vBulletin is a traditional proprietary forum software package which has been around since 2000.

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Overview

vBulletin
vBulletin is a traditional proprietary forum software package which has been around since 2000.
2000
  • Traditional, familiar looking forum software
  • Strong moderation support
  • Technical support on forums for life of software
  • Paid subscriptions
  • “Visible Source”/Unencrypted files
  • Upgrading will result in the loss of customisation
  • Limited reporting
  • Buggy software
  • Easy to spam
vBulletin

Pricing

239.40
  • Self-hosted lifetime license $249
  • SaaS 25gb $14.99/mo billed annually or $19.95/mo billed monthly
  • SaaS 75gb $29.99/mo billed annually or $39.95/mo billed monthly
  • SaaS 200gb $59.99/mo billed annually or $74.95/mo billed monthly
Other
No
Yes, get a free trial
Bulk discounts for self-hosting licenses
  • Branding removal: $169
  • Installation support: $149
  • Mobile app: $199
None
  • Annual support for self-hosted: $199
  • Monthly support for self-hosted: $49
None

Details

Enterprise
None
Support package
SAAS or On-premise
  • Canned Reports
  • Supports Google Analytics
  • API for integration/selective exports
Medium
API’s available
  • 3rd party add ons available
  • Social sign-up (Facebook)

Notable Clients

Features

Analytics / Reporting toolsAutomated community tour for newcomersAutomation rulesBloggingCase ManagementDirectoriesDiscussions / Activity FeedDocument CollaborationDocument PreviewsDocument SharingDocument UploadsEvents Calendar with RegistrationGroups (Public, Private, Secret)Knowledge BaseMention by @name
Mentor / volunteer matchingMicrositesMobile AppModeration toolsPermissions configurable by rolePersonalizationPollsPrivate Messaging / NotificationsQuestions (with ability to mark questions correct)Ratings and reviewsResponsive designSEO friendly linksSpam control toolsTask Management

Customer Reviews of vBulletin

Reviews Summary

Star Rating
1.3 out of 5
  • Highly customisable
  • Detailed user group customisation
  • Self-hosted version
  • Simple
  • Cheap
  • Many features simply don't work
  • Extremely buggy
  • Poor mobile optimisation
  • Very limited analytics
  • Out of date
* Taken from our most recent reviews

Latest Reviews

Person

Star Rating Top of the line 10 years ago

I've been managing a vBulletin-based community for a while now. Back in the day, this was first rate software, offering incredible customisation options and a whole swathe of useful features.
<... Read Full Review

Person

Star Rating Outdated but does the basics

Whilst vBulletin is reasonably priced, it's generally outdated with threaded conversations and an old school traditional forum kind of look. I ran a 15k member community on it and whilst we were able ... Read Full Review

Person

Star Rating Traditional forum – cumbersome and heavy on technical debt

vBulletin is an old school forum, which can be cumbersome and hard to manage. I have used both the self-hosted and cloud-hosted options and found both sorely lacking in today's climate of modern tech.... Read Full Review

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All Customer Reviews

Person

Star Rating Top of the line 10 years ago

I've been managing a vBulletin-based community for a while now. Back in the day, this was first rate software, offering incredible customisation options and a whole swathe of useful features.

Unfortunately, it seems like it simply hasn't kept pace with other solutions on the market while the support dwindled. The last update to vBulletin 5 caused more issues than it fixed, and we've been left with half-functioning software that feels like it's falling apart.

  • Highly customisable
  • Detailed user group customisation
  • Self-hosted version
  • Many features simply don't work
  • Extremely buggy
  • Poor mobile optimisation
  • Very limited analytics
Person

Star Rating Outdated but does the basics

Whilst vBulletin is reasonably priced, it's generally outdated with threaded conversations and an old school traditional forum kind of look. I ran a 15k member community on it and whilst we were able to hack some customisations, it was generally not flexible but certainly did the basics. Support wasn't great but there's a developer forum which could be helpful.

  • Simple
  • Cheap
  • Out of date
  • Not flexible
Person

Star Rating Traditional forum – cumbersome and heavy on technical debt

vBulletin is an old school forum, which can be cumbersome and hard to manage. I have used both the self-hosted and cloud-hosted options and found both sorely lacking in today's climate of modern tech.

I wouldn't recommend.

  • Some people prefer the traditional forum look and feel
  • Good moderation functionality
  • Plenty of plugins available to extend
  • Support is slow at times, non-existent at others
  • Over time, the architecture of hacks and plugins makes upgrading next to impossible
  • Analytics and reporting are very poor
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