Drupal does provide a forum module included with the base install, installing Drupal is fairly straightforward, unless you dive into the weird realms of what Drupal can do outside of a standard install. The module itself was disabled in my initial setup and I did install the recipe/cooking demo data but once Drupal is installed you only need to enable the module.
Much of the configuration is handled by what users can and cannot do, not just in terms of post permissions but in terms of what they can use to post, basic HTML, filtered HTML, full HTML, markdown, even BBCode - so far as I know the last of those two require an additional module.
In terms of the Forum, modules own specific options, you do not get a lot, 3 actually:
- Hot threshold
- Topics per page
- Default order
Then you have the List or forum structure page where you can create forums and containers, you can drag and drop things around to your content to get the desired layout (more forums need this) and save when done.
It's important to remember that the methodology of Drupal is not to build out a module that does everything a forum would need, but scale your needs by adding more modules - Drupal is very much an add what you want to approach but the complexity of getting a decent setup can throw people off.
Extensions / Themes
Virtually any module could be thought of as an extension to the Forum if implemented in such a way, this is just an upside of using Drupal so in terms of extensions, 48,013 - would you want to install them all or would have of them provide features for the Forum explicitly - nope...
Not quite the same story with themes as they in general cover the site but on the official Drupal theme site you have 2982 options, so not short of a good looking theme to base your site upon.
Things can get deeper and more explicit to a Forum first approach when you take into account Drupal distributions which does include at least 3 distributions that build out the forums to offer a deeper set of features.
Drupal is a great choice for any admin to run with, it's possibly one of the most flexible on the internet and offers fantastic documentation and some users forums that have proven to be very helpful in my own pursuits in the past.
Drupal does however despite recent efforts have a reputation for being difficult to install, work with and complex to configure - some of this is true but if you put in the time and read through appreciate documentation and don't be afraid to ask questions on the official forum you'll be going strong in no time.
- Light base that be vastly expanded upon
- Very fast, very easy to use
- Very well supported by its community
- Can be painful to get all you want out of it
- Does have a learning curve steeper than some.
- Not a forum first in most cases, meaning scattered configuration.
This post is part of our "best forums 2022" series, you can see the hub post here and you can also use that post for suggestions on other forums we should look into.
Otherwise, let us know what you think of our review of this forum in a response below, did we make a mistake? has it evolved in some massive way so needs a re-review?