Describe Your Simple Machines Experience

Started by codenaught, June 18, 2008, 08:52:25 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


From the first download of Simple Machines to the update to the latest release of SMF, running a Simple Machines Forum tells a story in itself as you ride through the waves of simplicity but perhaps occasionally hit a vigorous wave that attempts to knock you off your surfboard.

Have you had nothing but ease in running SMF? Then I want to hear about it.

Have you had nothing but problems since you first installed SMF? That too, I want to hear about.

Details, details, details, tell me all that you can muster! How did you install SMF? Did you follow the instructions directly from the Online Manual? What FTP application did you use, or did you install it from a special web panel software such as cpanel? Did the upload take a long time? Did the installer take a long time to figure out and run?

Do you recall the biggest hurdle you ran into when installing SMF?

And how about after installing SMF? What has your updating experience been like? Did you take advantage of the package manager updates? Did they always work, or perhaps did mods installed on your forum get in the way? Have you taken a dive into the deep end and have updated to SMF 2.0 yet? What was that update like if you have?

The above are guiding questions if you run low on thoughts to describe your very own SMF experience. Please feel free to mention absolutely anything! Has SMF met most of your needs? Do the community members like your forum? Do the moderators and administrators like your forum? Ever run into any spam attacks and was SMF effective in keeping such problems to a minimal?

When thinking about telling your SMF story, please put some thought into it. Imagine being interviewed on the news about what it has been like running your forum from the very first install. Try to think of the hurdles and problems you have had with SMF, as well as all of the ways SMF has been really convenient to you.

Thank you,
Jack Thorsen "akabugeyes", SMF Documentation Coordinator

Comments posted here may be used for research on my part, and possibly there may be testimonies taken by the Marketing Team if anything noteworthy is mentioned.
Dev Consultant
Former SMF Doc Coordinator


Here goes everything :P

I got my First SMF download on March 16 2k7, and then It tried figuring out what to do, I started with reading the Online manual, I got what to do, I tried founding a host and I got one, then I was stuck with installation because no files were showing when I uploaded it(Well, It uploaded in 2 mins through FileZilla), so I posted a question, I got my answer and I realized that I haven't moved my files to a public_html/httpdocs(Don't remember what) folder, OK So I got so far, I got the thing to install, rest was a breeze after reading the manual(Hats off too that).

I got my SMF installed, I explored things, installing mods/themes, then advertised and eventually my site grew, I learned to install mods and the basics of editing(Thanks to the OM Again), I was happy with it. I slowly learned scripting in PHP/MySQL and then started helping in the community a little(Mind you I was pretty bad with these things those days), I kept learning everyday(And so I do now too).

There wasn't any *big* hurdle, everything I tried went smoothly, and it was nothing too difficult, I also asked a few questions which were answered correctly :). After a few months my site was going good, I had a few mods on it running perfectly, A theme modified by me and everything went smooth, I also started helping here and created a few *small* mods. Although I closed that site a few months ago due to it not going any good, but I plan on starting another one on something else.

The version I installed was v1.1.2, I upgraded to 1.1.3,1.1.4,1.1.5 without any problems(I Upgraded within 24 hours they came out) via Package Manager upgrader and it was very nice. I really don't have a live SMF 2.0 installation but I do once cloned my SMF installation and upgraded it to SMF 2 b3p and it went pretty good AFAIK.

Well this is how my SMF Life went :P.


So what are your plans and goals for the future with what you've learned?

Me?  I hope to make some nice mods. 
Justin O'Leary
Ex-Project Manager
Ex-Lead Support Specialist

QuoteMicrosoft wants us to "Imagine life without walls"...
I say, "If there are no walls, who needs Windows?"

Useful Links:
Online Manual!
How to Help us Help you
Settings Repair Tool


Do all the stuff I babbled about on YIM :P

Well mainly getting the new site I am gonna start ready, That site is gonna be related to SMF and I am going to do a few stuff there(All of you will get to know once it is out :)). I'll make more mods, and do more stuff for SMF :).


I've been investigating building a website with php for a while, my brother first showed me SMF and he wanted to make an integrated website which used the SMF member system. That was years ago now, but more recently I've rediscovered SMF because I want to use it as the base for another website that I am making.

I first installed SMF 1.1.4 using cpanel onto my website, but now I have manually installed SMF 2 Beta, because I prefer the larger number of features. I didn't really ever use the documentation to help me because its easy to install and I mostly learn by trying stuff out, failing, and then trying it again.

My main reason for actually using SMF was to use the secure member system that's inbuilt as well as some of the other features. From there I started to have a go at editing some of the code, to add my own actions, pages and etc, that lead me into the wonderful world of SMF modding.

I am sort of a noob with PHP and MySQL, so it took me a while to make my first mod, the Site Integration Mod but now I believe that at version 1.4 its going to be even better than before. ;) I have essentially found that traversing through SMF's source code has been a great learning experience, its great to see how 'the pros' code stuff and learn from the techniques.

The only update I have ever done was between SMF 2 Beta 3.0 and SMF 2 Beta 3.1, which worked perfectly with the package manager and didn't muck up too many of the mods.

I have also had a try of PHPBB3 because one of my friends really likes it, but I found that I prefer SMF, partly because I find the SMF core source easier to understand, but also because I prefer the more 'centralised' system.

Basically I am now making as many cool mods as I have time to, and in the future I would like to try making some themes for my website and some other customization for my website as well. Its also nice to help some SMF users around the community who have less experience than me and also get helped by those that really know what they're doing! :)

My ultimate dream is to use SMF to take over the world!!!   ;D
SMF Friend (Former Support Specialist) | SimplePortal Developer
My SMF Mods | SimplePortal

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" - Who will Guard the Guards?

Please don't send me ANY support related PMs. I will just delete them.


Okay, actually I didn't start my own story, one of my friends did that. We were using a pre-modded version of PHP-Nuke and it included an old version of PhpBB (I guesss 2.0.17) which didn't work on PHP5. So the things started when our host updated the servers to the PHP5 and our site was down.

So I went on a holliday and when I came back, I saw that our site wore an ugly theme but started working again. (The theme was Babylon.) My friend, who was also an admin, converted the site to the SMF and my story with that started. The first problem was to solve the theme issue as it was a total mess for me at that time. Again my friend found the DilberMC theme and we started using that. (I didn't like that too.)

The first problem was about the groups. It took 2 days for me too find the right place to hide the post groups for the members who have special groups. :D Also the permission system was quite hard to handle as the one in PhpBB could be handled by a baby. :P But later I could also managed that and saw how powerful the SMF is. Board specific permissions were awesome.

Later on, I found some themes of Rockettheme and we started using the Versality blue. Then we integrated it with Joomla!. It was really hard. But just because of the Joomla!. Anyway, we destroyed it when I coded my first SSI Portal. :)

Then the time for the first update came. It was 1.1.2 to 1.1.3 as I remember. I just followed the instructions in that are in the Admin CP and the update process didn't even took a minute and I was just shocked. It was amazing.

After a while, people wanted some features and I found the Mod Site. I downloaded nearly 50 packages and installed them all. :D But as you can imagine, it didn't live for long. I decided start from the begining. I downloaded the Large Upgrade Package and followed the instructions. The instructions were really useful and enough. Then I first time used the Maintanance feature, which I liked so much.

Then I looked for a better theme, searched the web for days, looked into the Theme Site but couldn't find any. After a couple of days, when I was going to leave SMF just because of this theme issue, I've found the theme of my life. :P (The one I'm using in my sig now.) After that, I developed the SSI Portal Page and this helped me so much in understanding the coding of SMF.

When I got how things are working in SMF, I started giving support for it in various sites (in Turkish). This also helped me a lot with the coding issue. After all these, I was able code my first mod. I started a topic in the Coding Disscussions and JohnyB was there telling me to send the mod to the Mod Site. :D

I did, but the answer was really bad. It didn't get apporeved and the SMF Customization Team guy was wanting me to do I lot of thing that I can not really handle. Months passed after this experience but I did nothing until I saw a topic about the feature that my mod failure was planning to add. I gave the codes there (in the Turkish Language Support Board) and a guy told me that the codes are not belonging to me. He accused me of taking anothers' code an writing them as if I coded them.

I must have to prove that I can write mods and I wrote that little thing. :P So my mod author adventure started. I worked hard and at last could be able to write the Topic Count On Display mod. It was approved in a couple of days and I could be able save my honour. :P Then, I saw my ability to code mods :P and continued to write more mods. I've 17 now.

The one and only big problem I had with the SMF was 2 mothns before. I was trying to install a vReportOnTopic Mod by Valodim and it gave error in the Package Manager. It was saying that the needed files are not writeable. So from the Packages Settings I said SMF to set the CHMODs and it lasted with an 404 error. :D Host worked so much, but couldn't solve the problem. I guess it was an error about, some system php files were also set as writeable. So they removed and created my account again. Luckily I was able to back-up my db. Now everything is on their way.

This is my short story about SMF. Don't think that it will help you, just I hope. :)
Former SMF Core Developer | My Mods | SimplePortal


Huf where should I start with this... so first experience with a forum was YABB SE but I did not install it. It was already installed by admin. At that time I was a normal user, sometimes later the admin ask me if I can make the programming part of the forum because he don't know how this work, and so I become a Admin at this was in the middle of 2005. We use this software for a year and encounter a great problem because our server slowed down often, so we thought we should move to a other server and also change hour software. After that we switch to SMF 1.0.5 it was the simplest way I ever upgrade a forum (I've done this on some other forums, but SMF was a very simple way to upgrade). After that it work fine but not one mod exist that we use before. So I start programming the most important once like "Member Color Link" and "Hide Tag Special" and release them also here at That what I most like at SMF is the user permission system it's so nice and work so good. (Only VBulitin have the nice system, too but I like the SMF Version more). We use SMF 1.0.x for 1 year each upgrade from version to version was very easy and could be done with one click on the package manager and this was the only forum until now I see with this nice system. After that year (or two?) we upgrade to Version 1.1.2 it take us 7 hour to convert it, but no errors and it work after that, and I was happy. At this time hour forum had about 200000 posts and this would be terrible if it not work after the upgrade (okay I had backup system working so if that happen I could switch back to old Version) but I was so exited that it work after that long upgrade. With Version 1.1.3 I had Memory Problems and a lot of Slow downs and we could not find the problems it take us near 1 year and two server changes until we found the problem, with a lot of help from [unkown] and some other persons. After that hour forum work fast and good until know. Until know we've installed 36 mod's. Most of them are customized by me to speed them up or remove eval bugs. And a lot of other tweaks and some other small thing like FAQ and LyricDB. But it's running, running and running ;D.

Hmmm I never read a manual from here. I learned everything only with the help that comes with SMF. And by looking at the code (because I programmed a lot mod's for many people.) And I think the documentation was not so good at that time when I start with SMF.

The only thing that I missed after the YABB SE was the not first loaded English language this was so nice because you could install a mod and at least the English version was working... but we life with that (and I made a mod for my laziness *runs*).

I must also say that it is enjoyable to read the SMF Code somehow it take me into it and it is such a nice way to see how something things are resolved in the code, I also learned a lot for my programming.

So what I hope is that the next upgrade to SMF 2.0 will be easy to and work after that fine and I hope it will not take 7 hours to convert it, but I think I can life with it as long it work 8).

Hmmmm I hope my story is understandable and I hope I made not to much grammar mistakes xD.

Support only via MOD Thread! NO PM Support!
My Forum: ayu][kult Forum
My Mods: My Small Mod Collection
My Parser: DIN1031's ModParser
Current Info: More away the next days, because i've to much work to do :x


Pro's:  I think you guys have a wonderful product.  I have been using it every day since late 2006.  I love how easy it is to add a package.  I enjoy the different themes.  I love the TP integration.

Cons:  I think the speed of the support on this site could improve.  It's not enough to just design a product, you have to be willing to support it also.

Overall:  Love SMF and wouldn't trade it for any other php software.



If you have ideas on how to improve support or suggestions. Feel free to let us know. For support it may be best to pm the support leaders directly, but for most questions just asking in site comments is fairly good  :)
Jeremy D ~ Site Team / SMF Developer ~ GitHub Profile ~ Join us on IRC @ ~ Support the SMF Support team!



My nickname's HecKel and I am a SMFoholic :P

Well..., about my experience with SMF...

Once upon a time..., in an ancient group of faculty colleges we felt that we should had a discussion board for mutual help, so, one guy had the brilliant idea to create a community and had invited me to admin as well.

His first choice was SMF 1.0.4, and I though Why not phpBB? Is so popular, everyone uses it..., but the other admin was so inflexible that we stayed with SMF..., at the beginning I was a little confused, I never had use BB boards but vBulletin, so a free one was totally new for me, as the permissions as admin...

After a month I start that little feeling like a strong "friendship" with SMF, I never though that was love..., now, after 2 years and half I am totally addicted to SMF and I am admin in another community with SMF 1.1.5 and we DON'T pretend to change to another software ;)
Quote from: Eliana Tamerin on August 23, 2008, 04:10:10 PM
SMF 7 is where it gets good. That has time travel. You can go back and post before the guy who flamed you. :P


Well I've only been using SMF for a couple of months now but am very impressed, especially with the tight-knit community, and look forward to begin a part of it!

- Angela


Quote from: InsaneMustang on July 28, 2008, 11:08:18 AM
Pro's:  I think you guys have a wonderful product.  I have been using it every day since late 2006.  I love how easy it is to add a package.  I enjoy the different themes.  I love the TP integration.

Cons:  I think the speed of the support on this site could improve.  It's not enough to just design a product, you have to be willing to support it also.

Overall:  Love SMF and wouldn't trade it for any other php software.

I don't want to sound like a fanboy here but imo this site has the best support I have seen for any product. I would love for you to point me in the direction where it is better.

Quote from: IRC
Roph> I just finished a double 1/2lb cheese, bacon & salad beef burger
Roph> no woman on earth could satisfy me as much as I am satisfied right now by this burger
... later on ...
Roph> how could ensie go about satisfying me =o
<Ensiferous> Roph: Merely looking at me would yield far more pleasure than a burger can provide.