If you’re in the market for an online forum, this article may save you time and trouble. I recently had a client with a dog forum. She had to abandon her phpBB forum because of a bug so severe, it literally corrupted the entire forum database…three times! We were able to transfer the entire forum to SMF…with no loss of data. Simple Machines Forum to the rescue!
My website hosting company, DreamHost, has an easy way to install phpBb forum onto a website, so this was the forum application we selected when a client wanted a forum installed on her website. While the installation was easy, it was very, very, very hard to install any modifications, those little add-ons that enhance the functionality of a forum. But she lived with it, and the forum grew and grew.
Then one day, she posted a new topic, and suddenly, every single topic in the entire forum had been overwritten to this new topic. She had to manually go and change every topic by hand. We thought it was a fluke until…
It happened twice more. The third time, we started looking for another forum application that was based on PHP and MySQL. I had gotten help before from PHP Freaks Forum, and had noticed that it was run by SMF (Simple Machines Forum). Certainly a forum run by PHP experts would pick a good forum application, wouldn’t they?
I contacted two people who were administrators/experts and asked their opinion of SMF vs phpBB. Both responded enthusiastically in favor of SMF for a host of reasons including bugs, security, and ease of use. One person said he would not install phpBB onto a client’s website, even if they requested it. The other person just happened to be a Simple Machines Forum (SMF) conversion expert…who quickly provided us with links to the SMF site where you can convert your existing forum into an SMF forum.
So we took the plunge. We installed SMF and ran the conversion program. And guess what…it not only perfectly converted ALL, and we mean ALL of the data that was in the phpBB forum database…but it somehow fixed over 95% of the corrupted titles! We were simply stunned. Click here to see her dog forum using SMF.
Take Home Message: Don’t Install phpBB, even if it seems so easy because there’s a one-click install from your web hosting company’s control panel. Go to the Simple Machines Forum download page and install their software instead. You’ll be very glad you did.
UPDATE – Please note, this is the Aldebaran Web Design Blog – this is NOT a help forum for Simple Machines Forum (SMF) – I am not able to provide support for SMF – if you need help – use the SMF Forum.Jill
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.