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Some questions about XenForo

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by Stephen Fifty, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Stephen Fifty

    Stephen Fifty Member

    Thank you for the membership - it is appreciated. I am 99.9% sure that I am going to go with the XenForo forum software. A few questions if I may, and I could have more after this.

    1. I've never seen it on a XenForo forum on the internet, but on some other forums, I've noticed occasionally their forum gets hijacked, and a difficult to remove popup stays on the screen, or it redirects to another, probably malicious webpage. I just shut off the computer, do a systems restore and it removes it, but it's a pain in the neck to do. Obviously I would try not to have my forum members experience this. Does XenForo have measures in place to hopefully keep this from happening?

    2. My forum will be about politics and current events, and may get some opposing points of view, perhaps spam or troll type posts. Does XenForo have a system in place to easily ban trolls and nuisance members, easily delete all of their posts, and perhaps block proxy URL's so the same idiots don't keep joining and posting?

    3. I currently have two websites (no forums) with the same server, but I think I want to use a different server for this. I've called them several times, and they seem confused about whether or not their server can handle the forum. Perhaps I didn't explain it properly, but in any event, I think I would rather use a server and domain registration that XenForo recommends or that XenForo users recommend. Could you please make any recommendations in this regard?

    That's about it for now. This will be my first forum, and I realize there will be a learning curve with the software, but I am anxious and willing to do that to get things rolling. I like the "clean modern look" that XenForo offers versus other forum software. Other forum software seems to have a 1990's look to it, while XenForo has a modern 2015 look to it. Perhaps to some that doesn't matter, but a modern looking forum layout is what I want. Plus XenForo seems very reasonably priced.

    Thanks again!

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    There are currently no known vulnerabilities with XenForo.
    Any reports of hacking have been due to insecure servers, other software installed on the server (e.g. WordPress), or compromised accounts and passwords.

    There is a warning and ban system which can be used to discipline members.
    It is also possible to "spam clean" a member and delete all posts.
    IP addresses can be banned.

    There is a script on the purchase page which you can upload to the server to confirm whether it is compatible.
    Most hosts shouldn't have a problem with XenForo.
    Stephen Fifty likes this.
  3. Divvens

    Divvens Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the XenForo company forum! :)

    Usually if a website is compromised, or there is malicious content/malware within the website - it's due to someone getting access to the server and messing around with the files/uploading their own files. There are times where softwares also create a loop-hole, like instances where vBulletin has had to perform security patches due to vulnerabilities being found. However, XenForo is secure and you can have a look at the Announcements forum to exactly see how many 'security' updates they had to release (very less, and majority of those are not 'core' XenForo issues).

    XenForo has many moderation tools to help you keep things in control. Below links take you to "Have You Seen" content that would explain the features to you:

    XenForo doesn't recommend any host as such, but there are many XenForo specialized hosts and you can view their services here, or you can run the "test" script that XenForo provides to be sure that it would work on your server.

    I managed a community before on a different platform, but for a very short time. However, that short time wasn't sweet, and the previous software that I used (vBulletin 4) left me quite many memories that I would be better off without.

    I began the current community I manage on XenForo after having done a lot of comparison with other products, and it is one of the best decisions that I've made up until now. Not only is XenForo easy to set-up and learn, customization is very easy once you get hold of the basics, and the community is always here to provide any support you require. There are many great add-ons (applications and styles) that you could use to customize your community if you don't wish to do it yourself.
    Stephen Fifty likes this.
  4. Stephen Fifty

    Stephen Fifty Member

    The replies are greatly appreciated.

    Very interesting, I never thought about the server itself being compromised.

    I didn't want to mention the other forum's name, but yes, the one mentioned is where I've seen it compromised the most.

    I guess with the trolls and spam there is no foolproof solution because either with proxies or if they use old fashioned dial-up, I think the URL changes with each log-on. I used to have dial-up and that was the case years ago when I used it, not sure about now. I've never tried using a proxy, I don't know if the outgoing proxy URL changes each time or is different each time?

    My forum could potentially have a lot of members, so I guess eventually I'll have moderators to help out with deleting the possible trolls and spam. I've seen the largest forums, Amazon for one, have problems from time to time with spam and trolls, so I guess it's all part of running a successful forum. Sort of like tending a nice garden, and having to pull out the weeds and keep the bad insects at bay.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  5. Stephen Fifty

    Stephen Fifty Member

    Another question...regarding Google ads:

    I realize that I'll have to experiment with area placement, size, etc, for maximum efficiency...but if you could...any top pitfalls regarding Google ads that perhaps I may not be aware of? Or perhaps some possible quick tips for best results? I want the forum to be dynamic and entertaining, but I also would like to make some profit if possible. However if I don't make any money, I'm not going to worry about it, I am still going to maintain the forum permanently.

    I'm not going to splash the forum with Google ads, just one or two small ads on each page. And no "flashy" ads even if there is better profit - I really can't stand those things.

    Thank you!

  6. Divvens

    Divvens Well-Known Member

    Ad placement is simple in XenForo, there are templates that you can add the code to. XenForo is also mobile-friendly out of the box (responsive design) and you can follow Responsive AdSense guide to implement responsive adsense units (note: you will only be able to see all resources once you are a registered customer). On my community we make use of responsive adsense units (displayed only to guests) since we don't wish to lose out on over 50% of revenue as over a rolling period of 1 month we get 40.67% of our traffic from desktops, 35.56% of our traffic from mobile and 36.57% of our traffic from Tablets.

    There are multiple resources available to help you with ad-placements :)
    Mr Lucky and Stephen Fifty like this.
  7. whynot

    whynot Well-Known Member

    Cable , ADSL are similar except when you have a static IP.
    Often the IPs change when you switch off the modem(router) for a while.
    Stephen Fifty likes this.
  8. Stephen Fifty

    Stephen Fifty Member

    That is excellent info about the AdSense with the different templates. It amazes me how sophisticated the Google ads have become over the years. I mean you click on say info to look for a new car locally, and next thing you know, many of the Google ads on say a news website that you visit next, are for that specific car dealership whose website you just looked at.

    Using a XenForo forum with the templates, dynamic effective Google ads, and a willingness to work hard and have a well maintained forum to attract and keep active members, sure seems like a winning recipe to me.

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  9. Stephen Fifty

    Stephen Fifty Member

    I guess the bottom like is, like most trolls and spammers, when they know their efforts are going to be futile, they'll usually just move on or quit trying. I like the previous mention of the "spam clean" so at least when these ugly creatures do their dirty work, it will be relatively easy to eradicate them off the forum.

    Thank you!
    whynot likes this.
  10. Stephen Fifty

    Stephen Fifty Member

    Another thing I really like about XenForo, is the extremely fast and extremely easy way that posts by a member can be quickly edited.
  11. Androlife

    Androlife Member

    and xenforo have a very good support community and staff you can solve all your problems with suppor ticket
    flowerpot132 and Stephen Fifty like this.
  12. Stephen Fifty

    Stephen Fifty Member

    Thank you - That's good to know.

    All the replies are greatly appreciated, and very helpful!

    Divvens likes this.
  13. Stephen Fifty

    Stephen Fifty Member

    Took me longer than I thought, but I am about ready to start my forum and of course use XenForo. Another question if I may.

    I have decided that I do not feel like spending countless time each day, deleting possible spam, and banning trolls and cleaning up their posts. When applicants wish to join, could it be set up that all new members must be approved by the forum owner or the moderators?

    Any suggestions as to why this may not be a good idea?

    Listed below is an introduction note to potential new members. I want the forum to constantly grow in membership, hopefully become very popular, but do not wish to be aggravated with spammers/scammers. Any critique on the introduction note or improvements which could be made would be appreciated.

    "Please note that each new member must be approved by the forum owner or the moderators. Please tell us about yourself and why you would like to become a ***** member. Also mention if a family member or friend is a ***** member. Of course there is no need to become a member to still enjoy the forum content, only that you could not post new articles or any replies."

    Thank you, as always!

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  14. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    You can set registration to manual approval, which an administrator would have to action.
  15. Stephen Fifty

    Stephen Fifty Member

    Hi Brogan - Thank you for the lightening fast reply.

    That is good news!


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