SMF Modification Tools To Enhance Your Forum

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A key factor that can make a forum stand out from others on the same platform is the number of additional features and advantages it has over the other competitors. Forums are created for different purposes depending on the targeted users, and as a forum developer, it’s important a forum is customized to meet those purposes.

Being an open source bulletin board, Simple Machines Forum have got thousands of modification tools that can be implemented to meet the needs of any forum owner or developer.

In this article, we’re focusing on some key modification tools (both old and new) that are very important to have on almost any kind of SMF board you own or plan to develop.

 Security and Moderation Mod Tools

These sets mods are very important in creating a safe and secure SMF powered bulletin board especially when you are likely not going to be online 24/7 to monitor all activities.

  1. Login Security

This mod’s major feature is to receive email alerts on failed login attempts, and locking of an account after too many login failed attempts. It also allows the forum user ability to bind an account to a particular IP address or multiple (selected) IP addresses, preventing people from logging into the account if their IP addresses are not listed in the selected IP addresses.

  1. Forum Firewall

This mod (as the name suggests) protects a forum again unwanted visitors. Written as a supplementary  firewall to a site existing protection frame work, the owner “Butchs” advises that it shouldn’t be used the only line of protection. This mod may not completely stop determined hackers, but using it will guarantee you’re not leaving your forum site completely exposed.

  1. No Log Certain User Errors

This is a relatively new mod. Its job is mainly to suppress some errors generated by a user in your forum. As an admin, this mod gives you the ability to prevent the system from logging usual errors like activation errors, incorrect password errors, reserved username errors, etc. This is really useful for big forums. Instead of having to go through the stress reviewing minor error logs, this mod can help you select the error logs to ignore so that you are faster when reviewing your forum.

  1. PM Auto Responder

This mod does exactly what the name implies. For a forum admin that receives a lot of private messages, as well as user, this mod could be very useful. You can write predefined messages that will be automatically sent as a reply so other users wouldn’t think you’re a snub.

Spam Prevention Mod Tools

  1. Anti-Spam Links

This is one mod I personally make use of, and always get it installed on a client’s SMF forum I am asked to create. It’s job basically is to curb link spammers. It gives admin control over who can post links, and what types of links that can be posted. Not forgetting the awesome feature that converts all spam links (or unauthorized links) to {nofollow} so that human spammer won’t use the forum to get page ranks.

  1. Misc Anti Spam

While Anti-Spam Links is targeted at human spammers, this bot focuses on the bots. Quite a lot of forums have gone extinct because of their inability to manage bots. It’s always recommended to use this mod tool on your forum, whatever the forum is centered on, it’s wise to keep it away from bots.

  1. Bad Behaviour Mod

Another amazing mod developed by Butchs as a part of his desire to achieve total security for an SMF forum. It’s a 2-in-1 link spam and bot killer. The mod acts as a complementary anti spam mod to other link spam solutions, by acting like a soldier that prevents spammers and bots from dropping the junks, and sometimes ever reading your site in the first place. It’s programmed in such a way that instead of analysing individual domain names to block, it uses an HTTP approach to detect spammers. This means that it analyses HTTP headers, IP addresses and other metadata. Instead of looking at the spam, look at the spammer. If you’re non-tolerant when it comes to bots and spammers, this mod is surely the perfect tool for you.

SEO Mod Tools

  1. Optimus

This is one of the most used SMF modification tool. Since it’s launch 10 years ago, Optimus/Optimus Brave, has grown to be a lasting solution to SEO related issues on a simple machines forum site. Some stuff it does includes; generating of sitemap and robots.txt file, ability to change robots.txt files, provides statistics to search queries on your forum, specifying verification codes when adding sites to search engines like  Google, Bing, Yandex, etc. If you’re just launching a forum and you armmmneed of some on page SEO support, Optimus Brave does more than enough for you.

  1. Redirector

The redirector mod is very easy to use. It’s a final stop for forum owners searching for ways to resolve any redirection related problem, and  more importantly the way a redirect link will behave. It also has a rel=”no follow, no opener” feature that can be used on some links you don’t want to be clickable.

  1. Pretty URL

This mod does a very simple task that is centered around having a better user-friendly forum for your users. It’s job is to rewrite URLs to simpler and more understandable patterns, helping your users recall the URL to a particular page easily, especially when it wasn’t bookmarked. It’s an awesome SEO too as search engines wouldn’t have to interpret complex URLs anymore, as such making your overall forum to be SEO friendly.

Other SMF Mod Tools

Tools listed here may not be the essentials for setting up a forum on the SMF platform. However, addition of a couple of these might just be what will make your own forum stand out from its competitors.

  1. Custom Action

This mod enables you to create certain landing pages like contact us, privacy policy, terms and conditions, etc.

  1. Related Topics

This is a great mod to reduce bounce rate on forums. It does this by suggesting related topics to guests and existing users. The longer they look at what they’re interested in, the more time they spend on your forum.

  1. Default Avatar

Call this a decorative mod if you like. Implementation of this tool gives users who are yet to upload pictures default profile images.

  1. Registered links

This is mod can mask some links on your forum with a “register or log in” pop up as a way of encouraging guests to register on your forum. It’s also a good tool for restricting search engines from crawling certain links on your forum.

  1. SA Facebook

Facebook is currently being used by over 2 billion people worldwide. Integration of “sign up with Facebook” on your forum will make it easier and faster for more users to get registered.

Final Words

The mod tools that are listed above are pretty much what you need to set up a basic simple machines bulletin board (forum). There are other tools that can be added to these to suit your forum needs, you can find on the official website.

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