I have a friend who desperately wants a different forum style for his ning network. However, I have never played around with integrating a 3rd party forum like VBulletin or Vanilla into a ning network and instead of testing them all out, I'm wondering what other NCs out there have found to be the best and most customizable forum to integrate. I imagine others are considering this as well, so here is what I'd like to know:
In your opinion, what is the best forum UI to integrate into a ning network?
How did you get around hosting your PHP (if you used a PHP based model)?
Do you know of any forum UIs that do not depend on PHP?
Any tips and tricks you might like to share with my friend and I.
Check out my forums. They integrate very well.
do you have to require members to sign up for both separately? how do you handle signing up or signing in to both sites...? thanks
This would be great. Other forums such as PhpBB offer more control over members and the way they post. Besides, the layout is much better. Ning has great features for the community and all of them are very well integrated, but when 95% of the activity happens within the forum then more tools are needed. It would be nice to be able to stay using ning but running the forum with something like php
I like your forum. How did you integrate it? Since it is a 3rd party, does members need to sign in to use it? Please share details as I am interested in using it for my community, www.nawomenrise.com.
Yes, people do have to sign up separately - the one thing I don't like, BUT it does allow me to preview the discussion anywhere I want and I have chosen to preview them on my home page. It's worked quite well!
How do you find my idea here?
The best forum, IMO, is vBulletin. I have used them for years. They almost have too many options in the admin panel.
Some of the benefits of going with a 3rd party forum:
1. You can block members from posting without blocking them from the rest of the site.
2. You can see their IP address
3. You can easily make a different design for your forum apart from your site.
4. Better SEO
5. Extensive control over admin roles.
1. Cost of the software and hosting
2. Constant updates. Like, a few times a month.
3. Dual sign-in (Honestly, this is really not THAT big of a deal)
4. Extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fully integrate.
A. Users have to upload a separate pic for the forums
B. Clicking a profile brings you to the forum profile, not the one on the site.
5. Too much cross checking. When a user joins the forums, you have to check if they are a current member. When the leave, you have to also delete them from the forums.
I really thought I would miss my vBulletin forums and the control I had. So far, I have been very impressed with the Ning forums. They are extremely fast, look great and are are integrated. I realized that just because I had more control, previously, it did not mean that I really needed it. Sure, that control was nice on those rare occasions but the pros of the Ning forums far outweigh the cons.
thanks for this Tyler...