phpbb vs minibb

Discussion in 'Website Promotion' started by Vishal P. Rao, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Forums are a great source of information and to harness it fully, it is important that they are search engine friendly. Phpbb, due to it's popularity, appeared to be the right candidate for my forum, but it had one major drawback. It was not search engine friendly. I used Craven de Kere's search engine optimization mod and the combination proved to be a success, atleast initially.

    However, there were some short comings in the mod that I noticed after few months. A lot of duplicate pages were being indexed by Google and I was risking getting my site banned. Also, my site was not ranking in Yahoo! There were other features of phpbb that I didn't like:

    * Very heavy stuff - slow to load and waste of bandwidth.
    * Lots of features that I won't be using ever.
    * Pages were bulky with lot's of javascripts, styles, etc. As a result difficult to rank higher on search engines.
    * Got hacked twice and lost forum data over 3 months.

    Minibb came as godsend to me. I stumbled upon it after searching almost a whole day on Google for a search engine friendly forum. Here's what I liked (and liking) about minibb:

    * Very search engine friendly by default (no need to add any mods).
    * Pages are small and fast loading.
    * Best suited for small to medium sites.
    * Excellent support. The developers are very active in developing the forum. Suggestions are acted upon immediately (if they are in best interests).

    Although it's not that popular now compared to phpbb, it's developers have been working since 2001 and it's unlikely that they'll leave the project in between.

    Note: There is no guarantee that minibb won't be hacked. Only time will tell how the developers are going to tackle it, once the software becomes popular.
     
  2. jones0

    jones0 New Member

    Ok. Thx, I got it, sorry I did not see it earlier. Yes I heard of the vulnerability part elsewhere. When I checked the code there were places with references to external urls for reverse dns resolution logging ips, stuff like that which I did not like so I had to ???change them???.

    One other thing I did you may find it useful is to add security code verification when sensitive data are submitted like user registration to avoid automated scripts with multiple attempts. I am gonna also add verification for regular log-ins to make sure there is a real person who attempts to log-in.
     
  3. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Originally posted by jones0:
    One other thing I did you may find it useful is to add security code verification when sensitive data are submitted like user registration to avoid automated scripts with multiple attempts. I am gonna also add verification for regular log-ins to make sure there is a real person who attempts to log-in.

    Yes, that would be interesting to implement. I'll check out with minibb developers about implementing it on this forum.
     
  4. agoodsaid

    agoodsaid New Member

    Hi Vishal ~

    I'm thinking that you are just the person to help me with this...

    I have a site that has like 100 unique visitors/day. It's a topic that I think that if people were given the opporunity to chat with each other, they would.

    Do you think that's enough traffic to get a forum rolling?

    I've read this post of how you came to be using minibb and trust that I can learn from your experiences ;-). There are a few features that I really miss though.

    I tried linking therough to the minibb website, but the link is dead ... will google them here in a minute but meanwhile I wanted to see whether you could tell me if the things I'm missing are just turned off or if they're not options at all:

    I really like having a 'new' indicator when I return to a forum.

    It would help a lot if there were a way to 'subscribe' to a thread or at least know which one's I had posted to so I could follow the conversation

    It would be great to get email notifications of updates and replies to info I post.

    I'm not enough of a tech head to think that I could modify coding holes or recoup after a hacking ... sounds like a great big headache to me. But I do want to add some interactive stickiness to my site, 'ya know?

    Tia,
    Andrea
    andrea @ sageart.com
    (cc me there if you have any thoughts??)
     
  5. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    I have a site that has like 100 unique visitors/day. It's a topic that I think that if people were given the opporunity to chat with each other, they would.

    Do you think that's enough traffic to get a forum rolling?


    Getting a forum to roll takes lot of work and effort. Getting started is the toughest part because nobody likes to join a forum if there's no activity. For that you have to make some really interesting/controversial posts initially to tempt your visitors to join the discussion.

    Initially you are the only one going to post to your forum so have a plan well in advance the posts you are going to make for a month or so. This initial stage is very critical because you can easily lose interest over your forum if you don't see any activity. You need a lot of perseverance and patience.

    Also, once you have started a forum, make sure you highlight it from every page of your site. Display the latest discussions on the most visited pages of your site, so visitors might be tempted to see what's going on.

    I really like having a 'new' indicator when I return to a forum.

    Unfortunately, this feature is not available with minibb. But there is something better called "Last discussions" (like you see on our home page) where all the last discussions are displayed. You can set the number of last discussions to be displayed.

    It would help a lot if there were a way to 'subscribe' to a thread or at least know which one's I had posted to so I could follow the conversation

    It would be great to get email notifications of updates and replies to info I post.


    This feature is available and is turned off in this forum because I had some reservations regarding it.

    I'm not enough of a tech head to think that I could modify coding holes or recoup after a hacking ... sounds like a great big headache to me.

    Restoring a database is much easier with phpbb than with minibb. minibb doesn't have a built in plugin that you can use to restore with a click. However, most webhosts create daily backups and they can easily restore the databases without any hassles.

    Think properly what exactly you are going to use your forum for. If you are just looking to add some interactivity to your site, then phpbb might be a good choice as it is more user friendly, though bulky. But if you want your forum to be also a source of revenue
    generation, then minibb might be ideal.
     
  6. coreyjroman

    coreyjroman Silver Member

    I like minibb and have downloaded and toyed around with it quite a bit. From a user standpoint I like the easy layout much better than anything I have tried. On an administrative standpoint I am still partial to the invision powerboard. I have a forum or two I host in the invision format and I love the neverending flow of administrative controls. They are not neccessarily as newbie friendly as minibb but then again I am not a newbie...LOL. PLus... another thing I like is the integrated user option for java mods i.e.; chat, pms, in post scripts, etc. I have finally figured out how to build my own skins and change various pieces of the program without modifying anything signifigant or violating the terms of usage. But overall on your site Vish ... I love the simplicity. Neutral colors, easy menus, good layout, etc. The members you have attracted here are of a higher quality then I have found at even my own sites. I took most of mine down as they became too active to handle but I do have 2 up that I created recently. One is an off shoot of a phpwebsite where I am hosting an online bible and church forum with downloadable bibles as well. Trying to get area churches involved in them. Got a lot of work ahead of me. I am going to leave most of the administrative quams to a volunteer within the church organization and the moderators are hand picked from various denominations of local churches. I'll keep you up to date on the outcome if you are interested. I am finally getting over my brief ilnesses and it's time to focus. Have a great day!
     
  7. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Glad to see you back in action Corey!
     
  8. WhitePhoenix

    WhitePhoenix New Member

    Hello,
    Pardon my ignorance, but what is minibb and phpbb and what is the difference between them?? Thanks!
     
  9. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    minibb and phpbb are forum software that are used to create forums/message boards like this site.
     
  10. bobsg01

    bobsg01 New Member

    Hi Vishal,

    This minibb forum software sounds interesting.

    Did you install the software yourself?

    I have some computer technical knowledge but have not installed a forum software before so would like to know your view.

    Do you have good computer knowledge?

    Your forum is really great and cool.

    Thanks
     
  11. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Bob,

    Yes I installed the software myself. Strangely enough, I just made an offer to my members few days back regarding free installation of forum/blog software [​IMG] Let me know.

    Regards,

    Vishal
     
  12. bobsg01

    bobsg01 New Member

    Hi Vishal,

    You are really generous and helpful.

    I will give it a try to install on my own first.

    At least now I know who I can turned to for help in case I encountered some problems.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  13. realityshifter

    realityshifter New Member

    Vishal P. Rao: Forums are a great source of information and to harness it fully, it is important that they are search engine friendly. Phpbb, due to it's popularity, appeared to be the right candidate for my forum, but it had one major drawback. It was not search engine friendly.
    Hi Vishal!

    You wrote this in 2005. That was 4 years ago. There is now phpBB3. Has anything changed for phpBB's better performance since then?

    If you compare the features of phpBB3 now with minibb, would you still go for minibb?

    Anyone else who might have an experience with phpBB3? Say, how does phpBB3 fare now with vBulletin?

    Your insights will be much appreciated.

    Thanks.

    realityshifter
     
  14. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    I really haven't had any chance to review phpBB3 as I'm very satisfied with my miniBB.
     
  15. realityshifter

    realityshifter New Member

    Hi Vishal!

    Thanks for being so helpful. I'm closer now to installing minibb especially after vBulletin increased its price from the just recent $180 to $195.

    But I find the add-ons a bit overwhelming. There are quite a lot of them and I guess that's the catch with miniBB. Although the basic package is free, one has to spend every inch of the way to install the add-ons.

    If you are on budget, what do you suggest are the essential add-ons for a forum that's just starting?

    realityshifter
     
  16. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    realityshifter: realityshifter:
    Yes you are right! The collection of addons almost seem overwhelming. However, majority of them out there are free ones. Among free ones, for a starting forum, I would recommend the following addons:

    * Keywords-rich URLs
    * Smilies
    * Signatures
    * Moving Replies
    * Merge Topics

    Among paid ones, I would recommend:

    * Forums Checker
    * Pre-moderation

    You could then upgrade depending on how your forum is gaining momentum.
     
  17. realityshifter

    realityshifter New Member

    Again, thank you very much Vishal!
     
  18. socialmedia2127

    socialmedia2127 New Member

    I was in a similar situation a couple of weeks back when the security problem phpbb were in the news and I was at an early stage of preparation of new forum. I've played minibb before and I like it a lot on the surface. However, I decided to go with phpbb for several reasons.


    [Link removed - Admin]
     

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