Discourse is an open-source platform that provides communities with civilized discussion service. The platform offers its users to escape emails and chat silos to engage in searchable discussions with the customers and fans. It allows companies to create a self-service hub with exciting ideas and useful discussions and lets the community cultivate a better conversation through its automatic trust system.
The platform has removed the hassle of arbitrary pages and comes with the power of in-time loading if the customers want to read more. Moreover, it has increased people to people interaction as it sends notifications to people when there post/comment is quoted by someone else. Discourse comes with a simple and user interface that allows users to see replies in the form of a waterfall and enables users to expand the conversations which they want to see without losing their position.
Discourse allows users to add links to their conversation to make them more exciting and informative. The platform comes with built-in integrations like Slack, WordPress, Zendesk, and many more to ease the use of this service. The platform is compatible with all the devices; laptops, tablets, and phones. Some key features are Spam blocking, Social Login, Badges, Single Sign-on, official plugins, and many more. Customer support is available via email and online, and the software comes with a free and a paid version.
XenForo is a platform that allows the users to share content and discuss it with other members of the forum. The platform provides a place to keep the audience engaged, and this also lowers the burden on the customer support team as most of the queries solve on the forum. XenForo comes with a feature that helps users to recover the content of the members from any time and date.
It allows users to arrange the whole discussion on the forum in an aligned form to use this knowledge as a subject matter. Along with member-to-member chat, XenForo also provides group conversation facilities. The platform comes with a powerful permission feature, customizable options for the forum to fit it according to the brand, and has a ‘What’s new’ feature to make sure users see the latest updates.
The platform comes with amazing add-ons such as Media Gallery, which allows the users to manage, organize, or share all kinds of media content. It also provides them a Resource Manager, which helps the members to organize tutorials, guides, and other similar stuff. It comes with a fast search engine, which provides results in seconds from millions of posts. The platform comes with a paid version, and the technical support is available via email and online.
Vanilla is online software that provides community forums for discussion on thousands of websites. The platform provides customers and potential clients to not only follow the brand but also engage in real-time conversation on it. This cloud-based platform allows the businesses to keep the audience engaged, can publish their content, even ads, and can boost sales through it. It allows users to host questions and polls; however, admin of the forum holds authority on all these activities.
Members in the forum can mention each other in discussions, and they will get a notification whenever they mentioned in the discussion. Some of the essential features of Vanilla are Moderation Tools, CRM Integrations, Gamification, Data migration, Collaboration, and Discussion Boards. It also enables the users to drag-and-drop pictures in their posts or to attach videos with it.
Furthermore, Vanilla provides every member with their own specific profiles and allows the members to preview and edit their comments in real-time. It also offers a Private community feature that will only allow the registered members to join, that too, on admin’s approval. Training for the forum is provided through webinars and online, while technical support is available online and 24/7. Moreover, the platform comes with a paid version, and users can request a free demo.
vBulletin is a platform that offers customizable forums and community solutions to all websites. The platform enables the website to host different types of discussion forums, blogs, polls, and groups to keep the customers engaged. The platform allows the users to have seamlessly integrated experience, such as it offers a single admin control panel, and the forum is of continuous style instead of pages.
Moreover, for easy use, it provides a control panel for every role like it has a user control panel, moderator control panel, template engine for advanced customization. vBulletin enables admins to edit, delete, move, or lock any post they want and provides users with private forums. The platform even allows the users to see when other members are reading their messages.
The forum allows the members to see who is online, enables them to create a friend list, and provides them with private messaging options. The latest version of vBulletin allows members to have a profile that tells other members about them, and they can add their pictures on their profile also. It comes with a permission system that allows the admins to add or ban any user. The platform offers a free trial and comes with a paid version, while customer support is available online.
FluxBB is an open-source platform that offers forum services to the community for engagement and communication. The platform is free, fast, and light and provides all the essential features which some other forums lack. The platform provides a clear and easy-to-use interface, which makes it easy for users to interact across different conversations on the forum.
Moreover, the platform offers the full admin control of their panel, which means admin can add or delete a user from the panel, and also allows them to change the structure and options of the forum. The flexible permission system gives the admin full authority over the users as he/she can restrict some part of the forum or can provide privileged access to other users.
Some of the key features included are XHTML compliant, GZip output, SQLite, External SMTP support, IPv6 support, Password hashing, and UTF-8 support. The platform comes with powerful moderator tools that enable the admins to ban, censor, or report post which are against the policies of the panel. Customer support is provided via online and email, and the software is free of cost.
NodeBB is a platform that offers a modern forum software that allows the engagement of community and brands. The platform comes with three different forums; Open Source, Instant Hosting, and Enterprise, and users can select them according to their demand. The platform comes with a mobile responsive platform that provides a perfect experience on every device and screen.
It supports different languages, which makes it an international platform and allows users to share content easily on other social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. Moreover, the platform offers real-time streaming of posts and data and provides users with real-time chats and notifications. NodeBB comes with an analytics dashboard that enables the users to see the content that users are enjoying most and enables the communities and brands to make better decisions.
It allows users to host a question and answer session and can mark the session as solved when their problem/ query is solved. The platform sends notifications in the background so that users never miss anything. NodeBB comes with various integration such as Pushbullet, Ghost, Mailchimp, Goog;e Adsense, etc. Training is provided through documentation and online, while customer support is available during business hours and online, and it comes with a free and a paid version.
MyBB is an engagement and communication platform that allows users to have vibrant and exciting discussions. Volunteers run the platform, and the donation forms the community that keeps them going. The platform allows the users to attach various plugins to their forum, which ease their discussions such as Flatty, Vienna, Square, Smile Menu, and many other projects, and plugins can be attached to it. MyBB supports various languages and provides translation facilities to its users to facilitate cross-language conversations.
The platform, apart from public communication, allows the users to opt for private conversations, which enables them to create their group in the forum. It also allows users to track messages and see the read receipt and enables the exporting of messages in text and HTML format. MyBB comes attractive and exciting features that keep the users engaged and offer moderation tools to keep the discussion smooth, and the customer support staff solves the problems immediately.
It comes with a customizable interface that can be edited according to the user’s desired theme and provides built-in templates to design the forum and provides advanced theme editors and multiple style sheets. Moderators edit portions of the user profile and can ban users for a specific time, and can warn the users if they post any inappropriate content or shows an irregular behavior. Customer support is available via email, and the platform is free of cost.
Flarum is a platform that enables the engagement and interaction of the community through a managed discussion board. The platform ensures the access of the users even with a slow Internet connection and comes with lightning-fast speed. The platform comes with a friendly user interface that allows the customer to talk more and spend less time on the clicking.
The platform has ended the hassle of pages and provides users with an end-less scrolling and allows you to start from where you left. It enables users to visit other discussions while the users are writing their own. Flarum comes with a simple gesture, and smooth animations, such as users can swipe a discussion to the right by marking it as read.
Some other key features are Moderation tools, Powerful Formatting, Localization, Convenient Search, Real-time Discussion, and Search Engine Optimization. The platform allows users to customize the interface in that way they want with different color schemes and other features. Moreover, the platform provides smart notifications that keep users alert and offers email digest on a daily and weekly basis. Flarum is a free platform, and customer support is available via email.
phpBB is a free forum that offers a discussion platform for a community or business. The platform comes with an easy registration feature and also requires parental approval for children, making it a secure platform. The platform provides users with private messaging services and enables the users to maintain custom PM folders, and users can send messages to multiple recipients.
For better communication, users can attach files with messages and allows them to send messages in a group. Users can customize groups with different group colors and can also add different avatars to different users. While phpBB send user notifications either through email or instant messaging.
phpBB allows the users to view all the online people on this platform and even enables them to have their own friend/foe list to tune the posts while browsing. It also provides different forums for all kinds of users, such as categorized organizational forums, password-protected forums, and individual forums. Moreover, it comes with various plugins, such as MySQL, APCu, Redis, and many more. The platform also comes with a paid text-link and image advertising for its users.
Simple Machines Forum is a platform that provides users with an open-source internet forum and a message-board program. The platform allows users to have various features to customize the whole database and modify the platform. It offers users to make their groups for better and private conversations and can add new members into the groups with admin permission.
The platform comes with useful plugins such as MySQL, etc. and because of its advanced features, the platform is considered to be the next generation forum software. Training for the platform is provided through documentation, while customer support is available online. The platform also comes with a feature of paid advertising; however, the platform is free of cost.
Invision Community is a platform that offers community management, which enables businesses to create and manage their online presence. The platform provides businesses with various facilities, i.e., flexible moderation, and permission tools to content promotion and spam management to ensure the online presence of the businesses.
The platform provides business a direct connection with their customers and enables them to resolve the customer’s issues before they start hurting the company’s reputation. Moreover, the platform allows the businesses to get feedback on their product and services and enables them to reward their best brand ambassadors. Invision Community allows the companies to reduce their cost with P2P support and creates a public knowledge hub for better interaction of users.
Some of the key features are Content discovery, Spam Defense, Security and Privacy, User Engagement, Monetization, CrowdSource Moderation, and Targeted Email Promotion. The platform allows the employees to enhance their collaboration, eliminates siloing, and provides thoughtful approaches to content. Customer support is available via email and online, and it comes with paid versions only.