NodeBB review: doesn’t seem to be production ready

One thing we love : Node.js, hence a need of forum software started and ended with NodeBB. There are no other options. However having spent 48 hours with it, it seems learning Ruby on Rails  is worth it just to use Discourse instead.

Here was the journey with NodeBB:

  1. Docker installation doesn’t work out of the box. What was docker for?
  2. Tried Ubuntu installation.. Failed..
  3. Tried Heroku installation. It worked. Finally a smile. Logged in. Saw a message NodeBB is outdated. How? We follows the docs. Guess what? the docs are also outdated.
  4. Retried Heroku installation with latest NodeBB. Worked. Finally another smile. Logged in with user. Initial user of course was a test user. So we decided to add a more prod like username and tried to delete the test user.. OMGGG. The test user that disappeared from the grid never really got deleted. On refresh the test user kept returning. Googled it. Finally found a way to delete the test user. Wanna see what you have to do to delete a user? https://github.com/NodeBB/NodeBB/issues/746
  5. Still didn’t give up, Uploaded a logo.. Hmm it showed for a while. Then disappeared for a while.. then showed for a while. ok ignored it
  6. Tried to setup up Email SMTP via Gmail. Never got a test email. Never got an error. Every time, you save the email settings nothing is validated.. Kept seeing green success each time.. I was sure I entered the right username and password.. But no test email. Kept saying “Test email sent successfully” but red flag was it also kept saying Email Settings saved successfully with a wrong password.
  7. Tried looking for an SMTP plugin, installed it then activated it. Plugin never showed in plugins.
  8. Dashboard said restart required, restarted.. Plugin disappeared from installed plugins list
  9. Tried another plugin, went through the same thing. Gave up..

NodeBB wants $250/mo for hosting this. Good luck.