Flarum/NodeBB/Discourse


(TheCustos) #1

What’s the current state of these? I can’t find any that I really like, there isn’t a clear cut winner!

Would one be better than another if the user base is tech/not-tech.


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #2

Discourse team member here, but I’ll try to keep feature comparisons out of it.

Flarum is looking very promising, and there’s been a lot of cross-pollination between Discourse and Flarum, so they offer quite similar experiences. I don’t count Flarum into the equation yet though, because they’re still in Beta and last I checked they were consistently telling users not to use it in production unless they’re okay with things breaking from time to time.

NodeBB on the other hand has been around for a couple years now and has a professional hosting plan, so they’re at a similar level of maturity as Discourse.

When there’s no clear cut winner, you have to decide what’s most important to you besides just features.

What about the projects’

  • community
  • developer base
  • ideology
  • hosting options (service vs self-hosted)
  • proven track record

Also, defaults matter, a lot. Sure, with some styling tricks & extensions you could make NodeBB behave more or less like the standard Discourse, and vice versa. But whatever UX and behaviour is supported out-of-the-box by default is guaranteed to work well and be Done Right.

So when you size up two different applications and one stands out with “the small things”, you shouldn’t just brush that off as “well, with a few simple hacks we could do that in the other app as well”, because every small thing that isn’t there by default quickly adds up to a lot of things that add to your maintenance cost.


(Sarah Hawk) #3

Have a read of this thread @TheCustos – it doesn’t take into account Flarum, but as @erlend_sh says, it’s not quite at the same level yet.

Hit up @Ryan_Illman if you want to talk further about Node and the comparisons to Discourse. He’s a super helpful guy.