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I'm trying to convince root Admin to switch to XF, not VB.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Aarmin, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Aarmin

    Aarmin Active Member

    I visit the forum almost daily - when I have an internet connection. It is one of my favorite websites, so when the Admin started discussing the idea of switching to vBulletin I naturally stepped in and made a case for XenForo! Only the staff members (I'm a moderator) know so far, but I do not feel I'm selling XF good enough :(

    The Admin is very concerned about messing things up, and is looking to vBulletin because he has been told its "easy to use". I don't think XF is any harder to set up than vBulletin (I've ran vB 3.# in the past, but never used 4.0). Basically the Admin doesn't know much at all about setting up a forum community, and this is a big concern to him.

    I'm not sure what the point is in this thread. I guess I'm so slightly thrilled about the forum upgrading to a new forum software, but disappointed that he is thinking vBulletin 4.0.

    The forum is currently running Simple Machines Forum v1.1.11; there is no converter ("ease of use") so it looks like I'm out of luck.
  2. SchmitzIT

    SchmitzIT Well-Known Member

    If your admin enjoys not knowing in advance exactly what will continue working after an upgrade, and enjoys spending countless hours on every upgrade, by all means, he should go for vB. If he does not mind pissing off users by dragging the site down to a grinding halt due to excessive amounts of queries, then vB is definitely the way to go. If he can live with little to no new features in two years, go for vB.

    However, if he prefers smooth and easy upgrades, a smooth running forum, happy users, and new and innovative features with new releases, XenForo should be the platform for him to look into.

    If your admin needs some conversion help, he can drop me a PM here, or mail me at peter at schmitzit dot com.If I am not mistaking, a conversion is possible by first importing the database into a vB 3.* database, and then transferring it to XenForo from there.
    Anthony Parsons likes this.
  3. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    I've used VB for about 5 years and I'm still stuck with it on one of my forums because that one has a big custom addition which will need time to prepare to match XF. Here's my comparison of the two as I'm working with both on a daily basis.

    This is my personal assessment only based on 5 years experience of VB and 1 year XF since it started.

    1. COST. VB is more expensive and has a contract where you have to keep paying more every year or two.I don't find it straightforward to understand and it is difficult that they change the terms.
    VB have a history of suddenly changing contract terms so although you think you've bought a contract actually you haven't and you have to pay all over again. At one point you were asked to pay for the new version without even seeing it!
    XF is a simple fee per year.

    2. UPGRADES. This is when the company brings out a new version of the software.
    On VB if you have made your forum individual to you in any way you have to do it all again, only the system has changed. Can easily take hours.
    On XF a lot of your individual changes are stored in areas which are not affected by the upgrade. If something is affected, there is a nice obvious way it shows you, so you can quickly find it, copy your change and paste it in the new file.

    IMPORTANT NOTE. If you do use VB DO NOT use VB 4.0 (the current version). The net it splattered with a long list of complaints about it everywhere admins talk. What a lot of people stuck with VB unable to move away yet, are doing is using an older version 3.8 which is acceptable. But of course this is old software and getting older.

    3. ADMIN The admin side of the two is very different. In XF everything I want is clearly laid out in logical sections.
    In VB a lot of the things I most want to use are hidden behind obscure series of clicks which I forget if I haven't done it for a while.

    4. DESIGN The appearance of XF is simply beautiful and everyone admires it. But most of us want to make our forums look like OUR forum. In XF this is very easy to do for yourself without paying a designer. There's a whole section showing you all the colours used in little boxes, and you just click one and choose another colour.
    In VB you need to know html /css or you pay a designer. If you do know html and css the VB system is not that easy and you can spend hours trying over and over to make one pesky little thing work.

    5. SPEED If you run a small forum with 30 - 300 users it doesn't make an awful lot of difference but a large forum runs slowly on VB and fast on XF. Even a small one feels much nicer being really instant.

    6. FUNCTIONS I have seen a lot of complaints about the basic functions on VB not working properly. I don't see much of that about XF nor have I found much myself. I have three secondary points I'd like XF to address - timeout is a bit awkward; private conversations need some tweaking to label them better, and search them; the static Pages need a few bits added to make them more useful. But this is a small wishlist compared to what VB needs.

    7. EXTRA FEATURES Both communities have a lot of good extra features like albums, wiki, portal, etc. The difference is that a lot of the best coders left VB and transferred to XF so there is little new or interesting being added to VB but a lot is being added to XF every week. The community of coders which add stuff to the central forum is very much at the centre of XF which helps them work fast and efficiently. Coders on VB are on a separate website and get not very much help and information from the VB centre.

    8. CUTTING EDGE XF is simply the cutting edge package which to me and to many others makes VB look antique.
    I've seen a whole series of admins report that their forums on VB were dying, then members perk up and activate when the forum switches to XF. Ordinary users justLIKE using XF. It's friendly, quick and fun. It draws you in and makes you feel part of things immediately.
    While XF is cutting edge it isn't mysterious, or hidden in jargon, or prone to sudden failures through being sophisticated.. Part of its cutting edge character is how reliable it is. It focuses on being stable, solid and clean. All software generates 'bugs' - peculiar little glitches. These get fixed very fast on XF because the XF community reports them quickly and the XF team responds fast.

    9. SUPPORT The community on XF is like VB used to be around 3 - 4 years ago. There's a lot of keen admins busily building beautiful forums and comparing notes. They help each other in a really pleasant useful way.
    The speed of support on XF is outstanding. I have teased one of the XF mods (support officers) that he was slow one day because he took 2 minutes to answer my query! (I think his record is measured in seconds.) Not saying it's always that good but that's the general standard. I think the best VB has done is 24 hours and it's often much longer than that, up to several days.

    Again the above is my own experience and observations based on 5 years VB and 1 year XF (since it started)
    I don't mean to slag off VB. It's been good software in its day but that's in the past.
    I hope I haven't infringed policy by making a frank comparison but I do think people looking at a choice need clear helpful info.
  4. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    What Morgain said. (y)
  5. Dismal Shadow

    Dismal Shadow Active Member

    If you looked at my site: http://iapplecafe.org/community/
    This site was previously a SMF forum running 2.0 and converted to phpBB3 and imported to Xenforo with success. :)

    Screen Shot 2011-12-14 at 11.20.31 AM.png Screen Shot 2011-12-14 at 11.19.23 AM.png
  6. Ranger375

    Ranger375 Well-Known Member

    IMO, it would be silly for any admin in that position to switch to a new platform without at least trying out the other ones, including xf!
  7. EQnoble

    EQnoble Well-Known Member

    Tell your admin to try this software out. http://xenforo.com/demo/ <-- you/he can create a free demo there and get the feel for it. There is nothing better than seeing it for yourself, you know?

    After he tries that out...ask him if he wants to work hard or work smart. Xenforo as a platform is the simplest system to get used to and by far the easiest to customize in my experience and I am a noob.
  8. Floris

    Floris Guest

    Since 2010 vBulletin as a trend dropped from about 15 to 9, in 12 months.
    XenForo went from 0 at the end of 2010 to above 1, in the same 12 months.

    Your admin can use the argument that vBulletin is still around 10, where XenForo isn't.
    That's fine, if this trends continues, they will be around 6 where XenForo is about to hit 3.

    vBulletin had since 2008 to convince the market that they are making a modern product.
    Many are shouting it's version 4 is 'gold' but far from stable and secure.

    Screen shot 2011-12-14 at 4.38.35 PM.png
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  9. iTuN3r

    iTuN3r Well-Known Member

    I managed to change few of my buddies mind towards xenforo :)
  10. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    The simple statement is that some very large forums are shifting away from VB to XF because they recognise VB's ongoing issues and as a result, can see the growing potential in XF... considering VB's current fundamentals, being its forum is still primarily VB3 code which was written by Kier, Mike and others, over a decade ago, vs. HTML5 CSS3 current standard coding, vast performance difference with XF... I have posted in the past about server load using VB4 vs. XF... XF is far cheaper to run for server resources compared to VB4.

    The list is extensive... only a moron would buy VB4 at this point.
    Moses likes this.
  11. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    http://gconverter.com/start/ SMF -> xF = $75.
    xfservices.com does it too
    xenfans.com as well.

    Server costs are less with xenforo than vBulletin because the code is just faster.

    Get the admin to come here and get some reassurance.
    There could be some gotchas where he would be best with vB4.
    To me vBulletin 4 is painful.
  12. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    I only see this trend continuing over the next year or two... especially once big boards have shifted to XF and ditched VB.
  13. optrex

    optrex Active Member

    I have 3 forums. 2 of them went from vb to IPB. All 3 will be on XF by the end of the year. I would no longer touch vb with a barge pole and if your admin is not experienced he will find the setup and permissions a total nightmare. IPB looks great from an admin perspective, but its too confusing for members and its becoming very disjointed.
    Using XF has given my users a simple and intuitive forum platform that is smart, modern and above all quick. They love it. Its designed from the ground up and to be honest coming from SMF, you can't go wrong.
  14. tmb

    tmb Active Member

    I came from SMF 1.1 as well. Just in terms of speed and stability it was a huge upgrade. We had to make some customizations to not lose some of the things SMF did better but its been a great experience. If you decide to move to xen there is an addon I put out there that pulls through the passwords if you come through vb.
  15. kkm323

    kkm323 Well-Known Member

    Show your admin this section Have You Seen...?

    also let him know that those who started and made vb3 successful are the one who build xf from the ground up considering all the modern features
    RED: The main devloper of xf
    GREEN: well-known member participating in xf daily
    BLUE: left vb
    Saeed and Digital Doctor like this.
  16. Marcus

    Marcus Well-Known Member

    I like both vbulletin setup and the vbulletin permission system. I also like the vbulletin back-end. It does the job. In general, most people about the back-end - only because I do use lots of custom stuff, I do. The most important thing for a community is the front-end, as the user does most of the job as content creation and so on.
  17. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    How's the journey ?

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