Best Forum Software (Top Free & Paid Tools)

In this post I will share with you the best forum software that you can use to create your discussion board.

Having a forum is an excellent way of creating a community and a great place for people to discuss issues and share experiences. 

Check these top forum tools. See also our hosting plans for forums.


phpBB is a very popular forum application.

The main advantages are:

  • It is totally free.
  • It is very easy to customize to your needs by using user-created extensions
  • There are tons of different styles that you can use to customize the look of the board.



MyBB is another popular forum tool that is super easy to use.  

The main advantages are:

  • It has a great selection of plugins which will help you add more functionality
  • Easy tools for moderators and staff
  • You can customize it to suit your needs


Vanilla Forum

Popular forum tool with tons of features.

The main advantages are:

  • You can easily migrate from other forum platforms to Vanilla forum
  • Their team can help you with the migration process
  • They can even create a custom theme based on the look of your website
  • Has advanced features including gamification and volunteer moderators.



Xenforo is a nice and simple forum solution.

The main advantages are:

  • Advanced features such as gamification
  • Motivate users to come back by letting them earn trophies for reaching milestones
  • You can customize the look of XenForo’s by using the simple color changer.
  • EO friendly which will help it do better in the search results.


Simple Machines Forum

SMF is free and open source forum that is very easy to use.

The main advantages are:

  • It is free
  • SMF is an open-source application created by volunteers
  • Easily customize the look of it by using the Package Manager
  • They also offer tech support should you need their help



vBulletin is a popular premium forum application.

The main advantages are;

  • You can customize the look of it
  • Streamlined photos & videos
  • Set it up in less than 15 minutes.
  • Social media features
  • vB Messenger chat app
  • Built-in SEO and security
  • Mobile friendly
  • Easy to use admin area



This forum application has some great features.

  • Configure it to suit your needs
  • Customize the look to suit your brand
  • API integration
  • WYSIWYG editing for rich content creation
  • Easy to manage admin area
  • Works seamlessly on desktops, tablets & phones

I hope you have found this post on the best forum tools useful.

What is your experience? Have you used any other forum software?

If so please comment below.



  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3

    Great article. I noticed great platforms such as Tribe ( and CMNTY ( are missing on this list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *