Features of phpBB®
phpBB® is now in its third major version. Version 3.1 incorporates a professional-quality modular design, high security, multiple-language interface, support for a multitude of database servers and complete layout customisation, all with a low execution overhead.
Learn about phpBB's general features.
Licensed under the GPLv2
phpBB is open source, licensed under Version 2 of the GNU GPL. You can read more about the license here.
Written in PHP
True to its name, phpBB was written in the PHP programming language. phpBB 3.1 has the added benefit of being built upon the Symfony framework.
Latest Version: 3.1.2
The latest version of phpBB is 3.1.2, released on 2014-11-25.
At its core, what does phpBB offer?
phpBB is fully compatible with UTF-8 and uses it as the default character encoding. This ensures complete compatibility with nearly every language on the planet.
phpBB's features and functionality can be extended using self-contained extensions. These community built extensions are easily installed via the ACP with just a few clicks.
3.1.x HTML5, CSS3, Responsive Design
prosilver, phpBB's default style, utilises the latest specifications for HTML5 and CSS3 for a modern and responsive design. This ensures optimal performance and cross-browser support for all modern browsers on desktop and mobile platforms.
3.0.x XHTML 1.0 Strict Compliant
prosilver, phpBB's default style, complies 100% with the W3C specifications for XHTML 1.0 Strict, ensuring optimal performance and cross-browser support.
phpBB offers a completely modularised User Control Panel to give your users full control over their account on the board. See the Users section for more details.
An arsenal of tools are at your disposal in order to moderate your board. See the Moderators section for details.
phpBB provides a comprehensive Administration Control Panel which allows you to configure and customise nearly every aspect of your board. See the Administration section for details.
Search Engine Spider Handling
phpBB comes pre-loaded with configuration for over 100 of the most common spiders and optimises your board when they visit. Using the Permissions system, you have full control of what the spiders can see and where they can go.
Unread Message Tracking
phpBB keeps track of the topics and posts users have and have not read, even between sessions!
Private Message System
Users have the ability to send messages to one another directly via the board. See the Private Messaging section for details.
phpBB offers a fully customisable registration process for your users.
COPPA, primarily used within the United States, requires parental approval for children under the age of 13 to register on the board. phpBB can facilitate this functionality.
Limit Registration Attempts
A strict limit on the number of attempted registrations (when using the CAPTCHA) can be set.
Min/Max Username & Password Length
phpBB allows you to set a required username and password length, or ensure that usernames aren't too long!
Limit Username Characters
Usernames can be limited to a certain set of characters such alpha-numeric or ASCII. Multiple presets are available.
In order to protect the security of your board's users, you can set the required password complexity.
Allow/Disallow Duplicate Emails
phpBB provides the option to either allow or disallow multiple user accounts from having identical email addresses.
The primary purpose of phpBB is to facilitate discussion via posting.
Flat Topic Structure
phpBB utilises a flat topic and post structure, rather than threaded.
BBCode & Custom BBCode
BBCode is an easy to use and highly effective way that users can format their posts, insert images and links, and post emoticons. In addition to the default BBCodes, phpBB allows you to add new, custom BBCodes to suit your needs.
phpBB provides the ability to post multiple attachments to posts. The types and size of files allowed to be posted is fully configurable within the ACP.
A simple posting box can be enabled on the board to facilitate faster replies to topics without having to load the Posting page.
Smilies & Emoticons
Help demonstrate emotion in your posts with smilies!
You also have the option of adding custom smilies.
In order to help the flow of discussion, phpBB allows users to quote another user's post within their own. phpBB supports nested quoting, as well.
Keep your board tame by implementing word censors and language filters to automatically eliminate or replace choice words or phrases.
When placing code within a post, using BBCode, phpBB can automatically highlight the syntax to make it easier to read.
In the middle of typing a long reply but can't finish it right now? phpBB allows users to save unfinished posts to their Drafts so they can finish them later.
phpBB offers a fully configurable Polling feature for topics. Multiple polling options as well as time limits can be set. Users can be allowed or disallowed to change their vote at a later time.
If another user posts a reply while a user was typing theirs, the user will be notified so that they can make changes to the post if necessary.
Not sure how a post is going to look? Users have the option of previewing how their post will appear before submitting it.
Share files by uploading them to the board attaching them to posts.
Automatic Image Thumbnails
For larger images, phpBB will automatically create a thumbnail when placing the image in the post to keep things looking neat.
Control what type of files and which extensions are permitted to be uploaded to the board.
Multiple attachments can be placed in a single post. The exact number is configurable in the ACP.
Place links to the attachments anywhere in the body of the post, not just at the end.
Forums make up the organisational structure of the board.
Categories are organisational containers which house the individual forums.
Password Protected Forums
Require a unique password to be entered in order for any user to access a single forum.
Set individual forums to use a different installed style.
URL Redirect Forums
Make a forum link directly to a specified URL instead of the forum itself.
Customise and display forum rules at the top of a single forum or globally across the board.
phpBB allows for an unlimited number of subforums in the hierarchical structure.
phpBB will list who made the last post in a particular topic and when it was made on the forum's page.
phpBB provides options for pruning old or inactive topics using custom conditions. This can be a one-time action or be done automatically.
Display Active Topics
A list of the most active topics in a forum can be displayed in a separate container at the top of the forum.
Subscribe to Forums & Topics
Users have the ability to subscribe to individual topics or entire forums so that they can be notified of any new topics or posts made.
Users have the ability to bookmark topics that interest them for quick access at a later time.
Topic & Post Sorting
Users have the ability to change the order in which topics and posts are displayed, such as oldest to newest, alphabetical order, or by the number of replies.
Topic Participation Tracking
Users will see an indicator next to topics in which they have posted.
Print & Email Topic
phpBB creates a custom formatted page that is printer-friendly. Users also have the option to email a topic to their friends.
Users are the backbone of any board. Users have many options available.
Register and login using your Google, Bit.ly, or Facebook accounts. Extensions can easily add other authentication services.
A signature is small bit of text or images that is inserted after a user's post. Each user can customise their own signature, if allowed.
Avatars are a personal image displayed above the user's username on a post and in their profile. If avatars are enabled, each user can customise their own.
Avatars may be fetched from the Gravatar service, in addition to the previously available options.
User and group specific ranks are available and fully customisable. Ranks display under a user's username in a post or in their profile.
Users Online List
If enabled, phpBB can list all of the users who are currently online or have signed in during a specified period of time.
User Preferences & Profile Settings
Individual users can customise their board preferences, such as the way the board looks, the sorting of topics, or the language used. Users can customise their profile and add additional information such as an email address or IM and social media accounts.
Manage Saved Drafts
Saved PM or post drafts are able to be edited from within the User Control Panel.
Mange Bookmarks & Subscriptions
Users can view a list of their bookmarks and subscriptions from within their control panel and unsubscribe if desired.
Custom Profile Fields
phpBB ships with an assortment of profile fields (such as AIM/WLM/ICQ accounts), but board owners have the option to add completely custom profile fields.
Users can decide to add a particular user to their friend or foes list, enabling fine tuning of whose posts they see while browsing the board.
Moderators help maintain order by assisting users and enforcing the rules.
A Global Moderator immediately has access to moderation tasks for all forums on the board.
Moderators can be assigned to individual forums on a per-user or per-group basis.
Posts/Reports Moderation Queue
Moderators have quick access to a list of any post needing approval or posts which users have reported, and can deal with it efficiently.
Moderators have access to a full log of a topic's history, such as when it was approved, locked, or moved to another forum.
Forum Topic Logs
Moderators have access to logs of actions that took place in an entire forum or on a per-topic basis.
Moderators can have the ability to edit the contents of a user's post.
Moderators can lock individual posts so that the original author cannot edit it any longer.
Moderators have access to view details about a particular post, such as the IP address used while posting.
Change Post Author
Moderators can change the author of a particular post from one user to another.
Moderators have the ability to move any number of posts to a new forum. Selecting and moving multiple topics at once is supported.
Moderators have the ability to merge two topics together or only merge selected posts from one topic into another.
Moderators can split a topic into two separate topics, individual which posts stay and which go.
Individual topics can be locked so that regular users can no longer reply or edit their posts.
Moderators can permanently delete a topic and all of its replies from the board.
3.1.x Soft Delete
Posts and topics can be removed from public view without being permanently deleted. This behaviour can be configured per user or group.
Moderators can duplicate a topic to another forum.
Moderators can create topics which are present as announcements in all forums on the board.
Announcement topics are the most prominent topics in a forum, having their own section at the top of the list of topics. Stickies are less prominent, but still remain at the top of the forum no matter when the last post was made.
Manage Bans and Warnings
Moderators who have permissions to issue and remove bans can do so from within the Moderator Control Panel. From here, moderators can also issue and edit warnings.
Moderators can keep a log of notes on a particular user which only other moderators can see.
Usergroups allow users to be easily organised on the board.
phpBB offers several type of groups: Hidden (only members can see it), Closed (everyone can see it, but users must manually be added), Open (anyone can join), and Request (users can request to be added by the Group Leader).
Multiple Group Leaders
phpBB supports the option to make multiple users the leaders of a group.
Custom Group Colours
Users in a particular group can have their usernames set to a configurable colour.
Group Ranks & Avatars
Custom ranks and avatars can be set to display for all members in a particular group.
Group-based Memberlist Display
phpBB can show a list of users based on their groups from within the memberlist.
Private messages are direct messages between two or more users.
Custom PM Folders
Users can create custom PM folders and create a set of filters/rules to automatically sort PMs.
Private messages can be sent to more than one user at a time.
Send Blind Carbon Copies (BCC)
Private messages can be Blind Carbon Copied to a set of users. To these users, it will appear as if they are the only recipient.
Send to Groups
PMs can be sent all users in a particular usergroup.
Users can quickly send a PM to someone in their friends list.
Unfinished PMs can be saved as drafts and, just like posts, can be edited and sent later.
Private messages can be exported from phpBB for archiving purposes.
Attachments in PMs
Just like posts, attachments can be placed in PMs.
phpBB keeps track of PM replies and displays a chronological view of the PM history.