From Online Manual
SMF is a very versatile forum software. It has many features, including the following:
- Uses PHP, and a database system: MySQL, PostgreSQL or SQLite.
- Comprehensive template system.
- Advanced permission and user management.
- Supports multiple languages at once.
- Open and well-documented source code.
- Tracking of new and old unread topics, not just from your last visit.
- Designed for optimal performance and scalability.
- Multi-media output: XHTML, XML, RSS, WAP
- Multi-language support from a large community.
- Package manager that automatically installs or uninstalls mods (also known as packages.)
- Search the entire forum, a category/board or within a topic.
- Search within your personal messages.
- All actions seamlessly require a session based authorization code.
- Administrative actions require the user's password (and do not rely solely on cookies.)
- Major actions are time and IP locked, preventing 'hammering'.
- The number of login attempts from a certain IP can be limited and time locked.
- Ability to display page creation time and query count per page.
- Put a board into maintenance mode, allowing only admins to login.
- Word censoring, either full word or partial.
- Ability to break up long words.
Boards and Categories
- Group boards into collapsible categories.
- Set categories as non-collapsible.
- Reorder boards within categories, or reorder categories.
- Create child boards under other boards. (sub boards)
- Assign moderators to boards.
- Allow certain membergroups to access a board, including guests only.
- Configure permissions for each membergroup on the board level.
- Ability to indicate new posts to child boards but nothing new in parent.
- Require registration before forum entrance.
- Require a user to agree to terms before they register.
- Disable member registration completely (allowing only moderators to register people).
- Require email authentication by sending an authentication link.
- Require a moderator to approve registration.
- Register new members from the admin center.
- Several security checks during navigation.
- Password reminder option, by email with confirmation. (doesn't automatically reset your password.)
- Both cookie and session based authentication (works without cookies.)
- Cookies can be set local to a path, global to all subdomains, or normally.
- Adjustable expiration time for authentication cookies.
Member Tracking and Tracing
- Sortable and searchable public memberlist (accessible by a permission.)
- Powerful sortable and searchable admin memberlist.
- Show all (error) messages and IPs made by a member. (track user)
- Show all (error) messages from an IP address or range. (track IP)
- See who's doing what (accessible by permission.)
- Several board statistics (accessible by permission.)
- Tracking of member's online time in seconds.
- Tracking of topics, messages, new members, and hits per day.
- Individual member statistics accessible from their profile.
News and Announcements
- Send a Newsletter from the admin center, or post any topic as an Announcement, using "Attachments and other options"
- Member option to disable receiving announcements (and Admin override of this option).
- Email or private message your members by membergroup.
- Show a news ticker or news fader.
- Ability to choose sendmail or SMTP (with or without authentication.)
- Ability to send a topic to a friend.
- Ability to view a "printer friendly" version of topics.
- Create membergroups to group members on permissions, access rights, and/or appearance.
- Assign several membergroups to a single member, with one membergroup as the primary group.
- Define membergroups that are auto-assigned based on the amount of posts a user has.
- Determine the maximum number of personal messages a membergroup is allowed to have by group.
- Assign graphical symbol(s) to a membergroup - by primary group.
- Determine which membergroups are allowed to access a board.
- Ban members based on their username, email address, IP address or hostname.
- Support of wildcards for email address, IP address, and hostname.
- Include a ban reason (viewable for the banned user).
- Include a ban note (only viewable by the admins).
- Chose between full ban, 'no post' ban, or registration ban.
- Include an expiration time for bans.
- Integrate parts of forum software into existing website using SSI or PHP.
- Recent topics or posts.
- Recent news posts in a board.
- Recent polls.
Export forum data using XML/RSS
- Latest members.
- Recent posts.
- Support for WAP, WAP2 and I-mode protocols.
- Browse through boards/topics/messages with reduced page size.
- Ability to login and logout (not with WAP 1.)
- Ability to see new topics/boards with new replies.
- Ability to jump to first unread reply.
- Ability to post new messages (not with WAP 1.)
Theming and Templating
- Ability to allow or disallow your users to select their own theme.
- Ability to reset all of your members to a certain theme.
- Ability to install a new theme via your administration center.
- Default templates are XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 2.0 compliant.
- Admin can add smileys and smiley sets.
- Members can choose which smiley set they wish to use (or none.)
- Themes can be installed by way of the "latest and greatest themes" panel.
- SSI can have and show layers and the like from the template system.
- Spell Check.
- Quick Reply
- Members can disable it or collapse it.
- Can be used with "Quote".
- Also contains "Spell Check".
- Vast number of "bulletin board codes" to use (including rtl, acronym, and others.)
- Optional editing grace period before a post is shown as modified.
- Insert Quote feature on posting screen to quickly quote previous replies.
- Can be added or removed to existing topics.
- Ability to set expiration date.
- Ability to hide results till expiration of poll.
- Ability to hide results until after people have voted.
- Ability to determine how many votes a user may cast.
- Polls can have up to 256 options.
- Allowed on a per member group or board basis.
- The filename is hashed to increase the security (so you can upload .php files, etc.)
- Optional restriction on what filetypes may be uploaded.
- Ability to restrict such that only registered members can view them (disables hotlinking, mostly.)
- Images can be embedded into posts.
- Shows Birthdays, Events and Holidays.
- Display calendar information on board index.
- Link an existing topic to the calendar.
- Allow only certain members/groups post events.
- Event poster can edit event.
- Events can span multiple days.
- Ability to lock and unlock a topic.
- Topics which are locked by an administrator can not unlocked by anyone else.
- Ability to allow members to use moderation on just topics they posted.
- Report to moderator" link.
- Delete or modify posts.
- Ability to Merge/Split topics.
- Move or delete topics.
- Sticky or unsticky topics.
- Recycle bin/board for all deleted topics and posts.
- Moderation log which shows moderation activity and disallows log removal outside of 1 day.
- AJAX editing:
- Edit a post without page reloads.
- Double click to edit topic subjects on message index.
User Profiles and User Options
- Ability to hide your email address from the public.
- Select their favorite theme among the activated forum themes.
- Select their smiley set from the ones available.
- Email notification
- New topics per board.
- Single topics.
- Private messages.
- Login with 'invisible' mode.
- Options to hide other members' avatars and signatures.
- Ability to download and resize uploaded avatars.
- Personal text, avatar, signature, and all the niceties of forums can be used and are kept up to date in all your posts.
- Icons for topics you've posted to.
- Show new replies to your posts.
- Collapsible 'Additional Options' on post screen.
- Ability to view most recent messages.
- List all topics that have new replies since your last visit.
- See who is browsing the same boards or topics as you.
- Topics that span multiple pages have the page numbers listed as well as an "all" link.
- Several forum statistics
- List of users online.
- The menu bar.
- Today's events/birthdays/holidays.