So far vB is completely out, unless vB4 suits my needs more than XF or IPB.
Looking at reviews, threads, and so on I've come to the conclusion that XF is by far better than it's competition; here's the thing though. The way I am setting it up there will be monthly subscriptions that will communicate will my programs.
So. Main things I need to focus on is security, flexibility, communication, and customization.
Security - Since I am messing with real subscriptions, I want to make sure that the forum software is secure. Obviously this is important for every administrator of any forum.
Flexibility - I want to be able to mess with my forum enough to allow my own plugins or custom code, still keeping it secure of course. Also allowing collaboration between 3rd party plugins.
Customization - This is theme based, obviously I want to be able to customize the forum to my liking.
Communication - Some might think this is communication between users, posts, etc. No. I do not mean this. I mean something else. My standalone software will do the following.
> = sending information
Username/Password > Forum Forum > Incorrect/Correct login
Logs in. Requests user level > Forum
Premium/Member/Admin/etc. > Program
The program will allow access to certain items depending on access level (Admin, moderator, premium, etc.). That's what I mean by communication. Communication between programs and forum.
I'm not asking how to do it that's just something I am focusing on as well.
There's always other things that factor in like price, compatibility, plugins, etc.
Price - I need something that is reasonable in price but still is good. XenForo is what I'm thinking because vB is not worth the money in my eyes. IPB is good, more or less, but charging every 6 months? Really? I don't like the fluctuating charge either. I like the consistent $40 per year with XenForo. So price wise. I'm thinking XenForo.
Plugins - I need a wide variety of plugins. Not saying I'll use every single plugin in creation. I'm just looking for a software that has a wide variety for any use I may need, though I may code custom plugins in the future.
Compatibility - I need something that is easy to use. Simple as that.
User Interface - One of the things all administrators look for is the user interface. How hard is it to navigate? Is it easy to understand? And so on. I'm talking about the forum itself here.
CPs - ACP, MCP, and UCP. As I increase in size, I want to make sure editing settings is simple for the users. Also, if I have a new admin that's new to XenFero, I want to be able for him/her to learn the ACP fairly easy.
Mobile - I want a forum that has a mobile version built in because most people are on the go and would be on their phones.
Custom Pages - I really would like this also built in so I can do a custom page with the same header and overall current theme so I can embed like a video or something of the sort into the page.
Usergroups/Tags - Flexible groups, I can customize it how I want. Simple as that.
Extra - External/Social connections are another thing I would like to have. Connection a twitter account and broadcasting the feed on a homepage of some sort. Also allowing users to sign up/in via Facebook and Twitter.
Notifications, I know it doesn't seem large, but notifications are a huge thing to me. Pop ups on the homepage or whatever giving someone important info. Also, the ability to adjust those notifications based on user groups.
Also. I am currently using MyBB. I need something that I can switch from MyBB to easily and/or quickly.
I hope I gave you some insight into what I am needing. I tried to make this post as detailed as possible for clarity and so I don't get responses like, "Well I use it for this and this."
I'm sorry. I don't care what you use it for unless it's similar to what I'm using it for. Like with the communication between a standalone program and the forum. Don't mean to sound like a **** or anything. I'm just being straight forward about it.
Anyways. I hope you guys can help me make my decision. If you can please refrain from short answers like, "XenForo cause it's awesome."
I would prefer you explain why. Defend your choice. Sell it to me, that's actually kind of what you're doing.
Thank you guys in advance!