Potential Migration of very large vB3.x forum & blogs to XF vs. vB5


New member

I've been away from the vBulletin community for some years and upon returning to see if vB4/5 had yet matured into a stable product capable of running a very large (5MM post, 3000 concurrent user) site, I've found feedback that suggests that vB5 may not be the way to go.

Are there any communities that have ventured down this path before that could provide some insights into what some of the drawbacks/benefits of either direction might be? Realizing, of course, that this site is interested in XF, I'd appreciate any data or metrics that might help with drawing a conclusion and I appreciate in advance your fact-based responses.

I'm well aware that there is a generally negative feeling surrounding the company developing vBulletin today, however I'm interested only in a fact based comparison of vB5 vs. XF in terms of performance for the forum and blog modules only of vB3.



Well-known member
I run a vbulletin 3.8 website with 110 addons, including blogs. 11000 concurrent users. You can find me on any admin site as well. IMO vb4/5 is indeed not the way to go. IMO vb4 is good but has no future and vb5 is not a viable product at all. A modern solution with a clear future is needed or else there is a big chance that vb3/4 stop working because its based on old technology and also relies on outdated third party software like the editor, YUI2, etc.
After a lot of research with various community software applications my conclusion is that XenForo is the solution to my needs.
I am working to make the jump to XenForo. With the right styling and addons xenforo can offer the same functionality to your users and a similar feel, but more modern. XenForo is a young product, so out of the box it does not have everything vbulletin has. But it works really well and the addon community is very much alive. So you can get anything you need.


Well-known member
I liked vBulletin 4, personally, though I agree that vBulletin 5 is a nightmare.
You're lucky, because a lot of us vB4 owners had bad experiences with the 4 class. Especially after the 4.1.4 update. It broke a lot of sites, including my CODForums.


Well-known member
You're lucky, because a lot of us vB4 owners had bad experiences with the 4 class. Especially after the 4.1.4 update. It broke a lot of sites, including my CODForums.
Thankfully, we never updated to vBulletin 5.

We started on vBulletin 4.1.4 on August 30, 2011 and moved from vBulletin 4.2.2 to XenForo 1.2.4 on January 1, 2014.


Active member
Apart from being happy to have made the switch from vB4 to XenForo, I still need to point out that XenForo is lacking some important features for larger community sites.

One of the top issues I have is the lack of decent moderating features. Mass deleting or mass moving posts/threads from users on request (or in case of restructuring your forums) is a nightmare at the moment. You can't do a forum wide search and then just tick the threads or posts in the search result list to delete/move selected posts/threads. I have no idea if this important feature is coming soon. :( And to be honest, I don't even know why it's not there since day 1.

Also, if you had used the vBulletin CMS extensively, then you will have a bit of trouble. There are some 3rd party AddOns to import the content into forum threads ... there are some 3rd party AddOns to convert forum threads into Xenforo resources ... but the process is still pretty awkward to say the least. You better try it on a test site to learn what I mean.

On the positive side, I can tell you that (optional) elasticsearch integration is WONDERFUL! Wow, what a difference this makes to the standard mySQL fulltext search in vBulletin. Amazing stuff, don't miss that!

For a large (and successful) forum with lots of traffic coming from Google, you should spend some time on sitemaps, exploring Google's Webmaster Tools (especially Data Highlighter and Structured Data tools) ... and of course the rules to RedirectPermanent in your htaccess.

And another topic to be aware of: You might have to convert bbCode Tags in your old content to new format, e.g. "video" tags to "media" tags ... or lots of other tags if you happened to use GeSHi syntax highlighting via 3rd party AddOn. It's possible to convert tags in a kind of search&replace way ... but it will certainly take some time and effort to clean up the old content.

I'm happy that we jumped boat, but the last 2 weeks have been pretty busy and the journey isn't over yet. :D


Well-known member
Very little to say. XenForo's performance simply trounces VB5 in every aspect.
Yes! We left VB 5.05 in the middle of January this year and never looked back.

XF was/is refreshingly better in so many ways. (y)


Well-known member
I moved a vb 3.8 board with roughly 5mm posts and about the same amount of concurrent users less than a year ago. As far as hard data, now we have around 8.7 mm posts.

The first month was a little rough, a lot of members didn't like the change but it didn't take them long to come around. I haven't heard anything negative about the forum software in a long time and anytime there's a thread on my board that refers to the past, everyone comments on how much better Xenforo is.

There are some functions that are missing from vB but for the most part you can find a replacement for everything using add-ons. The one area that might be a problem is the blogs. I know there's a few addons available but I never had blogs so I don't know how well they work but I do know a proper CMS is still probably the most requested feature.

You might want to read this for more hard data, https://forums.digitalpoint.com/threads/one-month-after-switching-from-vbulletin-to-xenforo.2637721/


Well-known member
I had started a website with VB5 and let me tell you it was a nightmare. I then purchased XenForo and its like a Dream. Its very smooth, fast, and as someone mentioned the add-on community is very active.