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myBBs back end is much more user friendly than SMFs. But mybb's theme is not responsive out of the box, I understand that SMF is? You can set up a test install on your server though and try it out yourself.

 

Were there any particular features you wanted? Or any particular reasons why you were considering leaving SMF? On a general level they're all much of a muchness, it really depends on what you want from your software.

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MyBB has a few responsive themes and a lot of HTML/CSS features that could improve that feature. When it comes to SMF, there’s a lot less options... even if it’s responsive off the bat for the default theme. Then again, who uses the default theme anyways?  Along with that, the modifications/plugins are rarely updated or do not work with any update of the theme (having trouble with 2.1 completely... not a single modification works whatsoever). That’s mostly due to the fact that they edit core files though.

 

What I would really like in particular is something that’s more organized and aesthetic looking. Plenty of RPG websites, specifically some popular equine or wolf rp sites, have BEAUTIFUL layouts with many features due to their exquisite coding... something you really don’t have much freedom with on SMF.

 

Things in specific though? Here’s a few thing my site really runs on and some things we desire:

! - Account Switcher (subaccounts is not updated)

! - Post templates (custom div style / html in posts to create fancy layouts or boxes  to write in)

- Profile editing (Ultimate Profile CSS capability if you’re familiar with that plugin from SMF)

- Drafts (or at least a way to save posts if they happen to exit or reload)

- Member Awards

- Freedom to edit layout as need be. Easier to add affiliates, custom pages/tabs to have guides on, and more. Staff page would be easier and such.

- Index showing a count of characters / their attributes group or clan / gender / etc. 

- Affiliates (above two go hand in hand w/ the editing the layout)

- Custom username colors

- Mentions

- Spoilers 

 


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I can't speak on MyBB at all as I have no experience with the software. I know how ungainly the SMF Account Switcher is. We use it on Witchlight and it can be a pain. We haven't had any issues with its functionality but we are still running SMF 2.0.15. If you have not already, you should take a look at Arceus' Character Mod for SMF. It was built on 2.1 so will definitely run. We are using it on a newly opened site and it works wonderfully. 

 

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I did check that out and it definitely does interest me.  I’m currently running SMF 2.0.15 and the subaccounts option right now, so it’s a big step up... and it has a converter! So that’s one thing that’s causing me to hold back from a switch also.

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3 hours ago, StarredSkies said:

Plenty of RPG websites, specifically some popular equine or wolf rp sites, have BEAUTIFUL layouts with many features due to their exquisite coding... something you really don’t have much freedom with on SMF.

I don't know if somebody told you this, or you assumed it because you don't know how to, but this is just very wrong. You absolutely do have a lot of layout freedom with SMF. It's just a matter of knowing how to do it.

 

Nice to meet you, I'm Arceus, and I've been working with SMF for over 12 years. In that time I've made the Character Manager and a 99.9% automated tabletop-style battle system for SMF, and the first site in my signature can tell you what else I can do with it. Ask me things. I usually have answers.

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myBB can do all of that and as mentioned, it's easy to edit back end wise. You just need to know your HTML and CSS.

 

But you can already do all of that with SMF too and just like mybb, its customizable to the nth degree. Generally, I advise against picking up a new forum software if you're already happy and comfortable with your current one. Unless the new one has features you want that your current one doesn't possess which I don't think is the case here?

 

Even so, I strongly recommend just installing a test forum on your server and checking it out yourself. You can delete it when you're done. If you need guidance just let us know.

 

As an aside...

https://rpginitiative.com/files/category/8-mybbicyboards-themes/

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Roleplay Architects: Grab a friend (or many friends!) and just write.

You can also find me at:

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It’s most definitely a matter of knowing. Compared to MyBB, it’s a lot more hassle to produce the results wanted. I’ve taken a lot of shots at it and it’s been quite the pain, but overall I’ve got things done and it’s been nice. Then again, I am new to hosting a website of my own (though I have administrated before) so it’s a learning experience. 

 

Your experience is admirable! Plus your site is very nice and laid out perfectly. It’s almost ideal to what I want. I also noticed the SMF theme you’ve updated.  I would love some advice with setting up an edited/custom theme of my own.

 

I’ve already got the test site set up! Overall I am enjoying MyBB but like with any new platform, it takes getting used to. Switching is only a thought. There’s a few features I desire on MyBB compared to SMF, but nothing game-breaking.

 

As I’m mobile right now, I can’t reply with much but once I check up on things later on, I’ll definitely get back to you with questions. Thank you so much guys!

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With some luck, @Arceus will not kill me for this...

 

If SMF is working for you and getting into something like IPS (pricey license but awesome platform) is not an option, consider waiting until summer and moving to Gaia. You can join the coterie and watch its progress. It is the first forum platform that I have heard of that is being designed specifically for the RPG community.

 

Check Gaia out. 

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From my experience, although lacking in responsiveness and a few other features, MyBB is likely the more customisable of the two, out of the box. I have less experience with the current version of SMF, but have seen impressive sites built with it. That being said, both have good weights and bad weights. Here are a few from memory.

 

These only skim the surface, and it's best to fiddle around with both to see what fits your community or vision, as well as comfort level. MyBB while more adaptable can have a rather frustrating method of installing, developing and creating themes and modifications for some, even if it gives you access to nearly all the variables.

 

MyBB

  • No built in Alerts or Mentions
    • Extensions do exist for this (MyAlerts & MentionMe). They aren't 'official', although some of the main devs do work on them sporadically.
  • Allows HTML out of the box, provided your permissions are set up. This is less secure, but I understand some roleplaying communities still enjoy (or need) this feature.
  • Cleaner distinction and navigation between Moderator CP & Admin CP. Please note, nothing on myBB is responsive yet, however they are working on an overhaul for 1.9, which is supposedly nearing the Alpha stage. Given the speed of development however, don't expect it soon -- they take their time to ensure quality.
  • Direct access to templates in the ACP, rather than through files. This is either a pro or a con, depending on your point of view. For those that prefer security or ease of development (like me) it's a con. Some admins prefer the interface, due to its relative accessibility.
    • These are stored in the database, rather than files. The next version (1.9) is supposed to change this into TWIG templates.
  • Active international community. Reasonably kind and helpful, if you are specific in your troubleshooting.
  • A new hashing extension exists from DVZ to use the new PHP password hash and salting methods. Please note your host will need PHP 7.2 or greater for this. This provides a more secure user account for those which prefer safe connections.
  • Sub-Accounts extension does exist, and usually works smoothly.

SMF

  • 2.1 has built-in Alerts and Mentions. I am uncertain of 2.0, but I believe there is a Mod for it.
  • Last I checked there was a method for using HTML in posts, however some configuration may be required. I am uncertain if 2.1 carries this forward, however my understanding is that it builds upon 2.0, so is likely available.
  • Has a more adaptable portal/CMS Mod than MyBB. They exist for both, however MyBB requires vastly more configuration and doesn't look quite as clean out of the box.
  • ACP is rather...messy in older versions. It may take some navigating until you become familiar where certain features are.
    • ACP in 2.1 is significantly cleaned up, however still appears to be part of the front end visually rather than being distinctly separate. This may be confusing to some potential staff members. More of a design choice and preference, depending on your tastes.
  • Community seems active, especially with 2.1 RC1 having been released. We have a few modders here on the Initiative too, from what I understand.
  • Passwords no longer use md5 hash/salt combination and have long since moved to bcrypt. While this is not the most preferential method of storing them, it is reasonable and suffices for most communities which don't need bleeding-edge security.
  • Sub-Accounts is falling a bit behind, but the Character Manager extension (although I have not personally used it) I hear wonders about. Kudos to Arceus for a job well done!

Again, these are just a few observations. Your mileage is likely to vary. My recommendation is to look (and play around with on a local machine) at both and see which fits your needs and taste.

 

Wishing you the best, and safe travels.

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Thank you for the wonderful reply. Just what I was looking for. Kudos @Gallant, you're a blessing. 

 

When it comes to MyBB:

  • MyAlerts is actually something I'm having trouble installing along the way, but I do not exactly mind not having this function. Though it's useful, it doesn't have to be top priority.
  • Allowing HTML out of the box is a huge thing for a bunch of my roleplayers (as we use post templates quote often). I do understand it's less secure and could potentially cause some problems, but along the way I think it'll do some good. Perhaps if we grow bigger then I'll grow concerned but for now I trust my members and hope that they understand their limits + spamming rules. 
  • Control panels for SMF are a MESS, as you stated, with the older versions. This is a huge bonus for all of us on the theme and can save us a bit of time.
  • They can also be accessed within SMF... and it's come in handy. Having them available for other admins to fix when I'm not available is much better than providing them the host/server password. 
  • Sub-accounts are a huge thing also. Glad to hear that Enhanced Account Switcher works wonders.

 

SMF:

  • 2.0 has a modification. Upgrading to 2.1 is not an option till development is finished and all of our modifications are updated... which is a VERY slim chance. I have already tried converting w/ no luck.
  • Slightly, yes. As of right now we use something called BBCode With Style to provide something like HTML (with a few restrictions, of course).
  • I do not use a portal in the first place, especially with our current layout (and the fact that they're usually not mobile friendly).
  • Yeah, no hope for subaccounts w/ 2.1... but Arceus' character mod revived that chance and I'd gladly convert over to it if we decide to keep going with SMF.

Once again, thank you for such a nice reply. I'm definitely taking my time to explore my options. ❤️

 

 


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I'm glad it was of some help!

 

If you need a bit more info on either, please don't hesitate to reach out -- I'll do my best to provide a lead, or help where I can.


As for installation MyAlerts requires several outside libraries which must be installed in addition to it (you can't just drop the package in). The initial post on MyBB's support form for its thread should have the instructions.

 

Wishing you the best of luck on your new endeavour!

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@Orion,

 

I am several days late here but I just want to extend my hand out as well regarding MyBB! If you need assistance at all you are welcome to post in the Coding Help & Requests board and tag me.

 

However, I came here to let you know that I am personally not the largest fan of MyAlerts and if you do not need it AVOID IT. Its a pain and messy in my opinion, especially hard to uninstall (I've helped admins clean up its left overs before both backend and in the ACP). Others may not have had these issues but this is just my personal experience with it. Most people just MyAlerts just to integrate it with a tag system but I want to advise against it. There are tag systems out there that work WITHOUT MyAlerts, you just have to scour the internet for them. Any site I've help set up uses "Tagging Plugin!" by flash.tato found here.

 

To get this plugin to work, whenever you open the tagging.php file find this at the very top:

function tagging_info()
{
	return array(
		"name"			=> "Tagging Plugin!",
		"description"	=> "Allows you to tag other users in your posts",
		"author"		=> "flash.tato",
		"authorsite"	=> "http://www.tatodev.host22.com",
		"version"		=> "1.3.4",
		"compatibility" => "14*,16*",
		"guid" 			=> "04eeda1eecb9cffea06f152f204be13f"
	);
}

 

Then replace "compatibility" => "14*,16*", with this:

		"compatibility" => "18*",

 

Definitely not saying this is a cure all for old 1.6 plugins but often these plugins will still work with 1.8 by simply changing compatibility. Some plugins may not work even with compatibility change but this is one of the ones that does. I recommend doing this if you want to avoid installing plugins W, X and Y just to have plugin Z.

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