So I want to start a news site like macrumors.com where the forums are just as important as the front page articles. Using bbPress is the simplest and cheapest way to go. I think bbPress satisfies all my needs and there’s some excellent bbPress compatible Wordpress themes on here.
However, is using bbPress going to put my site at a huge disadvantage in comparison to vBulletin? It seems like 95% of successful forums (100,000+ members) all use vBulletin. There must be a reason for that? I remember when bbPress launched many years ago I thought it was going to be huge it definitely isn’t right. What would you recommend that I use? Thanks!
vBulletin is a premium community software suite. I used to develop for it not too long ago, but have since switched to the IPB platform.
Theoretically, if you know someone that can develop for vBulletin, there wouldn’t even really be a use for WP or some other CMS as forum platforms are generally very very powerful and scale-able
The down side, is actually taking it and using it as a full blown CMS—I’ve done it, it’s not hard to do, you just have to find the right people willing to do it via paid services.
If you can bridge/integrate them together, vBulletin coupled with WP is going to be powerful, the downfall of this is that since they do not share the same database, you will get conflicts or will have to work around conflicts on one or other platforms.
BBpress and WP will be 100% self integrated thanks to sharing databases, and it’s also low in resource usages. The downfall is that it just isn’t as feature rich, nor is there such a mod selection out there for it.
It really depends on how much your community members will be using the forums, if it’s going to be something very popular, invest in vBulletin, else use BBpress in my opinion
Well said Dylan. I had sorta figured out bits and pieces of what you said earlier today on my own but you really tied it together. I guess in short, if the forum is the foundation of your website, it’s best to go with a premium solution. If your forum is just small feature (support forum for WP designer), then go with bbPress.
My only concern now is the site design. Every vbulletein theme / CMS port looks like such crap which is why I considered bbPress in the first place. As a former vB developer, do you have any thoughts on why we don’t see vBulletin CMS themes on marketplaces such as this?
Sorry for the late reply, didn’t get a notification—It’s mostly because vBulletin has many small marketplaces where people get themes and the fact that most vBulletin additions are free, another reason is that it’s just not so popular in envato’s eyes.
You can turn anything into a great design with forum boards, you just have to know the right people to do so.
We did a trial setup to test out WordPress and IPB using a bridge that’s available on the IPB marketplace. It worked very well with good results, might be worth checking out.