PhpBB 2 Review

(July 2, 2006 22:12)
Last Version 2.0.21 (06/08/2006). Released under GPL License.
Resources Website PhpBB 2 Website Download Download...
Price Free.
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July 31, 2006: PhpBB 2 is outdated and a new version has been reviewed.
Consult the PhpBB 3 Review »

What is phpBB 2?

Is this question really useful? phpBB is probably one of the most known modern forum software, built with the magical PHP/MySQL couple. phpBB is hosting about 80% of the global number of Internet communities, and is one of the vector that makes forum so much popular.

By the way, being so popular has also drawbacks: most of the Internet attacks and vulnerabilities were using non-updated phpBB as a backdoor to gain control on websites.

PhpBB 2 is recommended for Huge Community.

(and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

Server & Client Requirements

Server Requirements
Programming Language
Required Architecture and Versions.
  • PHP 4
  • PHP 5
Web Servers
How the forum is delivered to users.
  • Apache 1.3
  • Apache 2.0/2.2
  • Microsoft IIS
How Forum Data are Stored.
  • MySQL
  • Postgresql
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft Access
Operating Systems
Systems Supporting this Software.
  • GNU/LinuxGNU/Linux
  • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
Browser & Client Requirements
Compatible Browsers
List of Compatible Browsers.
Internet ExplorerInternet ExplorerOperaOpera
Apple SafariApple SafariKonquerorKonqueror
Mozilla SeaMonkeyMozilla SeaMonkey
Required Plugins/Technologies
Additional or Basic Requirements from Client Side.
Languages supported by PhpBB 2.

PhpBB 2 is one of the software that support most of major database systems, so you will not have any problem to install it. A Microsoft IIS Server can be only used with a PHP plugin (which is of course not provided by Microsoft).

Compatibility with Smartphones
Compatible SmartPhones
Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
  • iPhoneiPhone
Application Distribution / Type
How it is distributed / App Store Availability
  • Apple Store
TouchBB Forum Browser - Topics
TouchBB Forum Browser - Topics:

List of Topics

TouchBB Forum Browser - Write a comment
TouchBB Forum Browser - Write a comment:

How to Write a comment

Forum Threads & Posts

Forum Threads / Topics
Forum Style Flat Forum Organization
  • Forum Categories
  • URL Redirection Forum
  • Sub Sections
Thread Icons Yes Topic Tags -
Hot Topics - Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics - Sticky Threads -
Related Threads - Detect Duplicate Threads -
Announcements -
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • Plain Text
  • Formatting Buttons
  • Preview Button
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • Plain
  • HTML
  • BBCode
Spell Checker
Checks typos on posts and topics.
Image Attachment
How Images can be Attached and Displayed in Message Posts.
Embedded Videos
Videos and Media Websites Supported in Message Posts.
Posting Features
Quick Reply Box Yes Smileys Yes
Attachments Yes Syntax Highlighting Plugin
Message Rating
Plugin Message Quoting Yes

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation Yes
Private Messages
Users Can Communicate using an Internal Messaging System.
Instant Messaging
Discuss with Visitors and Members in a Chat Window.
Topic, Member Birthdays, Events are available from the perspective of a calendar.
Online Users List
Connected User List (Often Found in the Forum Footer).
Members List
Search and Consult the List of Members.
Technical Features
Bundled Software
Additional Software Available with the Forum.
RSS/Atom Syndication
Posts and Threads Exported to Feeds Aggregators Syndicate.
Friendly URLs
URLs are clear and contain information about the topic (title, message,...). Highly recommended for SEO purposes.
Post by Email
Post Directly From your Email Box.
Remote Control
Remote Control from External Software/Websites.
Cache System
Cache pages to optimize bandwidth and load times.
Template Engine
It is easier to theme a forum using a known template engine (more docs & examples,...).

User Profiles & Options

Some details about PhpBB 2 features regarding members.
Member Options & Features
Bookmark Threads
User Profiles Keep a List of Followed Posts and Topics.
Email Notifications
Receive Emails When New Messages are Posted in Followed Threads.
Export private messages
Private Messages can be Downloaded by Users.
Payment Subscriptions
Paying Membership Subscription.
User Profiles
User Profile
User Information and Settings.
Pictures of Members, Useful to Easily Identify their Posts.
Signatures Added at the Bottom of Each Message.
Tags and Labels Identifying the Members, based on specific criteria (Total Posts Count, Credits, Moderation Level...)

PhpBB 2 was the first bulletin board introducing various features like polls, private messaging and thousand of smileys. The huge PhpBB community will facilitate your search for a theme for your forum.

Moderation & Users Management

Moderation & Threads Management
Pre-Moderation In pre-moderation, every post needs to be validated by a moderator before being published.
Post-Moderation The moderation is done afterwards, if an administrator notices a problem or if a member reports something wrong. Each message is therefore directly published.
Reactive Moderation By reporting any problems, members are reactive against moderation problems. Moderators' main objective is to regularly check user reports, without having to follow each threads.
Distributed Moderation By organizing the forum around moderators, who are usually power and experienced users, moderation is self-powered and only depends on the community.
Moderator per section No
Global Moderator No
Move Threads
Move Threads from Topics
Shadow Topics
When a thread is moved, the previous position is kept in order to inform users of this modification.
Close/Lock Threads
Close/Lock Problematic Threads
Users Management
User Groups
Organize and define groups of users, and apply different actions and settings on them.
Common Groups: Guests, Members, Moderators, Administrators,...
User Registration No.
Limit Features For New Users
Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
Guest Posting Yes
Multiple Administrators Yes
Send Warnings to Users
Inform users by email or PM that they infringe the board rules, and could be excluded for such behavior.
Forum/Section Restricted Access
ACL could be use to determine if a user or a group of users can access (in read only, post message) to some sections and topics.
User Banishment Yes

Administration & Support

Database Management
Backup Database
Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
Prune Database
Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
Restore Database
Restore a backup of your database if the previous install crashed.
Administration Tools
Statistics about posts count, users, traffic...
Yes Error/Notice Log Viewer
Forum Logs could be consulted.
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
No Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
Installation & Upgrading
Installation Method
How this forum software could be installed.
Installation Wizard
Upgrading Method
How this forum software could be upgraded.
Upgrade Wizard
Updates Notifications
The Admin Panel informs you when a new version is released.
Forum Migration
Convert an existing forum to PhpBB 2.

Security & Spam Protection

Security & Spam Protection
Captcha protects your forum against spam bots.
e.g., Syndicate
Abnormal Behavior Detection
Detect users or request strange behaviors, and try to process proactive actions.
Words Filtering
Offensing Words are automatically replaced.
User Blacklist
Prevent specific user accounts to register (based on email address, name,...) and disable potentially harmful members.
IP Blocking
Prevent access to spam robots and other scripts that could attempt DDOS or Brute Force attacks on your forum.

Vulnerabilities Advisories Criticality

Secunia Criticality

Secunia Advisories severity affecting PhpBB 2.

Vulnerabilities Impact

Secunia Impact

Secunia Advisories impact affecting PhpBB 2.

Customization & Social Networks

Add new features to your forum installation.
Modify the style of your forum easily.
Custom BBCodes Yes Smiley Packs Yes
Thread Icons
Plugin Additional User Profile Fields
Ask more about your members with custom fields.
Integration with Applications, Social Networks, Intranet...
Social Networks
Users can share information from their social network account...
CMS / Blog Bridges
Integration with existing Web publishing tools.
  • Drupal
  • WordPress
User Accounts Integration
Do users be able to log in with their corporate, Google, Facebook,... accounts?
Content Aggregation
Forum allows to integrate news and content from other website, using an aggregation protocol (RSS, RDF, Atom,...).

PhpBB 2 can be easily linked to other CMS and blog solution and you will always find these bridges in these tools web sites.

Here is an integration plugin of PhpBB and Word Press: You will find more information on WordPress website.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
HTML 4.01.
HTML 4.01
Click to see if it respects HTML norms.
CSS Stylesheets
CSS 1.
Click to see if it respects CSS norms.
Accessibility (WAI)
Web Accessibility ensures that the forum is usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.
No accessibility.
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does PhpBB 2 correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?

Norms and accessibility are really weak points of PhpBB 2. It was developed in the middle of 2000, and XHTML and CSS were not technologies regularly used, and PhpBB used a HTML table layout, which generates a ugly code, and increase page size.

Recommended Books

Final Words


Very good and powerful forum. Its community is really large so you will always find someone who may have encountered the problem or questions you can have about this software.

Unfortunately, main used templates are in HTML 4.01, and that is for this reason that it is rating 7 only.

We are of course still looking for the next major release of PhpBB 3, which is still in development, and will be reviewed here as soon as it will be out.

Additional Resources:

Found a Mistake? Tell us »
Comments are closed.

Comments (8)

question on blog integration

well, it says blog integration is possible--can u tell me if there is a way to have the board/forum on the right half of the page (literally & visually) while simultaneously, the blog ware is working & visible on the left-hand half of the page?

lastnico's picture

Of course, you can do this,

Of course, you can do this, what is the blog software you're using.

Anyway, look at your blog software website and search an integration plugin for PhpBB. Then, you should only have to edit the PhpBB or blog software template to add a HTML table with two rows (in HTML 4), or in a cleaner way, two divs (PhpBB one with class="phpbb" attribute, and the other with the class="blog" attribute, with the following CSS parameters :

div.phpbb {
width: 48%;
} {
width: 48%;

Good luck, and do not hesitate to report your solution here or in the community forum.

FSR Admin - Vote for 2012.


Good forum for small comunityes

This is a good forum for small sites who don't want to invest in a profesional forum.
Admin CP is very very limited, templates are very very stupid made, not to talk about the mods....


Look and Feel don't just

Look and Feel don't just depend on the templates but how are you using those. I have seen unattractive looking forums on other platforms and quite better ones on phpbb. I just wish to share this phpbb Forex forum. I doubt that you would call it stupid looking.


It's not very flashy...

It's not very flashy...


Good luck, and do not

Good luck, and do not hesitate to report your solution here or in the community forum.


Building an online community

Building an online community is one of the best thing a business or person could do. Bring people from all nations cultures but with like term ideas to share is a great thing. PHBB provides that kind of capability. THANK you PHBB. I have used it for one of my sites great software, easy to use.


Your review is wrong,PhpBB 2

Your review is wrong,PhpBB 2 yes have supported languages.

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