phpBB vs. Joomla Kunena: What’s Your Ultimate Forum Choice

Blog,Forum Platforms Reviews,Kunena,phpBB

The forum topic definitely rocks now! It’s getting more popular than blogging because it lifts people on a completely new user-experience level. You may share your opinion with fellow forum “talkers”, get honest feedback on your work, and moreover, receive objective advice. A forum is like a home away from home, a virtual society where you meet people with common interests and can develop any skills you possess.

No wonder that almost every blogger or website owner wants to establish a forum! If you are one of them, keep reading! We’ll take a look at two titans in forum software world: phpBB and Joomla Kunena to reveal which suits you the best.

Why opt for phpBB?

There are many reasons why you should consider using phpBB, in particular, it’s a robust forum software which conquered the hearts of many users due to its reliable spam filter system and the direct access to the code. Talking about coding, bare in mind that phpBB is a techy bulletin board. If you feel that you have enough PHP skills under your belt, go ahead and do wonders with your discussion board!


Let me underline the main phpBB pros:

  • phpBB is an open-source project, thus it comes with absolutely no price;
  • there is a vast number of language packs, there are around 50 available to download;
  • this bulletin board possesses lots of forum styles to choose from; you can either download a ready-to-use template or build one yourself;
  • it’s quite possible for forum users to communicate privately;
  • phpBB has a strong security system, plus with anti-spam extensions, any forum owner may be sure that spambots won’t be able even to register!


However, even such web survivor as phpBB, which was there when first bulletin boards appeared, has a few features it can’t boast about. In particular, there were very few major versions released. phpBB indeed “begs” for updates to be implemented.


It also suffers from:

  • lack of add-ons, plus though there are many useful tutorials for their installation, due to the fact that there is no automated mechanism for that purpose, non-coder can be perplexed while trying to install one;
  • phpBB seems to serve one good purpose: being a forum; it’s pretty complicated to integrate it with your blog or website via a special bridge;
  • it’s only a flat forum, means that the latest message appears at the bottom of discussion, it is convenient when you have single discussion point;
  • phpBB is not super SEO-friendly; it’s really hard to customize the URLs on this bulletin board, you can only try to do it using third-party extensions;
  • you can find an active and well-developed phpBB community out there in the web world, though the support service is something that phpBB misses.

Why choose Joomla Kunena?

Joomla Kunena is an extension-like forum, specially designed for Joomla users. It is easily integrated with your site, there is a possibility to use plenty of Joomla add-ons to expand your website functionality with. Kunena was established in 2009 on the basis of Firebird component, that’s how the first Joomla attempt to build a forum was called. This bulletin board may surprise you a lot, having lots of cards up its sleeve.


Let’s take a look at its advantages:

  • Kunena is fully integrated with your Joomla site, there is no need to set up an additional extension and users can sign in under the same login and password for both projects;
  • there are plenty of ready-to-use responsive templates for this forum; usually, they are standalone ones, it means that they won’t “conflict” with major Joomla templates;
  • Joomla Kunena has a well-arranged and robust ACL (Access Control List), which helps you easily arrange user groups or private groups;
  • security is definitely its strong side, there is a powerful spam filter, plus you can always enhance its performance with extensions;
  • since Kunena is a Joomla sister, it inherited its SEO features, believe me when I say, your forum will go up on the results page very fast.


How about disadvantages though? I mean it can’t be that good. No one is perfect, and Joomla Kunena has its black sheep as well.


The disadvantages of this discussion board are the following:

  • forum powered by Kunena can’t exist without Joomla site;
  • you may meet some troubles with this bulletin board if it experiences heavy traffic load;
  • since Joomla is an open-source project, plus a really wide-spread one, your forum may become an easy target for hackers attacks;
  • since it’s not a standalone discussion board, it has less built-in forum options.

Wrapping up

As you can see, there is no definite answer which forum software is better. phpBB and Joomla Kunena have their wonders and vulnerabilities. First one is a robust discussion board and only, the second one can be easily integrated with a blog and use all its advantages, though can’t exist outside the Joomla site.

In case, you wish to migrate your forum from Joomla Kunena to phpBB or on the contrary switch your phpBB discussion board to Joomla Kunena, give aisite a try. There is an option to run a free Demo before moving all of your content for good. Check how your forum looks on a new platform! I bet it’ll look stunning.

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