Yet Another Forum Review

(April 11, 2009 00:00)
Last Version 1.9.4 RC1 (December 8, 2009). Released under GPL License.
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What is Yet Another Forum?

YetAnotherForum.NET (also known as YAF) is a Open Source bulletin board running with ASP.NET 2.0, along with the Microsoft SQL Server backend. The source code is entirely written in C#, and is licensed with the GPL license.

Review Updates:

  • February 22, 2010: Minor updates.
  • February 16, 2010: Update the review with YAF 1.9.4 RC1.

Yet Another Forum is recommended for Medium Community.

(and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

Server & Client Requirements

Server Requirements
Programming Language
Required Architecture and Versions.
  • C#
  • ASP.Net
Web Servers
How the forum is delivered to users.
  • Microsoft IIS
How Forum Data are Stored.
  • Microsoft SQL Server
Operating Systems
Systems Supporting this Software.
  • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
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.
Languages supported by Yet Another Forum.
Supported Languages:
Portuguese (Brazilian) Chinese (Simplified)
Czech German
Danish Spanish
French Persian
Italian Russian
Arabic Slovak
English (British) English (American)

Yet Another Forum is available on more than 20 languages. Language Packs could be found on the YAF.NET Official Language Community Forum.

A full Microsoft architecture is needed. Some tests should be made to see if the open source C#/ASP.Net Mono implementation works too.

Compatibility with Smartphones
Compatible SmartPhones
Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
Application Distribution / Type
How it is distributed / App Store Availability

Forum Threads & Posts

Forum Threads / Topics
Forum Style Flat/Threaded Forum Organization
  • Forum Categories
  • URL Redirection Forum
  • Sub Sections
Thread Icons No Topic Tags -
Hot Topics - Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics Yes Sticky Threads Yes
Related Threads - Detect Duplicate Threads No
Announcements -
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • Plain Text
  • Formatting Buttons
  • Preview Button
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • HTML
  • BBCode
Spell Checker
Checks typos on posts and topics.
Image Attachment
How Images can be Attached and Displayed in Message Posts.
Embedded Videos
Videos and Media Websites Supported in Message Posts.
Posting Features
Quick Reply Box Yes Smileys Yes
Attachments Yes Syntax Highlighting Yes
Message Rating
Yes Message Quoting Yes

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation Yes
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.
  • Pictures Album Manager
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,...).
  • Custom Template Engine

Features are really complete, simple and powerful. No doubt on it, Yet Another Forum is a pure Internet Forum

User Profiles & Options

Some details about Yet Another Forum 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...)

Moderation & Users Management

Moderation & Threads Management
Moderation No.
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 No.
Limit Features For New Users
Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
Guest Posting Yes
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 Yes

Administration & Support

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...
Yes Error/Notice Log Viewer
Forum Logs could be consulted.
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
Yes Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
Installation & Upgrading
Installation Method
How this forum software could be installed.
Installation Wizard but manual database setup
Upgrading Method
How this forum software could be upgraded.
Upgrade Wizard but manual database update
Updates Notifications
The Admin Panel informs you when a new version is released.
Forum Migration
Convert an existing forum to Yet Another Forum.

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 Yes Smiley Packs Yes
Thread Icons
Plugin 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,...).

Many Plugins could be found in the Official YAF forum.

Yet Another Forum has modules allows it to be used in either DotNetNuke and Rainbow Portal Module.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
XHTML 1.0 Transitional
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 A level.
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does Yet Another Forum correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?

Final Words


Yet Another Forum is not yet another forum, but a real Microsoft .Net alternative to the classic LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) architectures.

It works well, could be integrated and installed on IIS Express and SQL Server Express Edition, and on any Microsoft Windows version.

To conclude, the features provided by Yet Another Forum will satisfy most community manager requirements.

Additional Resources:

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Comments (3)

I use YAF to power the

I use YAF to power the Forum and thus far it's been great. There are some behind the scenes errors which occur when hosting on a webfarm, but the user doesn't experience these. Installation and administration is extremely easy. A great option for those hosting on the .net platform. Check out my customized install:


This is a great forum,

This is a great forum, although I use MegaBBS or o0mBBS all Classic ASP stuff if I will swicth to another forum I'll choose this one, it has great features, altough I like more the 1.1 method to load the styles. I advice 3.5 version

Look here at o0mBBS Revisited



Almost four years with YAF

Almost four years with YAF and never, ever a single problem with the software which proved rock solid even on an undepowered virtual machine with Windows 2008, SQL Server 2008 and 2,000 users.
They appreciate ease of use from the interface and most of all the "recent thread" list. All functions are there, but the user experience is very simple and the default message editor much faster than any other commercial solution like TinyMCE.
Clean design is the strongest point of this forum and the community has mods and translations available for free. This means a minimal intervention from the administrator who can forget about the server if not for periodic updates which install flawlessly and concentrate on the community itself.
Highly recommended forum for Windows platforms where it excels in performance.

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