There are many forum scripts available to create a forum. Most of them are free and open-source like Vanilla forums. You need to buy some forum scripts. Here is a list of best forum scripts.
1. vBulletin : vBulletin is the most popular forum script in the world. Some web developers introduce vBulletin as the king of the forum world. This is not a free forum script. You can buy vBulletin for $249.00. Most popular forums are built with this script.
2. MyBB : MyBB is a free and open source forum script. It is the best free forum script.
3. phpBB : phpBB is another good open-source forum script.
4. bbPress : bbPress is a forum software which can be added to a WordPress blog. It is developed by WordPress.
5. Invision Power : Invision Power is a commercial forum script you can buy just 20$ per month.
What is Vanilla Forums?
Vanilla is a forum script which is developed by Todd Burry, Tim Gunter, Matt Lincoln Russell and Klaus Burton. It is written by PHP and you need a server with PHP and MySQL to run this.
Difference between self-hosted vanilla and Vanilla hosted
Self-Hosted Vanilla : You need to install Vanilla to your hosting and you need to maintain it. If you are a web developer or if you have knowledge about this script you can change the script as you want.
Vanilla hosted : They will host your site they will maintain technical side of your forum. There are some additional features such as badges available. But the price is expensive.
Note: I write about self-hosted Vanilla in this post.
Benefits of Choosing Vanilla Forums
Here is a list of features of Vanilla Forums.
- Free and open-source script
- Users can easily register and log in to community(there are social media registering buttons also available for registering and logging)
- Powerful thread and commenting system
- Vanilla Forums documentation
- Hundreds of themes and plugins
- Moderation is easy
- Private messaging feature
- User Promotions
The interface of vanilla forum is very difficult than other forum scripts interfaces. It is a really eye-catching interface. And users can easily works with vanilla forums. It is the most user-friendly forum.
How to Install Vanilla Forums?
It is easy to install vanilla forum. If you have installed WordPress, you can install vanilla forum very easily because both have same way to install. If you haven’t enough experience about installing scripts to web host watch this video.
WordPress Plugin for Vanilla Forums
You can embed almost forum or comments using this plugin. You can add recent posts of your forum as a WordPress widget.