I've read all of the IPB vs Xenforo discussions and have decided I want Xenforo for my new community, which is of a different genre. My fear is that my potential members may not want Xenforo, which is why I have not made my purchase. I've fooled around with the test demo of IPB and a paid version of IPB quite alot, and just made my demo for Xenforo moments ago. My fears mostly relate to the fact that almost all of the 10,000+ member forums (what I consider to be VERY successful, while marginally profitable) seem to be running on IPB. Could somebody point me to some successful Xenforo forums? It's not that I want to copy those forums, which I will not - it's actually the contrare, I want to see a genuine userbase that is pleased with the Xenforo system. I hope that doesn't come off as condescending, but as someone who has done everything for free and out of love I feel that I deserve to make a small profit off of my next forum, and I want to use the right software to attract members. It's much different when you do something with a creative, childlike mind (I made my 6 year old forum as a very young teenager, mind you) than when you have bills and rent and a job and have limited time and resources to dedicate to what you like.
That said, I want to simply know how much MORE am I getting out of my administrative experience from Xenforo compared to Zetaboards, and how much MORE am I getting out of my user experience from Xenforo to zetaboards.
Most if not all of the administrative things are taken care of with a free host so I will have to teach myself about that sort of stuff. I'm excited to make this leap, I just made this post to overcome some last minute nervousness.
And no, I will not discuss my current small forum or my new forum idea - this is because I don't want A) any bias or B) my members to know that I will mostly be terminating my forum. I want them to find out when that decision is actually made.
Edit: I have one more question. It's about the skinning/design options for xenforo. It seems very formulaic and bland. Is this just coincidence? I found the "top xenforo forums" and they all look identical as far as formatting and design goes, with only mild aesthetic changes. Am I able to pay for something truly unique?
Hope you understand!