Forum Review

All Forum Software Reviews are here. Each forum software is detailed in terms of features, security and general points like community support, existing plugins and themes,...

Twelvestone Review

Twelvestone is part of the new wave of hosted forums that want a simple architecture and design to promote what the consider as the most important: user content. Based on HTML 5 and massively using the new design pattern we see more and more around the Web, Twelvestone is a really convenient forum to use and administrate.

Providing a Free Plan to test its features, it's then very convenient and easy to switch to a paid plan if your traffic increases.

Review Updates:

  • January 6, 2012: First Review.

SocialEngine Review

SocialEngine is the next generation of software, providing a great base you could extend with many plugins. Powered by the PHP Zend Framework, SocialEngine relies on a modern technology that gives it for free very important technical features like a cache management, ORM, database abstraction, well designed URLs and a protected environment (less chance to find SQL injection, opened restricted pages,... ).

SocialEngine's main goal is to allow its user to recreate their own social network, putting members in a central place and focusing on community features. When installing a standard SocialEngine, you will quickly see some similarities with the Facebook user stream, that lists all link shares, discussions, polls, games and events a member is writing and makes him/her interacting with friends. This is the first pillar of this product, that you could extend with official plugins (between $30 and $40 each) or third-party plugins (developed by the community).

If we had to compare SocialEngine with another software, I think Drupal would be a kind of competitor in the open source world. Note however that it would require much more configuration and tuning work for reaching what SocialEngine provides per default.

We have decided to review SocialEngine with the most common plugins you could find in an advanced forum software, including: a Forum (of course), a Blog, an Album Manager, a Calendar and a Poll module. It's time to detail SocialEngine now!

Review Updates:

  • December 7, 2011: First Review.

NitPick 2011 Review

Nitpick 2011 is from the same generation of forum software that don't bother with providing an old school interface and appearance, focusing on pictures and comments guests post. Nitpick 2011 is indeed an image board software, a forum that primarily focus on sharing pictures with others more than discussing with them.

You must know at least one big website, often considered as the trash of Internet: the famous 4chan.org. If your goal is to mimic the behavior and the fun of this website, then you should think about considering the Nitpick 2011 software, but read our review first...

Review Updates:

  • November 17, 2011: First Review.

Answerbase Review

Answerbase is a Q&A community software, where the goal is to share experience between members, some asking questions, while others answer if the know the correct solution. This forum software way of managing members popularity and relevance is hence based on the total count of questions a given user was able to answer correctly. Indeed, after receiving answers to his question, his owner will select among the answers which one is the best, and mark his question as solved.

Answerbase is doing hosting services mainly, which basically mean you do not need to install anything on your server, everything is managed remotely on Answerbase's servers. Under the hood, Answerbase is using ASP.Net technology, and provides all classical DNS tools in order to make your Q&A installation hosted on a subdomain of your main website.

Why reviewing a Q&A community software?

In many aspects, Q&A community software are close to our classical definition of a forum software: you manage a community of users, questions and answers are finally another representation of topics and posts, but really focusing to this specific domain of solving users' problems.

Pricing

Basic Plan - $15/month
Provides main features, including custom advertising and use of your own domain name.
Professional Plan - $45/month
Basic Plan + CSS Customization, Mobile Phones support, Social Network integration, Widgets, API...
Business Plan - $200/month
Professional Plan + Standard Single Sign On and Phone Support
Enterprise Plan
Mainly needed if you need to tweak your Q&A site in a way that Answerbase administrate panel cannot do. This plan is also probably required if you ask for additional or custom services (integration, theming,...)

Review Updates:

  • September 15, 2011: First Review.

FusionBB Review

FusionBB is a commercial community software, that is turning 8 years old this year. It is easily recognizable with its famous default orange and blue theme, and it is supported by the InteractivePHP, Inc. company, that basically has this product only in its catalog.

FusionBB main target is to provide a community software, but you will see that it also includes several good surprises as a Portal and a Blog infrastructure for all forum members. We are going to review in the following article the different features that FusionBB embeds.

Review Updates:

  • August 25, 2011: First Review.
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