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IP.Board Forum Software Reviews invisionpower.com

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:04 PM

This review is about the forum software from invisionpower.com. Known as IP.Board Forum. Now, we have run and maintained very many forums in our online activities, and we just wanted to place our own spin on the this particular version of software, it's usability, and professionalism.

The owners Matthew Mecham and Charles Warner established Invision Power Services when they resigned from Jarvis Entertainment Group over 10 years ago to set up yet another version of their popular forum software, although we are not that interested in the history, other than to know that the breeding is there, and the grounding of how the IP.board software came to fruition is interesting, no doubt.

There are many popular formats, and platforms of forum software available on the market today, and IP.Board is now established inside the top 3, with their competitors being around slightly longer.

What is our experience using the IP.Board software?

OUR experience of IP.Board is different from the other platforms we have used, mainly phbb software, which although we still run forums using this, phbb is now looking slightly dated, in our opinion, and the owners of forum companies coming to the forefront, are those that look to push the boundaries, and increase not only features, but the dynamics of a changing internet.

The visual appearance of IP.Board is, in our opinion, fantastic, clean, fresh and in keeping with the way the internet is 'looking', hence this review. When we first stumbled across this software it didn't actually (to us), look like your 'bog-standard' forum software, but a platform that could most definitely be used to attract traffic, instead of just being passive in member generation.

The admin control panel, is second to none, REALLY pleasing on the eye, with all the management you could require, and this, together with the analytic capacity embedded in the back-end, renders IP.Board a truly fantastic piece of kit.

One other main aspect that we have found to be enlightening, is the community that the IP.Board owners have created over on there at invisionpower.com. This is obviously a community that cares for what the originators have put together, created and established upon the forum market. The owners themselves, albeit some of the moderators can be a little offish, on the whole, they are very professional, and look to work with the forum owners using their software.

This is refreshing to see.

Are there any downsides to using IP.Board software?

Well, all companies and prioviders have downsides, and the downside we found/find with IP.Board forum software, is the upgrading system. Instead of offering incremental fixes to bugs (which happen with any software), IP.Board much prefer to provide fixes on future additions of software as a full upgrade. This can be an issue, because if the issue is paramount to usability, then there should most definitely be patches available for download, with the option to choose.

Also, we found the upgrading of software to be complicated, and if your current version works, you should be able to pick and choose what you wish to add to YOUR forum.  IP.Board do not allow this, which can be a pain. If what you are using works, and you have no desire to add aspects you feel are not required, then you, as the user should have a choice on what to upgrade to. This also prevents problems.

The availability of patch upgrades, instead of complete overwrites would be very beneficial. That is a downside as it stands now.

Would we recommend you using IP.Board as your chosen forum software platform?

Yes, we would, and mainly because the owners, and community care, and they are not just another faceless software provider who rely on number of sales to get them through, unlike some we 'could' mention. IP.Board is a company that listen, and look to act on suggestion/user experience, and overall are proud of the product they offer. This is important.

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