vBulletin still the best ASP.NET Forum Software

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
Version: 1.9.0
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.

CommunityServer 2007

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.


#1 SimoneB on 09.02.07 at 5:00 pm

I didn’t know there were so few ASP.NET forum apps out there, that’s pretty sad in fact. Hopefully someone will want to take the chance and create one? ๐Ÿ˜‰

#2 andreas.kraus on 09.02.07 at 5:37 pm

Coding a feature-rich forum is lots of work, especially when it comes to performance.

There are a lot of PHP Forums out there with really low prices and .NET development costs are in fact always higher.

However, 400$-500$ would be perfectly fine for me if I get a good forum in ASP.NET for it. Maybe some company is already working on such an Application, I would definitely welcome it and I think as ASP.NET grows every day there’s some decent money in it. ๐Ÿ™‚


#3 GlenH on 09.03.07 at 5:36 am

Scott Hanselman just went through the same exercise, and ended up choosing AspNetForum:


Here is the discussion on Scott’s blog:


#4 danni on 09.03.07 at 5:51 am

im in same chapter quite a while ago, and im totally agree. But in the end im using the simplemachines forum (www.simplemachines.org). I setup 1-1 relationship for membership, between sql and mysql & to authenticate the session im using cookies. Any better idea ?

#5 andreas.kraus on 09.03.07 at 8:01 am


Thanks for posting this, that’s indeed one of the better ASP.NET Forums I’ve seen but if you compare the features between that one and vBulletin it’s unfortunately like comparing two worlds. Furthermore they got a couple of (Bot)-Spam in their forums and those threads exist for more than 2 weeks already, doesn’t seem like they are regulary checking/reading threads there.

Although the price is indeed good for let’s say a basic ASP.NET Forum. If they continue to improve it, it might be worth something.

Thanks for the hint Glen, I keep an eye on it, but in it’s current state it’s not usuable for creating very big communities.


SMF is probably _the_ best free php forum out there at the moment. Although phpBB3 (currently RC5) is catching up pretty good, as soon as their bits hit the final state it’s worth considering it again.

For big communities I prefer vBulletin though, it’s performs pretty well under high load and the vBSEO Addon is just perfect for SEO capabilities, it’s actually the most popular commercial php forum.

As for the Authentication and User-Sharing – I do the exact same thing as you danni, so far I didn’t find a better solution on doing this either. If you’d like to, send me an e-mail (check the contact link in the top) and we could exchange the authentication process code.


#6 Bo Blangstrup on 09.19.07 at 7:59 pm

Funny you should mention this, we had exactly the same dilemma for our website. We looked briefly at YAF, and even though it looked nice it didnt look like it would be well-supported.

So instead we rewrote our ASP.NET membership provider to also insert new users in MySQL when people sign up, seems to work OK.

But I would much have preferred if there was a decent ASP.NET forum, but we couldnt find one(well there is one, but it was so ridiciously high priced i already forgot the name, it was like 25000$)

#7 Rich on 09.20.07 at 12:27 am

Yeah Community Server offers average functionality with premium prices. It’s a total rip off as far as I’m concerned!

I’ve had two separate clients asking me to replace Community Server with something else. In one case, I went with DNN instead.

#8 Mit Foren Geld verdienen - SEO Marketing on 12.12.07 at 9:24 am

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#9 Indo on 12.14.07 at 4:30 pm

Can I borrow your vBulleting and ASP.NET SqlMembership Integration code? I couldnt find one. Would help folks like me ?? Thanks in advance.

#10 Brass on 01.09.08 at 8:42 am

No affiliation, but I have been looking at ASPPlayground. From what I gather, it’s not truly asp.net yet. But, you get source etc. You can google to find them. It seems like they asnwer questions promptly as well. It’s at least worth keeping and eye on it.

#11 omegaman on 01.12.08 at 8:03 pm

Yet Another Forum is still going. A new version was released in november 2007 and yet another version with more imporovemtns is currently available as an alpha release. Not perfrect but pretty good. Also have a look at http://www.dmgforums.com not bad needs a bit of playing around to look pretty but does the job ok.

#12 roger titus on 01.23.08 at 8:32 am

have you found a way to integrate the forums login with a standard asp.net page.? One that doesnt need a bazillion vb edits?

our site currently has one done by someone else. but in order to upgrade and have a functioning forums again. then there are a million pages to edit code with?

do you have any solutions?

i will thank you in advance as my ms makes it hard for me to concentrate at times.

#13 alcoron on 03.04.08 at 7:34 am

I’v found a lot of useful information, thank you!!!

#14 Bill Hatter on 05.09.08 at 3:32 am

Thank you for this post, and I know this is an old one, but I have a question. Can you point to a good resource location for finding hooks for ASP.NET and vBulletin?

I am helping do development for a company that has vBulletin, but I can’t get any questions answered because I don’t have the “license code”, so technically I don’t exist to vBulletin.

We are doing our application in C#, and looking to integrate into the vBulletin membership system for a sitewide login without requiring the user to login for every app they have access to.

Thank you

#15 Testttyq on 06.18.08 at 9:34 am

Hi all!


#16 groolineorm on 06.19.08 at 10:40 pm


I’m newer here and stopping in to say hi.
I hope everyone has a good day.


#17 darvenginzks on 07.28.08 at 11:47 pm

I’ve recently joined and wanted to introduce myself ๐Ÿ™‚

#18 mrtruckster on 11.04.08 at 3:24 pm

Hi forum users and readers I hope you can solve a stupid problem with my computer ย 
Im getting a lot of popups when Im browsing the internet, sometimes even when Im not at the computer, I leave it on for
an hour and when I get back I have 2-3 popups that have appeared from nowhere. How can I remove this? Im really not intrested
in finding adult friends or downloading a new screen saver ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

Well thats it, stupid problem and I hope that it has a nice easy solution that you can come up with, Im getting all your replays to my email
so Iยดll keep an eye on the topic, take care.ย