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What Forum Software should I use?

I have already searched and checked out posts like this and this but it isn't what I'm looking for.

I'm looking for a lightweight PHP/MySQL forum with decent (good) anti spam functionalities.

I have been using punBB which is light and fast but doesn't stop billions of spammers to post boring links, I have tested PHPBB which I found really heavy (and it doesn't stop spammers either).

I'd like the possibility to receive a mail to 'accept' new inscriptions, auto-shut down inscriptions that have never posted (after some time) and so on and a captcha at inscription time (if it is easily modifyable that would be a plus), (public) blacklists and/or adaptive filters to stop spam would be nice too.

Does this exist in any free/cheap forum?


phpBB has the features you describe. You can make new posts go to a "moderation queue". It also has prune user functionality and I'm pretty sure there is captcha integration as well.

You won't find a forum "lighter" than phpBB that has those sort of features.

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  • Thanks, I'll wait a bit though before accepting. ("you never know"). – Valmond Jan 27 '12 at 13:41

While I can absolutely second the suggestions of PHPBB and BBPress, I've had better experiences with SMF and, in my personal experience, have found it to be somewhat lighter than the alternatives.

While it doesn't have amazing anti-spam features out-of-the-box it does have the basic email validation and signup CAPTCHA features you'd expect and there is an Akismet plugin that works very nicely. I've had an extremely good experience with Akismet on the Wordpress platform and so far it's saved two of my forums from massive spam problems, so I highly recommend it.

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I love UseBB.

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  • Seems nice, I'll check it out (at least it has inbuilt anti spam for registration!) – Valmond Jan 30 '12 at 10:09

You could try the son of Wordpress, bbPress.

It is pretty light and straightforward. For enhanced functionality just look for plug-ins and add-ons.

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  • seems nice and light but does it have a good anti spam protection, ie. does the plugins actually exist and work well? I'm checking it out but nothing beats real experience :-) – Valmond Jan 30 '12 at 10:02

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