Social network are a smart way to meet and build relationships like-minded individuals. There are communities for nearly anyone — from sports fanatics and foodies to business professionals and entrepreneurs.
An effective network provides excellent content and a user experience that encourages frequent return visits. My company researched every option available while determining what platform to use for our latest project, Entrepreneurs & COMPANIES Community.
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While we found community software that provided the very best base for our specific project, there are numerous great options available. Listed below are five resources that serve as great starting platforms for building an network.
XenForo is well known for its security, which is an important things to consider when working with third-party software. Along with being secure, this forum software is fast loading, which plays a part in providing a fantastic user experience.
If you have an network there will be members logged in night and day — reading content, starting discussions and searching — and since XenForo uses fewer resources than most, it results in pages that load quickly.
This can be a platform that my company thought we would use for our new project, because of two significant reasons. First, the program is mobile-friendly right out from the box — you don’t have to produce a mobile app, as the forum looks great on all devices. Second, the customizing options are virtually endless — we took full benefit of this with this install and completely transformed the appearance and feel for our needs.
Probably the most popular community software platforms, vBulletin, offers two options — a self-hosted version in addition to a cloud version, where it handles the hosting, maintenance and upgrades.
This software is quite easy to customize and several of its users rave about how exactly simple it is to create. In the event that you lack the technical knowledge to keep up and self-host a community it is possible to get create quickly using the vBulletin cloud plan. As the entry cost is less, the cloud option doesn’t offer same customization features as a self-hosted install offers.
For smaller communities that aren’t worried about to be able to create a complete custom appear and feel, the cloud option is both simple and affordable. If complete control and customization is desired you’ll need to host the program and handle the upkeep.
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WordPress was utilized by a lot more than 23.3 percent of the most notable 10 million websites by January 2015 — it’s the most popular blogging and content-management platform available. The creators of WordPress are also behind bbPress, which is forum software which allows anyone running on the WordPress platform to create a discussion forum very quickly.
That is an excellent option for WordPress users that are looking to easily integrate a forum with an individual click. In addition, it allows the webmaster to control the forum from the same main website administrative area. Among biggest benefits, apart from the simple installation, may be the price — like WordPress, bbPress is totally free.
MyBB is open-source software that delivers a robust product free to use. Open-source projects survive and thrive if they have a good community, which MyBB does. You can access tutorials, custom themes, plugins, modifications and software support within the city.
Many people assume that open-source software includes hardly any features, but MyBB isn’t without that department. It’s custom-made the appearance and feel through different themes and templates and there are many hundred plugins that permit the addition of new features and functions.
5. Vanilla Forums
Vanilla has both a cloud version and an open-source version of its community software. The free open-source option requires an individual to host and keep maintaining the program — and correct it in the event a concern arises. The cloud version of Vanilla offers optimized hosting and customer care.
Powering a lot more than 816,000 discussion forums, Vanilla is actually a viable option that lots of businesses go with. I spent considerable time reading reviews and feedback on the Vanilla platform — overall it had been our second choice, as just about any review I read highlighted the customization capability.
Have you got a favorite network? Share your favorites in the comments section below or tweet them if you ask me.
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