I’m building a pretty big ASP.NET Application at the moment for the gaming sector which needs to have a forum for discussions about site related stuff, games and all kind of topics.
I would really like to use an ASP.NET Forum, but after one week of crawling through every available ASP.NET Forum out there I came to the conclusion that vBulletin (PHP) still offers the best features you need for a successful community in that kind of genre.
Yet Another Forum
Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Last update in the year 2006, I won’t need to comment this any further. Honorable try to build a free .NET Forum but unfortunately it seems like people are not motivated to continue it anymore.
Actually the best currently available forum, although it’s a complete Community with Blogs, Gallery and Downloads. I prefered the splitted versions some years ago, now it’s one big package. What I miss here is: Support. The public forums are missing essential support by experienced CommunityServer Users and Developers. Another point is the missing SEO capabilities. Since CS 2.1 and CS 2007 they became much better regarding SearchEngineFriendly URLs but there are still big drawbacks. The Forum doesn’t feature the words of the title in the URL and duplicate content is being generated due to multiple URLs pointing to the same page – an example would be the profile link:
When viewing a forum the Link to the Profile looks like that:
Inside a thread it looks like that:
I’m running the Trial Edition of CommunityServer at the moment and was almost ready to buy the full version, but after starting more than 3 threads in their forum which all ended up with no reply I changed my mind. Maybe you got more luck if you buy Gold Support, but for me the first impression matters. If I post a question over at the vBulletin Forums I usually got an answer in less than 1 hour without any kind of Gold Support. And instead of about 2000$ for CommunityServer I just paid around 140$ for a vBulletin licence. CommunityServer is rich on features but vBulletin has such a big modding Community and therefore ends up with even more features. For SEO vBSEO is all you ever need.
Even worse is that there are almost no converters available for CommunityServer, if you’d like to switch FROM vBulletin to CommunityServer start looking for a CommunityServer AND vBulletin specialist.
All other ASP.NET Forums besides CommunityServer and YAF are not even worth mentioning. I would recommend CS 2007 as decent Blogging Solution, but once again you can just buy the whole package here which leads to an overpriced WebBlog-System if you ask me.
I (have to) stick with vBulletin
It’s sad, but true. I keep on building all kind of bridges between my ASP.NET Application and the PHP vBulletin and I eventually dig into the vBulletin MySQL database directly.
Check the comments on this post for more info on this.
PS: Of course vBulletin is not an ASP.NET Forum as written in the title, but I still use it as Forum for all my ASP.NET Applications and that’s why I’ve chosen such an evil title.