* Cheschire pops out out of charter members area for a sec
just letting you non-charter ppl know what us members are dealin with here... SMF is a great product. hands down beats all other forum software i have tried, which includes ubb, vb, yabb, yabbse, phpbb, and some other ones that arent big enough to mention. SMF takes the best from all of these and puts it into a very fast, very easy to use package. being beta, its prone to problems when first installed. it doesn't take more than a couple hours to really hack out the bugs that cause error messages, but it requires disabling a couple of the features that in beta 2 have not been finished yet. for a 3rd beta (beta1, 1a, then 2) tho, this is one stable product. I have been amazed so far at what I have to work with on nrrds.com (*cough* plug). Anyways if are serious about your site, and want to have some inside interaction with the team while they work on this product, seriously charter membership is the way to go. If you don't have the money, just stick it out with YaBB SE. I imagine that if you don't have the money for a charter membership, then you probably don't have time to go get a part time job for a week to earn enough dough, which means you wouldn't have time to hack out the bugs anyways. Get my logic? if you are just hesitant to go pay money for a beta, then wait! Everyone wants the best software, but why would you want to get the best software right now before it's finished? sure its tempting cuz the opportunity is there, but if you have a lot to lose, just stick with YaBB SE till a stable SMF comes out.
what you get if you DONT
- public version of smf. the public versions are the latest stable versions of the board, released to the public FOR FREE. charter members might get ahold of this a little in advance just to make sure it works, but i dunno...
- tech support in the public forums here
- slightly more distant interaction with the SMF team
what you get if you DO pay:
- private advance beta access
- access to private areas of knowledge with other paying members who most of the time know a LOT about what they are talking about
- inside support directly from the team
- inside interaction directly with the team (and I mean constantly... they are always reading the boards)
- tech support. they will login to your board personally to help.
- it says Charter Member under your name !!!
either way you get the software. just one way you get to interact with the SMF team directly and constantly. The free way is just more distant, and you have to wait for the first stable version. keyword: stable