Simple Machines Forum Reviews

Best Customizable Forum Script

Positive Review by webdspm
about Simple Machines Forum Nov 2015

smf has better portal packages, mods and themes.

portal and custom field/form/action mods are necessary.

it is best alternative to xenforo or vbulletin.


Decent free solution but heavily lacking on customization

Review by holodoc
about Simple Machines Forum Feb 2015

Pretty decent forum software solution if you need some basic functionality and don't want to spend money on it.

However, if you need customization then better start looking somewhere else. The modding community, which produces plugins and themes, has been dead for years and offers almost exclusively stuff that was last updated two-three years ago. The main reason for that is that the underlying code architecture of SMF 2.0 is still based on coding practices from 2007 when it was first conceived. Horrible spaghetti code throughout templates, a pretty bad plugin system with no clear design pattern in mind and a lot of duck-taped stuff throughout the code base.

That also means if you wan't to implement stuff that is pretty much a must in 2015 like social networks integration, support for modern services and their APIs you are pretty much out of luck. Chances are there is no plugin that provides such functionality or its heavily outdated and doesn't work.

Bottom line, if you need an all-round forum solution for your website with a lot of customization potential then avoid SMF 2.0. It's free though so you can test it and see if the lack of customization is something you can live with.