Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?


  • Just arrived.

    Trying to decide between Flarem and NodeBB, and finding this thread that is laced with such off-topic ranting of, "Is Rails still relevant", or, "Should people use Slack instead of forum software?" Just crap. Addresses none of y questions comparing Discourse and NodeBB. Y'know, I'm not even gonna go there. The thread is about the comparison between two fora platforms and even though it's based at one of the homes it's not able to stay on topic!

    Well. I understand passion, and I certainly don't let crap like this sway me one way or the other in making a decision, but Geez people! It would be nice to have used this forum as a measure of helping me to make the determination I'm after lolz....

    So, I know I don't want discord anymore, they won't even support manual build/installs, so they can take a hike (Like they're support was worth anything anyway).

    But yah, I"m looking into the advantages between Flarem and NodeBB at this time.

    Um.......

    Why would anyone run that Slack crap anyway? At least use MatterMost if you're not going to go full Matrix. Geez! lolz.

    Best wishes everybody. I'm sure I'll need support in the future here πŸ™‚

    β›΅

    .


  • @volanar Yes that's one reason Discord is definitely not being considered.

    Okay, if you're bringing in $150K/mo on hosting subscriptions then why are you looking for seed investors?

    All that ever tells me when I see it is that they cannot live within their means, and/or they see the twilight coming and want cash for a parachute.

  • Community Rep

    @tallship Yes, threads will wander. Part of the beauty of community. You learn to filter. One way or another. As for flarum vs nodebb, honestly it has been so long ago now that I compared them that I have no memory at all...

    Be all that as it may, a couple of things:

    1. The thread, overall, is information rich.
    2. Technical analysis aside, there is a "real" community here at "community". Feels like "ROSS" (Real Open Source Software) to me, Vern! Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

    Have a groovy day, eh? πŸ•


  • Even though I'm new to NodeBB and I even never used Discourse (except a demo), I want to share my opinion on this question.
    First, let me do a quick introduction : I'm running a relatively small forum (3500 members) in Belgium since about 12 years. In that time we moved the forum respectively from yourbb.be to phpBB, MyBB, SMF and finally Woltlab (paying).
    At several moments, we also looked at both Discourse and NodeBB but you both lack a simple install procedure for a shared hosting provider (in my case vimexx.be). In fact, there's no way to install your application there at all! And it's a real pity that it's not the case because NodeBB is a very good forum platform. Defenitely better than phpBB, MyBB and SMF and certainly cheaper than Woltlab. I just managed to install NodeBB on my linux desktop and have been playing for the last few days with it and so far these are the pro's and con's I see :

    pro:

    • The acp is very good and clear to use. As administrator, I can very easily find all the bells & whistles available.
    • Installing plugins is actually very easy and can be done directly from the acp without having to down/upload data packages via ftp
    • I like the endless scrolling and the overall layout of the forum itself is great. You also have quite a lot of possibilities as a user to decide what and how you get informed on activity.
    • The email digest feature is something that doesn't exist on Woltlab unless you buy an additional package.
    • In fact, even though you have less plugins to choose from, most of them are free. That there are plugins that are no longer supported don't bother me that much, the same is the case for Woltlab.

    Con's :

    • Default markdown or bbcode : this is to my opinion a bit outdated. But it's not that big a deal because I found a (free) plugin to enable HTML formatting. Don't underestimate this feature because the average forum user is not an IT expert but an average Joe who just wants to talk about a topic (in my case homebrewing).
    • There's no automatic resizing of images. In Woltlab, I can copy/paste an image directly into a post and it will be resized to a format I setup in the ACP. This option boosts the usage of images when asking questions or replying to them. A picture is worth more than a thousand words πŸ˜‰
    • As said, the installation process is very complicated and even impossible on shared hosting. News flash : a lot of us forum owners are on a shared hosting πŸ˜‰

    However, I am enjoying the discovery of NodeBB and I'm sure that I'll find a solution for most of my problems. Great work πŸ‘

  • Community Rep

    @herruu said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    At several moments, we also looked at both Discourse and NodeBB but you both lack a simple install procedure for a shared hosting provider (in my case vimexx.be). In fact, there's no way to install your application there at all! And it's a real pity that it's not the case because NodeBB is a very good forum platform.

    You have to understand that the reason you had an issue is because you chose a PHP host, not a NodeJS host. There is zero issue running on shared hosting and no documentation needed to do so. The issue is that you specifically tested with a host that is only focused on different platforms than what this one runs on. Vimexx is not a generic "host any app" system, it's very specifically a PHP host only. Nothing wrong with that, that's very common for basic web applications (specifically WordPress), but no hosting like that is generic and even many PHP apps cannot be hosted there (I know, I run a PHP host like them and there's no way around those limitations.)

    If you used NodeJS shared hosting, you'd have no issues. Same would happen if you tried to install a Java, .NET, Windows, Python, Perl or other application there. Your shared hosting has to be chosen based on matching the application environment of the software that you want to run.

    Much of what you like about these advanced platforms comes from their use of NodeJS over PHP. So this isn't some background noise or weird choice, it's literally the core of the issue.

  • Community Rep

    @herruu said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    As said, the installation process is very complicated and even impossible on shared hosting. News flash : a lot of us forum owners are on a shared hosting

    It's not really complicated and 100% works on shared hosting. I've run it on shared hosting for years. It's no different than if you were trying to install a MacOS application on your Linux desktop... it's not compatible. The fault isn't that of the operating system, nor of the application, but having chosen the wrong operating system for the application that you want to run.

    The right shared host has zero issue installing nodeBB (or Discourse.)

  • Community Rep

    @herruu said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    As said, the installation process is very complicated

    Here are install instructions that demonstrate how crazy simple an install is, even on a dedicated server. Would be far easier on shared.

    And most of the instructions there aren't about NodeBB, they are about doing basic server updates, installing the operating platform, acquiring and installing the database server, etc.

    Only a couple lines of all of that is getting and installing NodeBB. For just NodeBB on shared, you can easily install with a single command. It literally can't be made easier. I've deployed a lot of these, we do one command installs regularly.


  • @scottalanmiller Thanks for your reply πŸ‘ , so to use it in production, I'll need to move to a different provider. For now I'm just testing it on a desktop at home but I'm liking it a lot so changing providers is not impossible (my current contract ends somewhere beginning of next year).
    I'm looking into how I can copy the databases from woltlab (php) to nodebb. Bit of a winter project when the weather is bad πŸ™‚

  • Community Rep

    @herruu said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    I'm looking into how I can copy the databases from woltlab (php) to nodebb. Bit of a winter project when the weather is bad

    You can't. Not realistically. So the issue is that whatever WoltLab is using, and I'll just guess that it is MySQL / MariaDB is going to be relational data and MongoDB is document data. They are two wholly different types of data storage.

    So copying, no, it can't be done. It's fundamentally impossible.

    That said, to do this you'd need to learn the database format of the old system, and the database format of the new system, and write your own conversion software that reads the relational data and transforms it into documents and inserts into MongoDB. It "can" be done, but it's all custom coding and quite a bit of work to know both systems under the hood so well.

    This is a lot of the power of NodeBB, using a screaming fast ultra-modern document database back end. But moving data from a relational system will be painful.

  • Global Moderator Plugin & Theme Dev

    Nodebb-plugin-import can help

  • Community Rep

    @herruu said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    so to use it in production, I'll need to move to a different provider.

    Yes, but avoid shared hosting unless it is a dedicated NodeBB provider. This is not WordPress and you'll be handling a lot more traffic, a lot faster and more dynamically. You need control of your database, of your NodeJS versions, and so forth. Shared will be too costly and without any benefit. Literally, no benefit.

    Building a CentOS or similar (Alma, Rocky) Linux system on someone like Vultr, Linode, or DigitalOcean will give you non-shared power and flexibility for likely LESS money than shared hosting. Shared hosting is rarely a good idea. It's good for really low power, low need websites which is why it is often done free for that market. Once you are hosting a production system, you'll want more power and that doesn't mean more money or effort.

  • Community Rep

    @pitaj said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    Nodebb-plugin-import can help

    What formats does it support?

  • Community Rep

    @herruu said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    For now I'm just testing it on a desktop at home but I'm liking it a lot so changing providers is not impossible (my current contract ends somewhere beginning of next year).

    You can get into Vultr to host it for around $6/mo. So unless you are ultra poor, you probably don't need to be spending a lot. Your forum sounds pretty busy, so that might not be enough.

    I run MangoLassi and we can bounce off around 200,000,000 views a month and we run off of Vultr High Frequency 4GB plan at $24 USD / mo and the site is screaming fast even under the heaviest load. So while $24 is not nothing and I totally get why no one wants to waste money, it's also not an amount that you generally worry about contracts to avoid. You should not spend more than $24/mo, you won't see any benefits. You could easily spend less.

    We also use CloudFlare to aid in performance. We are a global site and need the caching. Been in production on NodeBB since March, 2014 when it was still an alpha release.

  • Community Rep

    @herruu if during your project you get the feeling that things are hard or not working as simply as they should, just post on here or on MangoLassi. Loads of Linux / Mongo / NodeJS / NodeBB expertise and people will jump in to help you. Getting up and running should take you no more than 30 minutes. Even if you run into problems, someone will get you sorted super fast.

    Transferring your old data might be painful. Might be easy. It depends on that plugin. We were lucky that we started from scratch and never had to bring data in from somewhere else. That's the part that will cause some time delays.

  • GNU/Linux Admin

    @scottalanmiller said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    @pitaj said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    Nodebb-plugin-import can help

    What formats does it support?

    Lots! https://www.npmjs.com/search?q=nodebb-import-*

    Although not sure if Woltlab BB is supported as one of the exporters... might be you need to contact us to build it out, unless you know how to do it yourself πŸ™‚

  • Community Rep

    You go Mr. Miller! πŸ‘

    So long away, and then, poof! A deluge of cuttin' to the chase wisdom. Salute! πŸŽ†

    How's Nicaragua, eh? A little bird told me you were groovin' on it.

    Have mercy! πŸ• 🌴 🌴

  • Community Rep

    @gotwf said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    You go Mr. Miller! πŸ‘

    So long away, and then, poof! A deluge of cuttin' to the chase wisdom. Salute! πŸŽ†

    How's Nicaragua, eh? A little bird told me you were groovin' on it.

    Thanks, good to be "back", been such a busy summer with the move. Life is great in Nicaragua! When are you visiting?


  • @scottalanmiller said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    ys.

    Thank you all for the great support you are giving πŸ‘ My currenct hosting contract runs until june next year so this gives me some time to get acquainted with NodeBB.

    I'm now looking into writing some simple plugins but I'm starting from scratch so still some learning to be done. But this is off-topic I think πŸ˜‰

    Anyways, I have discovered that NodeBB is indeed very fast. So that is certainly a plus to choose it.
    And your support is top notch too, I get answers when I ask a question.

    Perhaps a few 'to be improved' would be to have a decent plugin database (even though I can search for them from inside the ACP) and some more themes.

  • Community Rep

    @herruu Welcome to the fun house! πŸ•

  • Community Rep

    @herruu said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Which is better NodeBB or Discourse?:

    ys.

    Thank you all for the great support you are giving πŸ‘ My currenct hosting contract runs until june next year so this gives me some time to get acquainted with NodeBB.

    I'm now looking into writing some simple plugins but I'm starting from scratch so still some learning to be done. But this is off-topic I think πŸ˜‰

    Anyways, I have discovered that NodeBB is indeed very fast. So that is certainly a plus to choose it.
    And your support is top notch too, I get answers when I ask a question.

    Perhaps a few 'to be improved' would be to have a decent plugin database (even though I can search for them from inside the ACP) and some more themes.

    It's a very helpful community. Everyone's here to help out. Welcome to NodeBB! It's been great for the ~8 years that we've been on it here!

    I agree, a dozen or so pre-made and officially maintained themes would be stellar.

Suggested Topics

| |