Upgraded to VB 5.5.3 from 4 was a Failure, what now?

Discussion in 'vBulletin' started by Morg22, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Morg22

    Morg22 Aspirant

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    I just recently upgraded my forum from VB4.x to VB 5.5.3 and it's been a complete disaster. I have already lost about 10% of my readers and I am basically in total panic mode at this point. I would guess about 60% of my readers use Tapatalk, which is pretty much unusable for them at this point since doing the upgrade.

    At this point I think I either need to hire a VB expert to get this fixed or it's time to migrate to a different forum software, but I am really nervous to do that.

    I am open to any and all suggestions, and if there is anyone here who is a VB expert for hire I would love to talk.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Administrator

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    I would advise you to set up a staging site with demos for XenForo and IPS versions of your website. Then invite all active members by email and ask them to try both out for 2 weeks and then decide. Then make the jump and you and your community will be so much happier.

    Do keep your members in the loop about decisions because people hate change. Try to get a theme that resembles your old style as this will smoothen the change.
     
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  3. Morg22

    Morg22 Aspirant

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    Thank you so much for such a quick response. I love the idea of letting our members spend some time on a test site to they can get comfortable before we make the change, because you are right, people do hate change, and even after I warned my members about the big change from VB4 to VB5, they still basically revolted. Maybe if we had given them the chance to try the site before we just dropped it on them, this would have been smoother. Although, it wouldn't fix all the errors we are getting, and just overall functionality issues we are seeing with VB5.

    Do you know someone who can assist with setting up a demo site? I will ask my IT person first, but he has been so overwhelmed lately, and with how bad my traffic is, I am working with a bit of urgency now and I am just not sure he will have the time to help with this.
     
  4. Joel R

    Joel R Fan

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    Both softwares offer free demos that you're welcome to request.
     
  5. Morg22

    Morg22 Aspirant

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    Thanks! It wouldn't be a demo of my actual site though correct? I assume there is no way to do that without access to my files/database. Sorry if I am asking dumb questions, I am not a tech person, but I am trying to learn as much as I can.
     
  6. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Administrator

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    No, you will need to setup a copy of your site for your members to play with. If you do this for both XenForo and IPS then this is entail purchasing a license that you will not use after that. You can afterwards resell that license second hand.

    Setting up a staging site will probably require the help of your tech Admin or alternatively you can hire someone to help. Both platforms have 3rd party services listed.
     
  7. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

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    You got few options here since the current install is apparently in an unusable state. Sticking with vb5 could still cost you your userbase if its the relatively addonless state of the software they're rejecting.

    If you upgraded very recently and your content spanned a long duration (several years' worth), you might want to consider a rollback to your latest pre-vb5 backup and rework your upgrade/migration plans again.
    And this time, discuss them more openly to ensure users are sweetened into agreeing with your plans and folks with useful experiences could step up and help any way they can.
     
  8. Morg22

    Morg22 Aspirant

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    Thanks for your help! We went ahead and purchased the license for Xenforo. My IT person was able to get some time today to start working on the migration to a test site. We have to do something, so I was willing to spend the upfront money if it meant getting a software that works. Do you know how well Tapatalk works with Xenforo 2.1.3?

    Thank you so much for the reply. We upgraded about 3 weeks ago. The problem is that we are a pretty large site, we have been around for almost 11 years with over 6 million posts and 100,000 threads. The way it was explained to me, if we rolled back to the old VB4 we were using, we would lose all the posts we had over the past 3 weeks. My IT person said there is a way to save those posts, but he doesn't have the free time it would take to do that. He's a really great person who helps us out when we need tech help, but he isn't a paid employee so he has a real job that takes up a lot of his time. Sadly, I am not a tech person so I wouldn't know how to do that. I would have to hire someone, which I don't have a problem doing, but he ie working on migrating to Xenforo now and creating a test site so we can work with that and see how that works.

    Once we get the test site up and running I plan to make an announcement to my users so they know we are working on things. The biggest issue we are having is just the sheer usability of VB 5. We are seeing a ton of errors and major slowdown in page loads, to name just a couple issues. I am hoping to try one of the newsletter/email programs to message all my members once the new site is up to welcome them, and we plan to do some big giveaways as an incentive to get them to come back and check out the new site. We are hoping that will get get traffic back. That and hopefully getting Tapatalk working with the new software, that's also key.
     
  9. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

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    3 weeks' worth of posts looks acceptable if you're already 6 millions big. Do you have a more exact number? Keep in consideration that regular posting activity was disrupted and many posts may be post-migration commentary.

    If your tech admin is overwhelmed currently, I strongly recommend seeking the assistance of experienced freelancers or fellow bigboarders with bored personel on standby. A rollback should still be recommended, migrating a breaking vb5 install could cause further problems down the road like undetected and permanent loss of data.
     
  10. Morg22

    Morg22 Aspirant

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    I really appreciate your input, thanks so much. I have put in a request in the help desk to be added to the big boards group, I’m just waiting to get let in. I am very happy to hear there are freelance people on there that can help if we need it. I can’t believe it took me 11 years to find this site.
     
  11. Paul M

    Paul M Limeade Addict

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    I would echo the previous advice.

    If you are moving to XF, then migrate your last vB4 backup, not the vB5 (in fact, Im not sure you can migrate vB5 at all ?) but even if you can, you are still better off (IMO) in taking the three week hit to migrate a much more robust database.
     
  12. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

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    Have you read reviews about Tapatalk?
    Do it before you install their software into your new forum software.
     
  13. Morg22

    Morg22 Aspirant

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    Appreciate the feedback, thank you. VB5 migration is beta and it says there might be bugs. My IT admin is trying the VB5 migration first, but I have sent him a message with the notes from everyone here.

    We have been using Tapatalk for years, it’s why such a large part of our user base accesses our site through Tapatalk. We tried to get rid of it a few times, but the hit we took was too great, so it has become a necessary evil. We would love a dedicated forum app, but I have no idea how to go about that. We thought VBulletin mobile suite was going to be the answer but that turned out to be a disaster.
     
  14. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Administrator

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    This advice is coming from the former lead developer of vbulletin 4.

    I also would not think twice about taking the hit of those 3 weeks. Think of it this way: would you care much if 3 weeks went missing from several years ago? Out of the millions of posts, such hit is not noticeable as soon as some more weeks have passed. The migration from vb4 will allow you to keep much more data.

    Also an important tip: before you import anything make sure to change the XenForo settings for the lifespans for the storage of edit history, IPs, caches, etc. Otherwise you may loose data you intended to keep.
     
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  15. Morg22

    Morg22 Aspirant

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    My only concern with this is that we have had major announcements and extremely important posting that was important to our sponsors that would be lost. Is there anyway to save that data and import it somehow? If it was just general conversations I wouldn't think twice about losing those weeks of posts, but the content that would be lost is incredibly important.
     
  16. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Administrator

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    You can simply manually repost those threads, change the dates and author names.
     
  17. TheTourVan

    TheTourVan Aspirant

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    Let me add something to this. As Morg22 and I come from the same forum. Unfortunately in our case, our forum is not simply posts and discussions on the topic. Hosting live events, sponsored events, etc kill the opportunity to simply erase weeks worth of posts.

    To use an example, we have an event coming up at the end of this week that two sponsors are involved with and pay for. There will be a live update thread that is filled and updated every minute and they expect and want that as a way to watch ROI from their end.

    In the last 3 weeks, we have launched 3 of those events and had another live update thread. Those 3 event threads have been shared with the sponsors, internally at their large companies, etc.

    Losing all of that would cause some very unhappy clients and ones we are not capable of losing. Is that better than losing everything? Of course not. But by the time we are ready to go live, we are looking at a month of posting at the very least and it is filled with sponsored content (not links per say, but event info and contests) and it disappearing might not be an option for our business model.
     
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  18. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

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    I'd say simply archive and have that content reposted. Sponsors would likely appreciate better their messages being published to a harmonious userbase, not part of an ongoing riot.
    Migrating a safe vb4 backup would also rid your site of current discontent like negative feedbacks and angry threads without appearing to be censorship.
     
  19. TheTourVan

    TheTourVan Aspirant

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    This could be an option. It would take a long long time, but its possible if it were to avoid bad issues.
     
  20. Morg22

    Morg22 Aspirant

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    We could do what Alfa1 above suggested which is to manually repost. It would take a while since it would be thousands of posts, but I am willing to do that if it means not losing that content in order to keep both our readers and paid sponsors happy. That’s what coffee is for right?

    And let me just add, thank you all so much for your help in here. I really truly appreciate it.
     
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