Gossamer Forum: Features

Core Features

XHTML & CSS Support

Control the look of your site in depth and detail. Gossamer Forum's templates are written in XHTML and CSS, allowing you to make site-wide design changes by modifying just a single file. Our new CSS-based templates can be easily modified from within Gossamer Forum using the built-in template and CSS editors. Web developers can feel at home creating designs that meet exacting specifications, all without affecting the functionality of Gossamer Forum.

Unlimited Depth

Gossamer Forum supports an unlimited number of categories and forums. Create as many levels of sub-categories as your installation requires.


Get help when you need it. Gossamer Forum provides you, the administrator, with support at multiple levels. A 100+ page user's manual details all aspects of the admin panel and basic customization, while the program's in-line help provides quick, context-sensitive reference information. Our community-driven support forum can be consulted for questions regarding customization and user-created plugins.

Additionally, Gossamer Threads can be contracted to perform custom work on all of our applications, visit our support section for details.


Put your forum on the map. Gossamer Forum is designed to create easily indexed static HTML pages that are quickly and comprehensively spidered by search engines. Each thread's URL can include the names of the forums and categories it is located in, ensuring that your forum will be returned when a relevant search is performed.

Platform & Database Flexibility

Gossamer Forum can be powered by most major databases; Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL and MySQL are all supported. In addition, Gossamer Forum is compliant with almost all platforms: Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris, Unix, etc.

Payment Support

Gossamer Forum can be configured to receive payments from your users in exchange for forum accounts or access to certain forums. Signup payments can be created, requiring users to pay a certain amount in order to access your forums for a concordant amount of time. Separate payment rates for users who are renewing their accounts can also be created. By configuring donation payment levels, you can give users who have donated a specified amount of money access to special forums.


Manage your directory more efficiently. Users can be assigned as moderators of forums, they have particular expertise in, ensuring quality management of your directory. Administrative control is given to moderators on a per forum basis, allowing them to modify, delete or move messages only in the forums they are assigned to.

Install & Updates

The Gossamer Forum installation process is simple and web based (with optional shell support as well) with only two files: an install file and a data file. We also include free installation by our staff if you desire. Gossamer Forum provides a convenient update system that alerts you to any updates to the program when you visit your admin panel. Without leaving your admin panel, you can download and install available updates from the Gossamer Threads update server. New program releases will also be displayed, allowing you to easily upgrade your installation to the latest Gossamer Forum release. Updates are organised by priority and contain descriptions, allowing you to choose which updates to perform and when.


Make Gossamer Forum an extension of your company or site. With powerful template abilities, you can brand Gossamer Forum to fit whatever look and feel you're looking for. All HTML and language data is stored within our easy to edit templates. Different template sets can be displayed based on the referring links to your forum, which allows for multiple brandings of the same forums and threads. Each category can display a different template set, giving the administrator the ability to customize the look and feel of each category to match up with its general theme. By creating globals, you can quickly add HTML and code to your pages with just a single line.


Gossamer Forum supports the attachment of files to posts, and provides administrators with complete control over all aspects of attachments: the maximum number allowed per post, maximum size and permitted file types.

User Features


Make your posts stand out. Gossamer Forum's HTML editor makes it easy for you to create visually effective posts without having to know HTML coding. Change fonts, add color, bold phrases, or format your posts anyway you want, all with a click of a button.

What's New/Watched Threads/Digests

Keep track of your threads. Gossamer Forums indicates new or unread posts whenever you visit the forum. Subscribe to a thread and you’ll be informed whenever somebody has replied to it via email. In addition, users can receive forum-specific digests via email containing all the newest posts.

Personal Display

Users can completely control how they view and navigate your forums: HTML and markup can be enabled or disabled, threads can be viewed in flat or threaded styles, time zones can be adjusted, the number of threads/posts displayed per page can be configured, etc.

Lost Password

Gossamer Forum offers you a way to retrieve your password if ever you’ve forgotten it. The Lost Password feature emails you the password upon security confirmation.

Buddy List

Keep your friends close. Gossamer Forum features a buddy list so you can conveniently access your contacts. Send PMs, retrieve profile information and view their most recent posts at the click of a button.

Users can search your entire installation or specific forums for any or all terms they enter. Specifying usernames, date ranges, and many other variables can further refine search results.

Admin Features

User Groups/Forum Access

Individual forums on your Gossamer Forum installation can have different access settings, configured in tandem with user groups. For example, you could set up a "Moderators" forum that would only be visible and available to a "Moderators" user group you've created, or have a forum only available to users who have been added to a certain group by making a set amount of donation payments.

Security & Bans

Safeguard your forum. Gossamer Forum includes many features that allow you to maintain your installation and provide your users with secure and safe forums. Bans can be performed on user accounts, IPs, and even email addresses used to sign up. Wildcard support makes banning a range of values easy..


Expand your system's functions quickly and easily. Gossamer Forum's Plugin Manager gives access to a wide and expanding selection of free and pay plugins designed to extend the functionality of the program. In addition to accessing plugins created by Gossamer Threads and our developers’ community, you can create your own plugins to tailor Gossamer Forum to your own site's specific needs. Direct modification of the code is not required and plugins are not affected by future program upgrades.

Delete Old Posts/Stickies

Keep your forum up to date. Gossamer Forum allows you to delete old threads and posts at a click of a button. Sticky threads (threads permanently displayed at the top of a forum) are not affected by such purges.

Custom Titles

Create identities for your forum. You can set user titles by number of posts, or give a user a custom title. A poster could earn the title of "Veteran" upon making 1000 posts, for example, or choose a custom title.

Customizable Markup

Create custom tags for your users and make contributing to your forum easier. Gossamer Forum allows you to create html embedded tags. Add custom smilies or have specific words marked up as images or linked text.