SMF1.1:Features and Options From Online Manual

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Please see SMF1.1:Features and Options or SMF2.0:Features and Options depending on the version of SMF you are using.

Features and Options is the section of the Administration Center for editing core forum-related settings.


  • Poll mode - The dropdown box offers three options:
    1. Disable polls - If you select this, users will not be able to create new polls. Any existing polls will be hidden and their topics will no longer appear in the message index. Such existing polls (and their topics) are not deleted from the database though, which means that if you later choose to enable polls, any existing polls will be displayed again.
    2. Enable polls - Select this if you want to enable the creation and display of polls on your forum. As mentioned above, if you are re-enabling polls, any existing polls and their topics will be displayed again on your forum.
    3. Show existing polls as topics - When this option is selected, users are not able to create new polls. Any existing polls are hidden, but their topics continue to be displayed. This does not delete the polls, so you can later display them again by selecting Enable polls.
Even when polls are enabled as described above, the poll permissions of membergroups dictate who can create polls, view polls, and other similar abilities. For this reason, if polls are not working on your forum, check that the permissions are configured correctly.
  • Allow guests to browse the forum - If selected, guests will have the privilege of browsing your forum. Otherwise, only registered users will be allowed to browse your forum and when a guest tries to access the forum they will see a login screen with a note that the forum is only for registered members.
  • Enable user-selectable language support - Turning this on will allow users to select which language file they use. It will not affect the default selection.
  • Allow users to edit their displayed name - Enabling this separates Username from Name (also known as display name or real name) and gives users the ability to change the latter. Username will always be the one used for logging in.
  • Allow non-administrators to hide their online status - With this option enabled, all members will be able to hide their online status from other users (except from administrators). If disabled, only users who can moderate the forum can hide their presence.

    Note that if a user chooses to hide their online status, their status will continue to be hidden even if you later disable this feature. Such users will not have the option to display their online status either. Disabling this feature just removes the option from the profile, thus preventing anyone from selecting it.

  • Allow users to hide their e-mail from everyone except admins - Enabling this option allows members to choose whether they want to hide their email address from other members. However, administrators can always see everyone's email addresses.
  • Do not reveal contact details of members to guests - Selecting this option will hide the email addresses and messenger contact details of all members from any guests browsing the forum.
  • Enable custom titles - Enabling Custom Titles will allow members with the relevant permissions to create a special title for themselves. This will be shown underneath the display name in posts made by that member. For example:

    Cool Guy

  • Default personal text - Sets the default text a user will have as their personal text. This will be shown underneath their avatar when posting.
  • Maximum allowed characters in signatures - Sets the number of characters a member can have in their signature.
  • Default time format - Administrators have the power to adjust how the time and date are displayed on the forum. Registered users can also set a different format in their profile. The conventions follow PHP's strftime function (more details can be found at The following characters are recognized in the format string:

    %a - Abbreviated weekday name.
    %A - Full weekday name.
    %b - Abbreviated month name.
    %B - Full month name.
    %d - Day of the month (01 to 31).
    %D - Same as %m/%d/%y. *
    %e - Day of the month (1 to 31). *
    %H - Hour using a 24-hour clock (range 00 to 23).
    %I - Hour using a 12-hour clock (range 01 to 12).
    %m - Month as a number (01 to 12).
    %M - Minute as a number.
    %p - Either "am" or "pm" according to the given time.
    %R - Time in 24-hour notation. *
    %S - Second as a decimal number.
    %T - Current time, equal to %H:%M:%S. *
    %y - 2-digit year (00 to 99).
    %Y - 4-digit year.
    %Z - Time zone name or abbreviation.
    %% - A literal '%' character.
    * Does not work on Windows-based servers.

  • Default number format - You can use this setting to format the way in which numbers on your forum will be displayed to the user.
  • Overall time offset - Not all forum administrators want their forum to use the same time zone as the server upon which it is hosted. Use this option to specify a time difference (in hours) between the desired time zone of the forum and the time zone of the server. Negative and decimal values are permitted.
  • Failed login threshold - Sets the number of times a member of the forum can fail attempting to log in before having to reset their password.
  • User online time threshold - Sets the number of minutes to show the people who are active during x number of minutes on the board index. The default is 15 minutes.
  • Track daily statistics - This will allow users to see the latest posts and the most popular topics on your forum. It will also show several statistics, such as the most members online at a time, recent new members, and recent new topics.
  • Track daily page views (must have stats enabled) - Adds another column to the stats page with the number of hits (viewers) on a page on your forum.
  • Enable error logging - This will log any errors, such as a failed login, so that you can see what went wrong.
  • Disable administration security - This disables the additional password check for the administration section. This is not recommended!
  • Require reactivation after e-mail change - When this option is checked all members who change their email address in their profile will have to reactivate their account from an email sent to that address.
  • Require admin approval when member deletes account - An administrator must approve any member accounts which are submitted for deletion.
  • Allow users to disable announcements - This will allow users to select not to receive e-mail announcements (newsletters) from the forum. Even when this is enabled, administrators can override this user setting, but it is not advised. For more information, please see Newsletters.
  • Don't allow post text in notifications? - When this is enabled, it removes the profile option to receive the text of replies and posts in notification e-mails. Members are often tempted to reply to the notification e-mail, which, in most cases, means the webmaster receives the reply.
  • Log moderation actions - Logs all moderation actions.
  • Search engine friendly URLs - When enabled, queryless URLs are used for forum pages. This means they look like ../index.php/topic,1.0.html instead of ../index.php?topic=1.0. This option was introduced in order to help search engines index forum pages, but there is no longer any reason to use it, as search engines are now capable of indexing both formats. The queryless URL format only works for Apache and Lighttpd.
  • Max width of posted pictures - Sets the the maximum width of pictures.
  • Max height of posted pictures - Sets the maximum height of pictures.
  • Enable reporting of personal messages - Allows members to report personal messages to the administrator.
  • Maximum number of recipients allowed in a personal message - Sets the maximum number of members to whom a message can be sent.
  • Post count under which users must enter code when sending personal messages - Sets the number of posts which a user must reach to stop having to enter a code before sending a personal message.
  • Number of personal messages a user may send in an hour - Sets the maximum number of personal messages a member may send within one hour.

Layout and Options

This page contains the following settings:

  • Limit number of displayed page links - When enabled, this will just show a selection of the number of pages.
  • Contiguous pages to display - This affects the way in which page numbers are displayed. For example:
    "3" to display: 1 ... 4 [5] 6 ... 9
    "5" to display: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 9
  • Enable "Today" feature - This will show "Today" or "Yesterday" instead of the date.
  • Enable Go Up/Go Down buttons - This will add "Go Up" and "Go Down" buttons, so that users can go to the top and bottom of a page without scrolling.
  • Show online/offline in posts and PMs - This will show an image to indicate whether the member is online or offline.
  • Show a quick login on every page - This will show a more compact login menu on every page of the forum for guests. It works only if SP1 stats is off.
  • Members per page in member list - This shows how many members per page you would like to show in the member list.
  • Display time taken to create every page - This will show at the bottom of each forum page the time (in seconds) SMF took to create the page. For example, "Page created in 0.132 seconds with 7 queries."
  • Disable hostname lookups - This disables host name lookups, which on some servers are very slow. Note that this will make banning less effective.
  • Enable who's online list - This option allows you to turn on or off the ability for users to see who is browsing the forum and what they are doing. You can reach it by clicking on the online icon found in the info center.


Karma is an optional feature that shows the popularity of members. When members are allowed, they can applaud or smite a member to raise or lower that member's karma.

  • Karma mode - This option is to select how the karma feature will be used in the forum:
    1. Disable Karma - Disables the use of this feature.
    2. Enable Karma Total - Makes SMF show only the total of points received.
    3. Enable Karma Positive/Negative - Shows both the positive and negative points for each user.
  • Set the minimum posts needed to modify karma - Administrators can set a minimum number of posts that a user must have before they can raise or lower someone's karma.
  • Set wait time in hours - This specifies how long (in hours) users have to wait between consecutive karma actions on the same person.
  • Restrict administrators to wait time - This specifies whether forum administrators are restricted by the wait time (see the previous option).
  • Karma label - Here administrators can define the label that is shown for the karma field in the profile and posts (default karma:).
  • Karma applaud label - The text that appears in the link to increase the karma of a user (default [applaud]). If you leave this field blank, the applaud link will be hidden.
  • Karma smite label - The text that appears in the link to decrease the karma of a user (default [smite]). If you leave this field blank, the smite link will be hidden.