Can I do this with Xenforo (and/or plugins?)

SZRacer

New member
Hi there,

Apologies for starting off my first post with a question, but hopefully this will be relatively easy to answer! :):sneaky:

I was steered towards Xenforo by a friend, as we are both webmasters of similar club forums (I took over from him on one of them) and he has just swapped from SMF to Xenforo.

So, as I mentioned, I'm the webmaster for a classic motorcycle club, which has the following (slightly clunky) setup:
  • Club forums (all running on SMF)
  • Club website running on Joomla, with log in to:
    • Members-only technical document 'library' (approx. 360 technical documents and owners manuals etc) running on Docman
    • A members' photo section, which used to be updated regularly, but is now mostly an 'archive' of old photos - Running on Coppermine.
The members' details used to be synchronised between the website/library/gallery and the forums, meaning the member could register and pay membership fees on the website, get access to the members areas (library etc) on the website, and also be logged in to the members areas of the forums.

However, the Joomla/SMF bridge has been broken for some time, meaning that this is currently a manual process - Each time a member requests access to the website protected areas (even if they are registered on the forums) I have to manually look their details up on the membership list and activate them! In addition, I have become increasingly disillusioned with Joomla, but more so with SMF, which seems to be in the slow lane, update-wise.

The other club committee hasve also expressed a need for the website side of things to become more of a shop window for the club, so members' areas become less important, and a need for 'laymen' members of the club to be easily able to update content without any technical knowhow.

I've had a long chat with my friend about Xenforo, and it seems to tick most if not all of the boxes I'd be looking for for the forum, as well as having an easy(?) transition path from SMF.

My thoughts were:

- Split the website off completely from the members areas, so no login required on the main website - This can then be a simpler, more user-friendly platform for 'non-techies' to update - e.g. Squarespace

  • Forums moved to Xenforo
  • Library integrated with the forums on Xenforo, so that each document is a 'post', folders become boards etc.
  • Therefore all the protected content is in one place and accessed by a single login

What I want to know is a) Whether Xenforo could cope with me using it to 'serve' documents in that way, and more importantly whether there are any solutions in place to integrate payment and registration into the forum access, ideally with an export/import ability.

Any other thoughts/good ideas are most welcome! Excuse my stupid questions!

James
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
What format would the documents be?
Presumably you would be uploading them to posts as attachments?

One alternative you may want to consider is the Resource Manager add-on - that is designed to be a repository.
See here: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/

XF has built in paid user upgrades which could be used to control access to parts of the forum, resources, individual categories, etc.
 

SZRacer

New member
Thanks, that's really useful to know. The majority of the documents are in PDF format, but there are a few JPEGs (from memory).
I will check out the resource manager, as that sounds ideal. I guess hopefully I'd find some easy (ha!) way to move all the documents from Docman without having to manually upload!

The paid user upgrades sound perfect - I guess the key for us is how we integrate into our membership database, and push/pull data. Are there APIs available, or even better any pre-existing integrations with external membership solutions? I suppose ideally we'd still want sign-up on the website, but if we can create a membership form with payment on the Xenforo side of things that would be better.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
I guess hopefully I'd find some easy (ha!) way to move all the documents from Docman without having to manually upload!
There's nothing built in which would do that so you would have to write a custom importer ... or manually create the resources.

or even better any pre-existing integrations with external membership solutions?
Again, nothing built in, so it would require custom development.
 
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