9 PHP-MySQL Based Forum Software


An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where you can share your knowledge on the net. With easy-to-use interfaces & robust community features, they are still very functional & popular.

You can easily be integrated into your website to create your message board or forum by customizing the look & feel as per your site requirement.

This article will read about the 9 PHP/MySQL-based Forum Software, where most of them built with PHP.

1 phpBB

phpBB is one of the oldest and most widely used Open Source forum solutions. phpBB is an easy-to-use administration panel and a user-friendly installation process, allowing you to have a forum set up in minutes.

With an extensive and highly customizable set of key features coupled with a standards-compliant interface, phpBB™ will grow with and complement your website.

It supports two new database systems: Oracle and SQLite. These systems are different and prove that phpBB can work in heterogeneous environments and compatible with all major Web browsers.

Download:- phpBB

2 Simple Machines Forum

Simple Machines Forum is a PHP successor of the Perl-based forum YABB. It’s a free, professional-grade software package that allows you to set up your online community within minutes.

Its powerful custom-made template engine allows you to take full control of your message board’s layout, and with their unique SSI – or Server Side Includes – function, you can let your forum and your website interact with each other.

Simple Machines Forum is written in PHP, uses MySQL for database, and has 40+ ready-to-download language files.


  • Advanced Permission and user management
  • Supports multiple languages at once
  • Open and well-documented source code.
  • It is a plan for optimal performance and scalability.
  • Multi-media output and Multi-language supported.
  • Session-based authorization code.
  • Time and IP locked, preventing ‘hammering’ security features.
  • Group boards into collapsible categories.
  • Reorder boards within categories, or reorder categories.
  • Create child boards under other boards (sub-boards)
  • Configure permissions for each member group on the board level.
  • Both cookie and session-based authentication

Download:- Simple Machines Forum

3 MyBB

MyBB is a free forum software that works with MySQL Fulltext search capabilities (MySQL 4.1+). It is easy to use and Completely customizable with MyBB intuitive templates and theme system.

It offers some excellent features like calendar/events, mass mailing to members, Automatic thumbnail creation, a built-in theme editor & more.

You can easily customize your forums’ look and feel by creating a color scheme, modifying templates, and controlling every aspect of your platforms with little technical knowledge.

MyBB is written in PHP and uses MySQL, Postgresql, SQLite for database, and compatible with all major browsers.

Download:- MyBB

4 vBulletin

vBulletin is a professional, affordable, community forum solution. It gives you an instant community that lets your visitors interact, participate in discussions, ask questions, give answers, and express opinions.

Making your site a hub for information and discussion encourages visitors to return again and again. It’s also a highly effective way of improving your service to customers or users of your website.

Key features :

    • Fast and efficient database back end
    • It can be work on any machine that can support PHP and MySQL (Solaris, BSD, Linux, Windows, Mac)
    • Template-driven interface
    • Powerful search engine
    • Multilanguage supported system
    • Custom user fields
    • Extensive admin control panel
    • Unlimited forums/posts
    • Inline moderation
    • Flexible plugin system

Download:- vBulletin

5 Vanilla

Vanilla is an open-source, standards-compliant, multi-lingual, theme-able, pluggable discussion forum for the web.

It is built on Garden, a new PHP development platform that comes loaded with the functionality you need to get your applications off the ground quickly and easily.

When you installed Garden on your server, you can immediately sign in, manage users, roles, applications, plugins, and all of the settings you need in any web app.

Vanilla requires MySQL as the database.

Download:- Vanilla

6 bbPress

bbPress is a plain and simple open-source forum software from the creators of WordPress. It’s easy to use, easy to administrate, fast, and clean.

It mainly focused on web standards, ease of use, ease of integration, and speed.

  • Simple, intuitive Interface
  • Highly Customizable templates
  • Strong Spam protection
  • Easily integration with your blog

bbPress requires PHP 4.3 or greater and uses a MySQL 4.0 or greater for the database.

Download:- bbPress

7 PunBB

PunBB is a fast and lightweight PHP-powered discussion board. Which mainly focuses on less graphically intensive as compared to other discussion boards.

PunBB is written in PHP and uses MySQL, Postgresql, SQLite for the database. The design is updated with theming support. It is Multilanguage supported and can be extended with the extension support.

Download:- PunBB

8 FluxBB

FluxBB is a free open source forum application designed to be fast, light, and user friendly.

FluxBB is an official fork of PunBB, which supports both PHP4 & PHP5 and uses MySQL, Postgresql, SQLite for a database. It generates valid XHTML 1.0 Strict pages and easily translated into any language.

Download:- FluxBB

9 Phorum

Phorum is also one of the oldest open source forum software designed to meet different web sites’ different needs while not sacrificing performance or features.

It requires PHP 5.2 or greater and uses MySQL 5.0.15 or more significant for the database.

Download:- Phorum

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More