What are you thoughts on SMF as a forum solution as compared to phpBB?

I've been seriously thinking about converting my forum from phpBB to SMF. Is it worth it?

I've tried it in a local environ. It's very, very powerful and customizable, but the admin interface is very unwieldy. The permissions system is very highly customizable and powerful though.

Has anybody else tried it? What do you think, should I switch or not?

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I thought they had quite a bit of options available for such a small board...I mean, I installed it in a few minutes and it had a TON of functions. I was only taking a quick look at it just to give it a go. I didn't get to spend a ton of time with it because I didn't want to have to learn stuff over again having operated a phpbb style board for so long. So I removed it and filed it in the mental roledex as a possible candidate later on down the line. Since the board I own and operate now is a heavily modified phpbb, I'll wait until something really fantastic comes out before transferring.

It had almost everything off the box. In a sense operating it would be overwhelming because of the deluge of options.

You can turn on or off any feature like Karma, attachments, specific bbCodes, avatars, search engine friendly URLs (Apache only). It also has subforums functionality off the box, advanced permission system, a rich array of formatting options, forum/thread notification, highly configurable user options, a PM ignore system, super moderators. In fact, except the moderation queue, it has everything that vBulletin has and its free too.

The only thing is, I cannot afford to switch now, because like you, I've investing too much time in customizing phpBB 2 and I cannot redo so much work. I only wish I had come across SMF before I got to phpBB.

Well, I like phpBB much more, and I wouldn't recommend changing to SMF until you see Olympus (the next version of phpBB), They will be releasing it in about a month.

I have experience with YaBB Perl and YaBB SE, of which SMF originated (although I've never used SMF). I really didn't like either at all, and I definitely prefer phpBB. I think phpBB is much more cleanly coded and has a much better templating system.

Thanks for all your feedback.

Yes. PhpBB is good, but sadly lacking in features which my members want like subforums. I know it is possible to get subforums into phpBB with a hack, but it's so complicated to install (and I've done hacks myself before). Also modding phpBB boards makes it so much more difficult to upgrade.

The thing is, SMF comes with a very rich feature set (very close to vBulletin in many ways) and much more configurable by the user and a very powerful admin panel.

Virtually the only thing missing is "moderation queue" which is not a big deal anyway for most people.

But the problem is, if I install SMF, I will lose all the work I did in customizing my forum which is a lot.

But the problem is, if I install SMF, I will lose all the work I did in customizing my forum which is a lot.

I use SMF and love it - very full featured. But besides that, I had one slight question come up, and it was answered in 10 mins on the excellent help forum. Can't get much better than that!

About your customization: you might query the SMF forum and see if there is a bridge or conversion. You stand a good chance of being able to keep it, but someone there can answer probably.

Bottom line - SMF is the one for me.

stratplan, thanks for that. I was beginning to think that everybody hated SMF around here... :lol:
I too like it because it is full-featured and rich with customizations (much more sophisticated than phpBB can ever imagine to be) and its permissions system is absolutely fantastic. It is so configurable down to the last detail that phpBB feels ancient.

But the problem is that I spend days, if not weeks, in customizing phpBB and modding it like mad. And in spite of all that work, it still doesn't have all the features I want.

I now curse the day when I came across phpBB. I at least hope that *if and when* phpBB Olympus is released to public, it shall have some of the features I want and I can do an easy upgrade.

, and I definitely prefer phpBB. I think phpBB is much more cleanly coded and has a much better templating system.

I was within a couple of minutes of dumping my phpBB board and using SMF until I read your post.

When is this Olypus going to be available? The reason I ask is that I'm having a lot of trouble upgrading my version of phpbb and always end up breaking the board and having to reinstall from scratch, losing everything, each time. So my current board's version is old.

I would love to know more about this Olympus----you've certainly got my attention on that one.

When will Olympus be available? Go ask that over at the area51 development board and they'll bite your head off ;)
It's been a long wait, and it looks like some more waiting. Also if you have a heavily modded phpbb board I believe a lot of the mods won't work and you'll have to wait for mod authors to update before they can be reapplied. Though olympus will have a lot of cool features lacking in the vanilla phpbb.

I contemplated phpbb as you can mod it to your hearts content and almost get anything you want because of the large hacking community. But unless you like the DIY kind of labour, it can be a lot of work.

Currently, I'm using SMF and very impressed. While it doesn't have the mods of phpbb, it's got some great core features without being over-bloated, and v. good support forum. I've checked out quite a few other free boards, and SMF seems to stand out. One to watch out for :D

Same here. Switched to SMF. And, I like it! ;) Thanks for the comments. I'm sure glad I didn't post that over in area51 !! lol

I may consider converting to SMF now. I recently lost my DB, so it won't be much of a problem since only 3 users have re-registered since. :)

Edit: Sorry, I just bumped a really old topic.

I've honestly never used anything but phpbb for a few years now and will probably stay that way. Not sure why, but I like it. I think it looks good, works good and I am not sure how you manage to 'break' your board upon your upgrades, I have never had a problem. And I started a looong time ago so many upgrades.

Their forums are very helpful as well, get answers instantly. I also like to hack the board, it's fun. And you get to learn php/sql.

I like SMF.

I find it much easier to customize to fit into your site design. I also like the way it is layed out and the functions/features of it.

The only thing I do not care for about it is the lame PM system... it really sucks.

Hi All:
Sorry for posting on an old topic, but this topic is what I'm searching for,
I will start my new forum soon
I've been in the website but did not find any thing about that Olympus, is it still not released to public yet?
I think I will use SMF directly.
For some one brand new to forum software and database, and do not know any thing about programing, what do you suggest me to do before start a new forum?
and will SMF help me with this issue depending on click able settings, or I need to use another free software that will be more easily to be used with newbie guys like me.!?

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