phpBB and its share of the forum market

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tmhai
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phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by tmhai » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:40 am

I found this website which does forum market share analysis every now and then, and they have recently completed one. They have some really neat stats, and above all, phpBB is on the list.

I know your probably not surprised by these results considering that phpBB is quite popular (and this is shown through the statistics the website provides), but it's interesting to see how other forum softwares are going.

I would like your thoughts on what you think this may mean for phpBB's future, and for other discussion-type software.

Link to the Analysis.
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by karlsemple » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:01 pm

Just out of interest how did they collect these statistics? I only ask as I am sure they did not check every single website which houses a forum? From what I read he has based it on google listings, which is not wholly accurate as not every forum is indexed on google I am sure :)
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by Nicholas the Italian » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:05 pm

karlsemple wrote: Just out of interest how did they collect these statistics?
Article wrote: I first listed as many forum names I knew off the top of my head, and found some more via a Google search. I then went about visiting all the forum software websites and took a trip to their community forums. I looked for their ‘Powered By’ line and recorded that - I double checked the Powered By line on a demo version or a forum which was running the same software. Then, using Google’s search feature, I inputted all the Powered By lines with quotation marks - that way it finds the exact phrase - and recorded the approximate results it returned.

But... phpBB 56% and VB 34%? 8O I thought there was some more market...
The fact is that they looked for something like

Code: Select all

"powered by phpbb"
getting some 75M results, when they should have been looking for

Code: Select all

"powered by phpbb" inurl:index.php
(just suggested by SHS' in some other topic over here) which returns less than 2M.
This is definitely not a very reliable statistic.

[edit]
So, my try:
- SMF: 2.11M
- IPB: 2.01M
- phpBB: 1.94M
- VB: 1.26M
- the rest: < 1M
Not reliable either, but I tend to believe this better.
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[/edit]
Last edited by Nicholas the Italian on Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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karlsemple
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by karlsemple » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:12 pm

karlsemple wrote: Just out of interest how did they collect these statistics? I only ask as I am sure they did not check every single website which houses a forum? From what I read he has based it on google listings, which is not wholly accurate as not every forum is indexed on google I am sure :)




Not entirely sure why you have quoted me and then posted something I have clearly already read, my point still stands, it is not very accurate, not to mention so many people remove the lines he searched ;)
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by Nicholas the Italian » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:15 pm

karlsemple wrote: Not entirely sure why you have quoted me and then posted something I have clearly already read, my point still stands, it is not very accurate, not to mention so many people remove the lines he searched ;)

And I agree.
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by KevC » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:26 pm

Nicholas the Italian wrote: So, my try:
- SMF: 2.11M
- IPB: 2.01M
- phpBB: 1.94M
- VB: 1.26M
- the rest: < 1M
Not reliable either, but I tend to believe this better.

Well that doesn't sound right :)
Any google searches I've ever done which hit forum posts as the result are, 99% of the time, VB or phpBB.
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by Nicholas the Italian » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:51 pm

Kevin Clark wrote: Well that doesn't sound right :)
Any google searches I've ever done which hit forum posts as the result are, 99% of the time, VB or phpBB.

Well, this proves nothing either. I think IPB is quite popular, although I admit I don't really know anything of this.
Having some reliable statistics would be nice anyways.
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by tmhai » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:22 pm

He has written back to your questions.

It seems that whichever way you look at forum market statistics - there will always be inaccuracies.
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by Millar » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:26 pm

I don't think those results are very accurate. I'm sure IPB has a bigger share than that.

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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by tmhai » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:44 pm

In my last analysis, IPB was about 5% below vB - but I didn’t record how I collected IPB’s stats. With this in mind - it is still safe to say that IPB is coming third, but probably not with the percentage I assigned it. I will however fix this in the next analysis, due somewhere in April/May.


you're definitely right - April is upon us so he may update them soon though.
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by KevC » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:51 pm

Nicholas the Italian wrote:
Kevin Clark wrote: Well that doesn't sound right :)
Any google searches I've ever done which hit forum posts as the result are, 99% of the time, VB or phpBB.

Well, this proves nothing either. I think IPB is quite popular, although I admit I don't really know anything of this.
Having some reliable statistics would be nice anyways.

It suggests they are vastly in excess compared to IPB, surely?
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by Drexion » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:34 am

Quite a few popular phpBB styles have replaced the powered by TEXT with a powered by IMAGE, as it can be more visually appealing. The same can be said for other forum software styles as well.

Also many of those "1click install a free forum" hosts modify or remove the forum copyrights (some as well as do not use "index.php" for their free forum indexes), something phpBB will be victim to much more than the other big boys as its GPL.
Nicholas the Italian wrote: So, my try:
- SMF: 2.11M
- IPB: 2.01M
- phpBB: 1.94M
- VB: 1.26M
- the rest: < 1M
Not reliable either, but I tend to believe this better.
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This is grossly inaccurate - do you want to know why ?

SMF uses INDEX.PHP in its "viewforum" as well as "viewtopic" pages. The fact that SMF almost doubled VB in your statistics should have immediately raised a red flag for you. SHS made that recommendation before hundreds of 1click hosts renamed the index.php file, or before software like SMF used index.php everywhere. I would say the method used in the original article, while obviously inaccurate for individual numbers as there is no way of generating accurate figures, is a more correct "representation" of %share than yours.

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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by Nicholas the Italian » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:42 pm

Drexion wrote: I would say the method used in the original article, while obviously inaccurate for individual numbers as there is no way of generating accurate figures, is a more correct "representation" of %share than yours.

So, is VB+phpBB actually holding 94%+ of the market, and IPB below 2%?
I'm really asking, I don't hold any "supposedly reliable" statistic, I just find this goes totally against my personal experience, as I've seen many phpBB and IPB boards, and possibly fewer vB ones. I'll try to be more attentive in the future.
Might also depend on the country/region.

BTW, those statistics may prove that there are more forum pages powered by phpBB and VB, but that's a bit different from the no. of boards - i.e. we may have that bigger boards use phpBB and VB - just supposing.

PS.
This is grossly inaccurate - do you want to know why ?

Never said it was meant to be accurate - Indeed, it was a 30 sec research.
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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by Drexion » Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:54 pm

Nicholas the Italian wrote: So, is VB+phpBB actually holding 94%+ of the market, and IPB below 2%?
I'm sorry, what I meant to say was "is a more correct "representation" of order of %share than yours."
That is of course due to as I mentioned SMF structure using index.php to call upon in many other parts of the software thus effectively being included in the search.

Generally speaking, many would agree that vB IPB and phpBB having a hold on the top three spots is the status quo, for many years now (even though many tens of thousands of IPB forums switched to alternative solutions when they went license only).

I would also say that phpBB, being under the GPL, will suffer the most inaccuracies due to some of the reasons mentioned here - another reason not mentioned yet is that when third party CMS/portal devs (like the *nukes for example) include a modified version of phpBB in their CMS software 'index.php' is not the path to the forums, its usually something like modules.php?mode=forums or similar (and the copyright is modified or moved).

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Re: phpBB and its share of the forum market

Post by smithy_dll » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:15 am

The google listing is also inaccurate in itself.

The number of results returned is an estimate. (sometimes you get an estimate that is higher than the number of results and you get to the end and you're like,,, oh...) This is a known limitation in many online search engines.

Though it is limited to boards with over something like 500k posts,

Big-boards.com is more scientific
e..g http://www.big-boards.com/statistics/

Of course the only conclusion from that is that vBulletin is currently the most popular software for large communities. With phpBB being the forum of choice for the most popular community.

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