Moving my biggest community to XenForo

Hey everyone!

I have run several large community forums over the last 20+ years. My largest, by far, today, is at NarniaFans.com and I've been running that on vBulletin for the entirety of the site's existence so far. However, vBulletin has been a lot of trouble, and now they're ending support for the version I use. I heard about XenForo a long time ago, and decided it was time to get moving on it.

I've already enlisted help from someone here to get things set up and moved over. Pretty excited to have that happen soon, and excited to finally be moving into what I think is a modern forum platform.
 
@Grant we got a test move completed, and all of the data seems to have moved over correctly, which is fantastic.

One of the moderators noticed that there was a panel that showed messages from people's forum profiles, by default. I agreed with her that this felt a bit invasive or odd, so I removed that panel.

I have also been digging into the admin area to see what else I can do. It has a learning curve to it, but then, so does vBulletin. I'm really happy with what I've seen so far. The theming seems to be insanely smart. I set two colors and I think the software must pick similar colors to match where necessary? Am I losing my mind, or is this actually something that happened? Because if so, that's just awesome.

Working with @Slavik on this has been great. He's a different timezone, which has slowed us down, but he has scripts that go beyond what their importers do. When it comes to a large forum, I could have tried to import everything myself, and get the forum optimized, etc. But for the peace of mind, I thought it would be beneficial to hit the ground running.

Now that the test is complete, I'm hoping to continue the project and make the forum live. Then I'll be styling it to the color scheme that the original forum had, with some graphical updates.

I'm not looking back to vBulletin anytime soon. This move, so far, is well worth it.
 
We officially moved it today, and it went just as smoothly. I'm really pumped to get the forum colors and theming closer to the style of the old forum, with all of the greatness that is now available.

I'm going to be putting a lot of work into getting things set up, because it's actually fun to use this software.
 

Solari

Active member
Congrats! You won't regret it. Several of my forums (some from the latest 90's) migrated to XF over the years and it's a very solid platform that's lightweight as well. We've saved quite a bit on server resources coming from vB so that will help you in that area too.

As always with forum changes, there were initial grumblings from the user base but now they are used to it and very happy with it.

Ray
 
Congrats on a successful migration, and all the best moving forward! Have fun playing with the look and feel :)
Thanks! Definitely going to. It's been hard to focus on it like I want to today, because of family stuff, but I am looking forward to it.
Congrats! You won't regret it. Several of my forums (some from the latest 90's) migrated to XF over the years and it's a very solid platform that's lightweight as well. We've saved quite a bit on server resources coming from vB so that will help you in that area too.

As always with forum changes, there were initial grumblings from the user base but now they are used to it and very happy with it.

Ray
I'm sure... it already feels like my server is running faster. Page loads are so much faster than vBulletin were, and that alone should help members get over the differences.

I am sure there will be some grumbling from some users, but that is to be expected from any major change. That is something I can handle. I am hopeful that old members come back and take a look as well, once we have it pretty well finished with the design work.
 

Static-Xbox

Active member
Thanks! Definitely going to. It's been hard to focus on it like I want to today, because of family stuff, but I am looking forward to it.

I'm sure... it already feels like my server is running faster. Page loads are so much faster than vBulletin were, and that alone should help members get over the differences.

I am sure there will be some grumbling from some users, but that is to be expected from any major change. That is something I can handle. I am hopeful that old members come back and take a look as well, once we have it pretty well finished with the design work.
Yep, send out a nice email promoting the new software and all it offers them and they'll hopefully come around. Change is hard for people, but once they realize just how much XenForo offers, they'll come around! :)
 
Ironically, I just sent that email out to all of the users. It should also help to bring some older members back, who might have forgotten about us. I might lose some members, but that is perfectly normal. I know the forum isn't exactly all ready to go with logos and art and colors changed... but it works, and that's the most important thing to me. Plus, I have a large ugly notice on the top that explains that the theme is still in the works. :-D
 

Static-Xbox

Active member
Ironically, I just sent that email out to all of the users. It should also help to bring some older members back, who might have forgotten about us. I might lose some members, but that is perfectly normal. I know the forum isn't exactly all ready to go with logos and art and colors changed... but it works, and that's the most important thing to me. Plus, I have a large ugly notice on the top that explains that the theme is still in the works. :-D
Yeah, that email should help draw out a few older faces who haven't stopped by in a while, which will be good, give you a bit of a nostalgia boost, perhaps ;). Hopefully you won't lose too many, but at least in time you've now got a platform you can build on and grow with moving forward!
 
One thing to add. We had weird permissions from groups that we had created with vBulletin. I'm working out some of those settings. It's something that is very edge-case, so not everyone will deal with this.

That said, everyone that has come back so far seems to love it. We'll get more of the regulars back soon, I am sure.
 
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