PhpBB Vs SMF Forums (Detailed Comparison)

Many web hosting users are perplexed when deciding which forum script to utilize for their first community or first online forums on the internet. Changing choices later on isn’t something that is preferred or easily accomplished. In this article, we’re reviewing PhpBB Vs SMF Forums and which one to use setting up your new online forums.

We will compare all three most popular scripts on a few points such as their user friendliness, security, and reliability. These are the most important factors to consider when choosing your forum script. Please note that everyone’s needs are different, and we are only comparing them in general ideas and based on user experiences.

Before starting, I want to let you know and confirm that many web hosting providers will offer an easy way to install the forums script right from your dashboard. So this comparison is all about reliability and which one to utilize. But installing is easy and doable with one click from your web hosting account dashboard.

NB: This article may contain affiliate links.

Best Forums Web Hosting

If you’ve already bought web hosting from BlueHost, then you can skip this step and proceed directly to the main comparison PhpBB Vs SMF Forums.

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PhpBB Vs SMF Forums

Two of the most popular free bulletin board programmes are phpBB and SMF. If you’re looking for a free forum app, you’ll most likely wind up utilising one of these two.

SMF is written in the popular PHP programming language and runs on a MySQL database. It is intended to give you with all of the capabilities you require from a bulletin board while having the smallest possible impact on the server’s resources. SMF is the next generation of forum software, and best of all, it is and will always be free!

PhpBB is a free float-forum, bulletin board software solution that can be used to communicate with a group or community of people and can power your complete website. It is an open source technology that can be used to hold a large database of user-created changes and styles. With hundreds of style and picture packages to modify your board, you can quickly create a highly distinctive forum.

Now, let’s head down to the main comparison points for both PhpBB Vs SMF Forums:

PhpBB Forums

PhpBB Forums - PhpBB Vs SMF Forums

PhpBB is simple to set up and can include product and service categories for a specific audience. These exceptional elements are very necessary for a bulletin board to be successful.

No other bulletin board software provides a more comprehensive set of features while maintaining efficiency and usability. The best part is that phpBB is completely free. We invite you to put it to the test right now.

While administrative control panels have always had design flaws in how to distribute data well through pages, phpBB certainly came up with good ways to bypass that. Furthermore, it has been designed as a plug-and-play forum beginning with phpBB 3 as opposed to the prior hours of configuration necessary to customise and select a suitable theme for it.

Security is a strong point for phpBB, considering that for the previous 7 years, phpBB 2 had 38 security advisories, which may seem like a lot, but when you consider the number of users, it is very low. However, phpBB 3 appears to be going very well, and it has only had one security advisory since its launch date on December 13th, 2007, which makes it very secure compared to other forum scripts available.

SMF Forums

SMF Forums - PhpBB Vs SMF Forums

SMF Forums are an abbreviation for Simple Machine Forums, an open source forum platform and free, professional grade software package that allows you to create your own online community in minutes.

Its sophisticated custom template engine gives you complete control over the layout of your message board, and its unique SSI – or Server Side Includes – capability allows your forum and website to connect with each other. People all around the world have used various web hosting platforms to host forums for their services and products.

SMF is written in the popular PHP programming language and runs on a MySQL database. It is intended to provide you with all of the features you require from a bulletin board while having the smallest possible impact on the server’s resources. SMF is the next generation of forum software, and best of all, it is and will always be free.

SMF doesn’t get much praise for its user friendliness from all three forums; the user interface that it comes with is pretty old and looks very obsolete; it has been the same for quite a few years now with no face lift at all. The administrator panel is much more crowded/difficult to understand than other scripts.


Both are very nice scripts and software and both are easily managable from the dashboard. One thing to seriously consider is the community support. For example PhpBB has lots of addons and plugins that can work on your PhpBB forums.

On the other side, SMF Forums are not well-supported with that big number of plugins made available to PhpBB – thanks to the community behind it. So for me, I would go for PhpBB Forums just for this as you will always need to upgrade and tweak your installation with new features and addons.

SMF Forums is also a great option if you don’t plan for much upgrades or features change though. That was it all about the comparison between PhpBB Vs SMF Forums. Let us know your preference in the comments section below. We would love to hear back from you.

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