Forums can play a very important role in the success of an online business. Forums are a great way of interacting with customers and finding out their views, likes and dislikes about products. By posting in forums, users also get to meet other like minded buyers. This encourages them to visit the site again and again. Most importantly, forums help in providing the required information to the users. It also lets them to share their own knowledge. In a nutshell, a forum is a great way to have your users hooked to your site.
The basic goal of a business is to establish a good working relationship with the clients. This is exactly what forums help in achieving. Forums bring together many network marketers . These marketers may or may not have long lists of people following them. With a good forum, you can drive quality traffic to your website. It also helps to add valuable information to your community. One of the best things about forums is that you can post in them any time and can generate enough number of leads.
Here is a list of top 10 free and open source software for creating free forums.
1. phpBB Forums
phpBB is a famous software that is used by a large number of people across the world. This bulletin board is used by many across the world. It was released under the General Public License (GNU). You can make changes to the code with its help. You do not even need to seek permission from phpBB to do this. Whether you need to stay in touch with your gropu of friends or you are looking up to set a multiple category board for your website, phpBB has a wide range of built-in features that can help you accomplish all this. It guarantees ease of use.
2. Vanilla Forums
Vanilla is an open source forum.it offers a wide range of features that include standards-compliant, multi-lingual, theme-able, pluggable discussion forum for the web etc. It has more than 450 plug-ins. This is a great option for custom community solutions. It is used by over 300,000 businesses, brands and fans. You can migrate to it from any platform. It has many useful features to offer. The feature called Social Connect allows the users to sign in to your community with their favorite social networks. It has a powerful API with which you can create social experiences that improve growth and activity on your community.
3. bbPress Forums
This is a unique software. It is a creation of WordPress developers. In case you are frustrated with your slow bulletin board or your server gets hacked, then bbPress is certainly the solution you need. It proves to be a great solution as it is focused on web standards, ease of use, ease of integration, and speed. You can use and administrate it easily. Also, it is clean and quick. Another great thing about bbPress is that it is highly customizable. Another striking feature is that it gives due attention to users and puts them first.
4. miniBB Forums
This is an open source and standalone software. It helps you to build your own Internet forum that is written in PHP and uses MySQL database as the back end. The basic purpose behind its development is to post and get messages. These messages may include answering questions, spreading opinions, providing users support and other kind of online public communication between website owners and their visitors, and between visitors themselves. Since miniBB has very deep integration and customization possibilities, both graphical and functional, it helps immensely in providing a unique forum.
5. Simple Machines Forums
Simple machines forums, also known as SMF is a free software solution that can give a professional touch to your forums. With its help you can easily set up your own online community in no time. One of its best features is its robust custom made template engine that gives you full control of the lay-out of your message board. It also has a unique SSI function. It is with this feature that your forum and website interact with each other. It is highly customizable. You can apply any desirable modifications from among the hundreds of them to the database. You can also use a variety of custom themes that can change the look of your site. It also has a high quality support that ensures that if you run into any problem, the support team will be there to help you out.
6. IceBB Forums
This is a powerful , fast, free, and open-source forum solution powered by the free PHP and MySQL. It is quite scalable irrespective of high number of users or posts. This is because it has a clean and efficient code. Another interesting feature is that it can be customized fully as per the requirement. It has a powerful admin control center, along with easy-to-use moderation tools. This ensures that you can easily manage all aspects of your forum.
This is an open soirce discussion forum for those web sites that run on ASP.NET. It is written in C#, YAF. It is a unique combination of Open Source, Microsoftâ€™s .NET platform and an international collaboration of the .NET developer community. This has been steadily growing. YAF runs on any web server supports ASP.NET v2.0 (and above) and SQL Server. It is licensed under GPL. It is used throughout the world. It is quite stable and secure. It ensures a great performance. It can handle large number of users and posts with modest hosting requirements.
8. YaBB Forums
YaBB is one of the prominent forum system. It is available for free and has an open source community. It is based on Perl. It runs very fast and is the first one to run on Perl. Some good reasons to use YaBB are- it is customized to fit your requirements and design taste. It allows you to change everything from the look to the operation. Moreover, it is quite easy to setup and administer. Some key features are built-in security, censor controls, and spam eliminators.
This is a discussion board. It has been around for a while. Ever since its introduction, it has evolved from other bulletin boards into the forum package it is today. This makes it a thoroughly professional and efficient discussion board. It was developed by an active team of developers. Its history is quite interesting to read. It is easy to use. It uses a standard discussion board structure, which ensures that your visitors will feel familiar with the way MyBB works. Inline editing and various other moderation features help you to keep the discussion in control and forums tidy. Since it has a large and an active community, it has a large number of ready to use plug ins to offer.
With this robust and open source software, you can easily create your own web communities easily. It is completely written in PHP . All the content gets stored in MySQL database. It provides such pages that are optimized for better speed and security.