Author Topic: Simple Machines Forum SMF is the BEST Free Internet Forum Software for PHP/MySQL  (Read 6903 times)

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Software Santa

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Simple Machines Forum (SMF) is the BEST Free Internet Forum Software for PHP/MySQL!

How to keep spam bots out of your SMF Forum: The Guide

What is SMF?

Simple Machines Forum - SMF in short - is a free, professional grade software package that allows you to set up your own online community within minutes.

Its powerful custom made template engine puts you in full control of the lay-out of your message board and with our unique SSI - or Server Side Includes - function you can let your forum and your website interact with each other.

SMF is written in the popular language PHP and uses a MySQL database. It is designed to provide you with all the features you need from a bulletin board while having an absolute minimal impact on the resources of the server. SMF is the next generation of forum software - and best of all it is and will always remain completely free!

SMF provides its users with the ability to customize their forums. You can change how it looks and even how it operates.

      Mod Site

      In our Modification Site — commonly called the "Mod Site" — you will find packages that can change your forum's operation, add features, remove features, and a lot of other possibilites.
      Theme Site

      In our theme site you will find themes created by some very talented designers. These themes can transform the way your forum looks. You can find themes ranging from highly professional to fantasy based themes — and everything inbetween.


    * Uses PHP and MySQL.
    * Comprehensive template system.
    * Advanced permission and user management.
    * Supports multiple languages at once.
    * Open and well-documented source code.
    * Tracking of new and old unread topics, not just from your last visit.
    * Designed for optimal performance and scalability.
    * Multi-media output. (XHTML, XML, RSS, WAP)
    * Multi-language support from a large community.
    * Package manager that automatically installs or uninstalls mods (also known as hacks.)
    * Search:
          o Search the entire forum, a category/board or within a topic.
          o Search within your personal messages.


    * All actions seamlessly require a session based authorization code.
    * Administrative actions require the user's password (and do not rely solely on cookies.)
    * Major actions are time and IP locked, preventing 'hammering'.
    * The number of login attempts from a certain IP can be limited and time locked.

Forum Settings

    * Ability to display page creation time and query count per page.
    * Put a board into maintenance mode, allowing only admins to login.
    * Word censoring, either full word or partial.
    * Ability to break up long words.

Boards and Categories

    * Group boards into collapsible categories.
    * Set categories as non-collapsible.
    * Reorder boards within categories, or reorder categories.
    * Create child boards under other boards. (sub boards)
    * Assign moderators to boards.
    * Allow certain membergroups to access a board, including guests only.
    * Configure permissions for each membergroup on the board level.
    * Ability to indicate new posts to child boards but nothing new in parent.

Member Registration

    * Require registration before forum entrance.
    * Require a user to agree to terms before they register.
    * Disable member registration completely (allowing only moderators to register people).
    * Require email authentication by sending an authentication link.
    * Require a moderator to approve registration.
    * Register new members from the admin center.

Member Navigation and Authentication

    * Several security checks during navigation.
    * Password reminder option, by email with confirmation. (doesn't automatically reset your password.)
    * Both cookie and session based authentication (works without cookies.)
    * Cookies can be set local to a path, global to all subdomains, or normally.
    * Adjustable expiration time for authentication cookies.

Member Tracking and Tracing

    * Sortable and searchable public memberlist (accessible by a permission.)
    * Powerful sortable and searchable admin memberlist.
    * Show all (error) messages and IPs made by a member. (track user)
    * Show all (error) messages from an IP address or range. (track IP)
    * See who's doing what (accessible by permission.)


    * Several board statistics (accessible by permission.)
    * Tracking of member's online time in seconds.
    * Tracking of topics, messages, new members, and hits per day.
    * Individual member statistics accessible from their profile.

News and Announcements

    * Ability to create announcement boards (members receive a notification of topics automatically.)
    * Member option to disable receiving announcements.
    * Email or private message your members by membergroup.
    * Show a news ticker or news fader.


    * Ability to choose sendmail or SMTP (with or without authentication.)
    * Ability to send a topic to a friend.
    * Ability to view a "printer friendly" version of topics.


    * Create membergroups to group members on permissions, access rights, and/or appearance.
    * Assign several membergroups to a single member, with one membergroup as the primary group.
    * Define membergroups that are auto-assigned based on the amount of posts a user has.
    * Determine the maximum number of personal messages a membergroup is allowed to have by group.
    * Assign graphical symbol(s) to a membergroup - by primary group.
    * Determine which membergroups are allowed to access a board.


    * Ban members based on their username, email address, IP address or hostname.
    * Support of wildcards for email address, IP address, and hostname.
    * Include a ban reason (viewable for the banned user).
    * Include a ban note (only viewable by the admins).
    * Chose between full ban, 'no post' ban, or registration ban.
    * Include an expiration time for bans.

External integration

    * Integrate parts of forum software into existing website using SSI or PHP.
          o Recent topics or posts.
          o Recent news posts in a board.
          o Recent polls.
          o Several forum statistics.
          o List of users online.
          o The menu bar.
          o News.
          o Search.
          o Login/logout.
          o Today's events/birthdays/holidays.
    * Export forum data using XML/RSS
          o Latest members.
          o News.
          o Recent posts.

Wireless access

    * Support for WAP, WAP2 and I-mode protocols.
    * Browse through boards/topics/messages with reduced page size.
    * Ability to login and logout (not with WAP 1.)
    * Ability to see new topics/boards with new replies.
    * Ability to jump to first unread reply.
    * Ability to post new messages (not with WAP 1.)

Theming and Templating

    * Ability to allow or disallow your users to select their own theme.
    * Ability to reset all of your members to a certain theme.
    * Ability to install a new theme via your administration center.
    * Default templates are XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 2.0 compliant.
    * Admin can add smileys and smiley sets.
    * Members can choose which smiley set they wish to use (or none.)
    * Themes can be installed by way of the "latest and greatest themes" panel.
    * SSI can have and show layers and the like from the template system.

Posting Features

    * Spell Check.
    * Quick Reply
          o Members can disable it or collapse it.
          o Can be used with "Quote".
          o Also contains "Spell Check".
    * Vast number of "bulletin board codes" to use (including rtl, acronym, and others.)
    * Optional editing grace period before a post is shown as modified.
    * 'Insert Quote' feature on posting screen to quickly quote previous replies.


    * Can be added or removed to existing topics.
    * Ability to set expiration date.
    * Ability to hide results till expiration of poll.
    * Ability to hide results until after people have voted.
    * Ability to determine how many votes a user may cast.
    * Polls can have up to 256 options.


    * Allowed on a per member group or board basis.
    * The filename can be encrypted to increase the security (so you can upload .php files, etc.)
    * Optional restriction on what filetypes may be uploaded.
    * Ability to restrict such that only registered members can view them (disables hotlinking, mostly.)
    * Images can be embedded into posts.

Calendar Support

    * Shows Birthdays, Events and Holidays.
    * Display calendar information on board index.
    * Link an existing topic to the calendar.
    * Allow only certain members/groups post events.
    * Event poster can edit event.
    * Events can span multiple days.

Moderation Tools

    * Ability to lock and unlock a topic.
          o Topics which are locked by an administrator can not unlocked by anyone else.
    * Ability to allow members to use moderation on just topics they posted.
    * "Report to moderator" link.
    * Delete or modify posts.
    * Ability to Merge/Split topics.
    * Move or delete topics.
    * Sticky or unsticky topics.
    * Recycle bin/board for all deleted topics and posts.
    * Moderation log which shows moderation activity and disallows log removal outside of 1 day.
    * AJAX editing:
          o Edit a post without page reloads.
          o Double click to edit topic subjects on message index.

User Profiles and User Options

    * Ability to hide your email address from the public.
    * Select their favorite theme among the activated forum themes.
    * Select their smiley set from the ones available.
    * Email notification
          o New topics per board.
          o Single topics.
          o Private messages.
    * Login with 'invisible' mode.
    * Options to hide other members' avatars and signatures.
    * Ability to download and resize uploaded avatars.
    * Personal text, avatar, signature, and all the niceties of forums can be used and are kept up to date in all your posts.

User Resources

    * Icons for topics you've posted to.
    * Show new replies to your posts.
    * Collapsible 'Additional Options' on post screen.
    * Ability to view most recent messages.
    * List all topics that have new replies since your last visit.
    * See who is browsing the same boards or topics as you.
    * Topics that span multiple pages have the page numbers listed as well as an "all" link.

What's required to run SMF?
Your server must meet a few requirements to be able to run SMF.

    * Any webserver that properly supports PHP, such as Apache or Internet Information Services (IIS).
    * PHP 4.1.0 or higher. The following directives are required to be set correctly in php.ini:
          o the engine directive must be On.
          o the magic_quotes_sybase directive must be set to Off.
          o the session.save_path directive must be set to a valid directory.
          o the file_uploads directive must be On.
          o the upload_tmp_dir must be set to a valid directory.
    * MySQL 3.23.28 or higher.
    * at least 512 kilobytes of storage space in the database, although more is highly recommended.
    * about two and a half megabytes of storage space on the web server, although more is recommended.

Recommendations for best performance:

    * Linux or another Unix based operating system.
    * the GNU Aspell and its dictionaries for spell checking support.
    * Apache with AcceptPathInfo set to On (Apache 2 and later only) for queryless URL support.
    * PHP 4.3.0 or higher, with the following set in php.ini:
          o the max_input_time directive is set to a value of at least 30.
          o the post_max_size and upload_max_filesize directives are set to the size of the largest attachments you wish to be able to upload.
          o the session.use_trans_sid directive set to Off.
          o the memory_limit directive is set to at least 8M.
          o the max_execution_time directive is set to at least 15.
          o the register_globals directive is set to Off.
    * MySQL 4.0.15 or higher with query caching enabled.
    * GD Graphics Library 2.0 or higher.

If your server does not meet these requirements, SMF may not work properly.

Software Santa uses SMF - Simple Machines Forum - for all of HIS Web Sites!

And It Didn't Cost him a Nickel!  Using Free Software to GIVE AWAY Free Software! How Novel!

Simple Machines Forum - 

Categories: Internet Applications - Install on your Web Server - FREE Internet Community Management - Forum Software - Requires PHP - Requires MySQL database
« Last Edit: August 23, 2018, 07:59:21 PM by Software Santa »


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