Which to use.... Message Board Software or Message Board Hosting|
As you might expect, each has it advantages and disadvantages.
Message 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 message board capability.
Message Board Hosting defined: a service provided by a third party
that gives you and your users internet message 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
Other Message Board / Forum Solutions
- Message Board Formats
There are 3 basic display formats a message 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.
- Message 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.
There are many message board hosting services, and message 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.
- Technical Expertise.
Downloading, installing, and maintaining your own message board software,
definitely requires more technical expertise than a remotely hosted
- Hardware requirements
A remotely hosted message board will not require you to purchase
any additional hardware or software.
All hardware, software, backup,
ip connections are provided by the message board hosting provider.
Using a message 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 message board software on their server... otherwise you'll need to provide an
intenet connection and a server to run your software on.
In most cases, I recommend a remotely hosted message board solution.
You may want to consider the purchase of a message board software package
if you are software knowledgeable, have your own programming staff, or need to exercise physical security of the operating hardware/software.
Following are some additional message board information sources and providers, including our
message board hosting service(BulletinBoards.com):
Searching for other Message Board Providers
Finding a list of alternative Message 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, message boards, message board software,
message board forums, message board hosting, bulletin board hosting, etc.
Another option you may want to consider, is creating a Blog vs a Message Board.
The main difference between a Blog and a Message Board,
is that a Blog is
usually structured so only one individual post message topics, while
anyone can view... whereas, with a message 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 message boards can be configured to operate
in either manner.