Bulletin Board Software vs Bulletin Board Hosting

   
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Which to use.... Bulletin Board Software or Bulletin Board Hosting

As you might expect, each has it advantages and disadvantages.

Bulletin Board Sofware defined: a software program/package that you download/purchase, install, host, and manage on an internet server. The software give you and your users internet bulletin board capability.

Bulletin Board Hosting defined: a service provided by a third party that gives you and your users internet bulletin board capability. There is no software to download, install, maintain, or host. The software and hosting capability is done for you.


A comparison of the two methods

  1. Bulletin Board Formats
    There are 3 basic display formats a bulletin board will use: Non-Threaded, Semi-Threaded, or Fully-Threaded Either method usually provides all 3 formats, although in some cases, changing your board configuration from one format to another may be easier using a remotely hosted solution.

  2. Bulletin Board Capabilities
    There can be over 100 different options/capabilities a message board can provide, i.e., integrated chat rooms, listserv features, RSS feeds, etc.. You'll find a complete spectrum of capabilities, as well as a lack of significant capabilities using either method. If you do enough research, you should be able to find a software package or a remotely hosted solution, that will be able to satisfy your requirements. Although, if you have an unusual situation or requirement requiring custom programming, you may find the remotely hosted solution a better fit because of the availabilty of immediate technical help.

  3. Cost
    There are many bulletin board hosting services, and bulletin board software packages available. Using either method, you'll find both can be acquired for free, or for a fee. You usually incur some type of advertising obligation using the free option. Usually, having a company remotely host your board is less expensive, than having to provide the hardware, software, and associated service provider fees, especially if you are considering a dedicated server to host your board. Unless your board membership is very large, i.e., several thousand, it's unlikely you would need a dedicated server.

  4. Technical Expertise.
    Downloading, installing, and maintaining your own bulletin board software, definitely requires more technical expertise than a remotely hosted bulletin board.

  5. Hardware requirements
    A remotely hosted bulletin board will not require you to purchase any additional hardware or software.
    All hardware, software, backup, ip connections are provided by the bulletin board hosting provider.
    Using a bulletin board software package will not require any hardware purchase on your part either,
    if you have an internet hosting provider that will allow you to install your bulletin board software on their server... otherwise you'll need to provide an intenet connection and a server to run your software on.

  6. Summary
    In most cases, I recommend a remotely hosted bulletin board solution. You may want to consider the purchase of a bulletin board software package if you are software knowledgeable, have your own programming staff, or need to exercise physical security of the operating hardware/software.


Other Bulletin Board / Forum Solutions

Following are some additional bulletin board information sources and providers, including our bulletin board hosting service(BulletinBoards.com):
BulletinBoards.com
Ubbcentral.com
ThinkOfIt.com
Activedataonline.com
Bbv2.com


Searching for other Bulletin Board Providers
Finding a list of alternative Bulletin Board / Forum providers is easily done using a search engine such as Google or Yahoo, and searching with keywords such as: bulletin boards, bulletin board software, bulletin boards, bulletin board software, bulletin board forums, bulletin board hosting, bulletin board hosting, etc.

Blog Alternative
Another option you may want to consider, is creating a Blog vs a Bulletin Board.
The main difference between a Blog and a Bulletin Board,
is that a Blog is usually structured so only one individual post message topics, while anyone can view... whereas, with a bulletin board, anyone can post as well as view. Some Blogs will be configured to allow users to post replies to message topics/comments started by the Blog owner. Our bulletin boards can be configured to operate in either manner.



If you have other questions or want to discuss in more detail any of the ideas above, call or email me.
Al Bennett - Tech Support
BulletinBoards.com
Message-Boards.net
al@bulletinboards.com
(321) 984-9080 9-5 EST US Mon-Fri