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First post, long time vB user

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by cooperb125, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. cooperb125

    cooperb125 New Member

    Hi guys! Brandon here...

    Long time vB user/owner (as I'm sure most of you guys are)...and was deciding between vB and IPB.

    I've been out of the web design business for a long time. Saw a mention of XenForo on another site, and thought "what the hell, I'll check it out." Didn't realize it was made from ex-vB devs when vB actually rocked (the last time I admined a vB site was when 3.0 was in beta). Seeing that part alone made me decide to go with you guys. The price could have been double, and I would probably still choose XenForo. I really like the look of XF over vB!

    Anyway, long story short (too late)...I'll be buying soon, and I'm sure there's tons of other threads on here with the same stuff (I haven't searched yet, or had time to sift through posts)...but I figured I'd give my $0.02 and share my excitement to get started again!!
    Shamil, ManagerJosh, ShadyX and 11 others like this.
  2. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    Hi Brandon and welcome to XF!
    cooperb125 likes this.
  3. kkm323

    kkm323 Well-Known Member

    welcome and enjoy the stay

    see you are alerted when someone quote your posts (y)
    cooperb125 likes this.
  4. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly Member

    Welcome Brandon!

    I was in the same position as you about two weeks ago, we also went with xenforo because of the ex-vB devs and the fact that its just so awesome. I'm not trying to sound like a sales pitch here either. I've been very impressed with everything. The admincp, the front-end, the available add-ons, the source code, the support, its all been great.

    We're going live on Friday, we've spent....uh, two weeks just about getting ready for launch. On vBulletin 3.x it would have taken me months to get everything to the point I have it at now.

    I think you'll be pleased as well. Bit of advice: Don't assume everything is like vB/IPB. Xenforo does a lot of things differently...but in a good way. I'm talking front end and admincp side here. I lost a lot of time due to using my old vBulletin habits when working with xenforo at first. Take a few days to learn how everything works before you dive into template edits and add-ons and what not.
    Peggy, cooperb125 and Digital Doctor like this.
  5. cooperb125

    cooperb125 New Member

    Hey thanks for the replies!

    Brad - I appreciate your input. I figured it'd be different from vB...I haven't messed with IPB at all, but I have some personal grudges with them (luring people from iK to IB and saying it will always be free, and then pulling a bait-and-switch...but alas, that is not what I'm here to talk about)...I just didn't want to go with vB after their licensing changes, and nothing about them compelled me to want to purchase. When I was on vB 1.x and 2.x, it was new and exciting, AND it felt like I was helping get a big project started, and my $140 was well spent and going to truly help the devs! It doesn't have that camaraderie feel like it used to...I could go on about that for days, so I'll end it there...

    I'd pretty much have to re-learn any admincp I looked at...I seriously looked at cPanel the other day and felt like it was the first time I'd looked at it. That's half the fun, though! :)

    Share your site link when you go live! I'd love to check it out. I'm browsing the sites people have posted and am pretty psyched about the software and it's abilities. I'm especially a fan of the Facebook-like alerts...I hate Facebook, but it's something that everyone can relate to.

    I remember with vB spending WEEKS to get everything situated...hopefully it's as good as you say it is!

    Edit: Added additional thoughts...
    HydraulicJack and Kim like this.
  6. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Welcome to xenForo! :)
    cooperb125 likes this.
  7. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly Member

    Oh trust me I remember the ikonboard days my friend, you're talking to a man that cut his teeth on UBB 5.x! ;)

    The admincp feels a bit like cpanel yes...if you use the "icons". There are also links in the left side bar, which reminds me of vBulletin, and all the options can be found there as well.

    The main difference is everything is so....dynamic. Really, idle on this thread for about 3 minutes and watch how the times on the posts magically update. There is so much javascript (are they still calling it AJAX?) to get your head around, its kinda scary actually! Websites aren't supposed to respond so well! xD

    I'm not saying you'll have everything done over night, there is a learning curve, but once you get going you'll notice things roll a long a lot faster than they did in the vBulletin days. The fact that XenForo is based on the Zend Framework is a big reason for this. You might find yourself lost at first because everything is coded in a MVC pattern, but once you learn it you'll realize how much better it is than the old days of everything begin stuffed into multiple php files and functions begin called from god knows where.

    I don't know how deeply you get into the code though. Personally, I've done zero edits to the php files. Everything I've needed was able to be done from the admincp or via an add-on.

    A lot of things are just so much better...one big example is the style manager. Remember how much of a pain in the ass it was to manage CSS in vBulletin? You won't have that problem with Xenforo, forget about having to memorize color codes for the CSS. I mean, you can do it manually if you want..but you don't have to. There is a really nice interface for choosing your color scheme. If you want to add extra CSS, there is a nice template provided for you.

    Everything in the admincp is "dynamic" as well, its just not the front end that makes great use of javascript. Forget about having to constantly re-load pages in your admincp just for searches and what-not.

    One feature I _really_ like is "test permissions". Basically that old problem of user permissions goes away. As an admin, you can "test" the permissions of any user and browse the forum using their permission set, so you see exactly what they would see. When your done, a simple click of the button in the header and you're back to your own permission set. Its really helpful when you're setting up private forums and what-not.

    I've done some *slight* template edits, but not many. I actually prefer the simple style and the use of pop-ups for things like mini-userprofiles.

    "SEO" or "pretty urls" is built right in assuming your server supports it (most all do these days). You can define paths for pages and everything...for example. My xenforo installation is in my root public_html directory, but my "forum" is at /forum/ while my "homepage node" is what loads if you put in our url.

    I have not gotten into writing my own modifications yet, but from what I've seen, its a lot cleaner than the old vBulletin 3.5.x+ way of doing plug-ins. Instead of having a millions hooks spread around a millions php files everything can be added through a standard system of directories with a simple .xml file to define all the "rules" for the add-on. Obviously, I ain't done much yet lol. But from playing with it a little...I really like this way of doing things better. I'm not having to troll through thousands of lines of code to find out the best place to "hook" my code in anymore.

    Basically, XenForo is like a forum reboot. That's what vBulletin needed...a complete re-write from the ground up because the old ways aren't cutting it anymore. Browsers support so much stuff now, its time to take advantage, and xenforo does exactly that.

    I don't plan on running more than one forum anytime soon, but if I do decide to open another one, I'll be buying another license for sure.

    I'll do you one better btw. I can't set you up tonight because I'm busy, but I'll send you a PM tomorrow (excuse me, "conversation") and give you a sneak peek at what we've been up to. ;) It isn't a big deal or anything, I haven't hacked the thing to death or made major alterations to the style, as I said I like the default style because its simple!

    Also, I loath facebook too, but I had to make an account and finally give in. You don't _need_ a facebook account but I suggest you set one up and get yourself signed up to use their dev/app tools. This will give you two short strings that you input into the options area of the admincp and you're good to go as far as facebook is concerned.

    I also suggest getting a twitter account set-up for your site as well.

    Anyway, I'm obviously a very happy camper at the moment. I'm looking forward to what the future holds for xenforo, if 1.0 is this good I can't even imagine what 2.0 will be like! :D
    cooperb125 likes this.
  8. cooperb125

    cooperb125 New Member

    Haha! You know, to this day (and I'll probably get stoned for this), I still think the post style of UBB 6.x is the best. It was so clean, and you knew what software it was by looking at it, and what purpose everything served. I think the first admining I got was a pirated copy of UBB 3 or 4 (yeah, I'll admit it was pirated...I was like 13 years old...give me a break, I don't pirate anymore).

    It was extremely hard for me to get used to vB after UBB for so many years. In fact, I remember NOT/refusing moving to vB, even though UBB kept bringing down my site under loads because I thought vB was not as pretty.

    Also, I have a Facebook, and I use it, I just don't like it. I guess I've grown out of the "everyone look at me and read my every move from the urinal to work!" phase of my life...I have a Twitter too...I follow far too many people. It's a great way to get news.

    (good post, btw. great information!)
    Hillbilly likes this.
  9. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    I don't like facebook all that much, but I second the notion of getting one if you're a business owner, a website owner, a blogger, a forum websmaster, and so on and on.
  10. Sean James

    Sean James Well-Known Member

    Welcome to XenForo you won't regret using it.
  11. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly Member

    Oh man you got started a bit earlier than me then! I played with the early UBB versions, but UBB 5 was _the_ forum software by the time I got into this game. Oh those were the days, trolling through perl code to find bits of html just to change the layout and having to "rebuild" all the old threads if I made a change in the source code else those changes wouldn't show up in older threads. Remember having to hack in avatars? Or how about "Mega Mods" (super mods for you youngin's).

    I remember the first hack I ever installed was a simple edit to change the "user ip" link in posts to an icon. xD At the time my forum could only support up to 10 users online at the same time as well. We were using a IIS server in my friends living room to host the place so if more than ten people tried to access it at the same time it wouldn't let them in. We finally moved to a proper server as that obviously became a problem very fast. :)

    Remember the password "4tugboat"? ;)

    I felt the same way for a long time, it took me awhile to finally make the jump over to vBulletin 2.x. I thought about converting for the longest time, but like you, I loved the UBB interface of the 6.x series and had spent so much time hacking in features that I had everything vBulletin offered, only with a cleaner interface.

    I finally bit the bullet and converted though around the time UBB 6.1 came out. I actually think I held the record for "most hacked" UBB 6.05 forum, at one point we were running over 120 modifications on our forum. I can't even remember what most of them were. But we had polls and everything vBulletin offered...it just ate our server because everything was stored as flat files. Of course, back then mySQL was just starting to be offered on shared hosting accounts and php was still new.

    We eventually made the jump though and I never looked back. As much as I love UBB, vBulletin was just so much better in every way except for the style which was just a matter of editing some templates to make it feel more like home. Given the choice between editing templates in vB 2.x or "hacking" UBB 6.0 to do everything vBulletin did out of the box.....well I'd take vBulletin 2.x any day of the week.

    I mainly use my facebook for keeping in contact with family, but again, I hate it. I actually swore off social networks back when myspace was still the coolest thing around. You see I went to a party one night and I'm just minding my own damn business having a "safety meeting" with some friends in the living room. Next day I wake up to pictures of us posted on myspace. I deleted my profile after making sure those pictures were taken down. I didn't like the idea of begin tied into a social network at all. The only reason I even opened a facebook account was so I could get at their dev tools, but now that I've been using it for about a week I must admit begin able to talk with my little sister and mother four states away without those hour long phone calls is really nice. So I stick around for them and to promote my website of course! ;)

    Thanks for that last comment btw. You sounded like you were in my shoes two weeks ago so I figured maybe my experience would help you out in some way. In my humble opinion Xenforo is where you want to be if you're looking to start a forum right now. Everyone else is going to be playing catch up to it....just like back in the good old vBulletin days. :)

    I see so many old faces around here...it already feels like home.

    Anyway, I wish you the best of luck with your purchase/install/getting everything set-up. I'm no expert at xenforo (yet! hah) but if you need some pointers or help feel free to shoot a PM my way!

    Good to see theres still some old hats out there that remember them UBB days. I pirated my first copy of it as well....I forget how much a legal copy was, but it was wayyyyyy outside my budget when I was 11 xD. We did buy a license about the time the 6.x series came out though. I actually pirated my first copy of vBulletin as well, but I was unaware of it at the time. We merged with another forum, and the admin assured me the vBulletin installation he had was legit. I actually got a message on AIM from Steve one day about three weeks later informing me that we were running a pirated copy. I shut the forum down for a couple of days and I believe we purchased a license later in the week. I can't remember the exact details, but Steve was very nice about the whole situation and understanding. I guess he knew I wasn't trying to ******** him. ;)

    I guess that's the main reason I went with xenforo.....all these old faces around here and the developers are people that I trust. I know they do good work and listen to their customers. I know I'm in good hands with the likes of Kier and Mike lurking around and writing the code that does all the grunt work for my site. I trust their skills way more than my own when it comes to things like security. :)

    Whoops I wrote another novel! Anyway, take it easy Brandon and best of luck to you.
  12. Trekkan

    Trekkan Well-Known Member

    Welcome to xF, it's badass and you'll like it. ;)

    Your mention of UBB brought me back... I wrote a mod authoring Windows app called Multihack back in the day for it. Was pretty awesome if I do say so myself. ;) I just did a search for it and it's still listed (but archived) on the UBB site: http://www.ubbdev.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/forums/87/1/MultiHack 1.5.html

    Ahh the memories. =)

    Just realized, that was about 10 years ago.... wow. heh
  13. RaySajuuk

    RaySajuuk New Member

    xunforo is great...
  14. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    Yo Brandon! Welcome, good to have you here :)
  15. Floris

    Floris Guest

    welcome =D
  16. Vilandra

    Vilandra Active Member

    Welcome Brandon :) I'd just like to echo what Brad said - at first it can be a little overwhelming/frustrating, but you'll get the hang of it. Just keep plugging away :)
  17. cooperb125

    cooperb125 New Member

    Got paid today...first thing I did: bought a license! Woohoo! Now I just need to decide what I want to do. I have so many ideas for sites...I'm also horrible at coming up with domain names lol.

    Time to install on my private site and mess around. I feel like I'm not going to get a lot of sleep the next few nights o_O

    Thanks again guys for all the tips/advice! I really look forward to learning and modding the heck out of it. It'll be fun to do this again :D

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