Whether you’re already an established online presence, or want to start up a community of your own, having an online forum is a good route to take. It’ll help you grow and stay connected with your online friends and followers. Simply put, it can contribute to fostering growth with your targeted audience. If you’re an individual or small business, though, you may want to start out with a free option.
That’s where we come in. We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to.
Let’s have a look at five free hosted forum options to consider.
Flarum is a free, open-source forum software with a beautiful user interface, rich with features. There’s a two-pane interface, infinite scrolling, and a floating composer so you can continue to read while you write new forum messages. A definite perk of Flarum is that it’s touch-optimized, so you can easily use it on a tablet, touchscreen monitor, or smartphone. Flarum also uses the same build on desktop and mobile, resulting in a consistent experience for users. It’s fast-loading and performance is optimized. Flarum is easy to install with a flexible architecture and powerful API. It’s also customizable so you can make it blend in with your website’s color scheme. You can get notifications for posts, likes, or mentions, and set your notification preferences. Organize discussions by tagging them with colors, positions, and hierarchy. You can get even more control of your forum with assigned permissions per tag. These are just the current offerings with Flarum forum software—the developers are working on making it even more amazing.
ZetaBoards is a completely free hosted forum. It’s said to have simple, yet powerful, features being built from the ground up so you can have a free forum for your needs. You may also customize the way your forum looks and feels, and use the features you want to suit your community. There’s no limit on topics, posts, members, or bandwidth, so your forum has room to grow. Support is free—submit a support ticket for really troublesome issues, search and find answers with the extensive documentation available, or ask questions and get answers from within ZetaBoards’ friendly support forum. ZetaBoards is simple and boasts a traditional forum appeal.
ProBoards Classic is a free cloud-hosted and managed forum software. You can have an unlimited amount of members, posts, and page views. It’s fully customizable to suit your style. ProBoards is mobile-ready across platforms, as well as desktop accessible. Also included for free is live search, 24/7 support, and file uploading. ProBoards has built-in analytics—as well as social media integration—and is optimized for search engines. ProBoards seems like a good choice for hassle-free forum hosting.
The free hosted forum by Muut offers unlimited traffic, unlimited users, unlimited content, multi-language support, an ad-free forum, and lets you apply your style. The goal of Muut: having a completely customizable, less ugly, and more modern-looking forum. It’s lightweight, fast, responsive, and extremely mobile-friendly. Muut integrates as a part of your website, not some separate entity. Muut is a reputable contender for the modern day forum user.
Lefora lets you have a multi-level forum for free. The forum features include bulk moderation tools, chat, an event calendar, advanced member management, forum security, and unlimited bandwidth. You can customize your forum, choosing a theme from the extensive library available from Lefora. Use drag-and-drop arrangements to create your forum and also override default text labels. Domain backups get performed twenty-four hours a day. You’ll be able to use custom and auto member lists, get detailed security logs, enjoy a flexible polling system, let members donate to remove forum ads, and get full domain statistics about your forum. Easy and straightforward, anyone can use Lefora, even those without a technical bone in their body.
There you have it—five free hosted forum choices and solutions that are easy to use.