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SMF vs phpBB Forum application comparison

SMF vs phpBB Forum application comparison

phpBB and SMF are two of the most popular free bulletin board applications. If you are looking for a free forum application, you will most probably end up using one of the two.

Here we will discuss the pros and cons of each one.

SMF Forum Application


  • the installation/uninstallation of additional mods is done through an automatic package manager;
  • supports multiple languages at once;
  • option to display the query count per page;
  • full or partial word censoring;
  • cookie and session based authentication;
  • spell checker.


  • does not support custom BBCode buttons;
  • no custom profile fields;
  • no user rating;
  • no search flood control;
  • no customizable private message filters.

phpBB Forum Application


  • has a lot of free mods/plugins/templates;
  • supports MySQL, MSSQL and PostgreSQL database engines;
  • search flood control;
  • password protected forums;
  • sorting of posts;
  • private message filters which can be customized.


  • no automatic mod installer;
  • the installation of some of the additional mods may require more advanced programming skills;
  • no HTML in posts;
  • no user rating;
  • no RSS.

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