MyBB 1.8 Tour: Introduction

On April 1st we announced a 1.6.7 Update which updated both MyBB and the Merge System. If you haven’t seen this or not upgraded yet please make sure you read the MyBB and Merge System 1.6.7 Release blog post. We also announced our plans for MyBB 1.8; it was no April Fool.

Back in 2010, just under 2 years ago, we released MyBB 1.6 which introduced over 40 new features – some more at home in commercial software. As MyBB’s popularity continues to grow, the rise of social networks, rival software and the greater expectations of users old and new gives us some of the hardest challenges we’ve faced; to stay on top, to deliver a brilliant product and provide it to you for free.

With our development roadmap for MyBB 2.0 getting underway soon, we quickly felt the need to bridge the large gap that would have been 1.6 to 2.0. We wanted to create something that would provide a legacy to users of the 1.x series – the best of the best – and there was only one way we could get that to our users; MyBB 1.8.

What You Can Expect From 1.8

Whereas 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6 delivered over 100 new features 1.8 aims to be more of a subtle upgrade, a facelift and a move to more open source development so that others too can help create the best free forum software. We’ll of course be providing the usual bug fixes and working with large forum owners to see if we can help further improve performance and stability. MyBB 1.8 is a perfect chance for us to provide changes that we couldn’t typically do within our maintenance cycles.

A New Look

When we announced our new logo and mascot, Bolt, the Team soon realised that we didn’t want to wait until 2.0 was released to use them. The 1.6 default theme made these look out of place in its dated design (which was last updated in 2008) so we needed something more up to date. Justin, our lead designer, who created the Apart theme series (from which many MyBB communities either use or have customised the look for themselves) has worked on developing the series for the new 1.8 default theme. We worked together to figure out a method for enabling the Apart colours to be included by default but without the need for including 14 separate themes before the administrator even opened their forum. This method is what we call attachable base colours.

The new default theme for MyBB 1.8

These changes to the theme system allow you to create colours to which you can attach stylesheets (just like you can attach stylesheets to pages). You can also set a display order for all your stylesheets so that they can override styles. Together, the changes mean you can add a theme with as many custom colours as you want. Using the parent/child theme structure that already exists in 1.x you can restrict or allow certain usergroups to use these colours and, as they inherit the main stylesheets, they’re very easy to manage. So, there is no longer the need to install a dozen different themes just for a different colour header.

A New Look Admin Control Panel (ACP)

Along with the new default theme there needs to be a new look Admin Control Panel (ACP). Our ACP is regarded as one of the easiest to use; it’s friendly and we didn’t want to change it much. Instead, we gave it a similar Apart makeover to our front-end.

Screenshot of the MyBB 1.8 ACP

Please note that along with the default theme the look may change as development continues.

Powered by jQuery

While 1.8 won’t be able to make your cocoa or project your forum’s logo onto the moon, much to our disappointment, we really weren’t pulling a prank on this one; MyBB 1.8 will be powered by jQuery. The lighter and more powerful JavaScript library should be able to extend what both Theme Artists and Plugin Developers are able to do without causing conflicts or heavy loading pages. Both front-end and back-end will use the library. This change is probably the most destructive for themes and plugins in the 1.8 upgrade and we’ll be providing support throughout its beta period ready for a main release. In total, including the changes to the default theme, about 20 templates require updating from 1.6.

Along with jQuery comes a change in post editor. Although I’ve had my eye on an ‘off the shelf’ editor for quite some time we’ve yet to make a decision on whether we write our own or not; we’ll be covering that in a future tour. However, please don’t suggest which editor to use as our aim is to make it interchangeable so you can use your favourite one.

Trash Can

One of the most requested features for MyBB is a trash can – or as I prefer, the ability to recover deleted posts. In 1.8, you’ll be able to decide if a user’s deleted post is obliterated forever or is recoverable via the Mod CP. Global and usergroup permissions will allow this to be controlled across your users.

Spam Improvements

For those of you waiting for Spam Ninja I’m very sorry to disappoint as I did promise it to you last year. As soon as 1.8 was decided, I stopped developing it as a plugin and started integrating relevant parts into the core instead. We’ll be looking to improve spam prevention and detection in 1.8 which we’ll cover in a future tour.

Upgrading to 1.8

Upgrading to 1.8 will be similar to upgrading from 1.4 to 1.6; many plugins will only need to change their compatibility line and will only need some major changes if they use Prototype JavaScript, use login functions or make large theme changes. Throughout the beta period, we’ll be upgrading the Wiki with new information and providing support to plugin developers to help them with their new plugins.


The Team has been trying to plan a move away from our current SVN setup to the popular social coding site Github for some time. We’ve come up against problems but feel confident that now is the time to open up our development to people outside of the MyBB Team. Github can be an extremely powerful tool for development and it is something we’re eager to do – we have been working on 1.8 in secret in one of our repositories there which will be made available after our first beta release.

We’ve gone outside of our usual box with 1.8 in that we’re actually telling you what we’re doing and what we’re planning even though none of this is public. We’re aiming to provide a beta of 1.8 in May so please be patient while we’re polishing our development and removing all the takeaways and soft drink cans.


With MyBB 1.8, our aim is to fully complete the series with features and improvements that make us a better rival not only to our free forum software friends but also to commercial community software too. We want to make it more friendly, faster and go further than any of our products have been before. Everyone here at MyBB is looking forward to 1.8 and hope you are too!

See you at the next tour!


107 thoughts on “MyBB 1.8 Tour: Introduction

  1. Nice to hear that there will be a beta version of 1.8 coming soon. I use the Apart theme and it will be great to just have the theme as default.

  2. Very nice, default theme looks like Apart 1, Admin CP theme i much MUCH better now though 🙂

    I can’t wait for this, i’m a little worried that it will mess up plugins etc but hopefully nothing a support thread can’t fix 😛

    I want to be a big board owner so i can test it but i’m not so, that sucks..

    Anybody have an idea on how the trash can will work? i have a trash can section hidden and you move old threads to it but it’s manual removal

    • @GamerFreakz – It shouldn’t mess up plugins, maybe one or two edits will be required but nothing major.

      Big boards owners will have access to 1.8 beta when everyone else does, only releases which have security updates and changes which impact board performance are released earlier to BBOs.

      There will be more information about the trash can feature in a later tour.

  3. I’m curious why these “big” changes are coming to 1.8, not 2.0? You’re switching to a new default theme AND to jQuery. These are big changes in my books and I’d personally save them for 2.0.

    • @Jazzza – “With our development roadmap for MyBB 2.0 getting underway soon, we quickly felt the need to bridge the large gap that would have been 1.6 to 2.0. We wanted to create something that would provide a legacy to users of the 1.x series – the best of the best – and there was only one way we could get that to our users; MyBB 1.8.”

  4. Like brad-t, I’m curious if PM threading will be included in the update. Will it be in 1.8 or will we have to wait for 2.0? This is probably the number one request from users on our board.

  5. 2.0 can wait, I’m dying for 1.8. Now we have May. Can you at least tell us if it’s gonna be released this week? 🙂

  6. It’s not going to be this week.

    May is mentioned as a preliminary deadline – it might even be June before we see a 1.8 beta.

  7. Nice post. Looking forward to 1.8. It would be awesome if you made batch uploading attachments possible. It is a very nifty feature for those using Mybb to post images.

    Will upgrade to 1.8 for sure! Best wishes

  8. MyBB is the only free forum software that can compete with commercial giants like vBulletin and IPB. I have tested them all and there is not a big gap. I hope that with 1.8 and 2.0, this gap is bridged so that it makes jelsoft think to restructure their software. 🙂

  9. i think the mybb development team should open up some kind of forum or suggestion box so people can post some suggestions for mybb 1.8, then we the people could post what we would like to see so it will attract more people and we can help make the next version software be better and more user friendly

  10. I love your plans for MyBB.
    Would you happen to need some BETA-Testers? I’d give it a go, as I love MyBB, and need something more to do at home.
    Online hours: 5-7 every day.

  11. This looks nice………

    Few Suggestions:

    *There should be a feature in admin cp to install plugins directly from instead of downloading it & uplaoding it manually….. as there it is wordpress.
    *A jquery scroll to top should also be added!

    Hope you like these two!

    I can give more if you want———- [email protected]

    I am a.k.a MybbMan

    • Plugin upload from mods can fairly reliably be done with Matt Rogowski’s Plugin Uploader, as it was updated recently with these changes. However, it would be very hard to achieve 100% remote upload success because people package plugins differently; an official structure would likely be required.

  12. Pingback: Access to community forums restored, modifications site underway, updates & FAQ | MyBB Blog

  13. Will 1.8 be undergoing a security audit? I’ll want to upgrade immediately, but I would naturally be concerned about upgrading to a .0 release where security issues may live.

    • @Josh H. – I’ll be performing at least two security audits on MyBB 1.8. One during the beta stages and one before 1.8.0 stable is released. We won’t be using a third party in this case.

  14. Is there any thought as to adding several default themes for users to choose from right off the bat?
    Meaning, since 1.8 will pretty much throw a curve ball at all the current themes that think out side the box. Are you considering adding more than just that one theme? I know several of us have used the apart themes along with others out there and moved away since they are pretty much common place now.
    But, just toss designer ideas into a hat and pull like, say 3 and include those into the download of 1.8.

    • @DVBKING – We won’t be using another theme. The theme is not just the Apart theme, it’s a modern version of it. We don’t expect you to use the default theme on your forum, it’s simply there to be customized or replaced with other themes.

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