vBulletin vs XenForo vs IPB

vBulletin vs XenForo vs IPB Comparison Chart

A Major Battle Between vBulletin vs XenForo vs IPB

Looking at the overall battle of vBulletin vs. XenForo vs. IPB, it’s important to compare all three fully. Those considering any of these three choices for their forum, need to address specific needs and wants of the project at hand. While one may be better for the majority, another choice may better address your specific project needs.

Features of vBulletin

VBulletin is well-known by many and widely used. It comes with many features addressing your needs for a robust forum capable of delivering social functionality, which engages customers properly. Here’s a list of the most important features.

  • Real-time interaction
  • Facebook integration
  • Extensive content generation
  • Streamlined videos and pictures
  • Built-in SEO
  • Easy to set up (in about 15 minutes)
  • Easy editing tools
  • Customized templates
  • Strong security
  • Top-notch support
  • API Extensions
  • Powerful paid add-ons
  • Available mobile version
  • And More!

vBulletin is the oldest and most popular of the three, with a massive community and endless add ons, themes and plugins available.

Features of XenForo

XenForo fits right in with the battle of vBulletin vs. XenForo vs. IPB. It’s a top contender and provides many great features for the best community experience possible. Some of the main features include:

  • Social engagement through earning trophies
  • A “like” system
  • Email alerts
  • Built-in SEO
  • Use of semantic HTML and embedded microdata
  • Human-Readable URLs
  • Simple color editing
  • Ability to edit HTML and CSS
  • Recent activity stream
  • Tons of add-ons
  • And More!

Whether you want to write your own add-ons or customize the code of your forum, XenForo allows you to take care of any customizations yourself. While XenForo is a fairly new software, it is quickly gaining in popularity.

Features of IPB

IPB may be the least well-known of those in the vBulletin vs. XenForo vs. IPB battle. However, this system still provides plenty of features including:

  • Unlimited forums and subforums
  • Password-protection for forums
  • Drag and drop forum ordering in the AdminCP
  • Pinned topics, Polls & Topic Rating
  • HTML or Rich post formatting
  • Embed videos automatically
  • Multiquote capability
  • Super moderator support
  • Tag cloud support
  • Anonymous sign in
  • Follow feature
  • Import RSS feeds
  • Visual skin editor
  • Customization options
  • And More!

This powerful system provides plenty of great features for those looking to start a forum. IPB is full of great features and certainly belongs in the discussion.

vBullet vs XenForo vs IPB


The price of all three is similar. However, IPB and XenForo may seem less expensive, at first. Both come with a cheaper upfront licensing fee, but to get the same power as vBulletin, you will need to purchase add-ons. Overall, the price of all three is about the same.

The Overall Winner and Recommendations

When it comes to a paid forum script, many will choose vBulletin because of the vast community of users ready to help support you. It’s easy to find how-to articles, guides and videos about the features of vBulletin. XenForo and IPB don’t have the same large community to support the software, but they both provide their own support.

Many of the users of IPB swear it’s the best and for good reason. Advanced users will find it easier to work with and easier to customize than either vBulletin or XenForo.

XenForo has become a bit lost within the three because it hasn’t been developed at the same level as IPB or vBulletin. Just looking at the features, vBulletin fits better for the beginner, while XenForo tries to target all users and IPB is the best choice for the advanced user.

Choosing the right paid forum script certainly isn’t easy and each has their advantages. Overall, IPB is the best choice for most, but vBulletin comes in a very close second. XenForo just doesn’t have the same support and isn’t completely up-to-date with the other two, but it’s still a great system.

vBulletin vs XenForo vs IPB Search Trends

Hosting Your Forum Script

No matter which of the three in the battle between vBulletin vs. XenForo vs. IPB you choose, it’s important to know, shared hosting won’t cut it. These are not exactly heavy scripts, but they are too heavy for good performance on a shared hosting account.

You can start with shared hosting to get things set up, but once you see your members become active, you will need at least VPS hosting. Choosing a company offering VPS and dedicated hosting options will provide the opportunity for growth, which is vital with any forum.

ITX Design provides hosting packages capable of supporting all three paid forum scripts. Once you make the choice between vBulletin, XenForo and IPB, contact the support team at ITX Design. We will recommend the right hosting package for your specific needs.

ITX Design is a Web Hosting and Domain Registration provider. We provide dedicated servers, shared web hosting, and domain registration for small businesses including Reseller Hosting, FFmpeg Hosting and Christian Web Hosting.
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