Discussion Board+Site vs CMS+Forum Plugin

bbPress,Blog,Forum Platforms Reviews,phpBB,vBulletin

The anticipation of joy and celebration is flying in the air and probably, because of this festive mood, many people put off their business matters. But, nevertheless, you may admit, it’s a great time for some improvements. With the new year coming, it’s a nice chance to create or just accomplish your web project. Nowadays, the tendency of creating sites, forums, online stores, an all-in-one is pretty common, thus we’d like to discuss what is the better choice – to have a standalone forum or choose a CMS together with the forum plugin.

Usually, many consider, it’s not a great deal, but the difference is pretty obvious and groundbreaking. For better clarity, let’s pore over some representatives of so-called “standalone forum platforms” and “CMSs+Forum Plugins” – phpBB, vBulletin, and WordPress with bbPress, Joomla with Kunena respectfully.

Forum Platform vs CMS+Forum Plugin Contrast

Considering the difference between these kinds of web project tools, both have privileges and some drawbacks while looking through the perspective of user’s wishes and demands. Here’s a list:

  • Functionality
    Speaking about the forum functions, usually, single discussion boards are more advanced than the CMS plugins. It’s clear that the standalone forum developers comprise all their mastery into the only forum abilities and functionality. While the developers of forum plugins concentrate their skills on both discussion board and its combination with the CMS core.
  • Variety of Performances
    If you want to unify your forum with the website, you should create the connection bridge between them. But, take into consideration that not all the forums and CMSs are compatible with each other. On the other hand, if you already run a website using WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, you may easily activate the forum plugins that are located at their repositories. 
  • Design Representation
    Frequently, website owners prefer single theme design both for website and forum. This wish may be a reality with the plugin-like forums. Contrary to them, forum platform connected to CMS via the bridge can be hardly designed within a single theme.

Becoming Personal: phpBB, vBulletin vs bbPress, Kunena

Now, let’s scrutinize standalone and plugin-like forums in details.

  • phpbb-bbpress-vbulletin-kunenaphpBB – an open source discussion board. It’s actually a spearhead of forum platform epoch. Technically, it’s possible to create the connection between this discussion board and the CMSs – Joomla and Drupal. However, it’s pretty complicated to make the unified design as far as phpBB is a little bit old schoolish.
  • vBulletin – commercial package of blog and forum platform. Generally, this forum board is considered to be the #1 solution for business matters. It possesses intuitive interface, however, before installing you should make some modifications in the configuration file, so you should have some knowledge of PHP.
  • bbPress – it’s a free WordPress forum plugin that allows running your website and forum within one dashboard. Thus, comparing phpBB to bbPress, the latter makes it easier for your site visitors to use and wander your web project – they don’t have to log in site and forum separately.
  • Kunena – a free Joomla extension, provides you with the simple installation and plain management procedures. You shouldn’t worry about the upgrade issue, as far as with the every new Joomla release you may easily upgrade your forum with a few clicks.

Make a Verdict

In other words, if you are planning to start the new year with a new web project, there are many options for any taste and budget. Those who want to run the outstanding discussion board, give a try to phpBB or vBulletin. Otherwise, if you are looking for a great company for your website, think about your CMS forum plugin or extension – bbPress, Kunena or any other. For sure, it will be a nice start of the new website life.

P.S. Having a forum on phpBB or vBulletin? But, you want to give a try to CMS plugin, there’s an option of automated phpBB to WordPress migration as well as moving your bbPress content to phpBB or migrate your forum data from vBulletin to WordPress directly to bbPress plugin.

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* The price of the full migration may change according to the number of entities

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