First of all my feelings before I started. With over 350,000 posts and the most popular forum on siberian huskies there is on the internet I will say I was extremely nervous about moving. On top of this I made the brave decision to move over on a beta version of the invision converter. I was bothered by the features I would lose (as I know many others are) however certain things had been driving me daft on IPB so thought I would take the plunge with my respect for Kier & Mike.
First of all I had to skin my forum to look like the old one somewhat so as to not bother my users too much. xenforo I have to say is the easiest forum to skin BY FAR. I have used vbulletin, phpbb, ibp, smf and probably more in my time, however the way in which it has been implemented deserves a massive amount of complement to the development team here. Bare in mind I am not a designer, I am useless with CSS at times. But managed to get a forum that looks pretty similar to the old one, minus the clunkiness inherited from the IPB platform.
On to my conversion. I decided to move the forum overnight so as not to disturb my members too much, doing a full backup as everyone should and then on with the conversion. To be honest the hardest part of the conversion is having to sit and wait whilst it does its job. It really is quite simple and pretty much what I have seen from most other more established forum types. Not much more to say on the data conversion, it just works.
After conversion and switch on. I have found the odd few users, usually facebook ones who are struggling to log in with their current credentials, which for me is not a big issue as at the end of the day its a case of changing a password for them. This is an area that probably could do with looking at, although its not really caused me a massive amount of issue to the extent Ive not even bothered to report it as of yet.
IPB URL redirects. This is something I had a serious problem setting up and just could not get it to work. There is probably a good reason for it on my server setup, however I am not sure what it was but I'll be honest and say it drove me nuts. That said however I posted up a support ticket and all was sorted within about 24 hours of me posting it up. I'm sure had it been my forum was down etc it would have been quicker. Kier kindly logged onto my ftp and sorted the issue, ensuring I was happy everything was working correctly before he left it. Cant really argue with that
Modifications. Ya know I've pretty much lost my gallery, and thats it. Every other tiny area of the forum has either already been there, or I have been able to somewhat replace with modifications from here. Some of these I found I needed to play about with to get them to work in the way I wanted (and I still am) however this is purely down to my personal preference and nothing else. The one massive fear I had of moving over my forum, I've found not to be a massive issue at all. And the way alerts work my users love.
Speed? I do not like to do speed tests between software, because it all feels so artificial. I can make a piece of software APPEAR quicker when it actually isnt, so I dont feel they are a fair test ..... We all know xenforo is faster, people have posted this up. However from my point of view, and from feedback of my members, the forum feels very very quick in comparison to IPB.
Overall view .... There is a lot to be added I am sure. Personally I really really miss custom profile fields for example. But its early days, and for early days I really really cannot help but be impressed.