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Flarum, a modern, simple and different forum system

At present, traditional forum systems have stagnated compared to the new alternatives that have appeared. One of these new alternatives is Flarum, a modern and simple forum system but offers great potential.

Flarum at the time of writing this article is in beta, so its use in production is not recommended. Although it is not advisable to use it during this development phase in an open way (because it is susceptible to security problems) , we can already find it in many communities through the network. As an example I link the official Flarum forums so you can check your appearance yourself.

What is Flarum and why is it a different forum system?

First we will introduce the main developers of Flarum, Toby Zerner (developer of thatTalk) and Franz Liedke (developer of FluxBB) . Their names may not be familiar to you, but both are known to have developed the free and open source forum systems that we named in parentheses.

Both developers decided to stop the development of their forum systems individually and join forces to develop Flarum and the truth is that it has been a good idea.

When we talk about Flarum, we have to think of a modern forum system that works perfectly on mobile devices . It uses a system of organization of the publications different from the one we can find in the traditional forum systems such as phpBB, XenForo, MyBB, vBulletin, etc.

Flarum is closer to modern forum systems such as NodeBB or Discourse.

Why is Flarum different from the rest?

In addition to the differences mentioned above, Flarum is a lightweight, fast forum system that aims to function as a core to which users add the functionalities they need through extensions or plugins .

It is programmed in PHP accompanied by Mithril (a Javascript framework) and LESS / CSS stylesheets.

Flarum’s strengths are:

  • Clean, simple interface that is easy to use for all types of users.
  • Use of infinite scroll to navigate conversations and discussions. This creates a natural process of displaying content without waiting.
  • Optimized for mobile devices. This is perhaps the strongest point of Flarum, they have managed to adapt it in an incredible way to smartphones, tablets, etc.
  • Free, code and under MIT license.

Current drawbacks of Flarum.

Although it is very good software to create a system of forums, Flarum is at a very early stage of development and it lacks many things to polish . It contains innumerable minor bugs, but that can be annoying.

I want to emphasize that I am talking about current problems and I say current because surely as time goes by all the problems are solved.

The biggest drawback is that at SEO level Onpage is a real disaster . This is something that developers have been notified for active and passive, but at the moment it is not within their priorities.

Another drawback is that in order to install it, it is necessary to use Composer , so you need a VPS server or a server with access through the system shell to follow the official installation instructions.

And the last drawback is that the project leaders have been quite inactive for work reasons, so the development of Flarum is very slow. Despite this, it has a very active community and they are still looking for collaborators, so if you can help with anything, do not hesitate to lend a hand.

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