People adore to have chit-chats, they can’t resist having small talks even with people they’ve met once in their lives. They discuss, discuss and discuss, whether it’s latest fashion trends or “clawy” cat breeds, exotic travel destinations or washing powder brands. So, having the right forum board to satisfy your “talkative” users’ needs is kind of a hot topic these days.
If you run your forum on phpBB bulletin board, you’ve probably learned all its tricks and pitfalls, or….did you really? Can you consider yourself to be a phpBB pro? The following article is aimed to find out everything concerning this forum software to leave it nacked with all the hints and tips listed just in front of you. If you are ready to enrich your phpBB awareness, let’s get it started then.
Old man phpBB
phpBB was there when the very first idea of creating websites of a forum type appeared. Thus it’s pretty old, or it’s better to say experienced bulletin board. It survived through all these years, with lots of new software being created and some platforms being dismissed due to new wave changes. So what does phpBB have which any other board fails to boast about?
First, it’s an open source project, which means it’s free to download and install. Moreover, there is an available free Demo ready to set in motion. You can run it and observe phpBB in all its beauty before making a solid decision. Also, phpBB is a highly customizable forum platform. Not only because there are mods with the help of which you can implement more features, but also because, once again, it’s an open source, so you have the full access to the code and are free to make changes on your own.
What’s more? It’s a multilingual bulletin board, thus more than 50 language packages are here to download and use. Plus forum run on phpBB enables its users to communicate privately via a special form of messaging, and it has a robust anti-spam system, which quickly deals with unwanted and irrelevant info within your discussion board. phpBB possesses few little features you will be thrilled about as well: improved polls creating, setting up user control panel and classifying all users into friends and foes lists.
Few things it lacks
There are indeed few things phpBB loses in. Some of them are of significant value, like lack of a powerful supporting service. The phpBB community may come in handy when you meet negligeable obstacles which you can handle after some googling. But what if it gets more serious? Deep-In research should be made to achieve your goal, thus you lose time…and as we all know time is money, especially nowadays, when everything moves at the speed of light.
After phpBB version 3.1 being released, modifications turned to be extensions and the name is not the only thing they’ve changed. phpBB extensions appeared to be more complex to work with. They are not easily installed and moreover used. Unfortunately, there is no automated installer for such cases, so if you are not a developer kind of a guy, you may meet some problems.
SEO is another goal that phpBB fails to achieve. It doesn’t possess any SEO-friendly URLs, thus it gets more challenging to find you among other forum fellows which share the web presence along with you. Plus, remember when I mentioned phpBB was here for a while? Well, it has two sides. First is being an experienced survivor, and second is…being outdated. And when it comes to updating, this forum board brings up the rear. There are a few major versions of it, and a bit more in between.
What are the alternatives?
If you’ve tried to customize your phpBB forum according to your needs, stuffed it with multiple extensions and yet it is far from being perfect, keep your eyes on the prize! There are few alternatives which can come in handy and serve you even better.
Simple Machines Forum (SMF) is a bulletin board, which conquers not only users’ hearts but also their respect due to a huge range of free templates and plugins. The plugin installation process is smooth and quick. There is also an option of “trying out” the plugin before the installation to see how it behaves within your forum. Explore the detailed comparison of phpBB and SMF.
Vbulletin. Though unlike phpBB and SMF, vBulletin comes with a price to install, it surely worth every dollar put in its development. It possesses a powerful security system as well as a reliable anti-spam set of procedures. Moreover, it is SEO-friendly, thus there is a higher chance of Google bots evaluating you properly.
bbPress also stands out from the bulletin boards row, when it comes to comparison. Being a WordPress younger brother, it inherits most of its features. So, if you have a website powered by WP, you can integrate it easily with your bbPress forum. Moreover, it takes advantage of other vigorous WP plugins, such as Akismet (spam protection) and Yoast (higher SEO score). Thus it seems like bbPress is backed up from all of the sides. If you are interested in getting more info on topic phpBB vs. bbPress, check out this article.
Well, it was a long ride through the phpBB ins and outs. We’ve seen where it wins and loses, as well as found out some of its features that are to be improved. Moreover, you now have alternative options to consider. Sometimes change is all you need to start over and start successfully.
If you are tempted to switch your phpBB forum to a different bulletin board, give CMS2CMS a try, and you will be surprised with the results. There is a free Demo available to enforce in case you are interested in getting a sneak-peak of the renewed look of your forum.