[Update: Vanilla forum software is no longer available]
What is Vanilla?
Jason listed 9 free, open source and phenomenal platforms that you might not know of, in this post at OpenJason. This is from where I came to know about Vanilla, a free forum software loaded with the goodness of being Open Source.
After being heavily engaged in forums till a few years back, I was once again introduced to forums and started participating heavily when Blog Engage forums were recently launched. Occasionally, I surf through The Admin Zone & Authority Blogger forums for my regular dose of informative stuff to effective blogging.
I have always fascinated owning a board for myself. I have set up and used phpBB and Invision Power Board on free hosts in the past, but this is my chance to own one and use it on my host and have it integrated with my blog.
Why a Free Forum Software?
Like I said, It has always fascinated me to own a board for myself and administrate a large active community. But to be very frank, I don’t have enough money to buy a vBulletin setup and I don’t really want to spend money on a phpBB board as it doesn’t provide the ultimate functionality as vBulletin forum software does. So, the optimum way out for me was to look around for a free forum software.
Okay! You can’t expect a free forum software to be as great as the market dominator forum software like vBulletin in functionality and usability, but when you don’t have money in your pockets, compromising is the best thing to do instead of complaining and giving up on the idea. Instead you should be working hard to extract the maximum of out of what is in easy reach.
Why Open Source Forum Software?
There are many proprietary forum softwares available for free use but the problem is that they can not be self-hosted or integrated with your blog/website. The benefit of using an open Source software (free forum software, in our case) is that you can use it on your own host & integrate with your own blog. You can easily get huge support from the open source community that is always working for some kind of improvement in the software. Bugs are found and fixed every minute and new stable releases are rolled out every now and then. Open Source is a good way to go while choosing versatile software to suit your needs.
It feels great to have come across Vanilla. I am eager to give it a shot and see how it turns out.
Forums at Inspirit:
I have finished setting up the vanilla forums for Inspirit | Blog. The forums will be named Inspirit | Blog | Forums & will aim at helping the blogging community and work towards blog promotion for small & new and big & established blogs alike.
Till the development work on the forums is complete, I do not want to publicize them only to kill ’em before they actually start up… Instead I will stick to the invite-only membership option and anyone who wants to help me in the development work like reviewing features, suggestion categories and discussions and/or provide feedback of any sort is most welcome.
Please comment to this post if you are interested, so that I can send you an invite. Your support is so much needed and will be greatly appreciated.