MyBB vs. phpBB vs. SMF, which one is better for building a forum?

Harry P

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Did you guys use one of these forum software? I am getting confused while choosing MyBB, phpBB and SMF. According to your personal opinion, which is better? why?
 

LuxVM

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Did you guys use one of these forum software? I am getting confused while choosing MyBB, phpBB and SMF. According to your personal opinion, which is better? why?
Hello Harry,

While i have used most of these in the past, i find that MyBB in my opinion is better, but thats just me. However you need to install a few spam prevention modules as most of those forums get spam posts by bots/users. So you may want to research on some modules for whichever forum software you choose to prevent that.

Regards,
Adam
 

Amanda

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Out of that list, I personally prefer either myBB or phpBB. Granted, I've never used them to "build" my own forum. I've only been members on them. I use ProBoards which hosts the forum for free, but also has several other options. Their Forums.net allows you to remove all of their branding, set your own privacy policy and all that jazz. You can also link your own domain with both the paid and free version for a fee per year. The free version has ads, but you can pay for ad-free. Generally, it's a small amount per month depending on the amount of traffic you get. Using the ad-free allows you to have your own advertisements for your members or revenue purposes displayed on the site.

Additionally, it's super easy to customize so long as you know HTML and CSS and there are many quality free themes available through their library if you're not familiar with Web jargon. Also, they make use of a plugin system that gives your forum more functionality. It's pretty neat.
 

EpicGlobalWeb

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Harry, you are not limited to those options. vBulletin is a whole lot better as far as styling and it is much more modern and programmatically versatile. Still, if you have only those options, go phpBB if not for anything but the vast amount of community support you have for them.
 

vishwa

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Among them MyBB is one of my favorite forum script. It have great option and it is very easy to manage compared to other free forum scripts. So, According to me you can go with MyBB.
 

ulterios

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I've used all of these and from these three I prefer myBB for a free forum script. There are a lot of good plugins, themes that look modern and support out there. I liked phpBB also but couldn't get a theme that had the features I was looking for so that is one reason I prefer myBB for a free option.

However, if you are willing to buy your forum software then you might want to go with XenForo or vBulletin. Both of these have some really great features over a free forum software option. As far as which one out of these it would come down to a personal preference and looking at them and seeing which has the options, styles/themes and add-on's that you might want.

I am not saying the free forum software that you posted is bad, it's just that XenForo and vBulletin are a better solution for many reasons. Plus using a paid forum software over a free/open source software can present a more professional image. ;)
 

Hugo E.

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Among them MyBB is one of my favorite forum script. It have great option and it is very easy to manage compared to other free forum scripts. So, According to me you can go with MyBB.
Does MyBB have responsive design on their templates, I checked some and seem they didn't have this feature.
I used PHPBB and it is my favorite forum cms, if I go with free forums.

However, if you are willing to buy your forum software then you might want to go with XenForo or vBulletin. Both of these have some really great features over a free forum software option. As far as which one out of these it would come down to a personal preference and looking at them and seeing which has the options, styles/themes and add-on's that you might want.
Why paid forum software should be Xenforo and vBulletin, I checked and found that IPB is also a good forum cms and being used by many forums out there.
 

vishwa

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Yes, MYBB Themes are responsive and works great on mobile devices. I have installed one of the theme to my friends forum which is run on MYBB and its works great. No issues so far.
 

Zack

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I like the looks of the myBB forums (some anyway) more than the phpBB and Simple Machines forums I have seen. The phpBB forums that I have seen look a little on the old side like they are from the late 90's.
 

Marc van Leeuwen

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I ran all these forum platforms and I like all but each one has its advantages, I like PHPBB board because it is easy to customize parts on its templates and its admin page also is easy to control permissions there.

If you have a chance to with SMF then you will realize that it is not easy to make custom mods for it unless you need to edit somethings on core files, that's thing really should not do on a forum cms. Also, SMF lacks functions to control its template system because its theme is mixed between PHP and HTML codes, that's not easy for people new to SMF or didn't have knowledge about PHP codes.

While Mybb is the best alternative to newbies, it is easy to get free and premium theme and plugins and it is an open software a good alternative to paid forum cms and int the case you have low budget to start one.

I would suggest MyBB as it is my preferred choice to start a forum. But for all, it depends on your choice, let check carefully and you will see which will work best for you.
 

RenderedElite

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MyBB is good but I have always preferred phpbb for some reason. Mainly because it's easy to customize and set up, plus the community is very helpful there is a ton of resources available online for you if you need some guidance with phpbb. MyBB is good too and has a ton of free and premium themes, so either one is a good option as far as the freebies go.
 

christax

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I used phpbb and it is light and easy to customize its templates.

MyBB is the preferred one I guess and I also like MyBB.
What features do you like on MyBB? is it better than smf and phpbb?
 

kingcool52

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I have used both phpBB and myBB as forum software but never really bothered with SMF. I just never bothered with it as both phpBB and myBB were always seen as being superior to SMF. Personally, I prefer myBB due to its large amount of themes and plugins. There is a large collection of both available for free and for a small fee by developers. The other benefit with myBB is that it is a lot easier to customise your themes, it's just so complicated on phpBB, for me anyway. The biggest problem with phpBB is the lack of plugins and themes. From the theme list, I can only find one good looking theme, the rest all look outdated and dull.
 

vinaya

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I have used MyBB, phpBB and SMF, however, my experience is very limited. I once tried to launch a forum and installed MyBB. As I tried to custmize it, I found that the script does not convert in a way that I wanted. Then I tried phpBB and later SMF. After installing these scripts and running the forum for a while. I found that these are great scripts howerver, in order to use them you need ton have good skills as well.
 

jyy

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SMF has an advantage for absolute beginners in that it has uploaders for themes, mods, and banners. In that case, you don't have to fool with an FTP or cPanel. However, though, besides that, I cannot see much a difference in the forum platforms, though I do think the new version of phpBB needs more free mods. Nonetheless, this opinion is coming from a limited perspective because I simply haven't messed around with all these forum softwares enough to say.

I like the looks of the MyBB forums (some anyway) more than the phpBB and Simple Machines forums I have seen. The phpBB forums that I have seen look a little on the old side like they are from the late 90's.
Actually, you can buy premium themes that are out of this world. However, though, as you say, it's possible to run into some free themes which might look a bit retro.
 

Unknown

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My final decision came down to phpBB or MyBB but I personally always preferred the MyBB. Why? pretty simple. MyBB is free to use, open source, extremely user-friendly. The installation process is fast and easy. You have many themes that you can further customize with ease. You can also use different mods. All of this, without even needing any previous coding knowledge - amazing or what?

And a cherry on the top is the fact that it's very secure and stable so there shouldn't be any issue. The whole look of MyBB is great and I really love using forums that run it.

I have personally used it once before and I'd highly recommend that you try.
 

Judas2018

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I prefer vbulletin myself. I am still using vbulletin 4.2 as my forum software. I've seen some good things from Xenforo, MyBB and IPB. Especially in their early days. I have always been a forum software junkie - so I make sure to keep up with almost all of the different brands. Even if I am not currently using their software.
 

Dopani

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Dopani
I agree and vBulletin is more familiar to users then others. And these days I have seen more people are using myBB as a free forum on their site. As replies said above, MyBB is supported better and it is user friendly. For others such as Phpbb or smf, you could need more customizations for them.
 

Judas2018

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Judas2018
I fell in love with vbulletin almost 8 years ago. It truly is still (atleast imo) king of all forum software. Even their 3x series is still such a well done, good looking bit of software. Their 4 series took awhile to learn how to use and customize but I grew to like it. Vbulletin 5 was a major step back imo. Not only because the software seems to be bloated but also because vbulletin license holders where told they couldn't upgrade without paying a new fee.
 

Dopani

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Dopani
In my point of view, it was the past because nowadays competitors of vBulletin are Xenforo and IBP grow strongly and vBulletin lose many customers for these forum platforms.
 

Judas2018

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Judas2018
IPB is a terrific piece of forum software and I really considered using them prior to signing up for a vbulletin license. Xenforo is okay but I have never really been moved enough to switch over to them or even consider it.
 

AdminKings

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Free forums I find MyBB has nice features for any community but slightly out-dated, like most free forum software.

I tried vanilla forums which is a really nice and clean forum software but lacks the features for a real community.

Best bet is to either try IPB, they’re going places in my opinion and really trying to add more social aspects to their software, it’s just not cheap.
 

Sean78Black

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Free forums I find MyBB has nice features for any community but slightly out-dated, like most free forum software.
I used MyBB forums and I see it is simple and lack of features that users interest. I would move to a paid forum software.

I tried vanilla forums which is a really nice and clean forum software but lacks the features for a real community.
If it was a good platform, why you don't hire developers to build addons for vanilla?

Best bet is to either try IPB, they’re going places in my opinion and really trying to add more social aspects to their software, it’s just not cheap.
Agree with you on this, also you can have a look on vBulletin and Xenforo, they are good ones too.
 

AdminKings

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AdminKings
I had a Vanilla forum and built a few simple features myself but I felt like it needed a hell of a lot more to compete with others so I switched. I still recommend it to a support forum with Q+A, it’s well suited for that.

I think I would pick XenForo 2 as my alternative to IPB absolutely, IPB is still king in my opinion though :)
 
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