Best Forum Software of 2009

What will be the next Best Forum Software for 2014?

Vote for the Best Forum Software of 2014

Best Free
Forum Software

Why Simple Machines 1.1:

Simple Machines is, with nearly 30% of the voters, without any doubt the Best Free Forum Software.

Many people have already tried the next major release, Simple Machines 2, that will bring this very good piece of software to its highest level in terms of quality and robustness.

Best Commercial
Forum Software

Why vBulletin 3.8:

For the third time, vBulletin is the winner of the Best Commercial Forum Software of 2009.

The dynamic will probably continue this year with the huge plan of migrations that need to be prepared all over the Internet, to use the famous and really expected major version of vBulletin 4.

Best Hosted
Forum Service

Why Lefora:

Lefora is the first winner of the Best Hosted Forum Service Award, for the year 2009.

This innovating service hosts more and more forum communities and helps groups of people to easily communicate with a powerful and easy tool.

Congratulations to Lefora!

Awards of the Previous Years

Post a Comment

Comments (7)

Cool, I love the SMF forum

Cool, I love the SMF forum software.


I think that vbulletin is the

I think that vbulletin is the best. Because of its security against spamers!


Seems like none of these

Seems like none of these forums are gonna stay again this year. unless they get a MAJOR boost in votes.

lastnico's picture

Indeed, the ranking is going

Indeed, the ranking is going to be modified in 2010!

FSR Admin - Vote for 2012.


can somone explain the

can somone explain the difference between the 3 types of forums and where they are commonly used? eg what does vbulletin do that simple machines cant (in non-techie terms)

for example, if i want a forum for staff to share ideas and market intelligence - which should i go for? i want to encourage online conversation on key topics, and have easily searchable information.

if i wanted to setup a community in an industry sector eg health that contained staff, customers, experts and suppliers - which would be best and why? the emphasis here would be on getting a sector community to share intelligence with us.

can i brand the forums with my own company's identity?


lastnico's picture

Hi! There are actually 2


There are actually 2 different kind of forums (free and commercial are actually based on the same principle, one paid, one free):

  • Free & Commercial: you install on your dedicated/hosted server your own forum software, and you can configure it, customize it, etc. You are free to do whatever you want with it (as if you were developing your own website, but with a predefined package, theme and features) - including crash it Wink
    Simple Machines and vBulletin are perfect example of this.
  • Hosting Service: simply ask to a third company to host and manage your forum software. You don't need any IT skills for this, as everything is supported by the company (quality of service and available features will depend, obviously on the price of the system you rent).

To determine which kind of software/service you should use, simply see if you (or your company) have skills in web development. If yes, you will be able to choose a free/commercial product. If no, I would then suggest you let a dedicated company hosts your forum community.

Once this defined, simply choose the software that matches most of your needs, depending on the subject of your forum (i.e. a forum to share idea will probably need to allow members posting images, videos and so on, where a customer forum may needs more moderation capacities)

And finally, yes, with free forum software, you can brand a forum on your own company's identity.

FSR Admin - Vote for 2012.

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