How do you choose a forum platform?

I’m interested in creating a forum for people in career transitions. I want it to cater to Hebrew speakers, so I would like there to be an interface in the same language. But I’m wondering if that is a deal-breaker. Maybe there are more important criteria that I should consider when choosing a platform.

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I definitely think you should start with a requirements list. So Hebrew compatible could be a requirement, or maybe on the nice to have list.

Other things I’ve looked at in the past are:

  • Threaded comments
  • Mobile UI
  • Categories
  • Metrics
  • Security
  • WYSIWYG editor
  • Integrations with other tools I’m using

I’m sure there’s more I can think of, but that’s a good starting point.

Also, I’d start my requirements list as my dream state list. In an ideal world, what does the forum do. Then you can pair it down to what you absolutely need vs nice to haves and start to evaluate from there.

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Being in-tune with your community’s needs is so important so if having a platform that could potentially switch the language to Hebrew would help your members I think it’s worth considering! I’d also consider asking your members how much that would make or break them using something like this.

We talked to our members, considered our most vital needs, and ultimately decided to build our own brand new platform. It’s incredibly challenging and of course expensive but was the right move for us. We did build it on Ruby so there are gems, plugins, etc. that we can leverage a bit. For instance, for our live events we’ve embedded Vimeo Live.

I’d consider a card sort exercise with your members. Give them a list of features and have them sort them into the most to least important to them and see where language of the platform lands!

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Definitely not a deal breaker. Most of the major players (and I don’t necessarily mean the expensive ones) cater to RTL and will likely provide the other things that you’re after. This tool is handy (although you can prob disregard the star ratings – they’re not completely accurate) to compare features Online Community Software and Platforms | FeverBee

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