phpBB (PHP Bulletin Board- with English. PHP Bulletin Board) – software with free source code, developed based on the programming language PHP specifically to create web forums. In web space, perhaps, there is no more powerful in terms of functionality engine for creating and operating forums.In addition, phpBB is absolutely free.
If you are going to create a website that is a regular page or blog and does not carry the purpose of communication of a large number of people on your website, then phpBB, most likely you will not need it. However, if you are a visionary person, then you understand that a forum is an additional attraction of a huge number of visitors to your site. And if at the same time you are also an entrepreneur, then you know that visitors can easily be turned into customers, and customers into profits. Therefore phpBB should definitely interest you.
phpBB is a very easy-to-manage engine, you will understand it when you start using it. And the fact that this software is open source should make you happy because it means that any user on the official phpBB forum can make their own changes and fix errors on their own. The experience of millions of people using phpBB is at your service completely free.
PhpBB main features
Every programmer, webmaster knows that creating a web forum requires special efforts. Conventional engines will not work here. It is necessary to provide traffic to thousands of visitors, to process a huge number of operations in one second. That is why you need a special program.
What is the difference between phpBB and regular site engines?
- Support for all popular database servers (MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS SQL Server, MS Access, SQLite, and Oracle)
- Interface with support for more than 50 world languages (including Russian)
- Unlimited number of forums
- Unlimited forum posts
- Create closed and open forums
- A powerful search engine that allows you to find any user, any message, etc.
These are just the main distinguishing features of phpBB, which allow you to talk about it as a forum engine. phpBB has very extensive functionality that the site administrator can easily modify at his discretion by installing or removing mods.
Mods are some distributions with instructions with which you can add new functions to the forum. All the mods on the official site are divided into several sections:
- Profiles and Members
- Administration and Moderation
- Lists of forums and topics
- Manage topics, answers
- Technical improvements
- New opportunities
You can install mods on your form by downloading them in advance from the catalogs on the official website or from the websites of the developers of these mods. Install the mods on your site using the instructions and implement in the forum.
The first version of phpBB 1.0.0 was developed in 2000 and has since undergone many changes. In 2002, a modified version of phpBB 2.0.x was released, but in 2004 a large number of sites using phpBB 2.0.x were hacked by a virus called the Santi Worm. phpBB 2.0.x was not well protected against changes to PHP and HTML scripts.
phpBB 3.0.11 was released in 2012 as a revised version of phpBB 2.0.x with minor changes. The new version of phpBB 3.1 is now in development. It is not yet clear what new features she will be able to offer the programmer. According to rumors, software requirements, compatibility with MySQL, SQLite and PHP (version 6.x) will change. MySQL versions 3.x and 4.x, as well as PHP 4 will not be supported, since they are not relevant.
phpBB is famous among programmers not only for its functionality and variety of features, but also for ease of operation. Everyone, even the “greenest” user can work with phpBB without any problems. This is achieved due to the simplicity of the interface and the openness of the code. On the official phpBB website you can visit the forum and ask any question you are interested in. In addition, there are a lot of sites in Russia that support the development of phpBB forums: phpBB Guru (support forum) and BB3x portal (useful information and resource catalogs).
The main features of phpBB:
- UTF-8 support, making phpBB compatible with almost any language
- Custom BBCode that allows visitors to edit their comments.
- Unread Message Tracking
- Private messaging system
- Control of user registration attempts
- Limit the number of characters in the username and password
- Ability to compile surveys on the forum
- The possibility of various types of attachments to the message
- The ability to create an unlimited number of sub-forums
- The possibility of appointing a forum moderator
- PhpBB supports a wide range of database storage servers.
- PhpBB uses an advanced caching system that improves performance.
- PhpBB boasts a powerful plugin system and connectivity applications.
There are a lot of opportunities for phpBB to create a forum, and you can see for yourself when you create your own forum. With the help of this engine you can control the work of the forum as you like, add additional features or, on the contrary, simplify communication on the forum at your own discretion.
Installing phpBB will require some time and some basic data from you. Namely:
- Server or hosting ( buy )
- Distribution phpBB ( download )
- FTP client ( download )
Installation takes place in several stages. I will briefly outline them (for more details, see the video at the end of the article):
- Make sure the server meets the phpBB system requirements.
- Copy files to server
- On the forum page, click Instal.
- Enter Database Data
- Fill out the form “Administrator Configuration”
- On the “Advanced Setup” page, enter your settings or leave the default settings specified by the program.
- Click the “Login” button and, as the administrator of the forum, start working on upgrading your website.
Of course, installing phpBB will require much more time from you than described above.
As you have already noticed, in order to install phpBB you need a server or hosting. Of course, not any hosting service can ensure the smooth operation of the forum, since this is a very large load on the server. Moreover, not all hosting providers offer support for phpBB. The site of the company developer phpBB, offers several hosting providers, which not only provide support for phpBB, but also help to install it on your site. It is very convenient. Especially if you have no experience with the forum.
Affiliate program based phpBB offers the following hosting companies:
- BlueHost ( read my review )
- HostMonster ( read my review )
Of course, these are not the only hosting providers with phpBB support. But the fact that on the official website www.phpbb.com these companies are presented as the best providers with the ability to install phpBB in 1 click, makes it necessary to turn their attention to them.