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My IPB Nightmare

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Markos

Well-known member
#2
With Xenforo is very easy to customize you style, and with the new "XenoFramework" (in development by a third part developer, Miko) you can change every part of your skin...without the need of contacting a skinner.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#3
You might be better off posting this on the IPB forums.

I really don't want this thread to descend into general IPB bashing.
 

Jamie

Well-known member
#4
One, I don't think it's fair to come into another forum to complain about a competitor. Especially since I don't think everything you're saying is true about them. I own a IPB license and before I converted to xF was very happy with them.

I have hired three different web designers to skin IPB. All three poked around a bit, changed a few elements, and quit. I tried it myself, finally. Because I couldn't make sense of the CSS files, I just started editing HTML templates. I did a pretty good job and got pretty far along, but there are hundreds of pages in the IPB system. Because it has so many different ways of accomplishing the same thing, I would never have a completely fixed site unless I locked the version I was at and spent another year editing HTML templates.
I am not a designer and I was able to change IPB to a fairly involved degree. My site was more than color changes and on some pages you had to really look to see it was IPB. I also used their IP.Content app and although it was difficult and I did complain about it being too difficult, I was still able to get my home page and article system up and running.


I called IPB a few times over the last year and left messages asking for custom skinning services. I was prepared to pay as much as I had to. They never responded.
I have used support five times since I became a customer, one was critical because I completely broke my site when I first started with IPB and two of the tickets were on a Saturday. ALL of them were answer quickly, professionally and fixed/helped me fix the problem. Your reference above just isn't what the norm say about their support.

Even the good skin designers just make what they want to make, because they feel like it. Take a look at this site:
http://www.skinbox.net



Wow! It looks amazing, right? Try ordering a custom skin and see if you ever get a response. I talked to other webmasters on the IPB forum, and they all said the same thing. No one would return their emails, and they couldn't find anyone.
When I first went with IPB, I bought three skins from Olivous or whatever he name is, I can't quite remember it. But in all sells, I bought the skin, and could download them that minute. When I had questions about a skin, he was responsive, helpful and he is always in the forums willing to help. Again, I think you may have just caught him on a busy day or something.. because this isn't normal from what everyone else says and what I experienced.

If you use IPB you will never be able to make it look like your own site.
This is again wrong and complete false. I am not a designer and I did it. Does it take time to learn the system? Yes. Is it different than vB? Yes? Did I struggle and ask so many questions in the forums that I thought they would shoot me? Yes. But to say you can never get it to look the way you want it is crazy.

I would suggest a couple of things. If you are a IPB customer than make some suggestions for fixes and tweaks that will help them improve their product. If you're not a customer anymore and are running xF, why bother to post here to begin with about IPB?

Matt and that team has done and is doing a bang up job! Do they release products too quickly? In my opinion, Yes. Is IPB more than most sites need and want and is the default theme heavy? Yes! Is it a good system to use? Yes!

I used IPB before coming to xF, but after I bought a license to show support for Kier and Mike and Ashley, I found I really liked the light weight, well coded, 'cool' factor of xF. My staff liked it as well so I switched. If xF hadn't come along I would had a nice site running IPB doing quite well just the same.. I think you could too if you spent more time learning it, fixing it and tweaking it vs running it into the ground. Sorry, but this is my opinion.

Jamie
 

Kier

XenForo Developer
Staff member
#5
I don't know what the original post said, but I have a lot of respect for IPS and their products. While I think that we have a superior UX here at XenForo (which of course I'm going to say, aren't I?), there can be no denying that if you want a complete and mature set of tools, IPS is the obvious place to look, at least until we have a broader range of products built on XenForo.
 

Jethro

Well-known member
#6
You might be better off posting this on the IPB forums.

I really don't want this thread to descend into general IPB bashing.
Oh fine stop me posting why don't you.

Actually going by Jamie's post I have to say a lot of the stuff aimed at IPS by the thread starter wasn't my recollection of their service which was pretty good. There were, the big word there is "were", at least three to four skinning sites making excellent looks for IPS, sounds like the Poster got the wannabees rather than the actual Professionials. Guess we both missed this guy Jamie ;)
 

CyclingTribe

Well-known member
#7
My understanding is that there have been issues for some IPB skinners with the constant updates IPS puts out for their products.

I believe the nub of it was that some skinners found it difficult to update their skins (don't forget, some of them have lots of custom skins too, not just their standard offerings) at enough of a pace to keep up with the updates. No doubt this will have been compounded by some customers expecting free upgrades for each IPS upgrade, and some skinners offering free updates within a point release?

Some of those skinners have now decided to drop IPB and instead are now skinning for xF.

Obviously this has had a knock-on effect for those customers who purchased skins from them. I believe some customers are still quite angry at being abandonded and left with a skin they cannot update themselves - something they have paid for, with an expectation of being able to update into the future.

I would hope that Josh can find some way to resolve it (if this is the issue) - perhaps ask on the IPS forums if another designer would be willing to take on your site skinning?

Cheers,
Shaun :D
 

CyclingTribe

Well-known member
#8
Oh, and Josh - I would personally recommend Ehren from IPBForumSkins (http://www.ipbforumskins.com/) - he's designed two custom skins for my CycleChat.net site - see what you think yourself - select the "Classic" skin (a look-a-like for my original vBulletin site skin) and "CycleChat" (a new 'colourful' modern skin).

Cheers,
Shaun :D

PS. Sorry for the blatant Ad for Ehren, but Josh does sound like he's had a hard time of it recently. ;)
 

TheLaw

Well-known member
#10
I second Ehren. You will have to wait but it is worth it. He has done a version of my current site that is superior to the vbulletin version in every way. Then again, given what a beast vbulletin is to skinthis should not be surprising. Honest, superb results, reasonably priced - highly recommended.
 

Jethro

Well-known member
#13
My understanding is that there have been issues for some IPB skinners with the constant updates IPS puts out for their products.

I believe the nub of it was that some skinners found it difficult to update their skins (don't forget, some of them have lots of custom skins too, not just their standard offerings) at enough of a pace to keep up with the updates. No doubt this will have been compounded by some customers expecting free upgrades for each IPS upgrade, and some skinners offering free updates within a point release?

Some of those skinners have now decided to drop IPB and instead are now skinning for xF.

Obviously this has had a knock-on effect for those customers who purchased skins from them. I believe some customers are still quite angry at being abandonded and left with a skin they cannot update themselves - something they have paid for, with an expectation of being able to update into the future.

I would hope that Josh can find some way to resolve it (if this is the issue) - perhaps ask on the IPS forums if another designer would be willing to take on your site skinning?

Cheers,
Shaun :D
Lets be honest here Shaun, a lot of skinners and coders dropped IPS down the years due to the insane release schedules requiring a lot of upgrading rather than developing new products. The icing on the cake was of course the announcement late last year that IPS were running through an upgrade a week, that is simply insane and for mine paints a picture of a company that has completely lost track with anything approaching reality.

From what I could see a number of leading IPS skin shops announced they were closing their doors on IPS work and gave a pretty reasonable timeframe for the sunset of work on IPS. Note at least two have offerings for xenForo, so that's a win for everyone here. How many upgrades do you expect people to do when there is zero money in doing those upgrades and the work is going to be ripped by known exploiters in the IPS community? Even the venerable third party support sites, ize comes to mind, aren't long for the world imho given release rates of mods over there.
 

CyclingTribe

Well-known member
#14
Jethro, I wasn't knocking the skinners who moved platforms ... business is business, and people can do what they like. Seriously, I understand where they are coming from and itterated as much in my opening.

Equally I can empathise with a site owner who might have spent money on a custom skin and is now in a difficult position trying to get changes made without being able to revert to the original designer.

The skinners will no doubt grow their business with xF, and Josh and others will no doubt get sorted too. I just mentioned it as that's what I understood the situation to possibly be ... ;)

Personally I hired a designer to skin my IPB site because I took one look at the template system and thought ... "Erm, that'll take me about six months to learn ... where's my wallet, it'll be more cost effective!!!"

I still haven't attempted any changes to my default custom skin, on the basis that once I start I know I'm going to be at it for weeks and weeks, and at the moment I can't commit that amount of time. It'll come, sometime in the near future ... lol

Cheers,
Shaun :D
 

Kim

Well-known member
#15
Equally I can empathise with a site owner who might have spent money on a custom skin and is now in a difficult position trying to get changes made without being able to revert to the original designer.

:D

I can't speak for any other skinners who have taken the business decision to move on from IPB, but for myself, none of my Custom clients have been left out in the cold. Nothing has changed for Custom Skin clients, as was always the case, if they want to pay for me to upgrade their Custom Skin I will, it was NEVER a free service to upgrade after software upgrades.... but many have had to pay twice in the last 2 years, not something I want, or they want, it has been a nightmare for many Custom Skin clients AND for skinners.

No one from my Custom Skin stable has been turned out into the wild to fend for themselves.... although I will say I wish they would switch to Xenforo :p I can make them almost completely independant of me or any other skinner once the skin is done, a totally different story to IPB and the horrendeous upgrades over the last 2 years.

The only part of my IPB business I have let go is the pre-made market, which is no longer profittable at all, due to the upgrades and there has been overwhelming support and understanding from my pre-made skin customers.. they get it. :)

For the record, Ehren is the ONLY IPB skinner I can recommend, he is awesome, way more technically skilled than me, he does CSS based skins, not the artistic sort I do, more sleek and business like I guess. And he is a lovely young man and fellow Aussie, so I got to love him! :D
 

CyclingTribe

Well-known member
#16
It's never easy to make those kinds of decisions Kim.

Just so long as (in the long run) everyone gets what they want and continues to grow, that's the main thing.


Onwards and upwards eh?
 

Carlos

Well-known member
#20
Guys, this is exactly why he said "nevermind." You guys not only making fun of him, you're all laughing in his expense....

Kier, I respectfully ask that you close this thread.
 
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