This is the best vBulletin resource page that you can always come to for all your forum and website needs. Building successful forums is no easy task. I’ll add to it as I learn more, but you’ll notice that in the future I will reference this page quite often. I reccomend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that with all these companies, I reccomend them because they are helpful and useful to building forums and successful websites.
- vBulletin: 100% of our massive forums are powered by vBulletin 4 software. As we get more experienced with vBulletin 5, we will start moving our forums over to the new platform, in addition to our modifications. vBulletin cost $250. Though the cost can be high, you get a good return for you money, as there are lots of developers, support, and vBSocial.com backing it.
- SMF: Although we’re obsessed with vBulletin software, we used to use Simple Machines Forums, a free and wildly popular software. 6 years ago, this was all we knew, and we give thanks to SMF for getting us into the Forum industry. We do not reccomend this for professional forums, as SEO, user happiness and mod creativity is limited.
vBulletin Forum Mods we use:
- vBSocial Notifications – This plugin created vBSocial.com. It was built after a necessity. Something that we thought we needed on our big forums. As time passed, we deemed that every forum owner needed it. With over 30 revisions, vBSocial Notifications is not only our most thought-out mod, its’ our favorite mod. We put a lot of heart and soul into this mod and hope you like it too. With vBSocial Notifications 8.0 coming soon, our aim to drive all forum owners to buy vBulletin just for vBSocial.
- Free vBulletin Mods – Be sure to check out this page, as this is a great recommendation list if your not willing to spend money on mods
Great vBulletin SEO Mods we use:
- vBSEO – A great SEO plugin that helps make your vBulletin 4 more Google friendly. Our favorite features are how it converts dynamic pages into seemingly appearing HTML pages. We’re not to sure if they are going to build a vBulletin 5 version yet. I will try to get in touch with the developer and update this accordingly.
- vBSocial SEO – Built for vBulletin 4, it adds related links under each post, increasing the content quality of every post in your forum. Pretty powerful, eh?
- Google Keyword Tool: Whenever building any of our new sites, I always look to the Google Keyword tool. See this video.
- Link Building Techniques: Video tutorials on link building and forum building
- WordPress: The #1 Blog Publishing Platform. Free and easily customization with wonderful support. We use this for the main home page of vBSocial.com
- WPMU Membership– I will admit, much of the inspiration from vBSocial and the plugins we create are because of WPMU. We are yearly member where we pay one fee for the best WordPress plugins that we use on our sites. Does that sound familiar. Their success in creating cheap plugins, yet powerful, and affordable to the masses is how we formed our business concept. The membership plan software that is used on vBSocial is from WPMU guys in addition to our social floating bar that you see around. Their best/popular modifications we have decided to create a similar modification for vBulletin such as our Ad-Sharing modification.
vBulletin Resource Development Tools:
We happen to use a variety of programming tools to help us in development. Be sure to check these out:
- Adobe Photoshop – Designing logos, graphics, and images
- Adobe Dreamweaver – Building HTML, Templating, and responsive designs
- WAMPServer – If your new, this might seem a bit crazy, but this program can turn your computer into a localhost, or a “dedicated server” environment. In other words, a great test environment. It comes with MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, Apache, and whole suite of tools where you can run simulations and test modifications before going live with. The best part, it loads extremely fast, as opposed to sometimes performing tests on a live, off-site server.
- Snagit – A screenshot program by TechSmith. I absolutely love using this software as its’ great for grabbing screenshots for both clients and forum members to explain what your doing. The beauty of it is that you can hotkey buttons on your keyboard to quickly snapshot, then deliver that image to FTP or somewhere on your computer. In addition theres great quick photo-editing capabilities.
- How to build massive forums – Initially we built this course for $29. However you can also access it on Youtube and our site for free. We believe building big forums is important to all forum admins. Spend some time and watch some of the lectures. Enjoy.
- Lynda.com – Learn programing, web devleopment, design. Lots of our roots in programming were learned hear as well as some neat development techniques
- vBSocial Forums – A great place to ask questions that your not sure of. I (David) and other support staff check the forums daily, and post news there as well.
- vBulletin.org Community – The official community for vBulletin mods, and articles, and themes.
- vBulletin.com Software – Location where they sell vBulletin software. Theres also great forums for directly related vBulletin software issues. Just recently they updated it to vB5 powered forums.
vBulletin Resource Hosting we use :
- BlueHost – A great hosting provider for starting out. As your forum grows you’ll want to consider upgrading to a dedicated server.
Email Software we use:
- Microsoft Outlook – With multiple email accounts from all your different businesses and managing them can be quite difficult. The best way is to use Microsoft Outlook, where you can manage all your emails with multiple POP3 accounts.
- Norton 360 – With the amount of viruses and spam going around to your forum emails etc, its better to be safe than sorry. I actually dislike saying that, because virus software is one of those businesses that earns their living off of our fears. However, there’s no way beating around the viruses. Get the armory out and start defending yourself.