This forum service provides cheap hosting with plans as economical as $3.95 per month.

phpBB type forum software is a good choice for forum creation and includes numerous posting and administration tools. However, we did notice an abundance of spam forums hosted on Ready Bulletin Board’s site, so if you use this service make sure to password protect your forum to prevent spamming.

Forum Features
Compare
8.8/10
IP.Board
Website Toolbox
Bulletin Board
Message-Boards.net
FreeForums.org
Ready Bulletin Board
WebGroups
ForumsPlace
Boardhost
InvisionFree
10
10
8.8
8.8
8.8
8.8
8.8
8.8
8.8
2.5

As mentioned above, Ready Bulletin Board (or ReadyBB as they call themselves) is extremely low priced. This service offers a plan that only costs $3.95 per month for up to 2GB/month of data transfer and 100MB of storage. Or they offer packages that support up to 20GB/month of data transfer and 1000MB of hosted storage for $27.95 per month.

ReadyBB includes more forum themes than any other service we have seen—94 in total. If you cannot find a theme you like, you can adjust your forum color and buttons to create one that you do.

Posting Options
Compare
7.5/10
IP.Board
Website Toolbox
Bulletin Board
Message-Boards.net
FreeForums.org
Ready Bulletin Board
WebGroups
ForumsPlace
Boardhost
InvisionFree
8.8
8.8
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.5
6.3
7.5

This service uses phpBB technology, which includes a good set of posting tools. Depending on the administrator’s preferences, members have a choice of a WYSISYG, HTML or BBCode text editor. Members can also communicate though private messaging, create profiles and upload avatars. This program can create polls and users can receive email notifications when other members reply to their messages.

The only posting tools we found missing were file uploading, message ranking and buddy lists.

Administration Tools
Compare
7.5/10
IP.Board
Website Toolbox
Bulletin Board
Message-Boards.net
FreeForums.org
Ready Bulletin Board
WebGroups
ForumsPlace
Boardhost
InvisionFree
10
7.5
8.8
8.8
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.5
3.8
7.5

ReadyBB forums support many easy to use administrator tools. Forum owners can set user and group permission levels, send mass emails, edit messages and topics, split topics and rank users. However, this service does not include syndication tools or meta tag support.

Protection/Security Features
Compare
7.5/10
IP.Board
Website Toolbox
Bulletin Board
Message-Boards.net
FreeForums.org
Ready Bulletin Board
WebGroups
ForumsPlace
Boardhost
InvisionFree
10
8.8
5
5
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.5
5
6.3

Forums include a capable collection of security features including IP, username and email banning. Administrators can configure and run profanity and word filters, but we did not see an HTML filter. The phpBB program has the ability to require user authentication and account verification. But it does not have anti–spam protocols, in order to keep your forum safe from spam posts you should password protect your forum.

Help/Support
Compare
2.5/10
IP.Board
Website Toolbox
Bulletin Board
Message-Boards.net
FreeForums.org
Ready Bulletin Board
WebGroups
ForumsPlace
Boardhost
InvisionFree
10
10
8.8
8.8
5
2.5
2.5
6.3
2.5

ReadyBB posts FAQs and include an email address. However, after several attempts to contact the company recently our emails were left unanswered. 

Ready Bulletin Board Summary:
7.3/10

Ready Bulletin Board offers affordable hosting, powerful forum software and a good choice of themes.

 

Ready Bulletin Board

Top Ten Reviews no longer updates this category and keeps it here for archiving purposes only. It was last updated in August 2012.