When comparing PHPBack vs Flarum, the Slant community recommends Flarum for most people. In the question“What are the best web forum software packages?” Flarum is ranked 1st while PHPBack is ranked 12th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Multi-language support
It has been already translated to Spanish and they are adding support for more languages.
Pro Easy setup
PHPBack is very easy to setup, all you need is a server with PHP5 and MySQL installed.
Pro Open Source
PHPBack is open source, uses GPLv3 license.
Pro Very fast loading time
Pro Based on (but not built with) Laravel
Flarum was originally based on Laravel and uses the Eloquent ORM. But it is not a traditional Laravel software.
Pro Easily expandable
Pro Open Source
Pro Great community
The community building flarum is fantastic and very helpful!
Pro Lots of features
The developers do a great job adding new bells and whistles.
Pro Modern UI
Pro Mobile Friendly UI
Con Small community
PHPBack is fairly young (first stable version was releases in July 2015). Currently the community is small, which may make it more difficult to find help/support.
However, the developer is active on the github page and generally responds quickly.
Con Slow development
Development moves at a glacial pace.
Con Complicated installation process on shared hosts
PHP Composer is used as a dependency manager. Because of that SSH access is needed which makes Flarum harder to install than, for instance, Vanilla or phpBB. Especially on shared hosts where no SSH access is available or where shell access is severely limited.