So you’ve arrived at this Simple Machines Forum (SMF)! Perhaps you’ve been looking at the board index or a screen telling you that you need to register before you can read it and you’re wondering what to do next?
Well, some forums permit guests to read and post, some permit guests to read only and some are restricted to registered members. We’d recommend registering at any forum that you see yourself using regularly because many of the most useful features will only become available to you when you do so. Since SMF, however, is such a flexible system that few forums are likely to be identical, we will start by describing four key areas that we’d normally expect to be there for you
The Main Menu
Supposing you’ve arrived here as a guest (or have registered but are currently logged out), the main menu (which appears on every page) should normally comprise five or six buttons (or text links):
- Home, which takes you back to the board index.
- Help, which brings you to this guide.
- Search, which allows you to search the forums for whatever you’re looking for.
- Calendar, which links to the forum calendar (if enabled).
- Login, which allows you to login if already registered.
- Register, which allows you to register (or sometimes apply for registration) when you wish to do so.
Once you’ve registered and logged in, however, the main menu should look a little different:
- Home (as before).
- Help (as before).
- Search (as before).
- Profile, which allows you to make changes to your profile settings.
- Calendar (as before).
- Logout, which allows you to logout again if desired.
Forum administrators should also note the presence of an additional Admin button.