PHPBB2 is a terrific bit of open source software. Build the forum the way you want and then select the “mods” that work the best for you.
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I mentioned in a previous article about all the ins and outs of using PHPBB2, an open source forum. Although it does have some quirks about it, the program is free and with a little help from the PHPBB community, not impossible to install even for the novice. The program you will upload, however, is fairly basic in nature therefore modifications [or, mods as some prefer to call them] can be useful to install. I have found several favorites that have worked rather well for me. Now, I am plan on sharing that information with you!
Chat ? What forum isn?t complete without a chat room. PHPBB2, for one. Yes, you have to install one yourself but the IRQ chat add-on is certainly worth it and it works much better than some that I have seen on sites that contain this feature. EZBoard is one such site that comes to mind.
Who Is Online ? As an administrator you already know who is online at any given time. Unfortunately, the ?stock? version of this feature shows people who have been online only for the past five minutes. Fortunately, a mod has been developed that can extend this feature to fifteen minutes or later. Is this important? No, but it gives you a more accurate picture of what your real time traffic figures really are.
Google Ads ? A special mod has been developed to permit you to run and display banner ads, much like Google?s AdSense. Hey, you want to make a little bit of money off of your site now don?t you?
Smilies ? You do love emoticons, don?t you? Well even if you don?t, they can certainly spice up any forum. Lots of neat ?paks? have been developed, some containing animated icons too. Especially nice to have around Yuletide for easy access to Christmas themed emoticons.
Disable Board Message ? Being able to customize the message you have posted when your site is down is essential to clueing in your members as to the time when your forum will once again become activated. This mod does just that.
There are numerous other mods and styles from which you can choose. Some are easy to install while others are moderately so. A small group of mods are difficult to install and will take you well over one hour to complete. Choose your battles wisely and be careful when you install updates to PHPBB2. By not selecting a ?patch? file update you can erase any modifications you made in just moments.