Forum’s are a great way to get to know more and more people. Starting one can be a pain, but once they get going, they are a piece of cake. Forum’s are being used more and more now a days, because they are great ways to make business. Not only do you get to hold in the palm of your hands a huge community of people, but you can make money via Ad’s, and advertisement of your own. Now that we’ve gotten the money making part of it confirmed, you have to now choose which software to use. The two main boards that many people use are VBulletin and Invision Power Board. The difference of the two? Well… They are both very strong and can support a load of features, but each one has it’s pro’s and cons. One is better for business purposes, while the other is better for entertainment purposes. Describing the two? Very easy, so let’s get started won’t we?
Forum’s grow every day, and with proper advertisement and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), they can really turn into a huge community. Invision Power Board have been around for a while now, and they continue to grow even more popular than before. Basically if you’re holding an Entertainment Style Forum, you would go with IPB. Why is this? Well… IPB has access to twice as many mods than VB, so obviously the hacks for it would make it more Entertainment bound. IPB also has an easier interface, and control panel than VB. But doesn’t this all sound weird? You’re thinking to yourself… More hacks, and an easier way to edit things. Why wouldn’t this just be the way to go. Big change here. VB is much bigger, and can hold much more information. With that being said, the traffic flow would be much slower if you had a bigger community with IPB. Installing hacks, and putting the content, along with the members can really lag the software, so it would be best to get the best in hosting you can. Many Entertainment sites use IPB Forums. Many Entertainment sites including Zelda Universe are using VB though, so VB might be making a turnaround to just take out IPB. Overall I myself would recommend IPB over VB for Entertainment purposes.
Now… On to the big boy of forums. VBulletin or VB are probably the largest group of forums. Many businesses use this software mainly because it looks much more professional, by default even, and it can hold a higher load of information. Only problem is, if you are going to use this for Entertainment purposes, many hacks aren’t supported for it, while there are still a lot of them, there are many more for IPB. Another reason VB struggles a little bit, is it’s coding is twice as hard as IPB. Much of the code are separated in templates, so you would have to go through each template, which holds hundreds of lines of code to edit it. Many people don’t want to do that. VB is starting to make it much easier for the user to edit code, but they haven’t crossed the line to very easy, so they have to work on that, but if you don’t mind modifying code like that, VB is definitely the way to go. I myself like VB better than IPB. I run a domain forum at RealDN.com, and VB works perfectly that way. I couldn’t imagine what it would look like in IPB format, but VB has treated me well. Mainly business users go with VB, but many other Entertainment users are moving to VB, so IPB watch out!
While the market for Forums are going up very high, many people are finding it harder to start your forum. With most topics taken, you need to rely heavy on SEO and advertising, if you even want a chance in this market. Forum’s are getting more and more popular, so the range of how far they go depends on how much time you actually put into them. A good starting point would be to add your forum to your other forum sigs… One’s that let you advertise of course, and advertising in smaller directories. Make sure you increase your Page Rank and Alexa Ranking, so you know that people are accessing your forum, than it will be much easier and less time consuming to promote your Forum. This is as basic as you can get, so if you are into starting a Forum, either talk to me, or read up about it online. Most of the information is right here in this article, so hopefully you all can get a good head start.
Overall VB is a better piece of software. I have noticed with IPB many more bugs, and some mods don’t always work. With VB if you have a more updated piece of software, many mods from back before will work with the updated software, while with IPB they don’t always work that way. I will still say this though, for overall Entertainment purposes, IPB would be a better bet, while Businesses like Domain Name Forums, or any type of high classed business should go with VB. As a last note, these Forum’s are not free. VB is slightly more than IPB at $85.00 a lease, and $160.00 per owned, while IPB is at $65.00 a year, and $185.00 for a perpetual license. Hope this article helps everyone in need of Forum information.