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People no like change (Migration from vBulletin)

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Ralle, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. Ralle

    Ralle Active Member

    Hey guys,

    I just wanted to hear how your experience was migrating from vBulletin. A lot of my users are missing the User CP and think XenForo is too complex. We've been using vBulletin for 10 years and migrated yesterday. What's your experience? When does it get better? I honestly thought people would love everything XenForo, but I guess the change itself makes them scared.

  2. thenashy

    thenashy Member

    Do you have more feedback to add that you are getting from your members? We are preparing things at the moment for a move within a month. Same deal, we've been on VB4 for 10 years. Test users are very happy with it so far, but they only make up a tiny percentage of overall posters.
  3. teletubbi

    teletubbi Well-Known Member

    I speak only for our forum.
    We made the switch april last year. Running from 2008 till last year VB.

    After the migration to xenforo we had some complaints. But i think this was normal.
    Everything new, not used to it, did not find what they are looking for and so on.

    This last about 1 month. Than it stops suddenly. People get used to the new software and adopt it.
    They figured out all the small things what makes life easier. Especially the easy way to post pictures.

    Today have only few questions. More technical nature from people who are not firm in computing.
    Now it is, from member side, as we always only use xenforo before. Did not hear any word about we want back the former software.

    So from our side there is no regret to make the change.
    StarArmy and thenashy like this.
  4. Ralle

    Ralle Active Member

    Well, here are some of the threads:

    Some of them are about the theme and my own integration with the search system for my "repositories" but a lot of it is the forum itself. People miss the User CP, they miss the way they used to see subscribed threads. VMs don't have BB codes. They can't find the BB code help page. They can't find search.

    I get the feeling that they don't like things changing and they just latch onto whatever gives them problems. There are of course many valid concerns, but a lot of it seems to just be "I don't like change".

    I would love if someone had written a tutorial on how to "Move on with life from vBulletin to XenForo".
  5. Floyd R Turbo

    Floyd R Turbo Well-Known Member

    I think it helps to create a tutorial video showing where things are now - the basics. Use ActivePresenter (free) and record your screen and walk people through the new locations for everything.

    Change is rough sometimes.

    A quick list of things to cover might be:

    Watched threads vs subscriptions
    Account page (everything)
    Drop down menus (user panel, thread tools, etc)
    Uploading pics
    Creating a post (quick + advanced)
    Conversations vs PMs (I describe this as being like a private thread)

    On the last one, I feel it's best to point out that VB treats each individual PM as stand-alone, whereas XF is a thread. Huge improvement. Also multiple recipients all together because of that (VB could not do this easily)
    Novi Carpet Cleaning likes this.
  6. Sonya

    Sonya Member

    We switched over to XF about a month ago and things are smoothing out. I created a User Guide to help people find the features they use most on the board and the new features on XF. I think people are pretty pleased, but the internet doesn't like change much, so it was a bit bumpy at first. I had a thread specifically for answering questions and solving problems with the new software too. That helped.
  7. estranged

    estranged Well-Known Member

    We switched over to xenforo in 2011. Our users were mad at me at first but most of them started to like the new forum after only a few days because they started discovering the great features and practicality of xenforo. Now I'm sure those same people who complained at that time would kill me if I switched back to the old system.

    In time, you will start making little tweaks here and there and everything will be much better. You have to give yourself and users some time.

    In my opinion the readability of your forum is not good. I would not want to stay on the forum for more than a few minutes. I think you should start by changing or modifying the style.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  8. empire

    empire Well-Known Member

    We made the switch last year; here's our transition thread. We tried very hard to respond to every comment, and used Iversia's FAQ manager for common questions. If a problem could be fixed fast, we did it. We implemented as many reasonable suggestions as we could, as quickly as possible. For people that were really struggling, we started a private conversation to walk them through using the site. We have many ESL members and quite a few who aren't tech savvy at all, so some people needed extra help. Overall it went well, but it did involve answering lots of questions and making many little tweaks.

    Here are some things people just couldn't warm up to:
    • not having folders for watched threads (we had to commission an add-on for this)
    • 'friends' becoming 'followers' rubbed some people the wrong way
    • avatars in the thread list
    • some differences in elasticsearch vs sphinx
    • the reports area got a mixed reception from staff
    • the forms add-on we used in vbulletin is better than anything that exists for xenforo

    However, we get new members every day. Almost a year later, plenty of people have no idea what the site was like before. If we were to magically replace xenforo with the old vbulletin site for a day, I think people would be appalled. XenForo is far superior to vBulletin in most ways, and I think most people can see that.

    The best advice I can give is to keep your own attitude upbeat and take the criticism in stride. Believe me, I know how hard you worked on this, and how tough it is to face criticism after all that work. But if you read transition threads on other forums, you'll see that yours is perfectly normal and not overly negative. Make sure staff don't 'fight back' but just thank members for their feedback, reassure them and make them feel heard and valued. Ultimately their feedback makes you stronger, so hang in there!
  9. thedude

    thedude Well-Known Member

    Same with our experience. Nobody likes change but they get used to it fast, especially when it's a net improvement.
  10. Jeffin

    Jeffin Well-Known Member

    When you make the change, give your members a convincing explanation as to why you had to make this change. Xf comes with a lot of good features which you can mention. Eventually they will all get used to the new interface and your life will get easier too. :D
  11. thenashy

    thenashy Member

    It would be interesting to see any of the guides written up that have worked on other forums. It's hard to write something without knowing just how far to dumb it down so to speak.

    I don't think it's going to be a big deal on my site, but I think it's important to be proactive, just in case there are people who need help. Once they see the increased load times, they will understand what had to be done.
  12. Ralle

    Ralle Active Member

    I am being responsive and have already fixed a few of the things people have talked about. My integration with search was not good. It's already better and I will improve it more tonight.

    Thanks for all the responses guys. I was just a little on the edge and scared of what I had done.
    empire and thenashy like this.
  13. Terror

    Terror Active Member

    people always hate changes. i still remember some guys were grumbling every time when updating a board from vb3 to 4 :D

    they're gonna learn to live with it...
  14. Floyd R Turbo

    Floyd R Turbo Well-Known Member

    See this \/
    I like how that lays out - very handy way to do FAQs, thanks for the insight!!
    thenashy likes this.
  15. Donny

    Donny Active Member

    Give it time.

    I've done a dozen of my forums and have more to do. The flexibility of xf is awesome.

    You can match (and better) everything VB has/had so just customise it a bit.

    But remember to explain the forum will be left in the dark ages if you're to stick with vb. And you know best.
  16. Divvens

    Divvens Well-Known Member

    While not a proper FAQ, we have a beginners guide for new members; http://orojackson.com/threads/welcome-to-oro-jackson-beginners-guide-with-videos.9/
  17. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    If they want to remain on awful software then tell them to start their own website. Do they pay to use your website? Do what you want if most people are happy.
    Floyd R Turbo likes this.
  18. Ralle

    Ralle Active Member

    They didn't ask for this update. In their minds the site could remain like it is forever. We've been hacked due to old unmaintained vBulletin addons time and time again.
  19. Floyd R Turbo

    Floyd R Turbo Well-Known Member

    Then they should understand the necessity, or honestly, zip it.
  20. Ralle

    Ralle Active Member

    I think it's going better now. People are starting to enjoy alerts and conversations. I also made big improvements to searching of my own content types. Things are pretty good now. One week in and it's brightening. I am so glad I am off vBulletin. The vulnerabilities were never directly in vBulletin as far as I could see though. 3.8 was sturdy.
    Sonya, Floyd R Turbo and empire like this.

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