Questions about transfer from vBulletin 3.x

Currently we have a vBulletin 3.8.x board, and I am concerned that vB will stop creating security updates for that series. I don't like the idea of spending $200 on a license just for the possibility of a security update in the future (they cut you off if you don't have a current license), and I have no intention of going to 4.x or 5.x.

Things on my mind as I contemplate XenForo. I would appreciate any comments on them. #2 and #7 are key.
  1. We have a lot of custom code. It is important to us that XenForo be easy to modify and have a good developer culture.
  2. We have a large archive (millions of posts) that I want to have online, but has in part been taken offline because of load (memory, speed) issues. Does XenForo include or have add-ons that enable a separate archive post table in the DB, or something similar that would allow a board to be snappy for regular use but also give access to archive posts?
  3. It has to be easy for use to introduce custom BBCode that is more complicated than just a text translation into html (i.e. process information, modify the output, then spit out something completely different in a username and usergroup dependent way). No problem?
  4. Does XenForo interact well with mod_fcgid?
  5. How does XenForo do so far with respect to new versions not breaking old code?
  6. Does XenForo store plugins, etc in flat files for simple version control during development?
  7. We have a number of folks who have purchased memberships with the board using vB's Paypal integration. Does XenForo have a comparable system? What have others done? Has it been possible to go forward without breaking existing recurring memberships?
  8. What happens to existing links? Do they break? Does the translation script make some kind of redirect map?
  9. What is the consensus on the built-in SEO (if any) or that provided by popular plugins?
  10. I'd love to see a bunch of XF sites that have a modern look that people enjoy using. Is there something like that compiled here? Can you suggest a site or sites to look at?
  11. Related to #10, have people found it easy to integrate web site style with things like blogs, wikis, etc, and which software did XenForo play best with?


Well-known member
#1 Yes, XenForo is very easy to modify once you understand how the system works. There are always other developers out there answering questions in the development forum.
#2 Not sure why you'd need that - XenForo is very efficient even when handling 1m of posts.
#3 There is BBCode and Buttons Manager that supports using PHP callbacks to render the actual content. I've not dived into it, but I heard it's pretty powerful.
#4 AFAIK, the code doesn't specifically utilize that, but from my understanding PHP does it magic so it'd probably going to be fine.
#5 You can expect minor releases (Platform.Major.Minor) to not break addons. Major releases may break addons, and platform releases are, well, large platform changes (and doesn't happen very often)
#6 VCS is handled by the end developer. For templates, not really (you can arguably do this by having XF dump templates as files, but how that would work is beyond me)
#7 Yes, the paid upgrades system in XenForo works just as well. Paid subscriptions from vB are automatically imported.
#8 Redirection scripts for vBulletin is available at somewhere, I forgot where though - probably the manual?
Another question:
12. With 5 million posts, what is the advanced search (elastic search) experience? From what I see in the support forum, we'd be looking at 3-5 GB of RAM dedicated just to power search. What kind of overall experience do people have with the 'regular' search vs. elastic search in this kind of circumstance?


XenForo moderator
Staff member
With 5 million post, standard MySQL search is going to struggle.

I would definitely recommend ES; it has several benefits over MySQL search such as stemming, relevance, reduced stop words, etc.
I've read a bit about node permissions. Would that allow a moderator of a sub-forum, for example, to create threads and sub-sub-forums with user-based access? I.e. where only specified users could see particular threads and forums?


XenForo moderator
Staff member
Permissions can only be set in the ACP by those members who are administrators and have the relevant permissions.

To answer the question though, yes, permissions can be set per node per user or group.
There is also a permission to only see own threads in a node.