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Has anyone converted from IPB?

Jake Bunce

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#4
Currently there is no direct importer for IPB. But some people have imported via vB:

IPB -> vB -> xF

A double import like this works fine but it requires more effort. Here is one thing you need to be aware of regarding user prefs.
 

Sean S

Active member
#5
From looking at your website I would say you should have no problem converting over design/style wise. You could easily apply the design and structure of your website to xenForo. Main problem I see is that features such as your gallery, downloads, and blogs will be gone.

As for the problem with search engine ranking, that I think should only be temporarily. Your site seems large enough to be getting more direct traffic than search engine traffic.

Overall, if I were you I would probably wait a bit longer. If your site is not broken or if your users are happy, why change it?

Good luck.
 

CTXMedia

Formerly CyclingTribe
#7
It's nothing personal - I just think xF might be what my members want? That it might be just the thing to get people back on board and get the site busy again.

When I originally moved to IPB it was to create a cycling super-site for my members with CMS, blogs, gallery, etc. - something to rival the commercial "big boys" out there, and I was really psyched about it. My vB3 site was busy and growing well, and my membership was dedicated and enthusiastic. Little old working lad from 'ull had a site to be proud of and I thought everyone else would be along for the ride too. (Pardon the pun ... :))

I spent ages testing and making sure it was what I wanted, got a new custom skin designed, and made the move. Unfortunately what I hadn't properly accounted for was what my users wanted - the main reason people visited CycleChat in the first place was that it was a simple, easy-to-use chat forum that worked without fault and worked fast. They didn't particularly want a CMS or blogs or a gallery even (there was a forum for posting bike pics) but they didn't complain too much so I went ahead regardless.

Technically, the move was a complete success. However I made quite a few mistakes and lost a few people along the way - you get colateral damage with any move, I know, but I changed EVERYTHING all at once and quite a few long-term regulars ran for the hills as a result. The site was also quite a bit slower (initially) and people complained that it was less easy to use (due to all the new bells and whistles, and the more comprehensive layout options).

I've spent a lot of time getting the site back up to speed (which has also made a big difference to my Google indexing too - it's eating up my site now!!) and working with my moderators and members to help them get used to the new software, but it's just not as busy as before and people seem to visit/post less often (compared to before the move). A good few moderators have left too, and the ones that remain are not as confident as they were about managing posts/threads/members in spite of me writing tutorials and giving them good support.

My "numbers" continue to go down and I think that I need to get back to basics. Just be a forum again. xF has that "something" about it that makes it simple and fun to use (many of the complaints I've had about the IPB software is that it's 'clunky' - an emotional response I know, but equally valid as it's the end users that make the site).

I am going to continue to work on my site and try to get some of the things in place I had originally planned (wow ... six months has flown by) and I may end up not moving to xF, but it is an attractive prospect and when you consider who the developers are (the blokes who brought us the worlds most popular forum platform) it is bound to become as good as - if not, far better, than vBulletin 3.x (the software that me and my members loved best, but that unfortunately wasn't being developed any more).

I just want to make it very clear that I continue to receive nothing but great service and support from IPB and the issues with my site are mine - it's about how I "feel" about it. The more I use xF, the more I like it.

I will continue with IPB and it may well be that my plans pan-out and I don't move at all (there's 3.2 in the making that may tick a lot of the missing boxes for me), but I just wanted to know how other people's moves had gone and how their members had responded to it in case I do decide to move.

Cheers,
Shaun :D
 

Dean

Well-known member
#8
I will continue with IPB and it may well be that my plans pan-out and I don't move at all (there's 3.2 in the making that may tick a lot of the missing boxes for me), but I just wanted to know how other people's moves had gone and how their members had responded to it in case I do decide to move.

Cheers,
Shaun :D
Just be aware that the ipb -> vb -> xf route relies on the Impex importer, and what versions of ipb it supports. It could take time to update Impex for newer ipb versions.

Might want to consider that if/when you go live with the newer versions of ipb.
 

CTXMedia

Formerly CyclingTribe
#9
I'm going to update to 3.1.4 over the coming weeks and then we'll see what happens both here and at IPS in the New Year.

xF is moving forward at a good pace with new functionality being added all the time - likewise IPB are rolling out new versions of their apps. that look good and offer some great new features too.

Can I also add that IPS have gone out of their way to offer me assistance with CycleChat and given excellent support - and regardless of any decisions I make regarding future software preferences, I have nothing but respect for everyone at IPS. They're "good guys" and a first class team. :)

Cheers,
Shaun :D
 

Jamie

Well-known member
#10
Well you know I switched from vB to IPB last April and I made the switch again to xF a month ago. I have to say my users love xF, I love the ease of use and the fact that we're a forum community again vs trying to be the be all end all site.

I knew I would take a hit with some members in switching them in less than a year and I knew I would take a hit in Google, but in the end I had to consider where xF was going and the more I played with it on my test site the more I knew I would switch at some point.

I bought xF not to switch but to show support and they really won me over with the way they think, the way the system works, everything so I made the jump.

The people over at IPB are great people, they were always helpful and always willing to help in any way. My decision to move from IPB to xF was based solely on the potential I saw in xF and what I knew Kier and Mike could deliver.

Good luck on your decision!

Jamie
 

Jethro

Well-known member
#11
I'm going to update to 3.1.4 over the coming weeks and then we'll see what happens both here and at IPS in the New Year.

xF is moving forward at a good pace with new functionality being added all the time - likewise IPB are rolling out new versions of their apps. that look good and offer some great new features too.

Can I also add that IPS have gone out of their way to offer me assistance with CycleChat and given excellent support - and regardless of any decisions I make regarding future software preferences, I have nothing but respect for everyone at IPS. They're "good guys" and a first class team. :)

Cheers,
Shaun :D
Shaun you are not getting on the insane upgrade path IPB announced recently are you? That's been the final straw for me, have ditched upgrading skins and pretty much walked away from the mess.

On our site most members seem to have just launched into posting, got some good feedback, likes aren't being used as well as I thought they would, but all in all the members are happy enough :)
 

Carl

Well-known member
#12
Shaun, if you do decide to move maybe set up a xf test board and let some of your members use it before deciding to go full hog, include them in the process and they will trust and respect you have their interests at heart too :)
 

CTXMedia

Formerly CyclingTribe
#13
Yes, that would be part of the plan. I did that with IPB, and did months of testing it with a selection of members (old, young, techy, non-techy, different browsers, mobiles, etc.) and that helped to identify some of the areas that would need extra work / mods.

I then opened up the test IPB install so everyone could play with it before moving - to get further feedback.

Unfortunately, members tend to only be vocal about disliking something once you've done it. Many of them said nothing and simply left. A minority of them have come back to try again, but most have stayed away.

When I emailed some of them the main issue they had - the reason they didn't like the new site - was the layout/controls/interface (of course there's nothing to say they will like xF!!! - fickle lot our members, aren't they?!! lol).

Now whilst I've spent my time on optimising the speed of my site (which is paying dividends in terms of Google indexing) I am less inclined to start messing with templates because there are so many of them and I don't like the database-only editing system very much. Yes, I can copy 'n' paste the code into a text editor, but it's difficult to quickly open a batch of templates - you have to open each one in the browser and copy it. Seemingly not a big deal, but it wastes a lot of time when you're wanting to "get in" to modifying your site.

I sound critical, but it's more of a personal preference sort of thing - in the months that I've been using IPB I still don't feel comfortable with it, there's still something missing. Not a very quantifiable statement, I know, but there you go.

I'm not rushing to change and will continue the debate with myself for a while, especially as xF still needs more work and is lacking a few "essentials" and controls that I would like before considering any move.

Cheers,
Shaun :D
 

Shadab

Well-known member
#14
I am less inclined to start messing with templates because there are so many of them and I don't like the database-only editing system very much. Yes, I can copy 'n' paste the code into a text editor, but it's difficult to quickly open a batch of templates - you have to open each one in the browser and copy it. Seemingly not a big deal, but it wastes a lot of time when you're wanting to "get in" to modifying your site.
Sounds like you haven't tried the WebDAV way of editing templates. ;)

Watch the videos (part #2 and #3) posted by Kier:
http://xenforo.com/community/threads/editing-templates-and-defining-a-callback-for-pages.7226/
 

Sagar

Active member
#18
I converted my small board from IPB 3.x --> VB 3.8 --> Xenforo 1. My members took bit of time to learn easier and lightweight Xenforo as its bit different than any forum software till date. But once they got what it is, they are now loving it.
I'm interested in hearing from IPB owners who have migrated over to xF.

I'm considering moving my main site (www.cyclechat.net) in the New Year and wondered how you / your members have found the experience?

Cheers,
Shaun :D
 

Pope Viper

Well-known member
#19
I can warn about the 3.1.4 to VB conversion. It's not working, and unfortunately, I don't know enough about SQL to figure out what to do.

Everything seems to work fine, UNTIL you try to bring users in, then I got this:

ImpEx Database error

mysql error: Invalid SQL:
SELECT
m.*,
pp.notes, pp.links, pp.bio, pp.ta_size, pp.signature, pp.avatar_location, pp.avatar_size, pp.avatar_type
,pf.field_1 AS aim_name,pf.field_2 AS msnname,pf.field_3 AS website,pf.field_4 AS icq_number,pf.field_6 AS location,pf.field_7 AS interests,pf.field_8 AS yahoo,pf.field_12 AS location,pf.field_13 AS interests
FROM members AS m
LEFT JOIN profile_portal AS pp ON (m.member_id = pp.pp_member_id)
LEFT JOIN pfields_content AS pf ON (m.member_id = pf.member_id)
ORDER BY m.member_id
LIMIT 0, 2000


mysql error: Unknown column 'pp.links' in 'field list'

mysql error number: 1054

Date: Monday 06th 2010f December 2010 10:53:19 AM
Database: ipb
MySQL error: Unknown column 'pp.links' in 'field list'
 

CTXMedia

Formerly CyclingTribe
#20
Ouch. I'm sure someone around here will be able to help with that (there are some clever little so ans so's on xF :D) - you possibly just need to create the "pp.links" field in your ipb 'members' table.

But don't take my word for it ...

Good luck, and let me know how your members take to it?

Cheers,
Shaun :D