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Looking to implement a forum on your website? Great! But what forum software package should you go with?

This decision could make or break the success of your forum.

Fortunately, it's an easy one. In our experience, after testing every major forum software available online, there's a clear winner. A forum software package that is so powerful and scalable, it is currently used by 62% of the top 100 forum-driven websites.

Introducing - vBulletin, an ultra scalable, fully customizable, PHP/MySQL commercial ($160) forum package, the top pick for any serious community builder.

Number two on our list is - phpBB. phpBB is free to use, making it a popular entry level solution for many forums. While phpBB doesn't have all the features of vBulletin, phpBB too is PHP/MySQL driven, customizable and includes all the basic features you'll need to launch a community website in a single day. phpBB falls short primarily on scalability, however until you reach about 5,000 active members, you should be okay.

Last but not least is - Invision. A commercial ($149) closed community solution. Invision is more similar to vBulletin in the features department, boosting a neat graphical interface, lots of plugins and great support from the creators. We like vBulletin better because it has a larger community of users who share ideas, exchange plugins and offer ongoing free help.

If your server is Microsoft-powered, you could look into Web Wiz Forums, a popular free ASP forum package. Web Wiz Forums offers all the features you'll need to launch and maintain a successful community. We prefer PHP/MySQL for lower total cost of ownership, easier maintenance and customization. But if you're a die-hard Microsofty, Web Wiz Forum is a great pick.


Adrian Singer is an Internet Consultant with