I run vBulletin 4.x... and I am ready to move on...

Discussion in 'Forum Software' started by xydrine, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. xydrine

    xydrine Aspirant

    Hello all,

    I've been a long time reader of TAZ, and this is really my first post on this board.

    I run a vBulletin 4.x forum (link here) and we have used it since 2011. It has served us well over the years but as you all know, vBulletin is really on its way out. I have done so much custom coding and modifications of our forum's software over the years it almost feels like a completely different product. And frankly, I am tired of writing and rewriting code to keep the software flowing with the newer web standards as well as newer software engines such as PHP 7 and NGINX, I'd rather be focused on developing applications and furthering discussions as opposed to taping together various pieces of backend code etc.

    I am having a rather hard time deciding on a forum engine/suite to replace vBulletin, however. There are a good number of choices out there and honestly when coming them to vBulletin, they all seem like a much better choice.

    The last thing I want to do is post a "which forum software is the best" thread, being an administrator for 5+ years you think I'd know better, so let me give you guys a bit of an idea on what I really am looking for, and hopefully some of you have been where I'm at and can help guide my path...

    What I'm looking for in a forum engine is...

    1.) Excellent performance and up to date on web standards (proper css, adapting to mobile devices and such, responsive themes, etc) - this is my main primary concern...

    2.) A CMS built in is preferable...

    3.) Needs to support HTTPS/SSL without me having to edit 100 different .php files to make it work properly...

    4.) As far as the way threads/postbits are displayed and such, I prefer it to be something like vBulletin/XenForo as opposed to like vanilla forums (it just seems way too minimal and social media-esque)...

    Honestly, I really like XenForo. My main concern is the timing - with the release of XenForo 2.0 on the horizon, would I be shooting myself in the foot by converting our forum over to XenForo 1.x just to have 2.0 swoop in and make our XenForo 1.x installation obsolete? I don't know enough about the difference between versions to know if 2.0 is such a paradigm shift that waiting for 2.0 is necessary.

    Anyway, any input you guys can give me on all of this is greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!
  2. marcgo15

    marcgo15 Adherent

    You like xenForo so I'd say wait until 2.0 is ready before converting, that way you don't put your members into shock repeatedly.
  3. xydrine

    xydrine Aspirant

    Thanks, yeah after doing a lot of research, XenForo is really what I'm settling on.
  4. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

    You have 3 choices IPB, WBB or Xenforo. If you go for Xenforo and you are in need of a CMS ik would look at Article Management System (AMS) found at https://xenaddons.com its one addon that has great options. As for XF 1.x vs XF 2.0 its not going to be like when XF 2 is released that XF 1.x will be dropped. Also we have no idea when release is its still in developer preview after that beta testing then RC so it will take time.
  5. xydrine

    xydrine Aspirant

    Good point, and a lot of addons and themes will need to be rewritten/written for XF2 anyway so it will be a while before XF2 really gets mainstream support.

    XF1 it is, then. I've done enough research in the past and after reading a bunch of threads here all night and seeing your responses it really only reinforces what I already had in mind.

    Going to be setting up a development server tonight to get everything tested out and am looking forward to getting rid of vBulletin once and for all.

    Thanks for the heads up on that CMS, looks very nice.
  6. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

    Don't rush with that.
    XF1 is getting old.
    XF2 is nowhere.
    Invision 4.2 is not ready yet.
  7. Maddox

    Maddox Moderator

    I have always been a great advocate of XF and have used it since its inception; however, the huge problem with XF is that it is (in its native form) just a forum software. If you want extras you will be mainly reliant on third party developers which will constantly add to the overall costs of the software. It's not like you buy XF and then buy a few add-ons - the costs are cumulative with renewals. If cost is not a problem then consider XF, but also consider the third party developers (some of who I have great respect and admiration for) who may decide to leave the fold, or (heaven forbid) something may happen to them that causes them to retire. It's always a risky business when your dependency falls to third party developers. There are no signs or indications that this setup is going to change in XF2 - I've asked and been shot down for asking; but hey that doesn't bother me lol. I haven't renewed my XF licence nor any of the 3rd party licences.

    My own personal preference is that I am now leaning towards Invision - 4.2 is in Beta 5a so it will most likely be released fairly soon and it incorporates a wealth of options that would require multiple add-ons from XF. It is more expensive in the short term, but long term it works out far less and you have the security of knowing that a third party developer will not cause you problems in the future (unless you buy from the Market Place).

    It's been a bit of a rocky road for Invision since the release of version 4, but it appears that most of the major issues have now been sorted and some incredible new features are beginning to appear. XF 2 will still have this rocky road to face when it hits the streets, as will the third party developers. It's going to take some time to get it polished.

    I would recommend that you do a lot more research and ask a lot of questions from all the vendors before simply jumping and diving into something that may come back a bite you later on down the road. It's not and easy task making that choice and I wish you luck.

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  8. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

    So far the main goal for XF2 is to make addon development easy.
  9. xydrine

    xydrine Aspirant

    Frankly, that's my main concern. Heck our site is called RDForum for a reason ;). I think out of all the pieces of forum software out there that I have researched and tested (again, me posting this thread here is not my first delving into what choice I should go with - I've spent countless hours upon hours researching and testing, this thread was mainly to get the perspective of other forum administrators - which you all have graced me with wonderfully), XF is the right choice for us.

    A built in CMS has always been a preference but not requirement, with the application I'll be developing soon I'll be pretty much writing my own addon for XF in a sense (just not something that's publicly released).

    You all have very valid points and they have helped guide me and make the decision I made today. Very much appreciated, gentlemen.
  10. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Tazmanian

    XF + XenWord = winner.
    If you like Wordpress.
  11. xydrine

    xydrine Aspirant

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