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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