Anyone have experience with Flarum?

(Carly Hulls) #1

So I’m creating a community from scratch for tour guides to connect and learn from each other, and have a space to vent with their peers across different brands. The idea is to ‘test’ the community functionality with a guide community and then eventually grow it out for our customer base (travellers who take multi day group tours)…but that’s a challenge for future me.

So right now the question is, for a newbie like be, has anyone trialled or have experience with Flarum as a platform? It looks fairly freshly launched…

We’re a tech company so implementation is taken care of, but wondering if anyone has used this or heard any feedback about it?

(Sarah Hawk) #2

Hey @CarlyHulls – I haven’t heard of it before, but you’re right about it being new, it’s still in beta.
The UI looks great – I love the 2 pane interface and the floating composer.

Is there anything in particular that made you choose it?

(Richard Millington) #3

It looks interesting.

The challenge with new platforms is it’s hard to predict which will survive and which won’t. No-one wants to back the wrong horse and then find themselves with a platform that’s either no longer updated or killed altogether.

So usually we advise people to select platforms from companies that look pretty stable. Either they have clear high growth rates, a large amount of investment in the bank (i.e. discourse), or are one of the established names in the space.

(Carly Hulls) #4

We ran a few comparisons between Muut, NodeBB and Discourse, but Flarum came out on top for easy integration to our current site ( where guides already have a profile, so we want to have single sign in capabilities with our existing profiles. It also kicked arse in terms of SEO speedtest check which was important for our CEO. The alternatives seemed to need a lot of plugins and/or modifications to meet the requirements we had…but… I’m wary of a newly launched product (despite the creators background in forum design).

(Carly Hulls) #5

Solid advice, will gently report that back to the decision makers, thanks!

(Sarah Hawk) #6

In this case it’s an open source forum so the risks aren’t quite as high.

(Steve Bridger) #7

Thanks for bringing Flarum to our attention @CarlyHulls.

I initially read Flarum as “Flame’em” :simple_frown:

Looks good. Translates some of the features we’re used to seeing with email clients - e.g. the two pane interface.

I do find if interesting that we’ve seen a cluster of open source entrants to the market over the past couple of years. The incumbents needed shaking up. Take @richard_millington’s point about sustainability though.

(Andy McIlwain) #8

First impressions: I like it. Makes me think “Discourse minus Node”. OSS + PHP is a good combination. My only concern is that it’s in beta, and their Github repo openly states to “not use it in Production”:

With that in mind, I’d hold off on using it for anything customer-facing, unless you have some dev chops in-house and are comfortable with the risk of something not working quite right. :wink:

(Carly Hulls) #9

Yeah our tech team has shied away from Flarum due to the security issues at hand. They’ve heartbreakingly rejected Discourse because we can’t integrate with Ruby so now are trying to sell me on PhPBB…which looks less seamless than Discourse to me requiring more customisation. Looks like we are back to the drawing board!

(Sarah Hawk) #10

Where did you get with NodeBB?

(Carly Hulls) #11

We compared it directly with Flarum and it came out slower with SEO and looked like it needed a lot more plugins added on to deliver full functionality. PhBB is godawful old-fashioned though so might resurface NodeBB as an option - the team is after the lightest, easy to implement solution which is like hunting for a unicorn. I’ve passed along the guide to community platforms to the key deciders and are running comparison tests…but my gut is telling me PhBB is a no go!

(Sarah Hawk) #12

I can’t comment directly on PhBB but I do know that you have to be excited about and proud of your community.

(Steve Bridger) #13

Here here. Often overlooked by community ‘sponsors’ / execs. If you’re ‘in’ the community every day - as we are - it has got to be a good experience.

(Carly Hulls) #14

Appreciate all the wonderful tips here guys - can happily report we are starting with Vanilla, and once Flarum becomes stable and safe we will probably move over there. Vanilla for a newbie starter seems manageable, and much more comfortable than PhBB, you’re spot on @HAWK! Now feeling much more confident, and on to the actual community building!!

(Sarah Hawk) #15

That’s wonderful! I’m a big fan of Vanilla – I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

(Lee Lee) #16

@CarlyHulls Hi Carly, I too like Flarum a lot, have been following and patiently waiting for the stable version to come out for over a year now.

I have researched Flarum, Discourse and Nodebb and I like Flarum the most, that’s why I decided to wait.

Sadly, there is no real progress as far as Flarum development is concerned. At one point Flarum developer said they were introducing their own hosting plan as well, but lately I read another post in their community that the plan has been canceled or postponed indefinitely.

I am at a point when I can’t wait any longer, so now am being forced to choose between Discourse vs Nodebb.