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A Forum For...um, My Website? Discuss stuff, people


Jonnyabc

So...you get a website operational, and then you soon discover that it's really not all the difficult to add a forum to your site. On top of this, you can get quite a few good ones for free. And the best part is, they generally permit you to make changes to the code as you please (with few stipulations)!The only problem is figuring out which one you are going to use...Electron, SMF, phpBB, Kunena, or IPS (what Xisto and Xisto uses, but it's not free), just to name a few of the ones I have managed to collect from different sources in the last week after talking with members and looking at different users' profiles/websites.So I ask this question, both for own inquiry and for those of you out there to discuss and sizzle amongst yourselves...which forum would you recommend (or not recommend), and why (not)?


OpaQue

Go for phpBB or SMF, if you are learning to make a static website. (i.e. simple html pages) :-)

 

If you are using Joomla to run your website, you might wanna consider other options like :-

Kunena 1.5 - kunena.com

ccBoard - A True Joomla 1.5 Native Simple and Good Looking Forum


Jonnyabc

Go for phpBB or SMF, if you are learning to make a static website. (i.e. simple html pages) :-)

 

If you are using Joomla to run your website, you might wanna consider other options like :-

Kunena 1.5 - kunena.com

ccBoard - A True Joomla 1.5 Native Simple and Good Looking Forum


Thanks OpaQue! How do you rank IPS with those? Obviously, it's a $$$ forum, but as far as if it's static (I'm guessing it is for the most part?), features you received that you would not get with phpBB or SMF, and how much rights they've given you to tweak the code (such as being allowed to remove their name from the page footer).

OpaQue

A forum like invision and phpbb is easy to to install. All you gotta do is, put a link on your homepage to your forum.But in Joomla, you integrate the forum in your CMS.. well, that is how it should be. :-)


kleong

If you dont mind paying, I will say go for VBB. But if cost is something that you wish to avoid, then I will recommend PHPBB.


Jonnyabc

Sounds like phpBB or SMF is the way to go then! I'd like to find something that is easy enough to use, but at the same time, very customizable to the source level, and preferably resides (or appears to reside) on my website. I've been looking at myfreeforum.org and forumotion.com, but they reside on an external website.Watched a couple videos on YouTube to help me figure out how they work...both semi-intuitive in different ways. I'm actually considering trying both phpBB and SMF them out at the same time and then discarding the one I don't care for...think that's smart, or a bit dumb, as far as attempting to install two at the same time (in different directories and different databases, obviously)?


StvenWesley

I also like to use phpBB, it is easy to use. And if you have little knowledge about this. you can try VBB. And there are some free templates you can refer to. Just try to use CMS.


FouGilang

If you seek something that is free, customizable, and elegant, i think you should try the smf forum. There should be an automatic installation in your softcalous (if you're using trap's web hosting) so you can try it without hassle in installation. :angel: I don't really success on integrating joomla cms with the forum modules like kunena etc, so i won't say anything about those joomla extensions.


deadmad7

That depends on what features you want. SMF has a lot more features than phpBB, such as attachments, spell check (requires the ASpell library for PHP), sub-boards, a quick reply box, unlimited poll options (256 by default, but can be increased with a few tweaks to the database), news feeds from forum content, SSI.php (30+ functions to make website integration easier), etc.If you want any of those features, then SMF would be your best option. If its about the looks and templates I think it's about the admin and not the forums. A good admin can make phpBB look and function great and do the same with a SMF script too. You don't need to get a fancy script running to have a good forum. You need to get a script you can work on and make it unique. If you have more experience with SMF, then work on it. Don't just install a forum script. MODIFY IT. Even the latest VB script unmodded and with a default theme would be worse than a well modded phpBB. People need to understand that the script is only the framework of your "masterpiece". The true work is in the theme and script modding, not just the installation. I might get on some people's toes here, but I'm sick and tired of default looking forums, whether they are phpBB, SMF or whatever. Spending money on a script or installing a good free one won't make your project good. Making it look different from others and function as your members need it to function is the key


Jonnyabc

Wow...thank you guys. Didn't expect to get a swarm of new replies when I woke up!

I installed BOTH phpBB and SMF last night on my website. I'm going to have to play with them a bit longer before I make any decision, but at the moment I'm leaning more towards phpBB, since they give you a TON of options in the admin area. At the moment they are residing at jl-ectronics.com/forum1/ and jl-ectronics.com/forum2/. Both were fairly easy to install (especially after watching this and this). The only issue I am having (at least with phpBB) is creating a custom theme, as it appears they don't allow you to simply create one from scratch in admin controls. But I can likely figure that out on my own (if not, there's always Xisto!). Thanks again!


anwiii

i would go with smf if it's your first forum. it's a lot simpler to set up and the mods that already come with the forum are great. phpbb is good too, but you are going to have to spend a lot of time modding it where smf is more out of the box. i researched this topic a while back and found that users who have used both like smf better. not by a small margin. maybe 65%-35%. i also heard there are more security risks with phpbb so if you go with that one, i would research that area as well. although if you don't mind spending a lot of time modding it, phpbb may be a good solution for forum hosting. i am sticking with smf. it was really easy to install, excellent features out of the box, more user friendly too in my opinion but everyone has their own tastes. and just because i love the simplicity of it doesn't mean it's unprofessional or what not. it can be made to compete with paid software.


Jonnyabc

i would go with smf if it's your first forum. it's a lot simpler to set up and the mods that already come with the forum are great. phpbb is good too, but you are going to have to spend a lot of time modding it where smf is more out of the box. i researched this topic a while back and found that users who have used both like smf better. not by a small margin. maybe 65%-35%. i also heard there are more security risks with phpbb so if you go with that one, i would research that area as well. although if you don't mind spending a lot of time modding it, phpbb may be a good solution for forum hosting. i am sticking with smf. it was really easy to install, excellent features out of the box, more user friendly too in my opinion but everyone has their own tastes. and just because i love the simplicity of it doesn't mean it's unprofessional or what not. it can be made to compete with paid software.

Thanks for noting potential security threats, although I think I'll stick with phpBB anyways. Yes, I do like editing the code myself, so MODDing won't be a big deal for me (I just have to take some extra time out of my schedule to do it). My primary concern now is customization...any clues on how updates work? I mean, if I change the code in, say, the index.php, will that revert back when I update install an update (and is this the case in all forum packages)?

Also, I'm trying to figure out what is or is not acceptable...I'm still trying to determine what they require me to keep in the code, such as the footer with the link to the package's site? Can't seem to determine (unless it is in the code itself) where the policies state that, if at all.

Baniboy

You can edit index.php in the theme folder, and it won't revert back. Unless it's one of the originally packed themes with installation, then just duplicate and give it another namer so it won't revert back. You'll also have to study what has changed with what version before updating so you know how your mods will work afterwards.


anwiii

yea, i don't think they would change any theme settings. and like bani said. you should always have a backup anyway so if by some miricle something was changed, you just drag and drop your theme back in to place :angel:

you have to worry about the other files you mod or installing mods when upgrading. personally though, i don't see much use in upgrading if you have your forum exactly the way you want it anyway.

You can edit index.php in the theme folder, and it won't revert back. Unless it's one of the originally packed themes with installation, then just duplicate and give it another namer so it won't revert back. You'll also have to study what has changed with what version before updating so you know how your mods will work afterwards.


Baniboy

you have to worry about the other files you mod or installing mods when upgrading. personally though, i don't see much use in upgrading if you have your forum exactly the way you want it anyway.

Many updates contain security updates as well. And seeing unique cms/forum code is easily noticeable even if you cover up the tracks (people will try hacking your site when the security treats in older s/w versions are publicly available), you would still need security updates even if you've modded the crap out of the software.
And Jonny, as anwiii already mentioned, you need to take a LOT of updates. Especially with forums. Every 1-5 days.

truefusion

Many updates contain security updates as well. And seeing unique cms/forum code is easily noticeable even if you cover up the tracks (people will try hacking your site when the security treats in older s/w versions are publicly available), you would still need security updates even if you've modded the crap out of the software.
And Jonny, as anwiii already mentioned, you need to take a LOT of updates. Especially with forums. Every 1-5 days.

The modifications to the software could also be security modifications. Normally, the forum developers provide an in-depth change log, so you can go through it and see if it is worth upgrading. If you are going to be modding up a forum, upgrading will be an annoying task. If there is nothing worth upgrading for, then you can avoid upgrading and avoid the hassle. Plus, upgrades may include new security exploits that managed to creep in without the knowledge of the developers.

Baniboy

Oops, I said "you need to take a lot of updates", What I meant was taking a lot back-ups... stupid me!Anyway, those security updates sometimes have something to do with the core scripts, and it's more difficult, I would say it's easier to mod your mods to work with the next version instead of modding the core and fix vulnerabilities? This is of course, if you haven't made modifications to the core...



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