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Big Board Thinking of Moving

SatGuyScott

Active member
#1
Hi there, I run a very big site... a site with over 3 million posts. And I am looking at possibly getting rid of vBulletin.

The folks at vBulletin are leaving a bad taste in my mouth, I got banned from vb.com for asking a question about ForumRunner (a product that comes built into vBulletin, and is owned by IB/vBulletin.) as I wasnt getting help in the external ForumRunner forum. They banned me saying that they do not support ForumRunner there... yet a few days after banning me they opened a ForumRunner support forum on vB.COM... yet I am still banned...

Another reason for me wanting to leave is because I do not want to upgrade to vBulletin 5. To me its a major step backwards, not a step forward. When you upgrade to a new version of software you should not lose many of the features you had before, nor should it be slower then the older version.

The final issue is because of the CKeditor in 4.2.0 which is way out of date, which is making my site unusable to those with IE 10. I was hoping they would update the CKeditor in 4.2.1 but now they are saying it does not appear this is going to happen. With Microsoft starting to push IE 10 to people overnight this is becoming a big issue.

Anyways I think I have finally had enough and am looking into moving.

Before I move though I need to know a few things. I am on a brand new server and use NGINX with PHP-FPM. With vBulletin this has been a GREAT move for me, as with 2,000 members online my server load is at 0.20.

1) Will XENFORO work fine with NGINX / PHP-FPM?

2) I have over 3 million posts, 280,000 theads and 185,000 members. Will this size be a problem?

3) I have a few hundred paid subscribers on my site, is there a way to import them without losing their subscription information?

4) We have both custom branded versions of TapaTalk and ForumRunner will I have any issues? (They just use the standard plugins.)

5) My forum has over 100 forums in it, and I have a plugin which lets uses filter out the forums they dont want to see on the site. Is there anything like that for XENFORO?

6) We use vBAdvanced for our Homepage, is there anything like that for XENFORO?

7) Currently we are using SPHINX on our site for our search engine instead of the default vBulletin search. Does XENFORO support SPHINX?

8) Is there anything else I should consider before making the switch?

Thanks!

Scott
SatelliteGuys.US
 

DoctorWatsOn

Well-known member
#3
I can answer a copy of your questions, I am sure someone with better knowledge will be along soon to answer the others.

2 - Size shouldn't be a problem - take a look at some of the sites that have converted, listed in the opening post on the The Big Forum List thread, the biggest has about 90m posts!!!!

6 - I think you'll find that XenPorta will do the job for your home page.

7 - I believe some are using SPHINK, you should find threads on that with a quick search, but there's also xF Advance Search, which is an official add-on - see the main forum list on here for details.

You may find THIS ARTICLE helpful, it's by the tech-guy from Urban75 (10m+ posts), who converted from vB4 to xF and uses SPHINK.
 

Jesepi

Well-known member
#4
1) Will XENFORO work fine with NGINX / PHP-FPM?
Yes, and it runs great (even better since I switched to a VPS with SSD storage.) Here is my current configuration for a website running only xenforo (and resource manager):

Code:
server {
  listen *:80;
  server_name www.example.com;
  rewrite ^/(.*) http://example.com/$1 permanent;
}
##################
server {
        listen *:80;
        server_name example.com;
        root /home/userfolder/www;
 
                location / {
                        index index.php;
                        try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$uri&$args;
 
                                if ($allow_visit = no) {
                                        return 403;
                                }
 
                }
 
                #deny external access
                location /(data|internal_data|library)/ {
                        allow 127.0.0.1;
                        deny all;
                }
 
                ##send php to the fpm service
                location ~ \.php$ {
                        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.+)$;
                        try_files $uri =404;
                        fastcgi_pass    unix:/var/run/php5-fpm.sock;
                        fastcgi_index index.php;
                        include fastcgi_params;
                }
 
                ## Disable viewing .htaccess & .htpassword
 
                location ~ /\.ht {
                        deny all;
                }
 
 
}
 
geoip_country /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat;
 
map $geoip_country_code $allow_visit {
    default yes;
    CN no;
}
Note that the geoIP stuff is extra that I use to eliminate 90% of my spam problem. Using nginx was much better than using iptables to stop them.
 

Alteran Ancient

Well-known member
#5
I'll try to do my best here...

1) Will XENFORO work fine with NGINX / PHP-FPM?
Yes. You will need to do some jiggery-pokery with friendly URLs if you want those, but assuming NGinx and PHP-FPM are set-up correctly, you won't have any problems.

2) I have over 3 million posts, 280,000 theads and 185,000 members. Will this size be a problem?
No. Importing might take a bit of time initially, but once that's over, you should be fine. I'd consider looking at Caching options (APC, Memcached, etc.) to reduce the load on your server - these are very easy to implement. XenForo has been proven to work reliably with "Über Forums" such as IGN and DigitalPoint, who have in excess of 10 million messages.

3) I have a few hundred paid subscribers on my site, is there a way to import them without losing their subscription information?
No. XenForo supports paid subscriptions, but at present, has no way to import them straight across. It may be possible to do this manually with the help of XenForo's resident code monkeys and mercenaries.

4) We have both custom branded versions of TapaTalk and ForumRunner will I have any issues? (They just use the standard plugins.)
No. Both mobile app systems provide a plugin/addon for XenForo, regardless of whether users are accessing via a vanilla or branded app.

5) My forum has over 100 forums in it, and I have a plugin which lets uses filter out the forums they dont want to see on the site. Is there anything like that for XENFORO?
Not exactly. I know of no way to hide/filter certain forums, but there are mods that can help you organise/arrange large numbers of sub-forums, such as this. Again, there are modders for hire if this is something specific you need.

6) We use vBAdvanced for our Homepage, is there anything like that for XENFORO?
XenPorta - DoctorWatsOn appears to have beat me to this one, though.

7) Currently we are using SPHINX on our site for our search engine instead of the default vBulletin search. Does XENFORO support SPHINX?
Not SPHINX specifically. With a new forum, you'd need your indexes re-built anyway. XenForo has an official Extended Search product, built-on elasticsearch, that essentially does the same thing.

8) Is there anything else I should consider before making the switch?
Our job as existing customers is to support our fellow customers as well as encourage prospective customers (like you) to board the ship. We wouldn't try and convince you to buy if we didn't think the product/service was worth it. I'm sure if you ask around, many of the people here will have nice things to say about the product as well as the community that continues to support it. Remember, you're not just investing in a product. You're investing in a product and a support environment.

I used to be in your position, as a vBulletin customer. Also, like you, I'm rather disappointed with what vB5 "connect" fails to offer. Funnily enough, the "golden days" of vB are the vB3 days, when Kier was actually at the helm. It was his work up to vB3.8 that me and my fellow forum staff found was a pleasure to use.

If you've got any more questions, then I'm sure the community will do the best it can to try and answer them.


Hope this helps.
 

Morgain

Well-known member
#9
Croeso and welcome Scott.
I recommend you contact Shaun of Digitalpoint on here.
The mods here on XF are excellent, you have the Big Forums thread, plus the community is extremely helpful; but another very good admin who knows your experience on a big forum will be a good source of info for you.
Shaun is very approachable and friendly and a damn fine coder too. He spent a long time preparing yo move to XF mainly because he has his own complex and specialised mods. But his long lead in means he does really know his way around XF.
 

Reeve of Shinra

Well-known member
#10
Lot of good advice here already...

a) Definitely clean up usergroups if you can before you import.
b) Look at Digitalpoint or Slavic's importer for a speedier transition

I would also suggest:
  • Install clean Xenforo
  • Turn off registrations on vb.
  • Import vb users to XF
  • Create a temporary General Chat forum on XF where your users can hang out during the migration
  • Begin migration process for rest of data.
 

Slavik

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#11
1) Will XENFORO work fine with NGINX / PHP-FPM?

2) I have over 3 million posts, 280,000 theads and 185,000 members. Will this size be a problem?

3) I have a few hundred paid subscribers on my site, is there a way to import them without losing their subscription information?

4) We have both custom branded versions of TapaTalk and ForumRunner will I have any issues? (They just use the standard plugins.)

5) My forum has over 100 forums in it, and I have a plugin which lets uses filter out the forums they dont want to see on the site. Is there anything like that for XENFORO?

6) We use vBAdvanced for our Homepage, is there anything like that for XENFORO?

7) Currently we are using SPHINX on our site for our search engine instead of the default vBulletin search. Does XENFORO support SPHINX?

8) Is there anything else I should consider before making the switch?
1) Yes, many people use NGINX/PHP-FPM without issue.
2) Not at all, compared to some forums on XenForo this is small in comparison!
3) I have a VB4 subscription importer which you may be able to update for your needs, otherwise the SAFARI importer or the digital point ARFI will handle them.
4) Not that I can imagine.
5) I remember this being discussed, but not if anything ever came about from it.
6) I guess the cloest thing would be XenPorta?
7) In short no, not at this time. XenForo uses ElasticSearch.
8) Just make sure you do a couple of test imports to make sure everything is there you expect to be there :)
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#13
5) My forum has over 100 forums in it, and I have a plugin which lets uses filter out the forums they dont want to see on the site. Is there anything like that for XENFORO?
This may be what you need: http://xenforo.com/community/resources/ignore-whats-new-by-waindigo.139/
You could ask the author to expand the addon so that ignored forums are not only hidden from 'whats new' but also on forum index.

Then there also is the issue with displaying large numbers of subforums in xenforo. Currently XF hides many subforums behind a small icon that few users click.
There are some solutions to this but all require a lot of template edits. Here are some:
http://xenforo.com/community/resources/sub-nodes-in-columns.580/
http://xenforo.com/community/threads/tutorial-sub-forum-grid-listing.10978/

Unfortunately there are no addons without template edits yet.
 

IcEWoLF

Well-known member
#14
Hey Scott, glad to see you testing the waters here at XenForo.

I like what XenForo brings to the table, reason why I am planning to switch to XenForo from vB 4.2 soon.

I am not going to sugarcoat things, there are couple things I'd want XenForo to update before the switch:

-Update Editor (the current editor is okay) but I am looking for something better, nicer, and superior. The latest CKeditor looks promising.
-Offer a CMS, I want a full fledged CMS released by XenForo with full support.
-Better thread edits system, right now you can't edit your thread title while in the thread...I have no idea why XenForo did not implement this yet...I was hoping 1.1.4 would have this...
-Out of the box the sub forum display looks terrible to say the least, hope the XenForo crew will work on this to make this acceptable, I know there are third party addons/fixes out there to make this decent, however the point is, the XenForo crew should work on this to make it better by default.

I've converted my site about 5 times so far to XenForo and everything looks to be good to go besides the above.

Also Scott, you should check out this post at TAZ: http://www.theadminzone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=686017&postcount=9

As a recent vB convert...

- Before converting, clean up your user accounts. XF does not yet have some features like merging user accounts & bulk cleanup so if you want to, for example, kill your banned user accounts & the such then do it before converting.

- Take note of what custom BB codes you are using. XF does not yet have a custom BB Code manager so, unless you get rid of & cleanup any existing BB Codes, you will need to rely upon a 3rd-party add-on to duplicate your existing BB codes.

- Do a test conversion first! Setup a test XF install and use that for your conversion testing and for making sure everything looks OK.

- Make sure you read up on the vB redirects scripts (in the XF RM) so that all of your existing links (or at least which ones it can) will be redirected to your new XF URLs. Take note of what links you have now that do not have a corresponding XF link (eg: There is no Calendar in XF so your existing calendar.php link won't be redirected) and plan on either creating a redirect file yourself of accepting the bad links being left behind indexed.

- Check into how many smilies you are using. vB allowed smiley management by grouping them together into categories and by display order. XF does neither so if you have a large amount of smilies then you may want to consider a 3rd-party smiley manager.

- If you have to do any post content cleanup, look for the 'post replace' add-on by Kier in the XF RM.

- After converting check your node permissions. Then double check them. Then triple check them. Then use the XF feature to test the permissions as a different user; try as a staff member and a public user. Before opening up the site to the public, check the permissions again.
Permissions for me did not convert over, so I had to manually set each usergroup permissions, this can be a PITA with the amount of forums you have.
Also I'd strongly suggest deleting usergroups that are not in use.

Also one more thing, I love vBadvanced, and hopefully Brian will convert his plugin to XenForo because I feel it's far superior than XenPorta for obvious reasons. You can literally do anything you want with vBadvanced like adding custom modules without having to import xml files or making xml files.
If anything this would be your "MOST" missed feature when converting from vB 4.2 to XF, I know I will....

Besides that, Good luck with the conversion!
 

Case

Active member
#15
-Better thread edits system, right now you can't edit your thread title while in the thread...I have no idea why XenForo did not implement this yet...I was hoping 1.1.4 would have this...
When viewing a thread, if you click the 'Thread Tools' dropdown and 'Edit Thread' then you can edit the title. Unless you're talking about users being able to edit their own thread titles? Yea, they don't seem to be able to do that.
 
#17
I love xenforo :) really I can find the answer to my questions by searching the forum here :) vbulletin community doesn't support that and yes you may get banned for revealing part of a code that is hard coded and they just delete your post without even a simple notice!!!

I will install nginx on my server and will see if it will work or not, I wasn't able to get it working with vbulletin because lake of help, tutorials there :(
 

IcEWoLF

Well-known member
#18
The importer by DigitalPoint / Slavik should cover this.
Yeah, but unfortunately I don't posses the skills to operate such plugin, you will have to be a true server guru, which I am not there yet.
Slavik's importer is a bit expensive, if I'd consider an importer I'd consider DP's importer as the #1 option. Even at that I am not 100% sure if the usergroups permissions for my custom groups would even carry over.