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For those planning to convert an existing forum to XenForo...

thedude

Well-known member
#1
...how do you think your users will react to the change?

Some users don't like even the smallest change so it's risky doing something big like this. We plan to open a test XenForo so they can play with it and give us feedback before converting the main site.
 

anotheralias

Well-known member
#7
Well here's my suggestion along those lines: once they're ready to sell the software, they ought to create a separate board that admins can send their board members to, to test out the software (without disturbing the company site). I think the software will take it from there - it sells itself. People won't fear the change, they'll demand it. Eventually, it'll be the board members hounding the board owners to make the change.

And here's why I say that - I notice this major difference between vB and xF:

With vB, most of the chatter is admin-related, like "oh great a new way to deal with spam!" and "I love the ad integration" and so on.

With xF, most of the chatter is user-related, like "oh wow I love the alerts" and "this quick reply is so easy to use" and so on.

That's why I think this software will be a roaring success: it appeals to the people who actually use the boards.

And I don't think that reservations like "well, it'll have to have CMS" or "I won't buy it without a blog" are going to matter that much down the line. If everyone is drifting to boards that use this software, the board owners are going to buy it.

And I say that with no reason at all to care whether it's a success. I don't know Kier (Kier?) or the other guy (Mike?) and they don't know me, and I'm not in any of the vB cliques (nobody would ever remember me from vB except maybe the guy who spend three days trying to help me with a who's-online problem when I first started there, and I doubt he'd remember me kindly).

I'm just somebody who saw this mentioned on vB, decided to take a look at it because I was bored and had nothing better to do, and ... several days later, I'm so addicted that I'm spending my Sunday afternoon praising software for which I have absolutely no vested interest.
 

Jerry

Well-known member
#8
Same here, test then convert.
I've always advised people to do test conversions with a small group that can find all the conversion bugs and changes in functionality, then they can imporve the final import massivally and coach the community afterwards, let alone getting the core on board before making a big change is just plain sensiable.
 
#10
Well here's my suggestion along those lines: once they're ready to sell the software, they ought to create a separate board that admins can send their board members to, to test out the software (without disturbing the company site). I think the software will take it from there - it sells itself. People won't fear the change, they'll demand it. Eventually, it'll be the board members hounding the board owners to make the change.
And they can't just come to this forum to check it out? why should it be up to the xF guys to do the testing for customers sites? The best solution would be to setup a personal test site and allow select members access to get feedback of positive/negative and continually try to improve it.

And here's why I say that - I notice this major difference between vB and xF:

With vB, most of the chatter is admin-related, like "oh great a new way to deal with spam!" and "I love the ad integration" and so on.

With xF, most of the chatter is user-related, like "oh wow I love the alerts" and "this quick reply is so easy to use" and so on.

That's why I think this software will be a roaring success: it appeals to the people who actually use the boards.
A lot of this is because it's still new and fresh. The same chatter happened when vB3 went live and as some features were added along the way to 4.0. If 4.0 wasn't such a train wreck, it could have been the same chatter, (and possibly no need for Xenforo).

Really while there are some nice features here, if vBulletin would simply start adding everything inside a popup, i'm sure the Ohhh's and Ahhh's would be ringing out there as well.
 

Hornstar

Well-known member
#13
As long as we don't lose functionality (mods etc). I think most of mine will think this is the vb4 that I have been talking about, and they will be happy lol

It is so easy to overlook things that you don't use, so I will have to get some of my more active members to play around with the software first too.
 

anotheralias

Well-known member
#14
And they can't just come to this forum to check it out? why should it be up to the xF guys to do the testing for customers sites?
Well hell, I don't care personally - I'm not demanding that they do this, I just think it would be in their own best interest. (If it were me, I'd do it.)
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
#15
I make sure to do A & B comparisons before I change softwares.

The one time I didn't was with vB4, and that was because of the faq.php being replaced with a FTP script due to an exploit.
 

ENF

Well-known member
#16
We've revealed XenForo to our moderator teams and a select number of senior users (not senior as in age, but length of membership). There's a lot of positive feedback and some valid concern points about some of the modifications we rely on. The 'touch & feel' aspect of XenForo is winning hands down, now if we could just get under the hood to see what can be done with the XenForo engine...

From a user feedback perspective, I'm getting the same kind of comparison feedback that I'm sure some of you are already getting, XenForo vs. vBulletin: vB feels old and clunky compared to XF.
 

Tigratrus

Well-known member
#17
I've always advised people to do test conversions with a small group that can find all the conversion bugs and changes in functionality, then they can imporve the final import massivally and coach the community afterwards, let alone getting the core on board before making a big change is just plain sensiable.
This.

I always setup major migrations on a test server and open it to our mods and mentors to get feedback and get them used to the new system. First though I run the full migration making copious notes of exactly what i had to do, what templates needs to be re-edited and which can rust be reverted and left alone etc. Then I restore the testbed from a full backup and run through the whole process again using my notes and see if I missed anything, or if I can do things faster/simpler. Once I've got the migration down pat, *then* I get the feedback and we move forward. When we did the last major overhaul (moving fr0m vB 3.6 to 3.7 AND adding Joomla! as the CMS and Wordpress as the blog) we totally reorganized things forum wise, but I had a written script in a TextEdit and every step was spot on. Took all night to do it all, but in the AM we got very few negative responses.

It's a lot of time up front, but it's sooooooo much better than having things blowup and trying to patch it all back together while the board is closed and your members are getting irritated. And Google's not paying you anything ;).
 

Vilandra

Active member
#20
There's always a hullabaloo in the beginning until they get used to it. But they will get used to it. If a member leaves the forum because we changed softwares, we have bigger problems lol