is XenForo good to buy ?

Robust

Well-known member
Beware of independent add-ons that have extremely poor documentation! This might be fine if you are a programming expert, otherwise, you will run into many brick walls getting them activated. Caveat Emptor! Otherwise, it's like buying a new car without a test drive and getting one-word answers when there is a problem. XenForo is great, 3rd party add-ons, not so much!
One developer or add-on doesn't represent the entire market.
 

gerryvz

Well-known member
Unless he heads to Andy Bs site and gets a **** load for $35. ✅

Changed from vb4 and never looked back.

Just everything is better. Hardly any major errors and the add-ons, esp from Andy are top notch.
+1.

Do your research before going with add-ons, to see which of the XF add-on developers have been around, and actively support their product. Go with those who actively support, update and create new add-ons.

My short-list of "go-to" add-on developers is (in no particular order):
  1. @AndyB
  2. @Xon
  3. @Pixel Exit
  4. @Sim
  5. Snog @ozzy47
  6. @XFA
All proven developers who are active participants in the XF community.

Haven't looked back even one second since migrating my vB 4.2.4 forum to XF on March 10, 2019.
 
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gerryvz

Well-known member
@ThemeHouse has some good add-ons, as well. (y)
There are certainly plenty of others, but I don't have much personal experience with them. I know that ThemeHouse an DragonByte are among them.

I have personally experienced support from @AndyB and @Pixel Exit, and it has been literally almost instantaneous, exceedingly competent, and right on. The mod and theme quality is also par excellence. I once suggested a modest improvement to @AndyB for one of his add-ons, and he literally implemented it in a matter of hours.

@Sim of Australia has also been a joy to work with as I implemented a Linode-specific block-storage setup that he recently "engineered" that works a charm. I use his robots mod as well.
 

xffutureuser

Active member
anybody could tell me ? should buy Xen or Vbu ?
Be prepared to spend a ton of money on several add-ons with XenForo, plus annual fee for XF license. XF is very basic in the features, no calendar, no blogs, no articles, no comments system for posts.
With vB you have many features included with life time license so it is much cheaper to use. If you are on a tight budget, vB is much cheaper, but be prepared for crappy and buggy software with terrible support.
 

Martok

Well-known member
With vB you have many features included with life time license
You didn't mention that the life time license is for the current version which is vBulletin 5. If/when vBulletin 6 arrives you'll have to pay an upgrade fee which is currently only $40 less than the full price. That upgrade fee equates to around 4 years of the XenForo annual renewal (which is optional). Also the vBulletin purchase only includes 1 month of ticket support, after that you would have to pay a significant monthly amount for this. XenForo includes 1 year of ticket support with the initial license and with an annual renewal.

XF is very basic in the features, no calendar, no blogs, no articles, no comments system for posts.
Indeed XenForo doesn't have these and not everyone needs them anyway. It doesn't make is "very basic in features", it is quite rich in the features that it does provide for forum software which is what it is. Those features are essentially for a CMS (except post comments which not everyone likes anyway).

As for add-ons, it really depends on what is needed for a website. Some sites require only a few add-ons or none at all, not everyone needs lots of extras and a significant financial layout. Each admin needs to make that judgement for themselves.
 

wedgar

Well-known member
You didn't mention that the life time license is for the current version which is vBulletin 5. If/when vBulletin 6 arrives you'll have to pay an upgrade fee which is currently only $40 less than the full price. That upgrade fee equates to around 4 years of the XenForo annual renewal (which is optional). Also the vBulletin purchase only includes 1 month of ticket support, after that you would have to pay a significant monthly amount for this. XenForo includes 1 year of ticket support with the initial license and with an annual renewal.


Indeed XenForo doesn't have these and not everyone needs them anyway. It doesn't make is "very basic in features", it is quite rich in the features that it does provide for forum software which is what it is. Those features are essentially for a CMS (except post comments which not everyone likes anyway).

As for add-ons, it really depends on what is needed for a website. Some sites require only a few add-ons or none at all, not everyone needs lots of extras and a significant financial layout. Each admin needs to make that judgement for themselves.
Support for XF is pretty good. I tremendous trying to get support for VB and it took quite awhile to get an answer from VB. Our users aren't really interested in a calendar or a blog. We're happy with XF.
 

Overscan

Active member
Xenforo absolutely works for me, after migrating my forum after 13 long years with SMF (free).

You need to identify what the core requirements are for your forum and go for a forum system which meets the majority of requirements without needing lots of plugins. Xenforo and IPB were the only realistic contenders for my requirements, after I tried a huge number of possible systems. I was able to make my own theme very easily and got help from Xenforo developers and the community with the migration.

I've installed some addons (all free) and the official ElasticSearch addon. That should be included as standard though, as I really hated the default search engine.

Xenforo was modern enough to solve the problems of the old forum, but traditional enough that it didn't alienate the userbase. Another forum in a similar topic to mine moved from Xenforo to a Drupal based system recently and have gutted the forum membership in the process.
 
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Mendalla

Active member
Another forum in a similar topic to mine moved from Xenforo to a Drupal based system recently and have gutted the forum membership in the process.
LOL. My board exists because the owner of its Drupal-based predecessor decided to shut it down when they saw the bill for upgrading their board to a new version of Drupal (they were using outside consultants). It was clunky as hell compared to off-the-rack forum software like Xenforo, too. Their proposed replacement was a Facebook group, an idea that enough of us disliked to justify a group of us starting a replacement board using Xenforo.
 

Overscan

Active member
This board is for a magazine publishers and they want to put their magazine content online in Drupal behind a paywall - which is actually a perfectly fine idea - and then put their paywall articles into the forum search etc. So long as it was done without breaking the forum search, it would have been a decent idea to make some money, though I'd have considered a bridge to Xenforo with shared logins.

They didn't even consult the unpaid, volunteer forum moderators before migrating them, let alone end users, and they failed utterly to understand what the users needed.

The odd thing is they could have used the OpenSocial Drupal distribution and got 80% of the needed functionality, and given a bit more involvement from the users, it could have succeeded. Instead they used the most basic forum functionality, no registration spam protection, no user private messages, nothing.

So - my message is understand your users. There's no "best" forum software for all purposes. Are the discussions granular, on lots of different topics, or is it just one big conversation? Are attachments important? Search engine?
 

gerryvz

Well-known member
Sounds a bit like the saga of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America forums (http://www.mbca.org/forum). Once upon a time (early 2000s), the club used vBulletin 3.x for their forums. Worked well and they had a decent and active forum. Then, around 2009-2010, they for some reason abandoned vBulletin and converted their forum to a Drupal-based forum as part of a total revamp of their web site. This was at the recommendation (and paid conversion/implementation) of some "outside consultants" who created an OK web site, but botched a lot of it. The club blew through its budget for the web site revamp and limped along for years with a barely-working, patched together Drupal web site and forum.

The forum using Drupal plummeted into oblivion. Literally 98% of the members stopped using it and traffic/posts almost came to a standstll.

More recently (I would say over the past year or two) they are using some sort of forum called "Muut" (WTF? https://muut.com/) which is just as bad or even worse than the Drupal forum was. Again, almost nobody ever posts there.

It's sad when some "consultant" (with dollar signs in their eyes, wanting to make some bucks) recommends junk software that doesn't meet the needs of the user, and then the site withers on the vine as a result.
 
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