SMF (abbreviated from Simple Machines Forum) is an advanced forum application that can be downloaded and used free of charge. Written in php and mysql it has all the features you need to create a forum for smaller or larger communities. It is reliable and user-friendly.
Forum Administration - SMF has more advanced control panel than most of the other forums. It allows you to set almost anything you can think of - starting from general forum settings like forum news, forum topics and categories, passing through global forum and member settings, and finishing with layout settings. However, it is well categorized and explained, and any forum administrator would be able to work with it. If you would like to see how SMF works, here you get SMF pre-installed and activated in less than 15 min.
Layout - The default smf templates are XHTML 1.0 transitional and CSS 2.0 compatible. Of course you will be able to install a new theme via the smf control panel and customize it the way you want. While setting a default theme for your smf forum you can choose whether members will be able to select from the others installed themes.
Extra functionality - If the SMF fuctionalities are not enough for you, you are able to add extra tools on your site. On your SMF you can add extra avatars, or an ad management tool or country flags for your members.
Security - SMF is proven to be a very secure forum system. You can personally set what access the forum users will have, no matter whether they are registered forum users or not, moderators, or administrators. All administrative settings require username and password and every action can be IP or time locked. You can also set number of login attempts to your forum for a certain IP address.
Forum users - the members of smf will be required to complete a registration form in order to be able to post into the forum. Once a member is identified by the strong authorization system, he will be able to select a specific login mode (visible or invisible), theme among all activated smf themes, review most recent forum messages, monitor other forum members browsing the same topics, etc.
Stats - SMF includes statistic functionality as well. You can track the number of posts, topics, newly registered members, etc. You will also have the ability to create polls.
Wireless access - SMF provides wireless access through WAP, WAP2 and I-mode protocols. Thus you can login to the forum and post messages from anywhere of the world.