What kind of features you think a good forum should have? Please tell me what you think. I'm making a collection with links and reviews of the best forums on the web and I need to know.
From the top of my mind...-Good moderating tools. Splitting topics etc...-Limitless hieararchical categories. -Usergroups and possibility to limit certain forums and features (like search) from some users.-Polls are neat.-Flood control.-Easily customisizable templates-Search.-Backup-Security! -Announcements-Possibility to archive old topics.-BBCode
What the last guy said +-Ability to post images-Signitures -Avatars-Lite Mode for dialupers-I like reputations but this is not necessary-Skinnable-Modabble-Private Messaging-Subscriptions-Email from the forum-Sticky-Warning System
I don't like forums where the members made a lot of spam messages, posts which are meaningless and where the posts are poorly-composed to improper english.I also don't like forums where the members post very large grahpic avatars and signiture because the forum will talk a long time to load
Good moderation! I'm active on a flemish discussion board (about politics and news) and it is vital to have extended and active moderation because there is a lot of far right wing, xenofobic attacks at certain (left) groups on the forum. In other types of forums, it helps to prevent spamming - as noted above.
Good moderation, but don't overdo it either. I'm a member of a forum and there're a bit too strict. They won't allow anyone to post urls to any other site but their own... They take down any posts that question or put down their site... It's nuts. I just had one of my posts edited by the admin, and I almost feel violated!
The manpower is decisive ! If you wish your forum to develope, you are the first one who dedicate time, money and skill to the board. The board features just play the second role. It is important you have the good moderation team to manage the forum when it grows up fast.
The best message board that support all of the above is SMF, there is no doubt in my mind that you will love it. Skinable is very easy only takes a little while. Moderation is great, infact its all round great, if you have a reason why not to sue it i would like to know and also the first release after the betas comes out soon, i will make a post when this happens but updates to it are easy and you would find it very easy to update from the release candidate to the real thing when needed, it has proven it is good now go try it. It also has 30 SSI so yuo can make your own portal out of it.
I agree with all that has been said above and would like to add that it is nice to allow the members to post some emoticons both the usual and possibly some unike to the site. Post counting is also a good thing to have. I think that adding a calender is probably going to far though, the odd anouncement to say the board's design is going to change or whatever is ok but a full on calender with public holidays and stuff on it? definately a no-no!
My personal favorite forum is phpBB. I'm just used to it.Anyway, a good forum has all of the elements listed above. I guess, however, the real thing that makes a forum is a strong userbase. If no one goes there, then the forum isn't worth beans, even if everything else is perfect. I shamefully admit that I frequent gaiaonline.com. Sure, it's swarming with teens, but the admin Lanzer is a genius when it comes to modifying phpBB and maintaining a well-run forum. The entire forum is spread over 47 servers now, with an average load of over 10,000 users at any given time. Go check it out to see how it's doing, as the site backbone is amazing.So yeah, userbase #1. Everything else makes it run smoothly.
websaint, I think you should clarify your question a bit more as signified by the previous posts (in a way).Some people have interpreted the question as being about forum software, while others are interpreting it as referring to sites.For software, Invision Power Board is the best. It isn't availabe for free anymore (they went completely paid).For sites, this site!
Again good moderation, nice clean skin and fast replying, with active friendly members. Don't start with extremely tough rules but later as your forum progresses, start being strict on your members, and give chances, don't warn your members straight away, as people will get annoyed and abandon your forum. Also keep your members intrested, put in a few mods, like arcade and also put in a shop and a virtual currency. THis will encourage members to post to gain things. Well that's all I can think of, but I stay reading in this topic, and post on more ideas when I think of some.
I think that the thing a forum needs most is a dedicated set of users, without users the best site in the world would now become the worst. But mostly the thing I look for in a forum is a charismatic admin that leads the forum in the directions needed. Without such a leader sites do into the dung heap quickly and the admin is sitting back with a stupid look on his face wondering why the site failed. The admin has to be able to relate with the members each one makeing them feel as if he has a personal relationship with each one. This is hard once you get a lot of members so a team of people that can do this is needed not just one. If a forum has no leader or one that thinks he is better then his members simply becuase he owns it then the forum is destined to fail. Other then a good user group and admin good software is needed. You gotta have a forum that looks nice and has plenty of options. Otherwise the guests will look at it, raise an eyebrow and say, "Riiight, like I am going to join this." yeah looks are that important. You could have great members and the forum could be grand in fun and whatever else but if it looks bad those who know nothing of your site will not join. Hmm... other then that I can't come up with more.
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