View Full Version : Forum Software...

08-22-2003, 02:05 PM
There are a few different forum software packages that I have run across. We're using vBulletin now, but it costs $160. Chris suggested phpbb v2 which is free, and another free one I have found is Invision Power Board. I have recently installed IPB 1.2, but it is nowhere near production yet. You can seea working example in the forums of The Design Outpost (http://www.thedesignoutpost.com). A working version of phpbb is at The Columbus Underground (my biggest competition) (http://www.columbusunderground.com). If anyone has any experience with these scripts, either using them or administering them, post your opinions. I'd like to see what everyone thinks...


08-22-2003, 02:13 PM
I've only used VB and PHPBB and VB is far superior on the admin side of things.

On the user side they're very similar.

08-23-2003, 01:12 AM
If you aren't looking to spend, I would get phpBB. There's loads of hacks for it at www.phpbbhacks.com, so it's pretty easy to get new features etc.

08-24-2003, 01:21 PM
For a free board, I think the best one is Invision Board. My only complaint is the lack of hacks. They just aren't the same quality or quantity as the vBulletin hacks.

If I could afford vBulletin I'd be using it. :D


09-22-2003, 09:12 AM
yeh i have to agree if you can afford VB go for it ! if not then Invision is a good free board.

09-22-2003, 09:36 AM
I use VB, never used anything else.

Its awesome.

09-22-2003, 09:58 AM
Hey, Mike, do you have any tips on how to customize IPB? I need to get a header up top and some other tweaks that I'd like to try to accomplish...

09-22-2003, 10:58 AM
There's a few helpful tips on stuff like that on IPB's site, http://www.invisionboard.com.

Also if your looking for hacks etc, there is http://www.ibplanet.com.

If your still having trouble with your header and such, reply or PM me and I'll be happy to help:)

09-29-2003, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by Cloughie
I use VB, never used anything else.

Its awesome.

Hi. I've registered on your forum and I had few links on my signature.
How come signature links are prohibited?
My sites have no products or services to sell and advertise.
Just wondering. :confused:

09-30-2003, 04:53 AM
We have a no self promoting policy.

We have gotten big enough to really ave to worry about where the money is coming in now, and we have invested a lot in a sports supplement company and cannot afford for people to advertise on our forum through their posting.

What where the links?

Generally if there was no products/services being advertised and it was not a competing forum we would not ask you to remove it.

10-01-2003, 10:14 PM
I received a PM asking to remove the links.
The links directed to my school website. No competition or product advertisement in my sites.

10-01-2003, 10:16 PM
The links I had is the same I have on my sig right here.

10-02-2003, 04:26 AM
which mod was it from?

11-07-2003, 09:32 AM
For those of you who have used VB and/or phpBB and/or Invision, what are the superior admin features of VB?

Is phpBB and Invision SE friendly forums?


11-07-2003, 09:39 AM
The defining feature of vB for me (having a forum where I host subforums, and thus need styes for each) is the template engine. I've gotten into arguments before with phpBB owners etc., claiming that the template engines are comparable. They're most definitely not. Particularly vB3, with its parent template/style inheritance (change a template in a parent template group, and all the child templates beneath it are updated unless they've been changed previously).

The reason I don't have all styles running with one template group is that some forum owners want things changed sometimes, so this is easier to manage :)

I've used phpBB, Invision, UBB, and a bunch of others, and vB will always come out on top in sheer power and end-user experience.

11-07-2003, 09:45 AM
Are there any vB affiliates out there? I'm about two seconds away from buying a license and someone might as well get paid...first come, first served...


11-07-2003, 09:47 AM
Can someone point me in the direction of any pretty wild configurations of vB???

11-07-2003, 09:54 AM
Define 'wild' :)

11-07-2003, 10:24 AM
I don't know...anything that really stands out. I have a nightlife site that I want to have forums on. I kind of need it to be glizty and glamerous looking. I just want some ideas...you know?

11-07-2003, 10:46 AM
Thanks MarkB.

11-07-2003, 11:02 AM
I believe on VB's website they have links to popular forums and also forums of the month and whatnot.

overgrow.com is one that comes to mind to me.

11-07-2003, 01:28 PM
Mine is www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/ - we have about 50-60 co-branded forums, of various looks (although none of the styles are overly-customised).

11-07-2003, 02:19 PM
You've got a great site...it's theme and look are meshed well. You're a metalhead I see...

What do you mean by co-branded forums? Are those forums within forums? Is vB easy to setup and install, and how about the configuring...is it easy too?

11-07-2003, 02:27 PM
I guess I just want to see HOW customized vB can be...

11-07-2003, 02:31 PM
By 'cobranded' I mean that the forum is styled to match the forum owner's website (usually with their logo and colour scheme) - see this forum (http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=93) for an example.

vBulletin is, for what it is, relatively easy to install.

You make your initial edits to the config.php file, and then upload everything. Create your database, and then just follow the steps through the installation. It's not a 5 minute job, but nor is it one that will have you pulling your hair out. And if something happens, their support forums and ticket system are very good.

You'll need to decide whether to go with their 2.* series or 3.* series. 2.* is their current stable product, while 3.* is waiting on RC (release candidate) status. (My site is running 3.* - we were part of the initial beta test team - I love it:)). If you choose to go with 2.*, upgrades to 3.* are included in your license fee.

As you can see, I quite like vB ;)

11-07-2003, 02:34 PM
Yeah...that seems to be the consensus...thanx for the info. I have a default installation of IPB up now and it WAS a 5-minute job. I can't imagine anything being any easier. It's just not too customizable, you know?

11-07-2003, 02:36 PM
If it does the job, it does the job!

11-07-2003, 02:41 PM
Well, maybe...how did you customize your vB? Did you have to edit anything manually..like changing colors and sticking on a header? Maybe I can get IPB to work. I like the look, but it is not at all co-branded...you can see my (half-done) site at

www.thecolumbusgroove.com/index.php and the discussion forums (empty) are at www.thecolumbusgroove.com/forums/index.php

11-08-2003, 12:27 AM
vB has a style system - there, you basically have a template for each editable feature (one for the main forum list, and then a template for each piece that makes up that page - how a forum is linked, how the tables are laid out, where the login form goes, etc etc...).

I changed everything I could except the basic functionality :)

I'd write a tutorial if I thought anyone gave a damn :lol:

11-09-2003, 05:34 PM
I've always used phpBB. For a free product, it really is amazing. A cool thing about it is that cpanel has an phpBB auto install.

11-09-2003, 07:46 PM
I think a vb customizing tutorial would b e very popular.

I really love VB's admin features. Their styles and templates are really extensive.

One look at vbs admin backend and you won't want to use anything else.

11-10-2003, 08:41 AM
I'll start fleshing out some ideas, then. I run both vB3 and vB2 - and the systems are somewhat different.

I agree with your comments on vB's admin panel. Droolworthy.