Discourse or Xenforo?

I, personally, like the Woltlab suite WoltLab Suite 5.2 - Forum, CMS and more - WoltLab® a lot. But it is probably not the right thing for Youngsters. I, however, like how it combines “good ol forum software” with many useful modern options and features. Hetzner, for example, use it for their community forums.

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Forgot about WoltLab, they seem to be a decent sized player as well, haven’t really used a forum using their software though…

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If just blabbing Discourse is bearable. For information types of forums not so good. Maybe it’s just me but I lose everything I have up everytime I lose internet

Categories view … can also be default if you prefer … :thinking::man_shrugging: :slight_smile:

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NodeBB seems decent, although it just looks like a copycat of Discourse. I used to really hate Discourse, but it’s started to grow on me.

They’re all… fine. They used to be good, and haven’t really made any changes that made them bad. I think that’ the problem though - they mostly just stopped innovating and feel a bit bloated these days. I used to be a developer on SMF and I don’t think it’s changed much since the last time I used it a lot (which probably would have been over 10 years ago now).

It’s really surprising how few forums have tried to be unique outside of the traditional formats (vBulletin, phpbb, you get the picture). Discourse is the only one that’s “different” but also has a highly active community.

I’m worried nodebb may be suffering from a lack of interest. The latest version admins can’t add users, clicking the button fails. So little interest that almost no one is talking about it. You could read the last month of posts on their forum in a few minutes.

Xenforo is fairly traditional but at least seems to have a profitable model that should keep it going for quite some time. Open source seems like Discourse or half dead.


Seems Discourse is quite a bit more resource hungry than for example Vanilla. (To me both have their strengths, I might prefer discourse, but not by much. If Vanilla had a couple of extra features, which Discourse has, like muting threads, I might prefer it …)

On the other hand, let’s just make an NNTP implementation that remembers state (like IMAP), and then lets just ditch all these web forums and go back to using newsgroups and clients like Gnus etc … :laughing:

Yours truly,
Old Fart :wink:

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Nah…not at all :smile:

Ruby / Rails / Redis / Postgres / Docker… omg

Compare with NodeBB… NodeJS and Redis…

You can literally run Hostedtalk with NodeBB on just the cheapest Hetzner slice.

Ah, lets just rewrite it to Crystal … Be ready Real Soon Now™ :wink:

I stay away from Discourse as the tech stack is completely different, you need better hardware + good expertise to scale. I haven’t been able to customize it much other than some basic colors and logo.

I would stick with PHP based ones as you can get started with them with least effort and are easier to customize, scale and cheaper to maintain in the long run,

I have listed a few below but since everyone advertises their positives, I have only listed their negatives,

Xenforo - you will look like every other forum out there

WordPress - easy to setup + plugin required + you will likely be hacked

phpBB - a bit outdated but solid

Joomla! - plugin required + ugly code base

Vanilla Forums - just works + though limited functionality with free one

Codoforum - For gamers/kids + expensive

VBulletin - You will likely migrate from here anyway + expensive

Invision Community - cheap forum with expensive plugins

Flarum - You need thousands of outdated plugins for anything to work

MyBB - Classic forum style + old ppl like it + horrible on mobile

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Never seen this, looks really cool. Is there licensing somewhere that isn’t obvious on the site?

it is free unless you want to white label, the services are paid.

PS: The list was shamelessly stolen by searching “best forum software” and the article from hubspot The Best Forum Software for Creating an Online Community in 2020 but I do have experience with all these forums.

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So, if I self host and don’t require to remove “Powered by Codoforum”, it’s free? (Quickly browsing the site I couldn’t find a licencing/pricing info link.) :slightly_smiling_face:
Wonder how small of a VPS this would fit on, if I wanted to test… :laughing:
(I saw someone had made a dark theme for it.)

Yes it seems to be, the download/pricing page says it so. Buy - CODOFORUM

you could expect most PHP softwares to run in standard shared hosting environment (Basically LAMP stack)

Biased as I run on Xenforo and alot of my Centmin Mod LEMP stack users do as well ~10% of largest Xenforo forums are powered by Centmin Mod LEMP stack Xenforo - Centmin Mod LEMP powers ~10% of Xenforo's largest forums ! | Centmin Mod Community Support Forums :slight_smile:

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Discourse all the way, a lot of PHP webapps are not nearly as powerful as Ruby on Rails. Plus, can’t beat free and open source :wink:

Not sure if joking or not but we wrote our panel in Crystal with Amber framework :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m very interested in playing with Crystal :slight_smile:

Joking was more along the lines of a typical sysadmin/non-dev like me rewriting Discourse (as it seems fairly complex and large/not slim) … IIRC :sweat_smile:

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Xenforo is pretty good, actively developed, powers quite a few large forums so it scales well I think?

Flarium is another option which is quite modern in it’s core/code base, but beyond all Vanilla works out nicely too putting all the threads upfront (similar to Discourse).


Plus I’m insanely bored by PHP|Ruby|[node]JS + mysql as well as by the fact that most open source software is crappy. Most commercial software is crappy too but foss has become a co-culprit by very rarely creating better software which enables commercial software to stay crappy but to offer a candy layer (like support, more or less useful manuals, etc).

I know of NO reliable good quality forum or community software.