1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Complete beginner, what should I do about...

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by JamieF, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. JamieF

    JamieF New Member

    Hi all, I'm hoping some of you knowledgeable folks will be able to answer a few of my (possibly stupid) questions, and point me in some good directions.

    I'm looking to launch a new forum/community/website/mobile app for a specific demographic, and I'm trying to work out the best way forward with it. Here's the outline:

    Users will subscribe monthly to get access to one or more 'networks' within the forum.
    Each network will have set 'categories' (users will not be able to create new threads as such, but will be able to create new posts, reply, upload images, all that basic stuff.), and they will only see the categories they want to see (plus one default category that goes to everyone)

    I plan to have it based primarily on a website, with subscription done there; but the mobile apps will be paramount, as I want push notifications to play a big part (hence the narrowing down of what networks and categories you hear from, to avoid swamping users).

    My questions, if you would be so kind; are:

    1. which forum software would i be best to use for the features I need?
    2. how do they work as apps? do they need separate development or is the code designed so that it works in whatever format?
    3. Can you download apps from within the forum website directly, rather than having to download something like tapatalk and then finding the forum?
    4. I've built fairly basic websites in dreamweaver (www.ski-bliss.com) before, but have no real knowledge of coding/php etc etc, would I need to bring in a developer for the whole thing? or be able to build the site myself and bring them in to add the forum, or is it all easy enough to figure out solo?

    Any help here would be massive, thanks.
  2. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    I would say XenForo would do the job for everything... all until you mentioned mobile apps.

    Unfortunately there is very little official mobile support for XenForo. There are no official apps. There's only Tapatalk and Forum Runner support - both of which go against what you asked for.

    That means the mobile app side of things would have to be entirely custom.

    That being said, the rest of what you asked for in terms of subscription, and the 'networks' stuff you mentioned should all be do-able out of the box in XenForo.

    For example, you can create User Upgrades on a one-off or recurring basis. The built in payment handler is PayPal. So someone would purchase an upgrade to get into "Network A", and once the recurring payment has been set up they will be promoted to a usergroup that would give them access to the "Network A" forum. You could then set permissions accordingly so they can't create their own threads but can reply upload etc.

    There is a mobile theme, but no push notifications, obviously.

    In response to question 4.

    I think you will get on just fine on your own for the most part in terms of setting up the forum and styling it. It's very easy to work with. If you wanted custom work doing such as custom add-ons and mobile apps etc. then yeah, you would need a developer. You will get loads of support from the community members and moderators here so you might want to go at it on your own and see what happens :)

    Good luck.
  3. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    The Food link from the main page is incorrect. FYI.

    Mobile ?
    Xenforo is not well suited for that.
    You could charge them a few bucks more and give away a free copy of Tapatalk.
    I think Xenforo displays well in Tapatalk.
  4. JamieF

    JamieF New Member

    Thanks guys, really appreciate the feedback. (also thanks for the headsup on my site, not sure how long thats been like that!!)
    I know that vbulletin seems to have a bit of a bad rep here, (and that this is a xenforo forum!!) but is it worth the extra cost and hassle of using two different bit of software (or doing something custom) to get the same result as one could with the vbulletin deal, where the mobile stuff is integrated? how bad is it there? I've spoken to tapatalk, but its 800$ per format there, as opposed to 200$ on vbulletin, and budget is a bit tight for the launch.

  5. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    Someone (no names) is working on a mobile app for XenForo. No ETA yet and it isn't official (yet).

    But I thought I should add that in there and also point out that while vBulletin currently does have a mobile app, it is limited and support from them on it is limited. For example, they don't expect to have another update until much further down the release path.
    Jake Bunce likes this.
  6. fattony69

    fattony69 Well-Known Member

  7. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Tease! I'm not a mobile user but that is really exciting if some one is making an app for XF.

    It's also important to note that vB's mobile suite is a regression in the scheduled first release of vB5 later this year. So that may be a concern if you are going mobile.
  8. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    Android is powerful platform that allows for better open source ;)

    To bad Apple does not have things setup to allow for such things.
  9. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    It's not going to be Android only is it?
  10. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    If you can think of another platform which is open and will not cost an arm & leg to produce and release, freely, I'd be willing to forward that information
  11. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Ok, so you need a developer account at $100 and, officially you'd need an Apple Mac to develop it on, but unofficially a Hackintosh is free.

    I'd say the same if it was only being developed for iOS - it's very closed minded developing a mobile app for only one platform. The developer is literally targeting only half of the market (well, a lot less, but you get my point).
  12. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    It will be released as open source, so I'm sure someone with a working apple or hackintosh, who is willing to pay the other $100, can port it over ;) :p
  13. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member


    HUH ???

    I think releasing an Android only Mobile app for XF would be impractical and isn't very helpful to Xenforo.
    Your statements reflect an ideology and not practicality. Pretending that people don't want an iOS version is bad for Xenforo.
  14. EQnoble

    EQnoble Well-Known Member

    I dont think you understood DD...he is saying the android version is in the works...

    Apple CHARGES you to develop apps (unless you are smart enough to jailbreak an otherwise almost useless device and install anything you want.) so he is saying to anyone that is an apple apps developer (which would have already paid the 100 dollars needed to release apps for the iphone) can take his code which will be released as an open source project...so that if someone who supports apple enough to be willing to pony up the 100 TO BE ABLE TO DEVELOP APPS FOR idevices wants to ....they could port his app over to iOS.

    It seems obvious that he is not going to put up the 100 dollars because he will not buy into apples 'got yah' mechanism...and I don't blame him.
    Adam Howard likes this.
  15. Vicros

    Vicros Active Member

    Ok time for my input. I would look at all of the options my friend. Mobile is the way the world is going. And XF is completely lacking in that area. IPB is the best in the department, they have an official mobile skin and app, built into IPB. Not to mention, better admin control for specific things. XF can manage it yes, but i would look at the current situation of things, like complete lack of support from the developers. The mods and 1-2 forum staff members are here trying to hold down the falling fort. XF is an amazing software, but future proof, it is not. I would do a lil more research before asking for advice on a biased site lol.

    BTW you apple haters are a dime a dozen. I have all Apple products in my household, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad 3, iPod(3 of em), 2 iPhone 4, 1 iPhone 4s, and will have 2 iPhone 5's this month. Am i a fanboy? Not at all, just love things that work properly. BTW the industry standard is Apple for a reason. You fandroids kill me, with your fragmented and buggy hardware and software. Not to mention behind the curve in everything lol. Your screen resolutions are horrible, your batteries suck balls, and your OS is half assed.

    BTW im also an app developer, for both iOS and Android. Theres a reason why apple is on top.
  16. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    The whole mobile app craze has always confused me. I don't need a special app for every forum I visit on my desktop. I have a web browser. Mobile platforms have web browsers. Use that. Screen too small? Install a mobile style that is optimized for tiny resolution. But a separate app? Why? Push button notifications? Just have the forum send you email notifications, and then configure your mail app to notify you. It's much simplier, and it sure beats having to install separate applications for every forum.

    But that's me. I'm not a mobile person. =\
    Rob Fritz and Sadik B like this.
  17. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    BTW, you android haters are a dime a dozen.....
  18. Gabby

    Gabby Well-Known Member

    Dear OP,
    Alright, I'm probably going to get some flack for this post but here is my take and experience using XF as a newbie. I've used VB for several years as well as mybb. I have extensively demo'd all almost all forum software out there. I have virtually no coding experience and don't particulary want to learn.

    Let me preface things but saying that I'm a big fan of XF and wouldn't touch VB ever again. XF's support community is good. People are generally very nice and helpful here. I wouldn't be concerned with much of anything regarding any legal battles going on for several reasons I won't get into here.

    XF's design capability is good, although I believe there are too many places to have to go to get something done and you still have to know some CSS. Its easy to change the look of your forum to come close to matching your website, but it takes a long time to do this because there are so many options on so many pages.

    As far as mods...it looks like you'll be able to do just about everything you need to do using XF but I think XFs file structure is confusing when it comes to uploading mods. An automatic uploader is now available thank goodness but it still has some limitations at this moment. If is wasn't for this auto uploader I would have sold my XF license. Installation of the actual forum software is a breeze.

    My preference for paid... XF
    My preference for free... mybb or burning board.

    Good luck in whatever you choose.

  19. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    I agree with you.

    Investing time and money into a mobile theme is much better than investing time and money in an app. And even after making an Android and iOS app, you're still missing out all of the BlackBerry users, and all of the Nokia Windows Phone users.

    That being said, there is lots of functionality you miss out on in a mobile theme that can only be achieved with an app. Such as push notifications, image uploading (though fixed in iOS6 and never been a problem in Android) and.. that's probably it, actually.

    The way I see it, if any app exists, then all it needs to do is allow me to add forum URLs and credentials to it, and notify me when I have alerts or PMs. I don't need an app to view forums. I happily view and use XenForo.com on my iPhone without any need for even a mobile theme. A mobile theme would be great, but as it is, I'm happy.
  20. Sadik B

    Sadik B Well-Known Member

    I have an Android phone for a couple of years now and have never installed a separate app for any website. I use Dolphin browser and almost always sites which have their separate mobile app also have a mobile skin. The only time I installed a website app was when VBulletin released their mobile app and I was just curious to see what the fuss was all about. Found that the VB app wasn't much good and uninstalled it within a few minutes of trying.

    To the OP, there are too many bad reports about bugs with VBulletin's Mobile Apps. Also VB5 is expected to be out before the end of year and the mobile apps won't work with VB5. If I was you, I would take it slow, have the site finished perfectly with subscriptions and everything first and then buy the branding free version of Tapatalk or Forum Runner and have it customized for your site.

    Would take time and money but would be the best way of doing it.
    Chris D likes this.

Share This Page