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How Do I Choose the Best Open Source Forum Software?

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  • Written By: S. Gonzales
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2016
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Open source forum software is a comparable, economical alternative to proprietary forum software. Many of the features of proprietary forum software, such as social media integration, theme customization and database movement, can be found in open source software. Whether you're looking for a forum for a personal or business website, there is sure to be a open source software solution available that fits your needs.

The emphasis on community has continued to grow across the Internet. For this reason, it might be a good idea to choose an open source forum software that can reflect this trend. The simple act of installing a forum and allowing website visitors to communicate with each other can provide a sense of community. Integrating the forum on your associated blogs and allowing for logging in using social media credentials can provide users with a more intimate, connected experience. Look for open source software that can help you do just that.

Technological advancements with cell phones and wireless communications have made compatibility with mobile viewing devices important. When choosing an open source software forum, make sure to select one that can be viewed on phones, tablets and other wireless devices. By doing so, you'll ensure that your forums will be viewable to everyone, no matter how they choose to access the Internet.

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You might consider investing in an open source forum software solution that allows you to customize the look of your forum with your own theme, especially if you own a business that has a logo and/or a slogan. This capability will let you better reflect the colors, text and associated elements of your business that make it stand apart from others. Your forum should be instantly recognizable as an extension of your business, and customizing the forum with a design theme is one way to do it.

Business owners might also find it beneficial to look for open source forum software that has search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities. This can help advertise a business and make sure that the forum remains visible in search engine rankings after certain queries are performed by Internet users. If you're concerned with bandwidth and disk consumption, you might want to look for forums that don't take up much space. Forums that are written in simple code can be light on resources.

If you already have a forum on your website, you can install open source forum software without losing any of your data. You might easily be able to move your old forum database to the new one by selecting forum software that has importation capabilities. Check the documentation of the open source forum software for details on how to do this.

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