I'm looking for the open source/commercial engine for Question & Answers website like StackOverflow. Please recommend.

I should have the possibility to customize the engine with my own functionality If I'll need it.

  • It must be in PHP? If not, I suggest you remove that tag to remove that limit. It would be also great if you'll list the important features you need. There are plenty of Q&A sites, and each has something different – arieljannai Jun 22 '18 at 7:07
  • Thanks for your suggestion, I have removed the PHP tag – alexanoid Jun 22 '18 at 7:08
  • On premise / online? – arieljannai Jun 22 '18 at 7:09
  • Preferable solution - I should have the possibility to customize the engine with my own functionality If I'll need it. – alexanoid Jun 22 '18 at 7:14
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    @AndrewT. Different site so it is not considered a duplicate from here's point of view :-) – Nicolas Raoul Jun 22 '18 at 10:39

A SaaS solution, which is the closest to what you're looking for:

StackOverflow for Teams or Enterprise

  • It's StackOverflow, the closest you'll get to StackOverflow 😉
  • On premise
  • Please write one solution per answer, thanks :-) – Nicolas Raoul Jun 22 '18 at 9:17
  • OK :) So should I split it now? Does it matter which of them I leave in that answer and which I move to a new one? – arieljannai Jun 22 '18 at 9:22
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    Good question, we don't know which one the asker liked enough to accept the answer... that's why I prefer one solution per answer, to avoid having to try and guess what solution is relevant. Just choose the one you prefer :-) – Nicolas Raoul Jun 22 '18 at 9:32
  • So if the OP won't respond about it - I'll just know it for the future! – arieljannai Jun 22 '18 at 10:13
  • Also, please move your "Notes" section as comments to the question, thanks! – Nicolas Raoul Jun 22 '18 at 10:47

We used OSQA at the last agency I worked at (3 years ago). OSQA is a 'community version' of the 'enterprise' AnswerHub.

At the time, it seemed to work okay - definitely not as slick as Stack Overflow, but still worthwhile (q&a, comments, tags, votes, badges). Ultimately the culture of of contributing to Q&A didn't take off in company, but I participated for a while, and it was fit for purpose.

Looking at it now, it seems that the open source version gets very little love: it's still running Django 1.6(!!) and numerous PRs are pending (including an upgrade to Django 1.8 a year ago).

If you're a python person, then I'd recommend checking out the network graph / PRs. The basics are there, if you're looking for a 'fixer-upper'.


Talkyard is open source Question-&-Answers software. It's a cross between StackOverflow and novel forum software like Discourse and Flarum.

In addition to Q&A topics, there are Idea type topics — if your colleagues / customers / users have ideas about how to improve things, and would like to post feedback and discuss. There're open-ended discussions, e.g. for talking about news and blog posts.

Talkyard is open source, GitHub repo here, I'm developing it. There's optional SaaS hosting.

Below is a sample discussion, actually copied from this StackOverflow question: (CC-By-SA)

A question and answers about how to wake up on time

(StackOverflow has deleted the question shown above, and the related community, so the link to the question over at productivity.stackexchange.com is dead.)

  • thanks for your answer. Talkyard looks really great! Is it possible to integrate Talkyard with the existing authentication on the site with no needs to register twice(once on my website and also in Talkyard)? – alexanoid May 1 '19 at 8:56
  • @alexanoid That sounds like Signe Sign-On? Yes there's SSO via an API; here's a topic about that: talkyard.io/-121/single-sign-on-and-api. SSO reportedly works fine, still it's fairly new, not that thoroughly tested yet. — Hmm the topic I linked is a bit long and complicated to read, maybe I could write some better looking docs about SSO (what do you think?) – KajMagnus May 1 '19 at 11:40


  • Open source
  • Written in PHP
  • Flexible and customizable
  • Support for plugins, authentication, badges etc.
  • I used it in a closed organization a few years ago and was pretty satisfied. I made some changes and added functionality, it was nice.
    • Customized the authentication to use LDAP and Kerberos
    • Added support for RTL
    • Modified the theme


  • Open source
  • Available also as a SaaS solution
  • Written in Ruby
  • Flexible and customizable
  • Support for plugins, authentication, badges etc.
  • One of the creators is Jeff Atwood, a co-founder of StackOverflow
  • It's basically for discussions, but it can be used greatly also for Q&A, read a bit about it. I really liked it, but haven't used it myself because when I was looking for a Q&A platform it was just released as beta and wasn't production ready (a few years ago).
  • Tons of features

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