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NodeBB Forum CMS Review

NodeBB is one of the best Forum CMS systems currently. In this article, we explore why we give it such high reviews.

While working on our application myQs (https://myqs.app), we came up with an idea/suggestion that we need a place in the application through which we can give the users a community-based feeling. Creating a forum was an obvious choice, but keeping the current infrastructure in mind was a top priority from a technical architecture standpoint.

The requirements for this task were pretty straight forward –

  1. We needed a forum in which the admins (us), could create topics and the users would be able to interact with them.
  2. As the forum would be accessed via our app, we wanted our branding to be consistent
  3. Forums can get clunky and mess up the user experience. Our main aim was to not give the user the impression that they were opening a web page, but give them the feeling that they were still pretty much inside the application.
  4. Have minimal features, and even these features we could have control over. This was most forums go bad, too many features and too little value. Our aim was to provide information to the users and facilitate conversions, nothing else.
  5. Speed, well it is obvious in today’s age, anything that takes more than 3 seconds to load will force your users to leave the page.
  6. Fitting inside the current infrastructure. We were using the MEAN stack and wanted something that could fit well into that, thereby keeping our stack clean as well as reducing the cost of maintenance thereby reducing our TCO (Total cost of ownership).

The simplest solution would have been bbress, but looking at our requirements, it did not fit our tech stack, and secondly, bbpress can become clunky if not handled well by experts.

While doing our due diligence we came across NodeBB and we knew that we had found the perfect fit. As the name suggests, NodeBB runs on Node.js and uses MongoDB, thereby fitting well into our stack.

Speed was superfast and the templates were minimal, thereby creating a very clean interface.

We were able to integrate our API’s with the platform to ensure that our users had access to the forum, along with their profiles added in the backend (This took our development team some time to move to production, but once we did, everything worked seamlessly).

The results were instant – We have had more than 10,000 users visit our forum on a consistent basis and that has become an integral part of our application strategy.

As a next step, we would be setting up 2-way communication between the application and the forum to enhance the user experience.

We will keep you updated about the same. If you are setting up a forum and would like us to provide our 2 cents for the same, please get in touch with us at  hello@dignitas.digital .