SMF - Not As Bad As I Thought

Discussion in 'SMF' started by Judge Dredd, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Judge Dredd

    Judge Dredd Old Guy

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    If you've known me for a while or seen my posts in this SMF section then you know that I've long been highly against SMF, but have never really been able to give reasons to why I thought it was so bad.

    I've had a change of heart. After becoming somewhat acquainted with the software, I really, really like it. What I really dislike, is the default theme, which I think most can agree is not that great.

    Other than that, I think I may start using SMF.

    What do you think about the theme and SMF itself?
     
  2. CMOBOSS

    CMOBOSS All About Da-Cookies.

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    Up until a week or so ago I have ALWAYS used SMF outside of one or two websites many years back.

    SMF is a great script in comparison to other free boards.

    And no, the default theme is not as "flashy/pretty" to look at as some others, but the overall default package is just as good as most of the licensed scripts.

    I have read some posts regarding concern for large communities using SMF. I am not sure how the boards respond to a large user base.
     
  3. engineer1964

    engineer1964 hoc foro magna est

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    Hi Judge

    years ago i used Vbulletin, it was like the best from what i could see, Then they had that bad moment when they sold out to internet brands, i decided to take the plunge and try a freebie, the first one i tried was SMF and boy i haven't looked back since !!

    It does everything i need, The mods and Themes are awesome, Very easy to set up, I mean the Mods alone your looking at 1000's which covers a wide range of extras for your site.

    Security wise and spam, i would definitely say SMF is the best one for anti spam measures, I've had my latest site since June last year and have not had a single spam bot register. Its brilliant, Themes are a bit pick and mix, but as you start playing customising your site and tweaking the CSS files you soon learn to customise your own, Thats what i did on mine.

    The default theme is a whiteboard for your design, A stepping stone of whats to be with your forum, Its clean and practical and ready for your ideas.

    I used the default them and added a background Picture of a welder and then i tweaked the font colrs and sizes in the CSS files, end result my own theme :D

    ai1262.photobucket.com_albums_ii602_welderfab_screen_zps978d6b2b.png

    As for a large board I have around 28,000+ posts and so far i've not had any issues or problems and there are some smf boards with 10x that amount still going strong out there. I can do everything i want with SMF that i could do with VBul, and its saving me money, Those savings i can use to invest in decent and quick hosting, so the end result is WIN/WIN !
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  4. CMOBOSS

    CMOBOSS All About Da-Cookies.

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    Nice site Gerry :)
     
  5. engineer1964

    engineer1964 hoc foro magna est

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    Thanks BOSS :jiggy:, its not hard to make a decent change from the default, I don't know why so many people moan about the default theme, thats just meant to be a starting point for your own creations.

    Another thing with the Free forums is people tend to experiment a little more than if you had to pay for a forum, when you start getting confident in adding, editing and changing files, you'll be surprised at just what you can achieve.

    I always make a full backup, before i play around with any files, if it goes wrong just restore the backup, Thats the whole idea of customising your forum to how you want it, Its a great way of learning too.
     
  6. JulieVA

    JulieVA Habitué

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    What a surprise. You tried something, got the facts...then changed your mind.

    Whoddathunkit ;)
     
  7. lucagrabacr

    lucagrabacr Aspirant

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    SMF is indeed a good free forum software. The very first forum I administrated (and probably the very first forum I'm a part of) used SMF, and I've used it quite a few times myself in the past.

    When my step sister asked me to help her with her website and installing a forum, I chose SMF because its reliability and simplicity ;)
     
  8. Judge Dredd

    Judge Dredd Old Guy

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    I know! :p This is not my normal routine!
     
  9. meetdilip

    meetdilip Tazmanian Master

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    SMF is a very good script, using it since 2009. You can get nice themes at blocweb and Dzinerstudio. Official theme site also has some good themes.
     
  10. Oldiesmann

    Oldiesmann SMF Lead Developer

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    I'm at work right now, so I don't have time for a detailed post...

    Glad to hear you've had a change of heart. As far as large communities are concerned, how well SMF works largely depends on your server configuration. We have lots of people willing to help with that. We also have a user group you can request to join for users with forums that have at least 500,000 posts. This gives you access to a dedicated board for discussion of topics related to running large forums.

    Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2
     
  11. NBKTwitch

    NBKTwitch Aspirant

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    As someone who has loved SMF since the early 1.1 releases. I can still say SMF is one of my favorites.

    Sure the default theme sucks,but honestly alot of default themes suck.(MyBB and VB im looking at you).

    Plus now SMF has many new and old theme designers making many great themes myself included. Plus SMF 2.1 is being worked on and is alot more modern.

    SMF's ease of use and simplicity is pretty darn hard to beat aswell.
     
  12. NickCF

    NickCF I come from a land Down Under...

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    Re smf on big boards - how about 750.000 posts?
     
  13. Judge Dredd

    Judge Dredd Old Guy

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    On a side note, you're not thinking of switching CF over are you?! :O
     
  14. engineer1964

    engineer1964 hoc foro magna est

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    yes switch!!
     
  15. NickCF

    NickCF I come from a land Down Under...

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    I doubt it. We migrated from phpbb to vB in late 2010. I think it would take a lot for us to move to a different software for a third time. Although at this moment, IPB is looking pretty good, but possibly on the expensive side.

    Our problem with moving to any other software is that we've got quite a few modifications installed, and me and my fellow admin are currently designing a new style. I'd say the most likely situation is that we'd upgrade to the latest patch release of vB 4.2.

    SMF looks cool functionally, but design wise I can see myself doing a lot of customisation to get away from that horrible default style. Out-of-the-box, phpbb, IPB and vBulletin are much nicer, IMO.
     
  16. Judge Dredd

    Judge Dredd Old Guy

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    I agree with everything you've said.

    What bothered me most about SMF was the style. It's not really that's it's a bad style, it just has no flair, no pop, no uniqueness. It looks like something used in vB1 or vB2. Other than that and a few very minor things, I like SMF.
     
  17. eldritch1969

    eldritch1969 Adherent

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    The ugliest-looking forum script out there is without doubt FUDforum. And you can't even customize it !
    That's the one I use. I must be some kind of pervert :biglaugh:
     
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  18. engineer1964

    engineer1964 hoc foro magna est

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    Likewise i hate the VB default theme its over complicated and very bland, compared to others, With phpbb and IPB, well i won't even go there..

    You need to remember Default themes are like pieces of chicken, Cooked on its own is very bland, But knock together some spices and you have a curry out of this world.

    I think its pretty sad that people judge a forum by the default theme alone.

    Compare SMF with any other forums on the forum matrix http://www.forummatrix.org/

    And you'll see Just how good SMF compares to the other forums and even the well known paid forums, It really does set standards :D
     
  19. engineer1964

    engineer1964 hoc foro magna est

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    :biglaugh: I thought you was joking for a minute, then i saw your forum :shifty:

    What made you use them??
     
  20. Oldiesmann

    Oldiesmann SMF Lead Developer

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    There are plenty of forums running SMF with a lot more posts than that.

    One of the largest is http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/ - 10,746,528 posts.

    On the subject of the design - there are literally hundreds of themes available for SMF, many of which significantly vary from the default theme. If you spend an hour or two looking around, you'll likely find something you like. If there's a particular look/style you have in mind, I might be able to make some suggestions as well.

    For modifications - pretty much anything you want can be done with SMF. It's just a matter of what it is and such. The few things I see immediately (the boxes at the top of the page, the tabs with custom menu items and the custom board icons) are quite easy to accomplish, and can be done in various ways. For the boxes, you can either edit the template yourself or install a portal system like SimplePortal and add them as custom blocks (SP lets you completely customize the look of each block as well). For the custom menu items, you just edit a single file. For the custom board icons, you can replace the ones included with the theme you're using (just name your files the same as what the theme uses and upload them to the appropriate directory).
     
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