Best Existing Forum Software!
*** This is my review ***
*** 6/10 ***
I don't think this deserve more.
The community is small, admin panel doesn't have a lot of features.
Not easy to use.
There is a persistent XSS by default on the website.
Suggestion : MyBB
SMF has 307,046 Members while MyBB has only 61,065 as per the board information today.
Admin panel has a lot of features and is easy to use, you're probably a MyBB fanboy trying to
state crap of SMF. FYI, "persistent XSS" story of SMF is ancient, it has been fixed like ages ago.
Hi everyone, it's my first pay a quick visit at this website, and piece of writing is genuinely fruitful in support of me, keep up posting such content.
No doubt its the BEST !!
Tis is the best forum software I have ever used.
is the best of the best
This is one of the better free forum scripts available - the portal mods available are great.
Ugly sytle, bad desing... Bad Forum Software!
FSR Admin - Vote for 2012.
The BEST existing forum software... No doubt about it!
SMF was good for me as a beginner as it was simple but ever since trying other boards it just doesn't compare. MyBB is a far better option and if you dislike MyBB then you should try phpBB.
It's ugly although that can be fixed by theming so that's not an issue. What I really dislike is how it's built and works. It just doesn't feel stable either.
I've found people who say it's the best software for forums ever that have never tried another one. It's simple enough for beginners which is it's only advantage.
Their restrictive ACP overshadows any good they've done.
They don't allow users to easily export their post, which is arguably illegal (Intellectual property). It is possible. If you use illegal software.
Their forums are built very nice, but not so much nicer that one can't modify a SMF template and get better.
That last comment was supposed to go on ProBoards' page..
Sorry, SMF is awesome.
Yes - it works for us.
Very good, strong forum software.
Brilliant forum software, users complaining of it "being ugly" give your head a shake!! it doesnt look any different to any other forum and you can change it with themes..?
this forum software allows modifications in the form of installable packages (add-ons) which means its functionality is pretty much limitless, I have EzPortal which adds a portal with more features than ive seen on any forum and also allows me to create webpages within the forum where I can post pages of information for users to read.
SMF support is excellent, they have a great forum full of people willing to help, quick replys to topics too...
I have tried:-
it gets 10/10 from me...
...and can honestly say SMF is the best, vBulletin is good but it is VERY EXPENSIVE...where as SMF is totally free
You sound like you know what you're doing with bulletin boards.
I am kicking around the idea of a large bulletin board, comprised of many organizations and sub-organizations. What I'm curious about, is the ability to customize the SMF software and it's integration into a web site.
At one time, I had extensive bulletin board experience, and have sys admin'd First Class BBS.
I envision a forum with multiple main forums and sub-forums with users being able to start their own groups/folders/forum sections for discussion, sharing documents in a private manner.
Public sections would have document acccess, video playback, polling.
Twitter access to the users or facegroup access might be nice, too.
I'm also planning on selling advertising to pay for the system.
With this brief description, would SMF fit this bill?
SMF will do everything you have asked for and more, your best going on SMF community and asking on there but SMF can do CMS (Content Management Systems) through use of add-ons , permissions can be set in all seperate sections (so you can set who can access and manage what - this means you could have a section that guests (public) can access and create stuff on without joining up - you can use mods to create internal pages (Im using Simple Portal for a portal front page and page creation and another mod that lets me put the links to the pages up with the rest on my forum)
I also have Twitter and Facebook integration where users can signup with facebook/twitter creds and I have another TW/FB mod that puts a 'facebook share' and 'twitter tweet' button in the title-bar of the first post on every topic so it can be posted on a users FB/TW wall with one click of that button..it also allows to post to FB page wall so if you have a FB page just for your website you can click the facebook share button and post news/articles directly to your FB wall without having to do it manually - im looking for a mod that can do this automatically with posts from certain section of forum (like my Tech News & Reviews section).
you can create as many categories and forums / sub-forums as you wish and allow certain users to access/manage like explained earlier through permissions - if you know HTML/CSS/PHP etc you can put your ads where you want..i dont so if i was to do that (which I will be at some point) I would just use my Simple Portal or Ezportal mod that allows me to create a 'block' that I can put anything into (PHP/HTML/BBC code) and allow it to be viewed on whichever sections i set (within the body of the forum itself - left side, right side, header or footer - you can get assistance on SMF community with coding too.
you can create groups etc like you say...anything NOT there can be fulfilled by way of a mod. I have about 15 installed currently
- obviously as with all modifications they can sometimes conflict or cause problems if your using themes other than the default but I get most of them to work - I always make a backup wit softaculous before I install any mod.
You can install a mod call avea which automatically converts youtube / mp3 / video links into a video window for playback (at your set size too) ..no BB code or anything - Simple Portal mod has 'Articles' built in so users can create articles and you can have a section for them to be posted on the portal too after they have been submitted
there are AD management mods actually..you would be able to use those to display and manage you advertisements
if I were you I would install Xampp on your PC and use it to install and setup an SMF forum on your PC (if you dont have a host) and try it out... ive tried a few and SMF beats them all hands down..I also tried MyBB which knocked SMF off the top spot for free forums and I dont think its anywhere near as good.
hope this helps
Wow. Thank you for such a comprehensive reply. It sounds like I will be taking a very hard look at SMF.
I haven't done web work in about 15 years, seriously. I'm on a mac and will undoubtedly need to pick up something like Dreamweaver.
Would you recommend getting a PC to work on SMF or can it be done with a mac, somehow logging in to set it up?
I'll be locating the forum( on a webhosting company's server when it goes live.
Thanks for the comments,
all working on SMF is done online on your web server through your web browser, the only thing I use on my PC is FileZilla to upload files to the server and you only use that once to upload the forum , although Ive used it to download and edit code in some files then re-upload and refresh.
im sure there will be something for macs that will install a virtual server and allow you to install a forum on the MAC to test, you can use a free or cheap host to test forum softwares on (note free ones usually block certain things and have adverts, I used Awardspace which was ad free but they blocked any page that had the word MSN on (and other words) and because they limited the free accounts there were certain things I could not test fully on the forums - get a cheap host on a pay monthly account just to test forums on then when your decided on which forum software you want to use you get a decent host that you wish to settle with and upload it and set it up.
your best having the forum already on the web server before you start to construct the finale thing, infact I dont think you can build it on computer and then upload it due to MySQL databases and URL's etc.. not sure if you can setup database on server and merge into it , also there are the URLs the forum create when its built, there would be too much work involved if it was possible to build forum on computer then upload to server, its best to install it directly on the server and construct the forum sections etc online. your best getting more information from professionals on a web forum about this.
If your building a website to go with your forum then your best using Dreamweaver I , I use it too for building pages for my forum
I'm still hacking around looking for a board. Here's a real newbie question:
I participate on many boards, and what I see is the root level board, the index, with a flat (You'll forgive my lack of nomenclature regarding the BB's.) layout. I've got many folders that are containers for sub-forums and topics.
What I'm looking for, is that I could put sub-folders/sub-containers into the hierarchy? Or is everything done off the flat index level?
Id Est: If I create a BB about Baseball, I'd have a indext that shows American Leagues and Japanese Leages.
The next sub-level, going into the American League would have two sub-folders, East and West.
Each of these would then have sub folders, perhaps with a general forum to discuss the main conference in each, along with sub forums for each team.
I hope I've conveyed my questions.
Essentially, I need a very active hierarchical access to direct users down into their respective interests.
yes, SMF has CATEGORIES , you create your categories (sections) and you create FORUMS under each category,.
have a look at mine: http://www.tech4talk.net (click on FORUM)
I cant immediately see any options in my Control Panel to make them go any deeper like you need but im 99% certain it can be done as its a 'bread & butter' option
you should also consider that having too many sub-forums and sub-sub-forums may get awkward for users to get used to, unless they were all collapsed (in view) or had a such a layout that showed these sub-forums and sub-sub-forums existed , new users can get dogged under with too many sections and find it off putting, i know I got requests for my old one to be "slimmed down" and I only had basic categorys and forums
I have asked on SMF Community for you
YEAH you can go deep as you like and depends on theme you use as to how it lays them out, mine displays the categories and forums in each category.. if i have a sub-forum (child) its displayed as a link under neath the forum but "child of a child" are not displayed on my theme and can only be seen if you visit the child - this is the problem i was n about above, you get it with all forums but certain theme may display them..
e.g. mine displays
[Child Forums: Forum1 , Forum2, Forum 3 etc etc]
[Child Forums: Forum1 , Forum2, Forum 3 etc etc]
[Child Forums: Forum1 , Forum2, Forum 3 etc etc]
[Child Forums: Forum1 , Forum2, Forum 3 etc etc]
Any deeper (child of child) then you have to click on one of the child forums to get to that section to view whats on it
At the expense of organizing this concept, I realize that it can quickly grow out of hand with the burrowing down into sub-sub-sub folders.
My issue is, it will involve a large organization that is geographically represented, with many sub organizations with-in. Literally, North American wide, US/Can, then sub organizations within by state and province.
I'm not quite sure how flat at the top I want it, or how deep. But that it can be done is nice to know.
I'll check out your site.
Is it possible, with SMF or any other BB, to shield it from search engines, for privacy?
I think this is a great site, but it has a serious drawback. I really need a site like this, outline the evaluatory process of what is good and bad about the software, because I CAN'T afford to get knee deep into some app, only to find out, "Oops! Should'a gone with..."
SMF and MyBB get top marks here, but comments to the effect of "Wow du-uude! SMF sucks!" only to read a few lines later, that actually, "No it doesn't!" Then the ol' "VB rocks!" Only to hear...
Perhaps moderators of this site should strip a few of these out, or place demands on the posters for a little more indepth and reflective insights, and therefore, more helpful comments, than what I gather are simply 14 year kids spouting off. No offense, but I'm just callin' it as I see it.
For a newbie, I need detailed information of what is good and what is bad, and why, most importantly. I've had some great feedback that has been terrifically helpful. I'd like to see some debate beyond one or two lines. There is an answer as this is all out there for the users to end any debate. I understand personal style and preferences, but I've seen this kind of garbage reviewing go on since Illustrator '88 and Aldus FreeHand. (Look it up in Wiki.) I'm not 14.
Anyway, detail is appreciated, with insight on all of these reviews.
well said doug. , if they want to say just a few words then say whats good or bad about it.
the ONLY thing I cant do with SMF (but im sure there will be a mod for it, not checked yet) is mass email users, I cant send an email to all my users like I could on Zetaboards to tell them about changes, good thing about mass email is it can help coax old users back to the board, not a massive 'bad' thing but i would have liked it, but like I say im sure there will be a mod for it as its a 'bread-&-butter' option that - oh another bad thing is you can not change 'Description' Metatag directly in the adminCP which is odd, you have to edit the PHP file and manually enter it otherwise your boards Description Metatag is same as your Title metatag (which can be set.)...wierd!! - Metatags are what search engines read and use to describe your site, so mine on google the title in link and description were exactly the same... i had to change it manually in the PHP which screwed my forum at one point messing with code, i finally got it done with some help though.
Shielding from search engines is just about impossible, you would have to find out if there is such a way to get a domain name from a company who can keep it private but it just takes one person to mention your site on any other website and thats it your into a search engine - when i made mine I hadnt even submitted it cos I only wanted to do this once it was finished and my forum was not mentioned on any other website (nobody knew about it) and it was on google within 2/3 days.
you can however disable guest access and/or use a mod that replaces all users names with "hidden" to people not logged into the site.
Do you do any work with customizing smf and designing or skinning it. If so could you email me at email@example.com. I need to improve my 2 smf forums and integrate one with a drupal website
Tons Of Plugins & Themesl
SMF is a great free forum software and imo the best. It the essentially by default and huge database of plugins for anything else you need. The community is huge and very helpful. The package system it uses makes installing mods so so easy. Infact installing anything from themes to smiley sets is very simple. I do not understand why SMF has gotten such a bad rap in recent years... To me it stands with the big boys like IPB and XF.
I tried a lot. Its the best!
SMF has a very large user community, and as a result has a large database of user plugins. The functionality of SMF, especially with plugins, is hard to match. SMF pretty much has everything you'll need to build a large or commercial forum either out of the box, or as a part of a community plugin. Some things, including redirect boards, choosing which boards to count posts in, subscription systems, etc... are surprisingly easy to set up in comparison to other forum solutions. SMF is also very good with handling very large forums, as it is designed to be able to handle a heavy load easily.
The large selection of portal solutions is also a huge advantage to using SMF. Under MyBB or phpBB, getting a nice portal is a real pain, but SMF has several very popular plugins that make this easy to set up.
The package manager does not work on my server, so I have to install every mod manually. I've run into quite a few random problems like this, due to server compatibility issues, but that could be because of my strange software setup. The ACP interface makes some things hard to find as well.
I don't particularly care for the backend interface, and there are certain things (including the mod system) that could use a little more work, but the large community of users and great functionality easily makes up for SMF's disadvantages. Overall, it is a very good choice for a forum where a very large degree of control is needed.
Best Existing Forum Software
Works splendid. Works very fast. It's VERY reliable and extremely secure!
Plus, the community is very active and big and their documentation rocks.
Anyone looking for the absolute best from all words, don't ever want to worry about security and want a stable product with a huge community to help you with whatever you need... Go SMF. Seriously, it beats all the competition.
I know a forum powered by this software that has 45 million posts and it still runs fast!
Even though SMF isn't the best, I like SMF a lot. I prefer to use IPBoard though.