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Comunity’s Open!

The No-Rights Community is now up and running. Come get your free account and join in the fun. I’m looking forward to posting movie reviews and discussing all sorts of things. Cartoons, comics, bands… you name it. Gonna be a good time 🙂

Reviews of forum packages

I tried a handful of different forums trying to decide on one. Here’s a quick rundown of each

Simple:Press Forum

This plugin for WordPress is very easy to install, integrates into pre-existing themes fairly well, and users don’t have to register for a different system in order to log in. In the end I decided a standalone forum would probably be less of a resources strain.

phpBB

Arguably the most popular free option out there, it’s got a lot of features and my webhost offers it as a one-click install. Of course, when something’s popular it’s also more likely to come under attack. phpBB3 is a step up in security and anti-spam, but I was looking for something a little more lightweight. Also I have a bit of a philosophical difference of opinion when it comes to displaying posts. phpBB likes to organize everything into different forums you then have to click and open to look through. I can understand this if there’s a large user base with plenty of discussion categories established. Personally I’d rather see that people are actually posting discussions right up front.

BBPress

Automattic, the folks behind WordPress, have their own forum solution. It integrates with WP and puts posts above the categories in it’s display. It’s fairly lightweight, requiring plugins to provide extended features. The problem I had was with compatibility. If I want to integrate WP 2.8 with BBPress I need to use version 1.0 that recently had it’s official release. And with that I find plugins don’t work. I understand this is mostly a transitional thing and from what I’ve seen BBPress gets the short end of the stick whenever WP decides to change something in an upgrade. I could try the .9 series as a standalone but I’d really rather give 1.0 a couple months to a year to sort itself out and see how it shines. In the mean time I went with another option. (I liken this to my recent switch from ComicPress to Webcomic & Inkblot. Both are great solutions and whichever one fits my needs best at the time is the one I’m going to use.)

Vanilla

Lussumo have developed this simple forum framework that functions similarly to BBPress and I must say I was on the fence about which one I wanted to use for awhile. I figure WordPress integration isn’t the biggest deal-breaker as the community itself can sport the features it needs with plugins. (And Vanilla has some plugins going back to 2006 that still function fine.) Vanilla2 is still in heavy beta but 1.1.8 is so solid I’ll use it for the time being.