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What's the best option to go with for a forum today free or paid?



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What's the best option to go with for a forum today free or paid?

Hello all. I know that this is something that's been asked a lot and if you search for something like "What's the best forum software" in Google you'll find tons of top 10 lists and forums and blogs and things where people have asked that question before. And from which, is more than enough to go on to know all you'll ever really need to know and more when it comes to what the best option to go with for a forum is today whether it's a free forum script or it's a paid one.

I know from just what I know from the top of my head that some of the best forum softwares today are some of those longest running ones. Simply because they've had so many updates to them they make for great, comprehensive forums now. That goes for free forum software like BBPress, MyBB, phpBB, SMF, Vanilla etc. And for paid forum softwares like vBulletin, IP Boards, XenForo, Woltlab etc.

Now what if I'm talking about what I would want to be a large, professional forum made up of thousands of users. A forum where I'd like the users to have a lot of features and bells n' whistles etc that I could also build things into later on down the road like rewards/awards systems, ability to connect/register with social media Facebook/Twitter etc etc.

Would it be better then to go with a paid forum software from the start? Or, what if you just wanted to "test the water" so to speak and start off small. Is it okay to go with a free forum software and then migrate/convert to another later on. If so, how easy or complicated is it usually to migrate from one forum software/script to another forum software/script? Is there anyone here that's ever done anything like that? What forum software did you start with and then move to? What was the progress/experience like of doing that? Is that sort of thing still a headache today or has someone refined and optimized the process?

Obviously you wouldn't want to lose all your members accounts, posts and things if you had a lot that you valued. You'd lose a lot of members if you just had to ask them to re-register again. Although those that did would surely be your hardcore users! What

But yeah, what's the best option to go with for a forum that is intended to be a busy, professional forum?

Should I / could I go free to start with then migrate to paid one later?

Or is that just a headache to deal with if you do get big and best to go paid from the start for this reason?

What do you think guys?

Cheers!

Mike.

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sanfora

paid forum? that will no good idea free forums is much better even there some negativety in free forum but free for everyone to share



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idealmike

Yes paid, as in, you have to pay for the forum software not to access the forum. Something tells me you skimmed me lol What I don't have any plans to charge anyone to access that forum right now, although, that said, it could be a good idea to do that from the start. That would really sort the men from the boys from the get go! What And that could be something I'd consider in the future to offer something exclusive like access to certain boards/categories or groups and elevated level status or something like that. But that's just a part of what you can do with a forum. But you either go free with something like like BBPress, MyBB, phpBB, SMF etc or pay for something like vBulletin, IPB, XF etc. What to do Sanfora!? What



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robertman11

Xenforo is the fastest, as in the best code that runs minimally loading faster than the others. This is paid software. You can also find some really awesome themes.

vBulletin is good but can get slow, however, I haven't used any version since XF came out so I'm unsure if they fixed or improved this in the later versions. They also have a hosted solution which is pretty cool.



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jpyy

It's difficult to say whether you should go with paid or free. I suppose it depends on how much tech know-how you have. Note, the support staff for free forum software, due to the volunteer nature of the staff, could be slow and insufficient. Also, with free software, you might need to install a lot of extra mods to get the same functionality as something that is paid. Again, you would need to have more tech know-how - to get around both problems.



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bomb2060

You are getting it wrong from the top. Whether free or paid, it doesn't matter.

In fact whether a forum is good looking or ugly, it really doesnt matter. The main imporant thing is the community you are building.

It really doesnt matter the platform. I know of a very ugly forum. Actually the urgliest I have ever seen, with lots of fluff on design. But it has the biggest number of member's. Actually among the top 100 in the world.

It depends on your authority on the subject and yor ability to bring passionate people together. People who are passionate about the subject.

If you get the right People on board, you may not evenough need SEO or expensive advertisement.

Most importantly is that, you should have a community built around the subject first, before you create a forum. Remember the social media has already denied you a greater chunk of followers.

My advice, concentrate on the content and members and not the delivery platform. If you know you can get a HUGE following, the Google for "tip 10 most stable forum software"

That way, I assure you your next serch in Google In a year or so will be "the Most stable bank to invest my daily earnings".

That's the proven path to forum success.



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clara1993

The best way to go for a Forum is to make it a paid after all who does not want to make money? So I would go for a paid which is also good like when you start to invest in it like invest to buy comments or whatever like making some changes to make the best one at least you'll be expecting to gain it back one day,



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mildredtabitha

I never knew it was possible to start a forum without investing. I have only found out from this post about the free softwares. I wouldn't mind paying members. It is how to start forum and which software to use that was bothering me too. I will now find the best free forum software too.



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Barida

The community discussion is a place where we can be able to interact with others while getting to learn new things. Any questions that you have or any suggestions can always be shared here and the truth is that I have learnt a lot being part of this awesome community.



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Corzhens

I am not a forum owner but I have close relation with some forum admin. They say that a free forum is just fine if it is a personal forum particularly for purposes of learning the ins and outs of managing a forum. But for a formal and more serious forum, the take is to use paid forum software that has complete support. It really depends on several elements like the budget and the way the forum is handled. But for me, I think I will opt for a paid forum just to be safe.



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Jeane

For testing the waters go with a free forum initially. IMO it is not the forum software that will get people to sign up or be active members on that forum. It's what you offer them that they won't get on other forums. Get this one thing right and you could get the answers you want real fast. Whether you'll want to move from free to paid software should be determined by the community. You could ask them to vote before you move lest you risk losing some of the members.



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Barida

Going for a paid one is necessary the best for you to go for. There are always added advantages and assistance that you can always get when you are going for the paid forum software. I have realized that it is always a great way to get to push your forum forward in a way.



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