Find a profitable niche for your MyBB forum

If you want to use MyBB for Business, you’ll need a good niche for your forum.
For starters – don’t create yet another general gaming forum. The web is swamped with such forums.
If you want to go for a gaming forum, specify the forum on a certain game or certain aspects of games.

Gaming Forum Search Results

TheBorgGaming has been a successful gaming forum for example. They focussed on certain racing games like World Racing 2 or Grand Theft Auto. And they provided additional value for their visitors in form of free modifications and addons for these games. Once they stopped hosting these free DLCs, a lot of members lost interest in this gaming forum. Continue reading Find a profitable niche for your MyBB forum

MyBB is NOT a community driven project

Recent activities in the MyBB community showed off, that MyBB is not a community driven project. The community is allowed to post suggestions for MyBB 2.0 but the developers are making the major decisions about the future of MyBB without asking the community.

Turns out that MyBB 2.0 will be developed with Laravel 5 and does use Twig as the template engine. The requirements are PHP 5.4 and MySQL 5 or postgresql.

The framework and template engine of MyBB are huge decisions as they have a major influence on the compatible third party components. You could easily integrate a content management system like Pimcore, if MyBB would use the Zend framework. Or integrate a picture gallery built with the Symfony MediaBundle with MyBB 2.0.
Of course this is still possible but it’ll require more effort for the integrating developers.

Especially plugin and theme developers will have to learn the Laravel framework and the twig template engine if they want to continue contributing to the MyBB world. If they decide against the chosen framework, they’ll soon be gone.

You’d have thought that there would’ve been a poll or a public discussion about such huge decisions but there have been none. MyBB development team member Euan T stated that two developers chose the framework when they started working on MyBB 2.0.
While he agrees that the community could have been more involved into the progress, he also states that the developers have no interest in writing blog posts and explaining major development decisions to the community:

MyBB 2.0 development

A few days ago another major decision has been taken by the MyBB development team without discussion with the community – they’ll switch the license for MyBB 2.0.

You can see that MyBB as open source software is not driven by the community but only supported by the community. Community members are allowed to find bugs and post suggestions but they have nearly no influence on the future of MyBB.

If you are using MyBB for business, you should be aware that major decisions will be taken without asking of informing the community at an early stage.

MyBB 1.6 will reach End of Lifetime September 2015

The MyBB development team announced that they will be concluding maintenance and support for the MyBB 1.6 series at the 1st of September, 2015. MyBB 1.8 will be released for one year by that date and MyBB 1.6 will no longer get maintenance or security updates.

There is no LTS release for MyBB.

If you are still using MyBB 1.6 you should update your forum software, plugins and theme to MyBB 1.8 as soon as possible. If you need support with the plugin update check out this tutorial.

MyBB 1.8 comes with nice features to support your MyBB business too, so hurry!

MyBB license changes from GPL to the BSD-3 license with MyBB 2.0

Yesterday MyBB development team member Euan T announced a license change for MyBB 2.0. MyBB 2.0 will no longer be released under the Lesser GNU Public License Version 3 (LGPL3) like MyBB 1.8 but instead be released under the BSD 3 Clause (BSD-3) license.

The license is still open source and will probably allow MyBB to be used even more often, however there are the following limitations:

  • You cannot use the MyBB Group trademark or the names, trademarks or logos of any of the project’s contributors.
  • The MyBB Group cannot be held liable for any damages caused by the software.
  • The original copyright must be retained.

The last point is not clearly defined by the developers yet. For MyBB 1.6 and MyBB 1.8, users were allowed to remove the visible copyright with the backlink to MyBB.com. But if they did, they did not get support in the MyBB.com community forums.

I don’t think that this will change with the usage of the BSD-3 license, but you should be aware of the new license situation and check if there are any issues using MyBB for your business under the new license.

How to find the best theme for your MyBB (free or paid)

If you want to run a successful MyBB forum, you’ll need something else then the default theme.
You’ll need a MyBB design that makes your site unique. If your site looks like all of the other MyBB installations with the default theme, you’ll get less attention and make less money if you use MyBB for Business.

MyBB Default Theme
The default MyBB theme is no good choice for a Business forum.

Continue reading How to find the best theme for your MyBB (free or paid)

StefanT is the new MyBB project manager

MyBB project manager Tim B. promoted StefanT as the new MyBB project manager. Tim B. retired from the project because he was unable to dedicate the time the project deserves. StefanT will now manage the project together with Chris Boulton. StefanT knows MyBB very well, he owns the german MyBB support website mybboard.de since years.

After all, this change in the project management of MyBB does not seem to cause issues for us, running MyBB for Business. MyBB will remain free and open source.

Color the staff author information on MyBB posts

In this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to give the author information of certain usergroups a special background color. It’ll look like this:
MyBB Thread Background
Instead of this:

MyBB Post Background

We can achieve this effect for each usergroup. Moderators for example could have a light blue background for their author information, VIPs could have a light yellow background and so on. You can also use background images.
We will use simple template edits for this modification instead of a plugin.

Continue reading Color the staff author information on MyBB posts

The best robots.txt for your MyBB

MyBB is not very optimized for search engines by default. One of the biggest problems is that it does not come with a robots.txt file.

Search engines will crawl all kind of stuff in your forum that makes no sense. Examples are the calendar, the archive, new reply pages and many more.

They will also find a lot of duplicated content in your forum because the same posts can be displayed in the archive, using a direct post URL and all kinds of thread URLs with lastpost or newpost.html additions. MyBB does not ship with canonical URLs by default so you’ll have issues here too.

My currently recommended robots.txt for MyBB with activated SEO-friendly-URLs looks like this:

Continue reading The best robots.txt for your MyBB