Good discussion board software?
May 27, 2006 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Looking for good web-based discussion board software.

I'm currently using Vanilla, but it's difficult to manage, and a little too beta for my needs. Which are:
  • Easy applicant approval and management.
  • Easy pruning.
  • Good compatability with a variety of browsers.
The board will have a lot of volume when the time comes, and the users will have a wide range of computer skill-levels.

I've used YaBB, which is decent but I'd love to hear it if there's something better. PhpBB is kludgy to manage.

Free is good, but at this point I'm willing to shell out a little if necessary.
posted by frykitty to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
As part of the administration team of a high-volume web board system, I can advise you against a couple of programs.

Invision Power Board has several great features and seems robust, but there are a lot of problems on the back end, from making moderators and admins to some poorly coded modules.

Ultimate Bulletin Board is old software, but it's still seeing a lot of use. However, if you decide to start modifying it, it gets increasingly hard to upgrade and fix things (like a lot of software).
posted by Captaintripps at 10:44 AM on May 27, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, Cap'n. I was just looking at Invision, and those are exactly the kinds of problems I want to avoid.

I have creaky memories of using UBB. Since I won't be doing a lot of customization, that may be a good option.
posted by frykitty at 10:47 AM on May 27, 2006

Best answer: phpBB is a bit of a nightmare when it comes to security. PunBB looks good. Shaun Inman uses it at
posted by matthewr at 10:51 AM on May 27, 2006

I've switched over to PunBB recently for all my projects, so another vote for it.
posted by ewagoner at 11:18 AM on May 27, 2006

We use phpBB and it seems to work well.
posted by radioamy at 11:23 AM on May 27, 2006

I remember adminning on a UBB, and I enjoyed that quite a bit. If you can pick up a 2.x series vBulletin license, though, I'd honestly do that. In 99% of the cases, it just worked.
posted by devilsbrigade at 12:13 PM on May 27, 2006

I've tried a whole pile, including phpBB, Invision and PunBB, but my favourite by far is definitely UNB. Brilliantly usable, thorough, and easy on the eyes.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 7:40 PM on May 27, 2006

as a former user of YaBB, I recommend the newer software, which is SMF, Simple Machines. works well on a big board, and YaBB can be upgraded to it.
posted by inthe80s at 9:00 AM on June 2, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone!

I tried UNB, but sadly, it just plain didn't work, and there wasn't enough support for me to figure out why. I was bummed, because it does look great.

We are going with PunBB and it looks good so far, if we can clear up a mod_security problem.
posted by frykitty at 7:53 AM on June 6, 2006

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