Choosing a modern discussion forum engine

In any organization sharing discussions on common topics among the internal staffs is really important. Creating a culture of knowledge sharing opens up new windows for the organization. Online forums and bulletin boards have been around since the beginning of the internet.

Being a non profit organization we always love to have free open source solutions which are easy to manage and with troubleshooting support available online. Today I will focus on few of the interesting open source forum engines that I think are good discussion platforms.

Discourse :


Discourse is the 100% open source, next-generation discussion platform built for the next decade of the Internet.

As they said this is in fact an example of how the next generation of forum engines are evolving. The forum engine is made on Ruby on Rails so that requires a special species of programming ninjas to manage this server. But if you try discourse, I think you will be interested enough to give it a try.

NodeBB :

With nodeJS conquering almost every corner of the web it is kind of obvious we will have a forum engine written on it too. The look of nodeBB will not disappoint you. This is how a forum made on node should look. And as the source is available, you are always free to experiment with it.

myBB :


When you need a forum engine that you can rely on no matter what, there is the mighty myBB. For a very long time myBB has been serving as one of the most popular online forum engines. As this one is made in php, the community support is easily available on the internet. There are tons of free themes that will fit perfectly with the type of forum you want to set up. Making a theme for myBB is not difficult. And the stability of this engine makes it worth your money.
And of course there are tons of other forum engines too: punbb, vanillaforums, and phpbb, to name a few . What is really important is finding a tool that enables a knowledge sharing culture.

Rashedul Kabir is working as an ICT4D Specialist at BRAC Social Innovation Lab

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