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So, eh, I like to lurk the boards here and just read the threads to keep on top of what’s happening. But I thought I’d finally register so I could suggest:

Simple Machines Forum

This is gonna sound like I’m selling it to you, but bear with me! I just want to suggest what I think is the best and why

I’ve used this software on about 3-4 different sites (which are no longer active) and have found it as powerful and flexible as the premium ones like vBulletin. It’s fast, it’s powerful, it’s secure – encrypted passwords unlike the current GD.ie forums – and it’s free.

But the main reason I love it is because of its Server Side Includes (SSI) features. Using the SSI file, you can pretty much have full access to the functionality of the forums from within any other file. Which means you can effectively build your own quick CMS.

See here: http://www.simplemachines.org/community/ssi_examples.php

In the left sidebar, click Website Samples: Sample 1 to get an idea of what I’m talking about. All the examples on that page are being pulled from the official SMF community forum.

Welp… This was a very long post that didn’t even scratch the surface of it all :p