars for example.

Get UseBB Forum Software

#4 FluxBB

FluxxBB Forum Software
Flux was born after forking from PunBB after it’s founder Rickard Andersson left the project in 2008. For a long time PunBB was widely used for many open-source and commercial product’s discussion boards, and several currently use FluxBB due to many of the ported over features.

Flux prides itself in it’s ease of use, fast speed enabled through their superb code, clean admin interface, flexible permission system, and powerful moderator tools that allow for easy user and consequence/reward management.

One drawback is that adding modifications might not be as easy of a task as other forum software on this list, because doing so requires manually editing source code. There are still a few plugins available, but not as many as you would expect. There are plenty of features already available for discussion boards. Unless you want serious in-depth customization there is not much more that would need to be downloaded.

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#5 MyBB

MyBB Forum Software
What is great about MyBB is that it is both free and open-source. As a result there are hundreds of modifications and plugins at your disposal. Unlike FluxBB, MyBB will not require you to edit a single line of code. There is nothing for you to have to add anything. You get ease of access and amazing versatility. It truly is the ultimate sandbox for forum enthusiasts.

Features available by default will give you all the basics. Convenient administration, built in templates and theme editors, a reputation/warning system, a tasks system which helps with maintenance, easy moderation, private messaging, calendars and events, a mass mailing system, and fast performance. It even has MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite database support with replication/slave support built in. Any other features you would need can easily be added using modifications and plugins.

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#6 PHP-Nuke

PHP Nuke Forum Module
Unlike all of the other software on this list PHP-Nuke is more of a content management system. It’s interface includes features that are specialized for online news sites, making it the perfect choice for any professional online publication.

For example, there is a WordPress like editing system so that authors can save pending posts which editors can edit before publishing. It also includes several features many news sites have such as a “Top Story” section to display the most popular stories at the top of the web page, surveys or polls to gather reader opinions on political events (or whatever poll you want to create), as well as archives to provide access to older articles. The features would also work wonderfully for guest contributor blogs as well.

PHP-Nuke can be more than just a news content management system. It’s a cake walk to add a discussion board, and as the name implies, it is PHP based. This forum software is based on bb2nuke which is a popular open-source ported version of PHP-Nuke revamped as a phpBB discussion board.

There are several add-ons and plugins available for the software which would enable users to customize their site to be able to do just about anything.

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The Top Paid Forum Software Options

The last two forum software providers on this list are not free, but they are both well worth the costs. Just imagine forum software that incorporates everything we have talked about so far, but better. Let’s just say they should definitely be options you should look into, and here’s why.

vBulletin

vBulletin Forum Software
vBulletin is written in PHP, works on any operating system, and uses a MySQL database server.

vBulletin has two versions, one that is just their classic forum client, and another that is not just forum software. It also an article-based Content Management System and blogging software. This is what gives vBulletin a bit of an edge over all the others. They provide the most versatile all-in one solution for whatever you need. But, if all you need is the basic forum essentials they have you covered with the classic version, which still has easy to apply plugins.

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XenForo

XenForo Forum Software
XenForo has several influences from vBulletin because a few of the developers from vBulletin also worked on XenForo. It is written in PHP and works on pretty much any operating system. Due to it’s popularity there are several hosts that support XenForo as well, including us.

Interesting features include a “like” system a little bit like Facebook or Reddit, and it also has a feature that rewards users with trophies for reaching certain milestones of participation. User features like these encourage social engagement and participation in a way that other forum software solutions don’t explore. There are also several unique SEO features built in which has probably contributed to it’s popularity. They also do a great job with security and anti-spam.

Many of the default features will probably be enough for whatever you will need to do with your forum, but just in case, there is also a huge database of modifications and plugins at your disposal. Not only are add-ons simple to apply, but XenForo framework makes them simple to build as well.

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