Currently, we’re running the free version of Vanilla Forums. I’d like to move to another system where we pay someone else to host the site and keep it backed up + secure.
The problem is: we’re pretty big! Vanilla shows that we had over 400,000 page views last month, which means that http://vanillaforums.com/plans would charge us $600 a month for forum hosting. That seems pretty expensive.
Especially when you consider that we’re not super happy with Vanilla. Twitter/Google login has broken frequently. The HTML parser is buggy. The account approval system has three options, none of which are quite right for us. (We require users to apply for approval, so we can ban people and keep them banned, but that means we have to deal with a lot of spammers trying to create accounts.)
One option I’d like us to discuss is switching to Discourse. http://www.discourse.org/ I think they can set us up with reasonable hosting for $200/month, which is still a lot, but it’s worth it if the forums help us release even just one good Hosted Game a year.
I guess we could also switch to something more popular, like phpBB? But, I really dislike phpBB. I feel like it’s ugly and harder to use than Vanilla.
What do you think? Do you like Vanilla? Do you like Discourse? phpBB? Do you like some other alternative not mentioned here?