Top 5 Free Open Source Discussion Forum Software In 2021

Improve productivity with your team and other collaborators by installing an online discussion forum. These solutions come with diverse plugins and modern UI.

open source discussion forum software

In the recent past, we wrote on various open source discussion forum software by covering topics such as how to integrate discourse forum with WordPress, how to use Discourse as a Knowledge Base for business, and a beginners guide on Vanilla Forum integration with WordPress. In this blog post, we will go through the following most popular forum software.

Discourse

Discourse is a widely-used open source discussion portal. It is highly adaptable software that provides various tools and provisions for community discussions. There are almost all features available in Discourse that big social media platforms offer such as mentioning participants and more. Further, it supports community discussions, chat rooms for teams and friends. Above all, this free software is written in Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL, Ember.js, Redis and comes with all the documentation regarding development and deployment. Therefore, all the source code is available at Github.

Following are the prominent features:

  • Free themes
  • Single Sign-On
  • Summarize Topics
  • Comprehensive API
  • Social Login

Learn more about Discourse

Flarum

Flarum is another free topic creation platform. It is a cross-platform that works perfectly on mobile phones, desktops, and tablets. There are many rich features such as a smart notification system, powerful extension API, and permissions. Further, it is lightweight, reliable, extensible, and developed by developers of esoTalk and FluxBB. There are easy steps to install this free tool. Moreover, Flarum is written in PHP, MySQL and comes with all the documentation regarding deployment and development. Therefore, all the source code is available at Github.

Flarum has the following key features:

  • Modern UI
  • Huge Community
  • Built with Less
  • Fine-Grained Settings
  • Quick Previews

Learn more about Flarum

Vanilla

Vanilla forum is an alternative free open source discussion platform. It comes up with a huge plugins pool and offers enterprise-level features such as rich chat options like attachments, online/offline status, and private messages. In addition, it provides a smooth experience by helping in improving customer support and loyalty. Vanilla Forums is written in PHP, MySQL / MariaDB, and comes with all the documentation regarding deployment and development. Therefore, all the source code is available at Github.

Vanilla Forums offers the following important features:

  • Developer Friendly
  • Simplified Theming
  • Multi-language Support
  • CSS Hooks
  • Warning System

Learn more about Vanilla Forums

NodeBB

NodeBB is another free open source free discussion board. It is powerful, comes with social web features and integrations such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook. There is a robust communication mechanism that helps in instant notifications, posts, and real-time chats. It offers an intuitive dashboard where users can drag & drop widgets. Further, NodeBB is written in Node.js and MongoDB / Redis and comes with all the documentation regarding deployment and development. Therefore, all the source code is available at Github.

NodeBB comes up with the following key features:

  • SEO Friendly
  • User-Created Groups
  • Social Integration
  • Built-in Realtime Chat
  • Advanced Search

Learn more about NodeBB

phpBB

phpBB is also a widely used open source online discussion forum. This internet bulletin board software provides high-security features that let you block irrelevant users. It has a strong community with a wide range of plugins. Moreover, users can customize this software according to the business needs. phpBB supports integrations with popular CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Further, it is multilingual and provides support for many languages. phpBB is written in PHP and comes with all the documentation regarding deployment and development. Therefore, all the source code is available at Github.

 phpBB offers the following key points:

  • Private Messaging
  • Data Management
  • Plugins
  • Moderators
  • Caching

Learn more about phpBB

Conclusion

To sum up, customer engagement has become a must-have component of an online business. An open source discussion forum software provides a comprehensive system of two-way communication where both parties establish long threaded and effective conversations.

Finally, containerize.com has been writing on further open source products. Please stay in touch with this Discussion Forum category for regular updates.

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