Forum Software Comparison

Thought I’d write a little break drown of forum software options. These are currently the top  forum software’s being used by forums and my opinion of each!


An oldie but a goody, vBulletin is the choice of many forum owners. A possible reason to it’s success it it’s consistency, it has had the same feel and usability to it for quite some time and has become an interface many forum users have become use to. It has a pretty easy to use Admin Control Panel, which perhaps isn’t intuitive, but I would say more familiar to many, due to vBulletins extensive use. As far as mods and themes go, there’s a wide selection available to legitimate vBulletin owners at, definitely something that should be high up on the consideration list when choosing your forum software.

Invision Power Board

Another choice that’s been round for some time. This particular software hasn’t remained so consistent, there have been several rather huge interface changes that have happened throughout it’s lifetime. However, despite these changes, it has remained very intuitive and very easy to use. A cheaper alternative to vBulletin, it offers many similar features to vBulletin as well as a very similar, if not more extensive, suite of programs that can be integrated or ran independently. There is also a great deal of mods and themes for IPB, however, perhaps not as extensive as vBulletin. IPB is definitely worth a look and has developed into a great piece of software.


It has to be said, I’m not as familiar with XenForo, so this isn’t gonna be long. Basically, XenForo is becoming a popular choice by new forums. It has been developed by some previous owners/employees of vBulletin so might have a similar feel to it. It’s cheaper than vBulletin, so again, might be worth a consideration. I’m not certain whether XenForo can match vBulletin or IPB on the mods or themes front, but it’s shaping up to be a pretty good and becoming more an more popular.


Right, well… If paying isn’t an option, the phpBB is probably something you’ve looking into. It has a great deal of mods and themes, on the account that it’s free software, and is a popular choice to those starting a forum. I can’t say I am personally a huge fan, but on the basis it’s free, you can’t really go wrong and should be easy to give it a test drive before hand. However, my main suggestion would be, if you’re creating a forum for commercial use, or with an intent of making money from it at some point, I would suggest purchasing one of the above.


I have use MyBB before, and it’s alright. Similar sort of layout to the control panel as vBulletin, but not something that could compete. Mods and themes (from what I recall) are limited, but some are available, which can be found via the MyBB website. Again, this is free software and it should be easy to install and have a look yourself before the launch of your forum. If you’re using the forum commercially or with an intent of monetizing it later, go for one of the first three options.

4 Comments + Add Comment

  • Good article and very helpful. Much appreciated.

    It certainly helped me a lot and I would be visiting often in the future to see what you have added to the blog.

    • Glad to hear! 😀

  • The article seems very helpful. Since websites are different from forums it is a bit different.But it s always good to learn something new, you have made a comparison which is very appreciated.

  • I think that you are very experienced with forums. I agree completely with you. My favorite forum software is XenForo because it has many tools and it is different. Unfortunately, it’s too expensive and I cannot afford buying it. Another beautiful forum software is phpBB. I have been in many phpBB forums and I must say that it is the most common forum software. Why? I believe that it’s because of the price ( 0€ ) and because of the wide variety of themes/skins. Finally, I have never used MyBB but I know that it’s similar to phpBB, isn’t it?

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