Recently I had the opportunity to use vBulletin 3.8.x on my forums. vBulletin has also released a new version, version 4 which I have tried as well.
In using it I found a few key features that make vBulletin stand out from the rest of the forum software’s that are out there. The first thing to note is that vBulletin is paid software which means you should be getting your money’s worth out of it.
Best parts of the vBulletin software
Admin & Moderator Control Panels – The admin panel is fabulous, it makes it easy to add/install or modify any part of the forum. My favorite part was modifying a theme, if I wanted to change up the main vBulletin theme I could do it in a few clicks, instead of having to change a pile of messy vBulletin code, I have this simplified control panel. The languages plugin made it easy to translate words that vBulletin had programmed in, into some understandable English.
Quick Reply – The quick reply feature is my favorite on forums, it’s a small box underneath each threads last post, where you can type in your post and click “quick reply”, this feature is awesome because it gets users to post, who are lazy and don’t want to click to the next page.
SEO – vBulletin meets that SEO Component, it’s so easy to modify your permalinks and make vBulletin SEO friendly. Plus there are many plugin's out there that can help you as well.
Now I’ve given you some points from the main forum software, but that’s just the software, it’s the components that come with it that make vBulletin stand out from the rest.
vBulletin.org – When you buy vBulletin you automatically get a membership to be able to download modifications and styles off of vbulletin.org. The styles and modifications on this site are amazing. There’s no need to go out and spend money to get a new look for your forum, or a modification that you need. There’s a huge selection on “the org” as many vBulletin fans call it.
Members Support – Support from the vBulletin team is amazing. Especially that of Steve Machol, they answer your questions (usually) in a short period of time, and even answer dumb questions with the utmost respect. They really care about their clients.
If I had to point out a negative in this review it would be the latest version vBulletin 4. This version has many issues with its basic style sheet across many internet browsers; it’s almost a failed edition of vBulletin.
Anyways, those are my thoughts on the vBulletin Community Software, it may not be the choice for your forums, or maybe it is. Take every software out there into consideration when you make your first, second, or one thousandth forum.
You vBulletin forum can run at the highest power only if you have a good web hosting service. For a busy forum you will need the best virtual private server.
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