I have used all the reviewed sites both as as logged in member and as a guest; I'm not very good at answering so I have not commented much on any site. I am more like a seeker of answers than a pro who knows how to do stuff.
Some of the sites cover a lot of different topics, but they have webdev or tech related topics. The results are based on those webdev topics. The ratings may not reflect other topic areas.
There could never be a definitive ratings list for all forums, there are just to many and thousands that are an annex on some sites. The reviews are just sites I have used and I know enough about them that I can rate them.
So if you thinks there are others that should be here let Cd& know you want to do an article. Here is the list of the forums I looked at.
I have set 10 arbitrary elements of the web sites for rating each of the elements has a maximum value of 10. The overall rating will be based on the total of all 10 elements.
|The limited web related topics and poor quality of both the questions and the answers hurt the ranking. It has been swallowed up by Developer.com network so it does not have much future except to be overrun with ads.|
|The best of the conventional forums; makes the top 5. It would do better if the search produced rellevant results, and maybe a couple of value added features would help.|
|This would be number one, but gets killed on features because they are the only one on the list that charges for subscription, and the interface is still a little too slow and quirky. They have quality answers and the community is outstanding, but every other site in the review is free.|
|This is the definition of average. Middle range numbers accross the board. This is a long establish, consistent forum with a solid involved community. Just hope they do not get swallowed up by one of the preditory networks, because that would probably ruin the site; as it has others.|
|I can't figure out why some people really like this site. It has a disorganized and chaotic interface. It is filled with stupid questions, and there is no help or guidance. However the search is great and if you are looking for social networking with Q/A maybe this works.|
|Part of the Devshed network, so like most network forums it is not a great place for Q/A, but the saving grace here are some great SEO tools that are mature and reliable.|
|Other then a very nice UI this site has little offer, the search sucks and the community seems rather inward looking. The responses are adequate, but it is not a site where you feel like just hanging around.|
|All the "features" are really a negative, and the community seems rather self important and defensive. There seems little effort to welcome outsiders, and they seem to think what they are doing is important... it's not. The site seems set up to serve site management rather than visitors. Sort of like Digg without a soul.|
|I absolutely hate this site, but based on an objective analysis it comes up number one. Crap; I was hoping I could beat up on it. The search is the best of the reviewed forums. It is very active, and there is a lot of member participation. On the downside the UI is freaky. Answering is like standing on a riverbank trying to snag logs as they float by. The community sucks. It is filled with little cliques, of nasty individuals who think they are brainiacs. A lot of questions never get a decent answer.|
|The wide open format is both a strength and weakness. On the plus side it nicely integrates with the portal and attracts a lot of casual members. On the down side, the open format allows a lot of spammy crap to get posted. From the look of the questions and lame answers, a lot of the participation is by 10 year olds.|
Logic of the Ratings
I don't claim to be a technical expert, and from the look of the big sites, there is a lot of technical expertise behind them. The ratings are not about technical quality and programming.
I am a user. I am the guy that sites are trying to attract. I care about how easy things are to use; how quickly I can ask or answer a question; how good the answer is; and whether using the site is a chore or a pleasant experienced. I am not interested in learning how to use a site, and I expect things to be intuitive and obvious. So the ratings are from a user's viewpoint. It does not matter if I am asking or answering; the usability issues are the same.
I won't pay to use these kind of sites, but I hate all the crappy ads. The solution is an ad blocker. If that means some of them disappear because the ad money dries up; tough! I don't care about their costs. Find a better revenue source or go down the crapper. I'm not paying, and I'm not going to put up with a lot of junk ads. Sell something to make money instead of getting in my face with crappy ads, or expecting me to pay for stuff that is free all over the web.
|1 (73/100)||Stack Overflow|
|2 (72/100)||Experts Exchange|
|4 (62/100)||Yahoo Answers|
|5 (61/100)||Coding Forums|
|6 (60/100)||HTML Forums|
|9 (52/100)||SEO Chat|
If you don't like the results you could always offer a bribe, but Cd& might not like that. Do your own review. Whine that my results are wrong. Disregard the results from an "unqualified" troll. Who cares? I did a good enough job to get published, and you are just reading and whining; or doing some babbling on your own site where you don't have to deal with an editor who keeps changing things.