Twelvestone Review

(January 6, 2012 10:36)
Last Version Live Version (January 2nd, 2012). Released under Proprietary License.
Resources Website Twelvestone Website Download Host your Forum...
Price Basic Plan Free, Enthusiast $9.99/month, Professional $24.99/month.
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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.

Twelvestone is recommended for Medium Community.

(and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

Client Requirements

Browser & Client Requirements
Compatible Browsers
List of Compatible Browsers.
Mozilla FirefoxMozilla FirefoxInternet ExplorerInternet Explorer
Google ChromeGoogle ChromeOperaOpera
Apple SafariApple SafariKonquerorKonqueror
Mozilla SeaMonkeyMozilla SeaMonkey
Required Plugins/Technologies
Additional or Basic Requirements from Client Side.
HTML, Javascript, AJAX, CSS.
Languages supported by Twelvestone.

Nothing to worry about here, as everything is hosted on Twelvestone's servers.

Compatibility with Smartphones
Compatible SmartPhones
Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
  • AndroidAndroid
  • iPhoneiPhone
  • BlackBerryBlackBerry
  • Windows Phone 7Windows Phone 7
Application Distribution / Type
How it is distributed / App Store Availability
  • Native Support

Forum Threads & Posts

Forum Threads / Topics
Forum Style Flat Forum Organization
  • Forum Categories
Thread Icons No Topic Tags No
Hot Topics Yes Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics Yes Sticky Threads Yes
Related Threads No Detect Duplicate Threads No
Announcements No
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • Formatting Buttons
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • Markdown
Spell Checker
Checks typos on posts and topics.
Image Attachment
How Images can be Attached and Displayed in Message Posts.
  • Use BBCode or HTML. Need to type the URL of an already hosted image.
Embedded Videos
Videos and Media Websites Supported in Message Posts.
Posting Features
Quick Reply Box Yes Smileys Yes
Attachments No Syntax Highlighting No
Message Rating
Yes Message Quoting Yes

Twelvestone - Thread Details

Twelvestone has enough features to ensure quick discussions and promotes the Markdown syntax to format posts and topics. The main advantage of this language is that it is far more simple than this old school BBCode, and could be read without troubles whatever it is converted to HTML or not. This language is actually perfect when typing long posts and could explain why there is no Preview button on the UI.

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation No
Private Messages
Users Can Communicate using an Internal Messaging System.
Instant Messaging
Discuss with Visitors and Members in a Chat Window.
Topic, Member Birthdays, Events are available from the perspective of a calendar.
Online Users List
Connected User List (Often Found in the Forum Footer).
Members List
Search and Consult the List of Members.
Technical Features
Bundled Software
Additional Software Available with the Forum.
RSS/Atom Syndication
Posts and Threads Exported to Feeds Aggregators Syndicate.
Friendly URLs
URLs are clear and contain information about the topic (title, message,...). Highly recommended for SEO purposes.
Post by Email
Post Directly From your Email Box.
Remote Control
Remote Control from External Software/Websites.
Cache System
Cache pages to optimize bandwidth and load times.
Template Engine
It is easier to theme a forum using a known template engine (more docs & examples,...).

Twelvestone - Recent Posts

Even with quite limited features, Twelvestone does the job we expect as a forum, providing who's online, and what's currently hot in the forum activity.

User Profiles & Options

Some details about Twelvestone features regarding members.
Member Options & Features
Bookmark Threads
User Profiles Keep a List of Followed Posts and Topics.
Email Notifications
Receive Emails When New Messages are Posted in Followed Threads.
Export private messages
Private Messages can be Downloaded by Users.
Payment Subscriptions
Paying Membership Subscription.
User Profiles
User Profile
User Information and Settings.
Pictures of Members, Useful to Easily Identify their Posts.
Signatures Added at the Bottom of Each Message.
Tags and Labels Identifying the Members, based on specific criteria (Total Posts Count, Credits, Moderation Level...)

Twelvestone - Edit Account

Don't expect to get many details about each user, as a user profile mainly consists about a name, an email and a picture. It's however enough, and we are not posting on forums to be tracked and to describe our private life.

Moderation & Users Management

Twelvestone Control Panel - User List

Each forum can have its own group of users, and hence, moderation can be set up on specific sections as well.

Moderation & Threads Management
Pre-Moderation In pre-moderation, every post needs to be validated by a moderator before being published.
Post-Moderation The moderation is done afterwards, if an administrator notices a problem or if a member reports something wrong. Each message is therefore directly published.
Reactive Moderation By reporting any problems, members are reactive against moderation problems. Moderators' main objective is to regularly check user reports, without having to follow each threads.
Distributed Moderation By organizing the forum around moderators, who are usually power and experienced users, moderation is self-powered and only depends on the community.
Moderator per section Yes
Global Moderator Yes
Move Threads
Move Threads from Topics
Shadow Topics
When a thread is moved, the previous position is kept in order to inform users of this modification.
Close/Lock Threads
Close/Lock Problematic Threads
Users Management
User Groups
Organize and define groups of users, and apply different actions and settings on them.
Common Groups: Guests, Members, Moderators, Administrators,...
User Registration
  • Free Registration
  • Confirmation sent by email for validation
Limit Features For New Users
Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
Guest Posting No
Multiple Administrators Yes
Send Warnings to Users
Inform users by email or PM that they infringe the board rules, and could be excluded for such behavior.
Forum/Section Restricted Access
ACL could be use to determine if a user or a group of users can access (in read only, post message) to some sections and topics.
User Banishment No

Administration & Support

Twelvestone Control Panel - Forum List

Really easy to administrate, you cannot be lost in Twelvestone's Control Panel.

Database Management
Backup Database
Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
Prune Database
Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
Restore Database
Restore a backup of your database if the previous install crashed.
Administration Tools
Statistics about posts count, users, traffic...
No Error/Notice Log Viewer
Forum Logs could be consulted.
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
No Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
Installation & Upgrading
Installation Method
How this forum software could be installed.
Installation Wizard
Upgrading Method
How this forum software could be upgraded.
Upgrade Wizard
Updates Notifications
The Admin Panel informs you when a new version is released.
Forum Migration
Convert an existing forum to Twelvestone.

Twelvestone Control Panel - Available Plans

If your plan starts to be too small, then Twelvestone provides a really convenient way to switch to a more advanced (and expensive) plan, granting you an higher traffic limit.

Security & Spam Protection

Security & Spam Protection
Captcha protects your forum against spam bots.
e.g., Syndicate
Abnormal Behavior Detection
Detect users or request strange behaviors, and try to process proactive actions.
Words Filtering
Offensing Words are automatically replaced.
User Blacklist
Prevent specific user accounts to register (based on email address, name,...) and disable potentially harmful members.
IP Blocking
Prevent access to spam robots and other scripts that could attempt DDOS or Brute Force attacks on your forum.

Customization & Social Networks

Add new features to your forum installation.
Modify the style of your forum easily.
Custom BBCodes No Smiley Packs No
Thread Icons
No Additional User Profile Fields
Ask more about your members with custom fields.
Integration with Applications, Social Networks, Intranet...
Social Networks
Users can share information from their social network account...
CMS / Blog Bridges
Integration with existing Web publishing tools.
User Accounts Integration
Do users be able to log in with their corporate, Google, Facebook,... accounts?
Content Aggregation
Forum allows to integrate news and content from other website, using an aggregation protocol (RSS, RDF, Atom,...).

Twelvestone Control Panel - Edit A Community

Theming is quite simple, as it mainly consists of configuring 4 CSS properties, but for sure, it already allows to give a real identity to your forum (see Twelvestone Main Forum is you need to be convinced).

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
Click to see if it respects HTML norms.
CSS Stylesheets
CSS 2.
Click to see if it respects CSS norms.
Accessibility (WAI)
Web Accessibility ensures that the forum is usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.
Conformance to AA level.
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does Twelvestone correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?

Unique Features

Key points and major differences that make Twelvestone unique:

Final Words


Twelvestone holds its main line and implementation promises: being a simplistic, modern and efficient forum software, moreover, hosted! Hence, you don't have to worry about the classical and annoying questions like installation, upgrades, security fixes,... But only about configuring and fill your forum with content.

We would definitely recommend Twelvestone for communities that does not care about useless features and heavy graphical layouts, but want to promote only one thing: the community.

Additional Resources:

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Comments (4)

Best platform period!

Best platform period! Exclamation point.


Twelvestone is reliable and

Twelvestone is reliable and well crafted. Great software. The fact that it's a hosted solution really makes it easy to use and build a community quickly and easily.


Simple, efficient, and great

Simple, efficient, and great to use. It's great for people who just want to see the posts, and not have to scroll through lots of avatars and tedious signatures.


What a crock of BS that this

What a crock of BS that this is rated so highly. I'm not trolling here, but I gave this forum a shot and, IMO, it leaves a LOT to be desired.

Don't get me wrong, I really like a spartan, minimalist approach to forum software and was looking for that, but this service just doesn't cut it. Even the visual layout is really poor. A huge space waster. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to use this forum software with any significant volume of posts.

Just the number of people posting to their support forums indicates that this product/service isn't really even out of beta. Hardly anyone is using it. I suspect the high user rating here is from family and friends of the forum author.

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