Which Forum is Best for SEO?

An interesting question over on our Joomla SEO Forum

 "Why did you use VBulletin for the forum instead of Fireboard?"


In general there are three key reasons why we didn’t:

  1. Design. Its more of a problem with the way our site is currently set up than with Fireboard. We have a very narrow template and Fireboard looked squashed. We didn’t want to redesign the site for the forum. That said, the new Fireboard templates are a quantum leap ahead of those available for Joomlaboard. Great job, guys!
  2. VBulletin offers better ACL. We can have more membership and subscription options.
  3. Good past experiences with VBulletin/VBSEO. We currently have about 5 sites running Fireboard and things are going well. However, we’ve had stellar experiences with VBulletin in the past. We initially ran a couple of sites on SMF and had all sorts of SEO problems. Moving to VBulletin solved them inside a couple of weeks. A friend who runs dozens of forums confirms that for SEO there really is no better combination than VBulletin with VBSEO.

P.S. VBulletin’s parent company has just been purchased.

Why did we use VBulletin for the forum instead of SMF?

We didn’t use SMF, not just because of its SEO problems, but also because I believe that bridges between different projects present inherent security risks. You’re more or less at the mercy of the developers of both projects plus the bridge.

For example, the SMF-Joomla bridge has disappeared because of the GPL issues. Anyone running a site using the bridge now needs to hope no serious security issues are found.

Did We Make the Right Choice?

Overall, I think we did this time. We have the top two spots on Google and MSN for "Joomla SEO Forum" and we’re number 7 with Yahoo. VBulletin costs add up pretty quickly, totalling $300 if you include VBSEO as well. So for many forums the cost really isn’t justified. For a business that sees long-term potential in the forum, remains the best SEO choice.

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