Xenforo and Woltlab have similar features. We compared here the differences between these two internet forum applications that made a difference.
The major weak point of Woltlab is the absence of any plugins or features to automatically block spambots. For example, there are no plugins to use honeypot, stopforumspam or Akismet to protect internet forums powered by Woltlab. The Woltlab forum webmaster has to use static protection like htaccess directives and we know that it is not efficient. This can lead to a major amount of workload when you must identify a spambot in the log and add a directive to block it in htaccess. For sure, Woltlab allows webmasters to use Captcha or Questions & Answers but it is not enough to block spams or spambots attacks nowadays.
Compared to Woltlab, Xenforo has many features to fight spams. In Xenforo, the webmaster can add the stopforumspam API key to the Xenforo installation to automatically prevent spambots posting to the forum. It is possible to set up a registration timer to block bots that register users too quickly. XenForo can also check DNS block lists and use Akismet (just like in WordPress) to check if any text is a spam. Woltlab has NONE of those features.
Security is essential for a forum. Once, my server received many requests and I thought it was a DDOS attack. All the websites went down. I discovered the issue was related to spambots that targeted a forum hosted on my web server. Also, when spams are posted, you have to delete the posts and also the automatically generated users. This may take a huge amount of time when thousands of users have been created. Prevention is better than cure. The more you have features to protect your forum and the better it is.
Woltlab has a better looking default theme than XenForo. The Woltlab pages are easier to read. However, Woltlab Achilles’ heel is security. A forum webmaster can’t choose a forum with poor security features because of the potential harm from spambots to the whole web server. That’s why XenForo is a better option than Woltlab.