I need forum software. Apparently I hear phpBB is insecure by design and it seems there's problems having it with SSL.

I also plan on having mail such as roundcube and chat (looking at phpfreechat). So perhaps it would be nice if the forum had nice user integration or something that makes it easy for users to use their email accounts created on my site. Maybe something with openID?

Forum has support SSL, preferably without too much extra config, other than installing using softaculous with https protocol.
(I plan to redirect any non HTTPS URLs to HTTPS via editing .htaccess in case this matters).

As far as how feature rich this is, I'm looking for a forum with potential to develop on site but I'm not an expert so too complicated of features would be a hassle. At the same time, I do not want to be limited in the future in case I decide to do more. I would like to be able to customize the organization of the boards. One particular feature that interests me is the ability for threads to have polls/surveys attached to them. This is for if users wish to make threads requesting changes in the website, etc. I would consider their request depending on how many other users support it.

I plan on having ads on the entire site as well as the forum. Most likely all types of ad units, including pop-ups, pop-unders via CPM/PPC.

I do not want any limits on how much traffic it can handle or a limit on memory. The forum should allow 999999 billion posts as long as the server has sufficient space. I hope this is enough information to give some guidance. I'm a starting webmaster/designer and I don't have too many specific features in mind. What I mentioned above, security, usability, and some amount of good design/customizable is what it boils down to.

Here's a complete breakdown of all the features I am looking at using MoSCoW method:

Must have

  • SSL compatible
  • installable via Softaculous
  • ads can be placed on forum pages
  • anonymous posting
  • any content including adult can be posted on forums
  • users able to subscribe to threads via a control panel
  • admin able to add as many boards or forum sections as wanted
  • to create subsections
  • to have descriptions on each section or sub-section

Should have

  • polls/surveys by users
  • compatible with majority of browsers
  • compatible with mobile devices
  • users can use without javascript enabled
  • privilege system, but I would like this to be customizable or be able to disable it if I do not like how privileges are given to users vs non-users (an example of a site that uses this is blackhatworld)
  • ability for users to sign in using their email accounts they already would have made on my site
  • plenty of possible plugins and add-ons that can be installed

Could have

  • license for user-generated content (creative commons, etc.), ability for admin to globally set this, and included in registration process
  • ability for users to upload and download just about any file type in their posts (like on blackhatworld)
  • openID logins
  • ability for users to subscribe to threads via email
  • be able to put a motto/words near the top of the boards index page or in other words above where all the boards are listed
  • admin can create sticky posts for forum rules, etc.
  • 1
    Welcome to Software Recommendations! Please do split this question into two (one for the email plugin, one for the forum plugin), so that each can get its own answers. In each question describe what you want from the tools in terms of features. Currently we don't know anything about your usecase except that it shouldn't be too feature rich. For answerers to be able to give you good recommendations its best if they know how you will be using the tools so they can tailor their answer to your needs. Apr 10, 2015 at 9:25
  • Welcome to Software Recommendations! The question-and-answer format of this site works best if you put each question in a separate question post. Please edit your post down to one question, and create new posts to ask any further questions. You'll get better answers that way. Your post seems to contain at least 4 questions: forum, mail, RSS, chat. These all should go to separate posts – unless it's your requirement that one product must cover all those features.
    – Izzy
    Apr 10, 2015 at 9:33
  • And please make feature lists, preferably split out by the MoSCoW method so that we can see in one glance what is really important and what not. That will also help you decide between candidates.
    – user416
    Apr 11, 2015 at 18:56
  • @JanDoggen Thanks for the suggestion. It did help me sort things out as well. Apr 12, 2015 at 4:36


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