If you set to start a website, make sure, you’ll be devoured by curiosity up to the hilf. It doesn’t matter whether you make a site launch for a business purpose or just for fun, your daily routine will be engaged with the constant site management, creation of related web projects, and many other things. So, you have started your site? What about a forum?

The discussion board is one of that tricky ways to attract more visitors to your website, it’s a tool for new ideas generation, and of course, this is the tool that will help you to get extra profit. The existence of a forum enables you to get all the necessary information on how to improve your product or service.

So, if you already decide to make your web project even better and create your own forum, there are some things you should know about forum platforms.

First of all, there are both free and paid forum/ platforms that possess some peculiar features. Initially, you should realize if the forum platforms is free, it doesn’t mean it’s of low quality, and paid ones are more advanced. So, check up all the distinctive features of both free and on paying basis discussion boards below.

Free vs Paid Forum Platforms

Charge-Free Forum Solutions

Actually, the initial idea of Internet is to provide all the users with the get-at-able materials and sources. However, with the growth and improvement of online business, nowadays the question of free and paid service is pretty debatable. Usually, people take a ply that free or low price services are of worse quality or just useless ones. But while speaking about the forum platforms, we may definitely challenge this stereotype.

You still have suspicions? Just have a look at the free forum platforms that ring the bells with the most progressive and successful web project owners over the years.


Forum Platforms: phpBB CMS2CMSphpBB is a free open source forum platforms that traces back from 2000 and is one of the most popular forum building tools. It boasts a great variety of plugins and feature-rich built-in functionality. Plus, you may always depend upon a great support of young and diverse volunteers. One more advantage of this absolutely free forum solution is the ability to customize your web project to your wish from A to Z definitely. However, the drawback of phpBB – it’s impossible to integrate the forum with the CMS.

Simple Machines Forum

CMS2CMS Forum Platorm: SMFThe distinctive feature of Simple Machines Forum, or just SMF, is the minimal server resources. It enables you to add extra functionality, theme, or other forum components. It’s simple to use and is suitable for every average user. Also, you may easily integrate this forum platform with Community Builder or bound it with Joomla CMS.

Penny Wise Fee-Based Bulletin Boards

In case you think that a miser pays twice and you don’t want to stint for your future forum, you are welcome to check up all the privileges of the most popular paid discussion boards.


CMS2CMS Forum Platforms: vBulletinvBulletin is considered to be the choice of big websites that are created for business matters. This is not only a discussion board, it allows to create blogs, post articles, all that in one package. vBulletin commercial forum platform possesses a great security system. Also, you’ll be supported with 24/7 support in case of any question. The drawback of this web building tool is the price, you should pay for the version and upgrade separately.


CMS2CMS Forum Platform: IP.BoardInvision Power Board offers two licenses – the hosted one (with the on-going cost) and the one time purchase. Also, you may buy other add-ons like blog building tool, the plugin for e-commerce, etc. This forum platform is suitable for large communities and entertainment matters. However, usually even with this paid forum platform happens some bugs and some mods are not always available.

Ultimately, before choosing a free or paid forum platform, think about the purpose of your web project. If you’d like just an extra tool for your basic website, you’d better opt for free discussion boards like SMF or phpBB. But, if the forum will influence your business, you should buy more powerful platform that will possess a strong security system, it may be vBulletin or IP.Board.

Chose a Wrong Forum Platform? Sort Out the Situation Properly

Sometimes, when you are choosing your future forum platform at first time, more probably you may mistakenly distinguish the priorities of your web project. In this case, in order to sort out this correctly, without any losses and efforts, you may convert all your existing forum content from your current platform to the new one.

CMS2CMS allows to proceed with fast and accurate forum platform data migration from SMF to vBulletin or in the opposite direction. And if you’d like to try free forum solution, convert your vBulletin to phpBB in a split automated minutes.

If you made a decision, set up your free Demo Migration to check up how service works in progress.