• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Possible Refuge from vBulletin... features comparison?

#1
Hi folks, I am the web designer for a bunch of forums using vBulletin, and we have not been happy with the bugginess of it and the odd CSS modification system. We are starting some new community forums and have heard favorable things about xenForo.
  1. I don't really know where to begin but we need to ask about feature comparisons or charts... are there any?
  2. I assume we can customize xF with our own designs? Is the CSS standard?
  3. We also want to know where the plugin system stands at this point, what is available for instance.
  4. And finally we want to know about the tech support, if it is more responsive than vB.
We are considering opening a new forum that will not need very many mods except spam prevention and possible memberships. vB allows us to automate membership renewals, e.g.
We will use things like Shopping Carts, Tapatalk, Likes, but for other forums, which are car sites (IGOTACOMMUNITY.COM), we also use things like Member Garage, and DTO, and Enthusify for classified sales.
If the options are comparable, we would like to create all new sites using xenForo.
Thank you in advance for help and consideration.
Jefferis Peterson
V.P. IGOTA, Inc.
 

Morgain

Well-known member
#2
Hi Jefferis. I'm not a mod just one of the many helpful helpers on XF and will do my best to answer.
Usually one of the mods will check what I say if I beat them to it, snd add bits if necessary.

  1. I don't really know where to begin but we need to ask about feature comparisons or charts... are there any?
I don't know of any because there are so many feaatures to compare. One recent newcomer did a mediawiki about it but it was specialised to his site's needs.
Here's a quick attempt.

INSTALLATION A+ smooth, simple. I'm no geek and I can do it.
STABILITY A+
SEO A+
ADMIN EASE OF USE A (I leave off the + here due to quibbles but nothing major - mostly very sleek, instant access)
STICKINESS A+ Admins actually have members complaining they can't get away!
  1. I assume we can customize xF with our own designs? Is the CSS standard?
CSS is standard with a few XF additions. Not many - they are shortcuts.

CUSTOMISATION is very easy and incredibly flexible. Most of the colours have their own system with a palette you can change - lots of Style pages you can adjusty with selections and additional css if you want.
There's a brilliant feature of a protected EXTRA.css which adds tweaks you choose and never gets overwritten.
Template tweaks are flagged up cleaerly so you can manage through upgrades
Addon "TMS" also manages design tweaks without changing the original tempolates
There's an addon calle TMS people rave about - tweak any template w/o changing the template.
Then there's Shelley our resident css genius who responds fast and does endlessly beautiful and clever things.
  1. We also want to know where the plugin system stands at this point, what is available for instance.
See Resources on the navbar. They are all there searchable with reviews, and support threads.
Last I counted around 500 items. Unlike VB almost all are live and well supported.
A major differnce is XF hosts the addon community right here as central to the community, not separated off. Addons can be free (loads of VERY good ones free) or can cost $5 - $50 but not many at the high end.
Support is excellent. The mods here all do addons themselves so they like them. They tend to know the addons and will gladly advise on them here on the board - addons and core are not run separately though ticketed help is for the core.
  1. And finally we want to know about the tech support, if it is more responsive than vB.
No comparison. It's pretty slow going if you have to wait as much as 10 hours, More likely 2 - 3.
Ticketed support also good though the board is so good Ive only ever use tickets where I need to give FTP access for a design issue.

Don't worry I also critique XF lovingly and fiercely.
On the node list (admincp) it doesnt display the order number on the list which is a pain to open them individually to check and adjust. A VB win there - I HATE that! so I'm about to get it tweaked.
Conversations (PCs) are deficient in features but the fantastic Conversation addon by Syndol more than remedies it. He does a free and paid version.
We need a search that includes our static pages as well as threads and posts but a little bird tells me that's on the way.
 

Morgain

Well-known member
#3
new forum that will not need very many mods except spam prevention and possible memberships. vB allows us to automate membership renewals, e.g.
We will use things like Shopping Carts, Tapatalk, Likes, but for other forums, which are car sites (IGOTACOMMUNITY.COM), we also use things like Member Garage, and DTO, and Enthusify for classified sales.
SPAM Using captcha and question/ answer as native to XF this is an A maybe A-
There're several different addons that offer excellent alternatives. See Resource Manager.

Shopping cart - Microcart has been adapted from VB (the Hellas lady) or there's another in fast development where you can dive in and put your vote in the final stage right now. Recommended dev.
http://xenforo.com/community/threads/a-complete-store-front-add-on-gfnstorefront.42843/

Memberships - not certain - XF does upgrades on memberships as core.
I'm pretty sure Ive seen threads for addons discussing this but the new shopping cart will do it anyway - subscriptions - hmm I have seen Paid premium stuff in admincp but I haven't used it.

Classified sales there is an ddon maybe more than one - see Resources. This new cart will do it.

Tapatalk - Ive seen some criticisms of that but recent comments of an alternative. Sorry don't remember where.
 

Slavik

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#6
Hi folks, I am the web designer for a bunch of forums using vBulletin, and we have not been happy with the bugginess of it and the odd CSS modification system. We are starting some new community forums and have heard favorable things about xenForo.
  1. I don't really know where to begin but we need to ask about feature comparisons or charts... are there any?
  2. I assume we can customize xF with our own designs? Is the CSS standard?
  3. We also want to know where the plugin system stands at this point, what is available for instance.
  4. And finally we want to know about the tech support, if it is more responsive than vB.
We are considering opening a new forum that will not need very many mods except spam prevention and possible memberships. vB allows us to automate membership renewals, e.g.

We will use things like Shopping Carts, Tapatalk, Likes, but for other forums, which are car sites (IGOTACOMMUNITY.COM), we also use things like Member Garage, and DTO, and Enthusify for classified sales.
If the options are comparable, we would like to create all new sites using xenForo.
Thank you in advance for help and consideration.
Jefferis Peterson
V.P. IGOTA, Inc.

Hi Jefferis,

1) We don't have any at the moment, they are also kind of moot, most forum software nowdays all comes with the same or similar functionality, all the features you see here at XenForo.com is what the board comes with.

2) The template system in XenForo is very easy to work with, each template has its own css file if relevent and an extra.css is used for all your own custom code.

3) You can take a look over here: http://xenforo.com/community/resources/

4) We aim to answer support tickets ASAP. Depending on when you send it in, this happens from within a couple of minutes to a few hours in most cases. The forum community support is also top notch ;)

Regards
 

Jake Bunce

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#7
1) Are there specific features you are looking for?

I am reminded of Kier's interview:

http://www.theadminzone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78018

vBulletin was born of an age when having more options and more data displayed was a desirable thing. People wanted to be able to control minute details of the way they interacted with a forum - or so we thought.

XenForo is a product that debuts with decades of experience already under its developers' belts, and perhaps a degree more maturity in outlook. Our focus with XenForo is on providing a superior user experience rather than piling on new features. We are more of the opinion now that if we believe there is a right or optimal way to do something, we will just do that, rather than providing options to allow people to do it another way.

This simplifies the code, which helps prevent bugs and speed-up development, and usually makes for a more immediate and enjoyable experience for end users, who get the best out of the software without having to go and set it up themselves. Our years of experience with the software and dealing directly with customers gives us the confidence to do this with the expectation that the choices we make will be the ones that are best for users of the software.

Of course, sometimes we get it wrong, and the way that we think is best is not what our customers think - obviously in these instances we look again at what’s been done and what’s been said and decide if a new approach needs to be adopted.

Additionally, we are not in a mad rush to put more and more features into XenForo. Our focus is far more on quality and user experience - making what we have really enjoyable and intuitive to use, allowing people to rediscover how great it can be to simply post messages to each other.
 

User

Well-known member
#9
We are considering opening a new forum that will not need very many mods except spam prevention and possible memberships. vB allows us to automate membership renewals, e.g.
Depending on what exactly you need the memberships part may be a total dealbreaker.
In XF you can promote members vial paid membership upgrade. So they pay and will be put into a different membership group. That feature works well and is well implemented on the ACP side.

However, XF completely lacks the group membership management for non-paid upgrades that you know from vB. So in XF you cannot have publicly join-able member groups. You cannot designate a group leader who then approves group members or can removed them like in vB.
 

Morgain

Well-known member
#10
However, XF completely lacks the group membership management for non-paid upgrades that you know from vB. So in XF you cannot have publicly join-able member groups. You cannot designate a group leader who then approves group members or can removed them like in vB.
There are social groups addons that do this.
 

ENF

Well-known member
#11
There are social groups addons that do this.
No.

The two [Social Groups Addons] that are available do not replicate the same thing that is in vBulletin. Those are literally 'Social' groups, not 'Public Groups' that are set in vBulletin by the administrator that users can join through their User CP.
 
N

Nelson T.

Guest
#12
No.

The two [Social Groups Addons] that are available do not replicate the same thing that is in vBulletin. Those are literally 'Social' groups, not 'Public Groups' that are set in vBulletin by the administrator that users can join through their User CP.
Sorry to hear this. My users on VB user the public interest groups to set up groups based on their own machinist interests or local area groups and those really need to be imported from VB or they will be peeved about loss of content.
 

ENF

Well-known member
#13
Sorry to hear this. My users on VB user the public interest groups to set up groups based on their own machinist interests or local area groups and those really need to be imported from VB or they will be peeved about loss of content.
Wow. Blast from the past - you should really seek out more recent updates before relying these older threads and posts. Best to chrism the resources section or make a new thread.

Jan. 2013 is ancient in Internet terms...

That all said, not sure what's changed relative to your interest in P/SIGs.