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MyBB in 2020

In the days of the past, it used to be compared to vbulliten 3 (one of the most respected forum software releases of all time). MyBB was once an incredibly popular choice for communities that needed highly customizable, relatively advanced software and that didn't want to go towards paid platforms (and still is). 

It extends far beyond just money. On a free platform such as MyBB, developers work together, and 95% of what gets releases is free. There aren't a lot of unecessary footer attributions for every plugin. There aren't $20 price tags on tiny features. It doesn't have an overall bloated, commercialized feel to it. Free software is great, EVEN if you have the money for paid software. This is a big part of why we've stayed on it over the years. MyBB especially. 

That said, should you use MyBB in 2020? Yes, but with some caveats.

It's very outdated, unfortunately. MyBB 1.8 hit the scene a little bit late, and it lacked one thing that probably put the nail in the coffin for MyBB. It wasn't responsive. 

This means that every single theme developer has to do a complete rip and replace on a lot of MyBB's HTML and templates in order to get mobile friendly themes. There are not many themes that are responsive nowadays, and it's not acceptable to have a non responsive theme in 2020 (MS gets about 36% of its traffic on mobile alone). 

Why use MyBB?  
  • If you're even semi-comfortable with HTML, CSS, and PHP, MyBB is a no-brainer. It's extremely easy to extend and customize (which was always its biggest selling point). You can make it feel entirely different than it is. The plugins are very advanced. Much like SMF, you can heavily extend it, but MyBB's plugins tend to be much easier to install and maintain, and are generally more stable. 

  • MyBB 1.8 is also a very well tested, long-stable platform. They've ironed out a lot of issues and have made something that works the exact same way, and has been similar for many years. If you install a plugin or a theme, it's likely to work great for a long time. 

  • It's also very advanced compared to other free softwares. The ability to rate threads, provide reputation, advanced thread subscribing functionality, huge user control panel, and a large number of other built-in features are very advanced compared to other softwares. It's very solid, good software, even outside of the responsiveness! 

The MyBB 1.8 check list

I'm compiling a list of absolute must-do things if you use MyBB in 2020. This will address a number of long-standing issues with, and make it a good choice for your community (even over other softwares) due to its customizability, availability of addons, long-standing stability, and so forth. It won't work for everyone, but even in 2020, there are things that MyBB can do that give it a major advantage.

One a fresh install:
  • Make it responsive. Use one of these themes and modify it a little to suit your tastes. Some of these are absolutely beautiful designs, and can be made to feel unique if you (or someone in your community) can put a little customization into it! Smile
    • MyBB has a large community of developers that are happy to provide theme assistance. If you post a request on the support forum, most will be happy to help you find resources to accomplish what you need. There is also a wealth of paid themes and theme services for great prices. Even though MyBB is free software, investing in a paid theme is a good idea for a large number of communities. Smile
  • Install Google SEO plugin. I didn't realize how important this was until very recently. As it turns out, MyBB's built in customizations are made for the best possible server compatibility, and are absolutely terrible for search engine optimization. Google SEO is a fantastic plugin. I put it on here last week (even with our non-standard, nginx based server configuration), and it works like a charm. Google is already picking up pages it had ignored before. Finna 
  • Install a "thanks" or "like button. Most MyBB communities use these. They're great. We're using a very old MyBB 1.6-based one here at MS, but there are some really good ones available now: 
  • Install Last Poster Avatar. This puts the last poster's avatar on the forum index and on a number of other places. It modernizes things a little and is overall a high quality plugin. 
  • Install MyAlerts for modern xenforo-style notifications.
  • Install Page Manager. This allows you to add new pages to your forum. See this link for more info!
  • Install Advanced Sidebox. This puts a highly advanced sidebar on pretty much any page of your forum. This is so useful that it should be in core MyBB.
Other noteworthy plugins
  • DVZ shoutbox
  • Prostats (This plugin has been around for a very long time. Adds a lot of very useful statistics to your footer)
  • MyProfile (Very popular plugin that adds profile comments, latest visitors on profiles, buddy lists, and some other features. )

  • Get some premium plugins (if you so desire): MyBBoost has some very interesting ones (including full style PM conversations and pageless scrolling). Might look into adding some at some point. has long been a reputable place to go as well for subscriptions, downloads systems, and a number of other plugins.

Plugins made by members of the MS community:

MyBB is a little outdated in 2020 with regards to a number of things, but the sheer ability to customize it is very difficult to find anywhere else. Developers especially will appreciate its ease of use modifying the HTML and CSS attributes of the forum. With a little work modernizing things, it's still an excellent choice for forums. We can all hope that MyBB is able to get the boost that it needs before too long, but only MyBB 1.9 will really be able to answer this one for us.

Yeah... I saw that discussion...
Just when I though those class of complaintments  were a thing just in the spanish community...

So... since non of my friends are developers or at least people how understands basic concepts around mybb coding... this is the part when finally I can rant like in home (?)

First of all
>VBulletin 3..... 3!!!!!
My... god....

Does that people even know below Vb5 is not supported anymore? About the TONS of security issues? About how goddamn awful and useless is without 3827328387238 addons? 

I've need to say it... must users stills prefer vb jus cause nostalgia googles: the firts forum they join for sure was a VB one and they remember it ton better I was... or better say... that was pretty good in 2005 but lacks for almost everything for a 2020 web navigation standars.


Not just Mybb... even phpbb>>>>VB since you have to pay to a very similar result + extra premi plugins.

Sorry but I needed to rant about that xD

Yeah, not been responsive by default is a really big issue and tbh I feel the main developers disdain about that. I mean... yeah, I know it not only a pure html + css thing and involves a hard work coding other things but... well... maybe making a convocatory for the community to join and work together for a basic responsive mybb default theme converting all <tables> to <div> and using css flexboxes or grid. For expert users maybe still not sufficient for their project but for regular people wo just wants a board for his friends could be the main reason to stay on mybb.

I feel is not only a random user decide to make a team... but being the same core community to make the project go on. And that implies testing and supervision to debug the most possible.
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I agree wholeheartedly. VB3 was great for its time. When it was released, it was the golden standard. Now, vB has gone badly downhill in recent versions. I'm told that VB5 has finally become semi-usable and relatively stable (after years), but it still looks a little weird to me when I browse their support forum. I don't think I would ever consider using it (at least personally).

The problem with MyBB is that it's awesome software, but it lacks certain things out of the box that unfairly turn new users away before they give it a true chance. If someone sees that phpBB has alerts and a responsive theme out of the box, they'll turn to MyBB and wonder why it doesn't. MyBB is still a fantastic option when you turn to plugins and third party premium themes to resolve this, but a lot of new users don't necessarily know where to look.

My opinion is that MyBB was like vBulletin back when vBulliten was good, but MyBB had the huge advantage of being free. And the plugins were free. And it ended up surviving a h*** of a lot better in the long run (as you mentioned). There are just certain things where MyBB is at a serious disadvantage out of the box, even though there are good plugins and themes that can make up the difference. With a little extra work, it's a great choice. It's still very much sufficient and an awesome solution for a large number of communities.

To anyone still using VB3 today... as you say... LOL. They're asking to get hacked. Finna

Hey guys,

MyBB Boost has a number of very robust and awesome plugins for MyBB. They're paid, but it's relatively inexpensive for a subscription and it gets you lifetime access. We've installed a few of them here and they're great. (Hover over a username, for example. Also, check out the new private messaging system, and check out the new post editor. It lets you drag/drop files into attachments. Smile )

The only downside is that you need PHP 7.1 for most of them. If your server is still on an older PHP, they won't work. Finna

Other than that, they are probably some of the best premium plugins for MyBB that I've seen yet. Shade used to be a MyBB developer and does plugins on the side to pay for his university, so he's pretty well versed with MyBB in general.

Excellent plugins. I'm really loving the new PM system!
Is MyAlerts the one used on here for when someone mentions you?
WebDevZone - A new, friendly web development community
(June 1st, 2020 at 1:09 AM)campingrhino Wrote: Is MyAlerts the one used on here for when someone mentions you?

Yep! We're also using DVZ automention for the user tagging functionality. MentionMe works too and is essentially an equivalent plugin, but the DVZ plugin has always worked very well for us.

Perfect, thanks. I installed it on WebDevZone but the theme hides the alert menu in the dropdown menu so I'm going to make some changes when I get time. I didn't realise you'd made BAM+ Announcements @Darth-Apple ! I installed it a couple of weeks ago and obviously after being here I recognised the name. Great plugin.

Does anyone know of a decent SEO one? Mainly one that supports meta tags and sitemaps. I've tried both of the ones I could find on the MyBB store and neither seems to be doing anything.
WebDevZone - A new, friendly web development community
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