Smf is very popular. It has more live sites than xf, Ipb and other paid forums.

Anton Chigurh

Ultimate Badass
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Feb 22, 2015
Messages
1,398
It being FREE has lots to do with this site's reported minor statistical "advantage" no? Coupled with how LONG it's been around?

Silly thread.
 

MagicalAzareal

Magical Developer
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Apr 25, 2019
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737
Do you know what the number one forum software is? It's bbPress.
This is because you can install it as a Wordpress plugin and Wordpress has a god tier level of popularity.

It is also a really simple and frankly awful software.
And I find this thread strange considering that it was typed up by an IPS representative (based on that name).
 

Doug Heffernan

Enthusiast
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Feb 28, 2018
Messages
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And I find this thread strange considering that it was typed up by an IPS representative (based on that name).
I am not affiliated with Ips in any way shape or form.

Anyways, about the stats, it says enough regarding the popularity of Smf. ;)
 

Ryan Ashbrook

IPS Developer
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Jan 26, 2004
Messages
3,533
And I find this thread strange considering that it was typed up by an IPS representative (based on that name).
This user is not associated with IPS, and I would suggest not assuming as such about any particular user until such a thing is actually mentioned. :)
 

Nev_Dull

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Apr 27, 2010
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It shouldn't be that much of a surprise. SMF, despite its glacial development cycle, is a proven product that has been around for a long time. It's often available as a 1-click install from shared hosts, it's free, reliable, lightweight, and it does what it says on the tin.

SMF developers have spent some time making their software very easy for new forum admins, from the simple (almost Wordpress-like) process of install and updating, to installing add ons (of which there are plenty). It's quite easy to customize the look and feel too. Whether you like the software or not, there's no doubt SMF has done a great job of delivering a solid, easy to use product for running a forum.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
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Jun 29, 2008
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6,576
Is this install count even accurate? Many times you'd find that polls regardkng software, sites and sales actually only cover the US.

Consider how many free forum hosting platforms generate an additional install on a subdomain, are they tallied individually or as a single multiforum? The same goes for software that can be run as a SaaS multiforum platform (usually not paid software since usually sold under restrictive terms).

Example: SMFnew.com, reporting 'We have 39,439 forums using our free services' (if correct, all are live)
 

zappaDPJ

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It shouldn't be that much of a surprise. SMF, despite its glacial development cycle, is a proven product that has been around for a long time. It's often available as a 1-click install from shared hosts, it's free, reliable, lightweight, and it does what it says on the tin.

SMF developers have spent some time making their software very easy for new forum admins, from the simple (almost Wordpress-like) process of install and updating, to installing add ons (of which there are plenty). It's quite easy to customize the look and feel too. Whether you like the software or not, there's no doubt SMF has done a great job of delivering a solid, easy to use product for running a forum.
As a long term SMF user myself I think you've summed it up well and it is still a popular solution for a large number of forum owners.

Is this install count even accurate?
It's really hard to say. Every site I visit has a different platform at the top of their list. My gut feeling is SMF is probably close to the top in terms of installation numbers because it's a free, one click operation to get it up and running. It's also been around for some years now.
 

davert

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Aug 31, 2010
Messages
222
I also use SMF on two forums. It's free when other forum software is $50 to $100 per year after a steep entry price. It's relatively secure compared with a certain php BB. It's a known quantity that still gets updates, albeit rarely. It's got enough features and addons. It's relatively good at repelling evildoers. For the most part it "just works."

I had IPB encourage me to reskin, then every major change was "you shouldn't have made so many modifications" and the skin was ejected anyway. I had XF encourage me to reskin, but then updating would have tossed it all out. I'm not begrudging XF because, well, they're on version 2, but... SMF's stability is actually a good thing for the casual forum manager. (I've sold my major forum.) If I have to do it again, I might just install SMF again, or that even-slower-moving fork from it. It's “good enough” for most people. Indeed, if I could, I'd move Corolland over to SMF — but there's apparently no converter from IPB 4 to it, or, as far as I can tell, ANY free forum.

Now, if the forum really took off? Then I might consider Xenforo, assuming it has a good importer. But for smaller communities, it doesn't matter - as long as you keep the spammers out, people are happy.
 

Curator

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Jun 12, 2019
Messages
6
SMF is ugly!
I would not use it even if they paid me $x,xxx per month to utilize their software.

The same goes for vBulletin, MyBB and PhpBB.
 

Bluefish

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Jul 7, 2019
Messages
15
SMF is ugly!
I would not use it even if they paid me $x,xxx per month to utilize their software.

The same goes for vBulletin, MyBB and PhpBB.
Without regard to vBulletin, MyBB and PhpBB, I agree with you - SMF is ugly. Ugly and old looking. Reminds me of gmail. I hate / can't stand using it's interface, but it does everything I want it to do and doesn't cost anything.
 

Nev_Dull

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Apr 27, 2010
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Ugly is a subjective opinion that has little to do with how well the software does what it's meant to. I actually find it quite appealing, just because it doesn't try to hide what it is and doesn't try to look like some other social media platforms. But that's why we have a variety of different forum software to appeal to different tastes.
 

Bluefish

Aspirant
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
15
Ugly is a subjective opinion that has little to do with how well the software does what it's meant to.
Well duh. Of course it's subjective and has nothing to do with how well the software does. It's how it looks! I don't care what you skin it with, I can spot a SMF forum a mile away. It's functionality and price overcomes its looks.
 

Nev_Dull

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Fair enough. I was responding to Curator's remark about SMF and others being too ugly to use under any circumstance. I think it's silly to make such absolute statements.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
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Aug 26, 2010
Messages
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I guess it depends on what facet of the software is ugly. Are we talking about aesthetics, function, coding... ?
 

Bluefish

Aspirant
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Jul 7, 2019
Messages
15
Good point zappaDPJ. According to Curator, SMF, vBulletin, MyBB and PhpBB are all "ugly." Since they are all stable, functional, well-established softwares having proven abilities to serve their functions, I'd say we're talking looks, or "aesthetics" as you say.
 
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