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One irritating thing about a phpBB3 forum is the way that the titles appear in a search engine. Valuable space is given to “View topic” or “View forum”, when it could be giving people real information. A more descriptive page title is a great way to help people find your website! Rearranging the page titles is actually much easier than you might think. The mod is quick, easy, and only requires that you make changes to 4 files. I’ll walk you through it.

SEO for Page Titles in phpBB3

Files to Edit:

• styles/(yourstyle)/template/overall_header.html
• viewforum.php
• viewtopic.php
• language/en/common.php


Before you edit the files, create a BACKUP copy!

1. Open the file ‘styles/(your theme)/template/overall_header.html’

At around line 15, you will see the following line:

<title>{SITENAME} &bull; <!– IF S_IN_MCP –>{L_MCP} &bull; <!– ELSEIF S_IN_UCP –>{L_UCP} &bull; <!– ENDIF –>{PAGE_TITLE}</title>

Replace this with the following line:

<title>{PAGE_TITLE} &bull; <!– IF S_IN_MCP –>{L_MCP} &bull; <!– ELSEIF S_IN_UCP –>{L_UCP} &bull; <!– ENDIF –>{SITENAME}</title>

You’re basically just swapping {SITENAME} and {PAGE_TITLE}. This makes the name of the topic or category appear before your website name in the page title.

2. Open the file ‘viewforum.php’ in the root of your forum

At around line 137, you will see the following line:

page_header($user->lang[‘VIEW_FORUM’] . ‘ – ‘ . $forum_data[‘forum_name’]);

Replace this with the following line:


This will remove the words “View forum” from the page title when a user navigates to a forum.

3. Open the file ‘viewtopic.php’ in the root of your forum

At around line 1590, you will see the following line:

page_header($user->lang[‘VIEW_TOPIC’] .’ – ‘ . $topic_data[‘topic_title’]);

Replace this with the following line:


This will remove the words “View topic” from the page title when a user views a topic.

4. Open the file ‘/language/en/common.php’

At around line 274, you will see the following line:

‘INDEX’ => ‘Index page’,

Replace this with the following line:

‘INDEX’ => ‘Your New Title’,

Replace “Your New Title” with anything you’d like. Use whatever is appropriate for your forum. I use “Forum Index” on my sites. That lets users easily see where they are, and it’s short enough not to be annoying. At least it’s more descriptive than “Index page”.

Additional Note:

Another big step to make this all work for you is to change the name of your forum that will appear in the title. This can be done in the admin panel. Choose Board Settings from the Board Configuration menu on the left.

Under the Board Settings, change the Site Name to be whatever you would like to appear on all page titles.

I hope this works for everyone. Let me know if I’ve stated anything incorrectly!

  • Work At Home April 10, 2009, 12:21 pm

    All the 3 options working fine. However, the 4 option is not changing on my forum:

    Pls suggest me how to change the index page title. thanks.

  • Jeremy Lindh April 10, 2009, 3:33 pm

    There is a line at around 193 that is ‘FORUM_INDEX’ => ‘Board Index’ That’s not the line to alter. Is that the one you’re changing, maybe?

    Make sure the line you’re changing is the ‘INDEX’ line at around 271.

    If you search your document for the word INDEX, there are only a handful of results that come up, so you can find it fairly easily that way.

    Does that help at all?

  • Work At Home April 10, 2009, 7:50 pm

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thanks a lot for the tips to change the title of my phpBB3 forum. Finally I got changed it. Actually, the 4 option file ‘/language/en_us/common.php’ not the file ‘/language/en/common.php’ which changed my title.


  • Techno Blog April 22, 2009, 2:40 pm

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more articles from you in the future.

    – Jack

  • idaho May 22, 2009, 12:54 pm

    Me and my friend were arguing about an issue similar to this! Now I know that I was right. lol! Thanks for the information you post. I just launch a new site Idaho Business Directory and want to learn more about SEO.

  • www.backlinkedge.com June 17, 2009, 5:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Hungama March 17, 2010, 11:28 am

    thanks buddy i am using these tips in my forum, again thansk,,,,,nice work

  • Techmafia March 30, 2010, 4:28 pm

    Hey thanks a lot for this post

    Really really nice one

  • Blackwolf July 8, 2010, 9:51 am

    Yes….much, much appreciated ! Took 5 months to work it out & a friend pointed me here !

    Thanks so much !

    [http://www.ultimateeditionoz.com Ultimate Edition Oz]

  • Eric Mertzlufft September 28, 2011, 7:50 pm

    I’m running 3.0.9 – I checked the viewtopic.php and viewforum.php files and these lines don’t seem to be in there anymore.

    It’s still adding “View Forum” and “View Topic” to the titles. Have they changed this?

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