When comparing NodeBB vs Flarum, the Slant community recommends Flarum for most people. In the question“What are the best web forum software packages?” Flarum is ranked 1st while NodeBB is ranked 3rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free and open source
NodeBB is free for all use cases, although the code is licensed under GPLv3, so the source code must be provided if you are re-distributing (and/or reselling) NodeBB.
Pro Has live chat
Private Messages (PMs) are live chats, just like messaging apps, allowing real-time conversations with one or a selection of users.
Pro Plugin support
A selection of plugins for NodeBB are available.
Pro Social integration through plugins
NodeBBs plugins are built to support features like: Rich media embedding (Youtube/Vimeo), advertising integration (Google AdSense, DoubleClick, etc), third-party single-sign-on, emoji, mobile phone notifications, sound packs, CDN support, rich-text formatting/colours, static pages, galleries, and much much more.
Pro Highly customizable themes
NodeBB's themes are more customizable and dispensable; use custom CSS and HTML code, integrate WordPress Themes or use one of NodeBB's themes with easy stylist functions to change colour schemes and category layout.
Pro Includes all commonly expected modern forum features
NodeBB bundles real-time updates (new posts/topics, chat messages), the ability to see "who's browsing this topic", recent/popular/unread topics, tags, post sorting, social sharing, notification system, inbound email support/reply-by-email, mobile responsiveness, favourites, bookmarks, spam control, and reputation/karma.
Built in local support with over 50 translated languages.
Pro Has a variety of gamification plugins
NodeBB’s gamification plugins extend user engagement by motivating users to participate and complete tasks by giving them incentives like achievements, badges, points and virtual currency. NodeBB's gamification and reputation system is more than just badges, the reputation engine is used to promote good content, grant member abilities and achieve rank among leaderboards. NodeBB has several gamifications plugins that gives forum users an RPG like experience: Advanced Dungeon and Rabbits, Minecraft, PVP RPG (Battle, attack & steal points from other users).
Pro Real-time post streaming
Posts are streamed in real time, if a new post is created it appears without having to refresh.
Pro Active and engaging support community
Vibrant community is available to help guide you with installations, advise against common pitfalls, and answer any questions.
Pro Installation & maintenance easy
Documentation is complete and detail, otherwise community always find a solution
Pro Great performance
Pro NoScript support
NodeBB is one of the few modern forum software that has good NoScript support. The forum layout is the same and users can register, login, logout and post without scripts.
Pro Provides hosting solutions with multiple server locations
In addition to the hosting, NodeBB also provides support ticket access, and automatic deployment of security updates when necessary.
NodeBB's servers are located in New York, although instances can be manually provisioned in all of the other regions our hosting provider supports:
- San Francisco (west coast customers)
- London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt (European customers)
- Singapore (China, south Asia, etc)
Pro 24/7 technical support
Pro Very fast loading time
Pro Open source
Pro Modern UI
Pro Great community
The community building flarum is fantastic and very helpful!
Pro Based on (but not built with) Laravel
Flarum was originally based on Laravel and uses the Eloquent ORM. But it is not a traditional Laravel software.
Pro Easily expandable
Pro Lots of features
The developers do a great job adding new bells and whistles.
Pro Mobile Friendly UI
Con Very complicated installation process on shared hosts
If you do not have root ssh access or node js installed, it is impossible or very hard to install on shared hosts.
Con Still in Beta
Wonderful software with great future, but on current build status still lack of some must have features like nice search engine, installation/update script or proper user management.
Con Extremely complicated to install
It's extremely hard to install Flarum, especially using anything that is hosted by Amazon. Good luck with a simple install for amazon.
Con Simple things (eg email authentication) still broken
Simple things that should be automatically included in any forum software - are still obtuse at best and completely broken otherwise; such as email support/authentication.
Con Complicated installation process on shared hosts
PHP Composer is used as a dependency manager. Because of that SSH access is needed which makes Flarum harder to install than, for instance, Vanilla or phpBB. Especially on shared hosts where no SSH access is available or where shell access is severely limited.