New Forum Software Options...

BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,464 admin
Good day Members,

Looking for feedback on forum software options... Here is what I have seen here so far in an earlier thread:

One suggestion: www.discourse.org/
In case I was too neutral before... this forum software (vBulletin?) is terrible, horrible, ugly, frustrating, and OUTDATED. I can't stand it. Discourse.org is FREE and AWESOME. Here is another:
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I would recommend the free forum software "Discourse". It is great all around. The best part is you never need the refresh button. Many users can have a live discussion right on a page. The new posts are pushed out just like a messaging program. None of this post and then push refresh 50 times crap. It makes a very vibrant community.

Other software:
I like http://www.simplemachines.org/SMF. I have been an admin on a forum that has used SMF for 9 years now. SMF is free software. Therefore there is no paid for support, but they have a great forum for obtaining help. We have had very few issues with it, even when we changed from one version to a later version. It does require some learning by the admins or mods. I would be willing to "talk shop" with anyone who wants to. There are dozens if not hundreds of addons to customize the software. I do prefer to use very few mods though as updates to the base software do not always get along with all the mods. EDIT: SMF is the software Midnite runs. The forum I help run is at http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php
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Another vote for SMF. One of my favorite features is that when you hit the "Post" button after writing a reply, if there has been another post while you were writing, it warns you and lets you read it before posting your reply. --vtMaps

And another
We've been using Web Wiz for 5+ years now: http://www.rpod-owners.com/ We have some members that have used various forum software out there--Feed back might be useful. Also, it may depend on who can export the posts/picks/users from the existing software to any new software too.

And:
David Lauzon wrote: I.P board might be an option https://www.invisionpower.com/apps/board/

A big issue will be finding somebody/software company that can export from our current forum software to the new software and preserve the posts/attachments (as best as can be done).

We should be having a bug-fix in the next few days/week or so... Fingers crossed.

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset

Comments

  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Depends on which forum software has the least security threats to hackers.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    I do not have any specific recommendations, but I would like you to look carefully at the competency of the mobile device support. VBulletin is not particularly good in that respect and adding on Tapatalk! will introduce all kinds of security issues for the users and for the Forum.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • Mountain DonMountain Don Solar Expert Posts: 494 ✭✭✭
    Mobile is a very good point. Most forums as they come, display poorly on small mobile devices like a 4 or 5 inch smartphone. SMF has a beta version (2.1) that is responsive or mobile friendly. It is a beta only, not ready for prime time, at this tme. But that does show they are working towards a good mobile product. I have a test version of it running and it is easy to use on small screens.

    We run SMF 2.0 with tapatalk add on.. That has proven to work reliably for us. I am looking forward to the responsive, mobile friendly release version, but that will be a ways off.
    Northern NM, 624 watts PV, The Kid CC, GC-2 batteries @ 24 VDC, Outback VFX3524M
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,464 admin
    This version of VBulletin is almost impossible to use Moderator Functions on Mobile. The dynamic screen sizing "strips" the Moderator functions on my mobile phone (no matter what browser settings I use).

    VB is working sort of OK on my Android phone otherwise.

    Of course, I use my phone for Moderator functions (deleting spammers) mostly--Not fun making long posts on a touch screen.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,464 admin
    Hi Folks,

    Here is another option or two that Rick and David from NAWS are researching:
    Our developers got back to us with a couple of suggestions for new forum software. Maybe you can take a look at these and see what you think. Their first suggestion is a platform called Vanilla. They can migrate all of our vBulletin info to their platform. And when they say all, I think they mean it. Take a look at this page on their site. It describes exactly what data they can migrate. http://vanillaforums.com/resources/migration Also, you can browse some of the websites using the Vanilla software and get an idea of what it looks like. Based on what I see, this definitely looks like the prettier software. It looks very customizable. http://vanillaforums.com/showcase The other suggestion is called PunBB. It's an open source package and it looks a lot more like the layout and design we're used to seeing. It's probably customizable too, but I doubt as much as Vanilla. I didn't see anything about being able to migrate our data over, but the developers are looking into whether they would be able to do this for us. I kind of have my doubts though. There's just so much data that needs to be retained. It may be better to go with a company that actually specifies they can do that. http://punbb.informer.com/about.php Let me know if you have any opinions on the matter. Both David and I think that our number one concern is preserving all the forum posts, user info, accounts, etc. We want to attract new users but at the same time, we don't want to frustrate our current users. Rick

    Any feed back from our members? If NAWS takes the hit on migration and a new software package (Vanilla is not cheap)--They want to make sure that it works for everyone here.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    I see that PUNBB lists ALL versions of their BB software (?) so, I expect one can revert (retreat?) to an earlier version if problems occur...

    Layout is/looks similar to other BBs I have seen and used

    ie http://www.volvo-forums.com/index.php?s=5d671bb5f3870fb20949817f126aedcf&showforum=15
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • Mountain DonMountain Don Solar Expert Posts: 494 ✭✭✭
    westbranch wrote: »
    I expect one can revert (retreat?) to an earlier version if problems occur...

    Don't makethat assumption. Frequently the newer version uses adifferent layout in the database. The writers virtually always make converters to go forward but most of the time there is little if any provision to go back. The only sure method would be to make a backup of everything just before updating. Then you at least have the choice of reverting to the earlier version, BUT with the loss of any new posts, members and all other changes or additions.

    FWIW, when it comes to major software revisions I believe in taking the slow lane... not being one of the first adopters of the cool new software and also running a private test bed so I can see what the new features are and learn my way around the new system as an administrator / moderator.
    Northern NM, 624 watts PV, The Kid CC, GC-2 batteries @ 24 VDC, Outback VFX3524M
  • JoshKJoshK Solar Expert Posts: 232 ✭✭
    BB. wrote: »
    They can migrate all of our vBulletin info to their platform.

    I first learned of Discourse.org when another forum I was on completely changed their forum software to it. Everything migrated for them, posts, attachments, links, personal messages. Just saying. I really don't think you could go backwards, so whatever.
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    inetdog wrote: »
    ... adding on Tapatalk! will introduce all kinds of security issues for the users and for the Forum.

    Is that still the case? I know there were some security issues - last year, I believe? regarding Tapatalk.
    Paul
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    BB. wrote: »
    Looking for feedback on forum software options...

    I have been using IPB since 2006 on one forum; since 2012 on another. I have been pretty happy with it. More importantly, I have been very pleased with the service I have received when having to contact support.
    Paul
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