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Software in Use

Membership Software: aMember Pro
CMS: Joomla
Reviews: SOBI2
Forum: Fireboard
Autoresponder: Listmailpro

Full Disclosure

I'm not an owner or a partner in any of the software companies reviewed on this site. Some sites are linked using affiliate links and I do get a commision if you purchase the product using these links.

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David Moskowitz
Membership Academy

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Comparisons and Reviews
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Software to operate a forum on your membership site.

vBulletin (click to read reviews)

Website URL
Price: $85 lease / year or $160 to own
Installation: You will need to install vBulletin yourself. Installation by vBulletin Staff is also available for an extra fee ($135)
Trial Version: No, but demo available
Support: Helpdesk, and forums. Phone support for extra fees
Required Software: PHP, mysql
Description:

vBulletin is a bulletin board system for larger websites.

Both licenses include 12 months e-mail support and access to the latest versions. Both expire after 12 months and a leased license must be renewed in order to continue to run the software. An owned license renewal, for upgrades and e-mail support for 12 months costs $30. 

Both of the above have the vBulletin brand, but branding free is an
additional $120. Installation is $135. Phone support $60 for 1 month, 6 months $180 & 12 months $300.00.

There are lots of hacks available via non affiliated sites and varous independent forums.

http://www.vbulletin.org/ provides official modifications. 

Many sites start with PHPBB (open source) and then move to vBulletin. If you are expecting a large user base you may want to invest in  vBulletin to avoid any user transition and changeover issues.

10Reviews: 1

phpBB (click to read reviews)

Website URL
Price: Free- Open Source
Installation: You must install yourself. Some hosts provide automated installation.
Trial Version: Free
Support: Forums
Required Software: PHP, mysql
Description:

An open source forum/bulletin board solition.

phpBBS has a very lively developer community and user base. The forum is used on many websites and there are lots of modifications and styles available.

I recommend this for intermediate and advanced users who are comfortable editing PHP programs. It is a good way to start a forum without spending any money. 

9Reviews: 1

Simple Machines Forum (click to read reviews)

Website URL
Price: free
Installation: Either manually, Webinstall, or through Fantastico
Trial Version: http://www.simplemachines.org
Support: http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php
Required Software: MYSQL
Description:

 Simple Machines Forum or SMF is a free forum script that is easy for even beginners to install, customize, and configure.

We have modified it to resemble our site, which was fairly easy to do. It has a wide choice of skins and many customizations which may take time to configure, but are easy to do, even for beginners.

*Review posted by a member.

Reviews: 0
 
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