I am starting a project to develop a Question & Answers web site. Although a framework by itself does not ensure the success of the web site, it is clearly an important choice if you don't want to spend a lot of time with things that were developed before. From my research I discovered a list of Stack Exchange clones.

From this list, it seems that one option could be Question2Answer.

Advantages (for me):

  1. Free-open source;

  2. PHP & MySQL development (As far as I know, but it could be Java or Python as well)

  3. Topics and tags

  4. Scalability.

  5. Deal with security issues.

Desirable (I don't know = I investigated Math homework (developed using this framework), but I was not able do be sure about these below-mentioned characteristics):

  1. Easy development.

  2. Multilingual

  3. Voting system

  4. Gamification (Badges and reputation scores)

  5. Allow attachments

  6. Latex editing

  7. Users with different kinds of permissions

  8. Statistics about page visits, number of answers per week etc

I don't know any disadvantages for now.


  1. Based on the requirements I am looking for, Question2Answer is a good choice? If it does not present all these characteristics, is it able to develop them?

  2. Is there another good choice that presents these characters or ease of development of them?

  3. If there is no free source framework, is there a good choice for a paid framework? [Among them, it seems that AnswerHub is an option, but it seems be a kind of expensive decision to be made before starting]. Is it really a good option? Are there other good options?

2 Answers 2


Try Discourse

It is built by some of the same people who built stackexchange.

It has the features you are looking for

1 - Free-open source : https://github.com/discourse/discourse

2 - Topics and tags

3 - Scalability.

4 - Voting system

5 - Mobile support

6 - Attachments

7 - Users with different kinds of permissions

It gives you an admin like interface to work with so you would not have to do a lot of coding yourself.

  • I do not see the similarity between StackExchange and Discourse. This question specifically mentions Stack Exchange clones. I'm interested in that too, but Discourse does not seem to fit that category. Am I missing something?
    – MountainX
    Jul 15, 2020 at 22:44

Another alternative? Could be Talkyard — it's open source Question-Answers software, a cross between StackOverflow and novel forum software like Discourse.

With Talkyard, people can also post and discuss Idea type topics with feedback replies, and Planned / Started / Done statuses. You can have open-ended discussions, and, optionally, Slack like chat channels. — Your community can be a social place for ideas, feedback and discussions, too, in addition to Q&A.

Your Advantages list:

1) Free and open source: Yes, GitHub repo here. There's optional SaaS hosting.
2) PHP? No, instead, Scala, which runs on the JVM.
3a) Categories and topics: Yes.
3b) Tags: Planned, not yet implemented. (May 2019)
4) Scalability and security: Likely faster and safer than a PHP solution? The JVM is fast, and React.js (used client side) is pretty XSS safe for example.

Your Desirable list:

1) Easy development: Actually the code base is large and not so easy to get started with for the moment. (May 2019)
2) Multilingual: Yes.
3) Voting system: Yes: Like votes. Sort topics by popularity (votes), and you can show only Waiting (unanswered) questions.
4) Gamification (Badges and reputation scores): No.
5) Allow attachments: Yes
6a) Latex editing: Yes, e.g. via MathJax.
6b) Sntax highlighting: Yes, add e.g. Prism.js.
7a) Users with different kinds of permissions: There's a Trust Level system (new member, basic, full, trusted, etc), and a permission system.
7b) Custom user groups: Partly implemented, about to continue now (May, June, 2019).
8) Statistics about page visits etc: Not yet, would be nice to have.

Here's a sample Question-Answers topic, actually copied from this old StackOverflow question, CC-By-SA:

enter image description here

(StackOverflow has deleted the question shown above, and the related community, so the CC-By-SA link above is dead.)

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