I'm thinking of starting a forum...what are people's recommendations for comparing these different forum options?
I don't mind spending the money for a vbulletin license, but I have read some negative reviews after their 4.0 release and new ownership a couple years ago. Some people say IBB instead. I have no familiarity or experience with that.
I've never run a forum before. However, I am a very savvy PHP/MySQL/general programmer. I'm not a web designer per se but am reasonably familiar with Photoshop, etc.
I expect the site will have some static content as well. I don't know if that argues for vbulletin's CMS suite (which I've not heard good things about). I could easily put that in wordpress or some other CMS.
I'd like to host the site on a VPS (something reasonably beefy, like linode/6sync/etc.)
Obviously, there need to be reasonably good mods, though at this point I have no idea what I'd need.
I expect there will be some good advertising opportunities, so the software must support ads - I know they all do.
I really don't want to be in a situation where there's a new trend and now my forum software doesn't have a mod...e.g., a year from now everyone is using the next Facebook and wants to login with it or whatever.
The ability to obtain a quality visual template is a big plus because that is not my personal strength - tweaking is one thing but I'd rather not do it from scratch. I don't need something super-fancy and definitely not high-graphic, just reasonably different so the site stands out. The forum will be consumer technology-related.