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Peter – FS Administrator
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Hi Cody,

We used http://www.vbulletin.com/ for years, and a year or two ago we moved over to https://xenforo.com when we rebuilt our website… a never-ending process :) Both are dedicated forum platforms with loads of features that give you all the basic forum functionality.

The key decision I think you need to make is whether you want a pure forum (with a bit of other content) or whether it’s a website with a forum on the side. It would be ideal to have one platform to cover it all – at the moment we integrate the site and forums and it takes a lot of tinkering!

Another one we looked at closely was https://bbpress.org/ – which is a forum build by WordPress, so no doubt it would work seamlessly with a WordPress site. There are also stacks of WordPress plugins.

I had a really close look at Rainmaker this year and it looks brilliant. I would put that in the category of a fully-featured website/marketing tool with a forum on the side.

There’s no real right answers, it depends what you need :) I’d weigh up the ‘free’ solution versus the right option for the long term.

Let us know how you go!
Peter