phpBB has long been one of the most popular and widely used discussion forum applications, even more-so than many of the commercial community applications. This stems from a range of reasons including it’s rich feature list, open-source nature, extensive support and obviously the fact that it’s 100% free to download and use. But aside from the price tag being a large contributor to it’s success, just how well does it match up against some of the giants in the discussion forum application world.
How Does phpBb Stack Up Against Commercial Forum Competitors
Although phpBB isn’t the only free and open source forum application, it is one of the most popular ones. There are many other free online community applications such as SMF (Simple Machine Forums), PunBB, myBB, iceBB, Vanilla Forums and many more, however phpBB is more often than not the favourite due to it’s long history and solid backing.
It matches up against some of the big players in the field for the top spot including names like vBulletin and IPB (Invision Power Board), but what differences do they have? At the end of the day, phpBB is capable of doing just about everything that a commercial forum application can, the main difference is that when purchasing a commercial license for some of these other applications you receive the benefit of priority and dedicated support. Not to say that your own your own when using phpBB, it’s super easy to gain support for your issues with official support channels such as the phpBB community forums, however you may experience a longer period before having your problem resolved due to help being provided from other phpBB users rather than a dedicated support team.
Rather than try and distinguish the core differences between phpBB and some of the commercial applications, we’ve simply compiled a list of features that phpBB includes that are also found in commercial applications, proving that phpBB can do everything that the bag names can.
- Spam control
- Ability for members to create, edit and respond to threads
- Complete control over the theme/layout of the forum
- Moderation tools including the ability to edit, delete, merge and move topics
- Ban or restrict certain members and member groups
- Unlimited number of forums
- Ability to add sub-forums
- Ability to plug in external extensions/scripts for added functionality
- Search Engine Optimisation tools
- Easy installation
- Social integration
- Quick replies and quotes
- BBCode editors
- Member profiles, avatars, post counts and page
- Maintenance/Construction mode
- User and user group creation and maintenance
- Custom user roles
- Promotional tools
phpBB Price Tag: $0
vBulletin Price Tag: $209 – $399
Invision Power Board Price Tag: $175
phpBB May Be For You
Although commercial forum applications are readily available for purchase, the cost isn’t quite worth it unless you really desire the priority support and assistance from the developer. If you’re confident in setting and running a forum, then phpBB is more than capable of taking on this task for you, making it one of the best choices for any website owner.
If you’re ready to get started with phpBB forum hosting, sign up for your new domain name and web hosting plan today before running an automatic installation of the software via the automatic installer located within your web hosting control panel.