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phpBB vs SMF

Started by Jokeriske, February 01, 2016, 06:45:59 pm

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Hey guys, i was wondering what you would choose if youd had to choose between phpBB or SMF?


We asked ourselves exactly the same question when we founded CodeWalrus (well, that and other forum software) and we went with SMF.
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any particular reason for that? what made you choose for SMF?

DJ Omnimaga

February 01, 2016, 07:16:50 pm #3 Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 07:18:14 am by DJ Omnimaga
It depends of your needs and perhaps the need of your community. But also it depends of people's opinion about softwares.

In general, you pick PhpBB3 for simplicity and SMF2 for features. Both are relatively popular and free, and since their current version came out they don't have security issues much anymore. PhpBB3 has fewer features and I think the theme editor is very limited, while SMF has more features. But SMF is not as common so it can take a while to get used to it.

VBulletin is not worth it IMHO, unless your forum starts averaging 1000 posts a day, and even then, many big communities do fine with a free software. Same for Invisionboard, which has a long history of severe security problems. MyBB and Alclmboard are  free alternatives, but are not as known and I think MyBB is less secure.

Quote from: Jokeriske on February 01, 2016, 06:50:51 pm
any particular reason for that? what made you choose for SMF?
The reason why CodeWalrus chose SMF is because that's what Omnimaga used and since most CW founding members were from Omnimaga, we picked what they were most used to.

The reason why Omnimaga chose SMF in the first place (back when I ran it) is because that's what I was the most used with and prefered as administrator.

Now the most important questions, though, is what your forum will be about? Why are you starting a forum? Do you have plans to be active there in long terms even when activity is low and even with school/work/life? Because not only there needs to be demand for a forum, but there also needs to be an active administration with at least one admin averaging at 40% of the activity at first. -EDIT: Nvm, I had forgotten that you were from Velocitygames when I wrote this, which already has a forum.


oh okay :D , i use SMF because its really easy to use and its so simple to add modifications to it :)

DJ Omnimaga

Oh right, I forgot about the modification installing. But I never tried installing any on PhpBB so I can't judge whether if it's harder or not. But I like how we can upload mods on the site then install them from there. However, if you break your forums, then get ready for a mess >.< (not to mention some mod packages are not coded in a way that won't conflict with other mods)


yeah we are experiencing some issues with the posting of new topics, somehow we dont have the options anymore to make the post like its all glitched out, but i like it how easy it is to install mods :D, and i guess its because some mods are conflicting with each other.

DJ Omnimaga

Yeah sometimes you need to re-install a fresh copy of SMF (keeping your database of course, but make backups often!) then re-install mods. The hardest part though is when certain mods need to be installed in a specific order to avoid conflicts. Also sometimes mod authors stop maintaining their mods so when SMF 2.1 will come out it's possible we lose certain mods forever (like what happened on Omni with the "Monthly activity in profile" mod.


yeah we will probably update our forum, yeah thats unfortunate :/

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