Best Forum Software Sites of 2016 (Free & Premium)



Forums are a great way to build a community website around a theme, create a support tool around a product or service, or add an extension to your existing site so your visitors can interact with each other. Selecting the right forum software is an important first step in making sure your forum will be able successful as possible. You'l want to find a software package that combines stability, security, usability, and flexibility. To help you get started, below is a list of the best forum software.

We all know that forum software are a necessity when venturing out in the wide vast world of internet and keeping in mind the importance of online forum software today we have gathered some best free forum software and paid forum software for you.

phpBB (Free)
If you are looking for the #1 free open source bulletin board software then phpBB is the perfect forum software choice for you. phpBB is one of the best online forum software which comes with a bulletin board format. Using this best forum software, you can stay on top of everything that is happening across your website as well as communicate with a group of people at the same time.

vBulletin (Paid)
Undoubtedly, vBulletin is the most renowned and the world’s leading community software developed by vBulletin Solutions, Inc. and released in 2000. vBulletin is a premium online forum software which is the choice of several top- notch websites.

There are several built- in applications that come with this discussion forum software, such as events management, groups, photo albums, blogs, polls, calendars and so on. vBulletin is available in 3 different versions: Mobile Suite, Forum Suite as well as Publishing Suite.

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Some of the most important features of vBulletin forum software are: Unlimited Hierarchy of Forums, Thread and forum subscription, Supports BB Code in posts, Supports HTML in post, Preview post option, Member Profile Pages, Private Messaging, Custom Avatars, Unlimited Moderators and SuperModerators, forum style chooser, Task Scheduler, Moderation queues for user registration and posting, Powerful Templating System, Full CSS layout and design, fast and suitable for robust development, and much more things.

Vanilla gives facilitated and open source group best forum software that powers examination forums. It permits you to make a tweaked group that compensates positive investment, consequently ministers substance and gives individuals a chance to drive balance.

This software is particularly for WordPress engineers. In the event that you basically loathe your moderate notice board or your server gets hacked, then this software is unquestionably what you require. It brags web gauges, convenience, simplicity of joining, and speed. Utilizing and administrating it is truly simple, as it is entirely spotless and fast. The best thing about this one is that it is exceptionally adjustable; and it gives due thoughtfulness regarding clients and puts them first.

Some of the eye catching features of bbPress forum software are:
  • Simple Setup: Simple Setup Easy to setup. Easy to moderate. Fast, and clean.
  • Fully Integrated: One central account. One unified admin area. One click install.
  • Single Installation: Simple step-by-step installation walks you through your options.
  • Multisite Forums: Divide your site into sections. Allow your users to create content.
  • Fast and light: Code are lean so that you get the best experience possible.
  • Simple interface: Always keep things simple and make things intuitive.
  • Highly extensible: bbPress can’t toast your bagels, but a plugin for it sure could!
  • Spam protection: Full Akismet support built in offering you an amazing weapon against spam.
  • Customizable templates: Not everybody likes the same pair of pants, so we allow you to dress up your forums however you like.

miniBB is a free, standalone, and open source program for building your own Internet forum. The PHP announcement board script offers you a simple and stable message board that incorporates a full customization of the format to the look of your site, and synchronizes your current participation framework.

Simple machines forums (SMF) is a free however it can give an expert touch to any forum. It permits setting up your online group rapidly. It gives uniquely designed format motor with the goal that you can pick the lay-out of your message board. It has an incredible SSI capacity, and this lets your forum and site interface with each other. SMF is exceedingly adjustable so you can alter in any capacity you need. Utilizing custom topics from a rundown of additionally conceivable with the goal that you can change the look of your site. It additionally has a stunning bolster, so in the event that you experience any issue, you can simply request help.


This forum software is written in PHP and its database is created using MySQL. All features expected from a bulletin board are a part of SMF. In easy words, Simple Machines Forum is elegant elegant, effective and powerful free online forum software which is well known for following attractive features of SMF:
  • Advanced permission and user management.
  • Supports multiple languages at once.
  • Tracking of new and old unread topics, not just from your last visit.
  • Better SEO (Search Engine Optimization for search engines.
  • Package manager that automatically installs or uninstalls mods.
  • Major actions are time and IP locked, preventing ‘hammering’.
  • Put a board into maintenance mode, allowing only admins to login.
  • Create child boards under other boards.
  • Allow certain member groups to access a board, including guests only.
  • Configure permissions for each membergroup on the board level.
  • Disable member registration completely.
  • Require email authentication by sending an authentication link.
  • Both cookie and session based authentication.
  • Tracking of topics, messages, new members, and hits per day.
  • Ability to create announcement boards.
  • Ability to choose sendmail or SMTP.
  • Ban members based on their username, email address, IP address or hostname
  • Support for WAP, WAP2 and I-mode protocols.
  • Members can choose which smiley set they wish to use (or none.)
  • “Insert Quote” feature on posting screen to quickly quote previous replies.


Modern, sleek, very stable. Extremely easy install process, and continued, growing support of the product.M+6
One of the forums I used changed from vBulletin to XenForo a year or so back. Its like night-and-day, a huge improvement in productivity for regular posters and enjoyment by members. Very slickM+7
Just fantastic, fast easy to use and really gone forward with the most important features you want for a forum.M+2
Fast and easy to use

 ZetaBoards (Free)
Do you want to create a free forum with no limit on posts or members? If yes, you must try out ZetaBoards Free Forum Hosting software. ZetaBoards is also one of the top 10 best forum software 2016 which offers free forum hosting which is crucial for the growth of any website on the internet. It doesn’t limit the forum communities by members, posts or bandwidth.

ZetaBoards free forum software is quite user friendly and extraordinarly easy to use. Joinable groups, full customization, support for custom domains, custom profile fields and pinned topics are some of the noticeable features of Zetaboards. If you are are really interested in getting an amzing online forum software that allows maximum level of customizations then download ZetaBoards right now and start using it.

IP. Board (Paid)
For creating an engaging and effortful discussion forum on the web, IP.Board is yet another best forum software that you can use for your website. There are comprehensive tools which are a part of this premium forum software. It will certainly encourage the visitors in coming back to your website. Users can also promote and share the content present on your website using IP.Board.


Powerful solution. Is not free, but you can have the license included free with an Invision Power (the guys who made the program) hosting account starting at $5 a month. The nice this about having them host it is that the handle the installation and upgrades so you don't have to worry about it.
M+15
Customizable an user friendly.
M+8
The best and easiest Bulletin Board to use.


PunBB (Free)
PunBB is yet another best free forum software which is powered by lightweight PHP and released under the GNU General Public License. This online discussion forum software is created with the goal of being lighter, faster, and less graphically intensive. There are very few basic features in PunBB as compared to others in this list. However, it is also comparatively faster and provides smaller outputs which are XHTML complaint pages and are also semantically accurate.

WoltLab Burning Boards is another best forum software which is fast and reliable in nature. Basically, Woltlab Burning Board is a PHP based forum software, developed since may 2001 by an German company, WoltLab GmbH. Installing and running Woltlab Burning Board software requires a server or webspace with PHP support and a MySQL database (System Requirements: PHP 5.3.2+, MySQL 5.1.17+).

Woltlab Burning Board comes with 3 premium versions: Burning Board, Burning Board Lite and Community Framework, all of which are helpful in expanding your online user base. Some of the most interesting features in Woltlab Burning Board forum software are:
  • Quick Notifications
  • Visual Customization
  • Recent Activities ditection
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Facebook Integration
  • State-of-the-art Technology
  • Multilingualism
  • Extensible with Plugins
  • First-class Security
  • Against Spam
  • Import From Other Systems

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