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Success or destruction stories with xenForo?

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by AzzidReign, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. AzzidReign

    AzzidReign Well-Known Member

    Hi all! I've been lurking and watching xF development since I heard about it near it's inception. I really like a lot of things I see and am evaluating right now whether it will be the right move for us. I wanted to gather some statistics to see how sites have been fairing with it.

    Please, the bigger the sites, the better. My site is ~400,000 members with ~4 million posts and I get ~40-50,000 unique visitors a day. The site is quite busy but I have noticed terrible trends. After seeing the destructive IB development and vB4 being launched when it did with the bugs it had, I knew the direction in which they were heading. My site was being attacked by the search traffic redirect exploit at the time for weeks and so I knew I had to get off of vB and move to another platform. Unfortunately, I had chosen IPS (IP.Board, IP.Content, IP.Nexus). I've analyzed my data and it's just terrible. Loss in ad revenue (big loss), loss in traffic, higher bounce rates (~35% increase :eek: ), less time spent on the site, less pageviews per visit and per day, slower site, less activity in terms of posts/threads per day, etc. The list goes on and I've posted many graphs at IPS as well as on BBA about these terrible trends I've noticed. IPS has pretty much ignored me up until recently when quite a few of us bigboards have been complaining about terrible stats and performances. But they still don't think it's the software's fault (HA!).

    Sorry for the slight rant. What I'm looking for is people moving from any platform. Ideally, I'd like to see some bigboard stats. Things I'm looking for:

    • What software did you move from?
    • What made you change?
    • Did traffic (more specifically uniques/day) increase/decrease? By how much?
    • Has your bounce rate changed? How much?
    • Pageviews per user and per day changes?
    • Time on site changes?
    • Ad revenue increase/decrease? How much (if you would like to answer, a percentage is fine)?
    • Posts/threads per day before and after conversion
    • Registrations per day before and after
    • Site speed changes?
    • Member's thoughts and opinions on the switch both right away and after a few weeks/months
    • How are your SERPs doing? Did they bounce up right away? Have you been noticing better results than what you had in the previous software?

    I'm really hoping that I can get some answers here. In all honesty, I think I have no choice but to try this though I would like to feel more at ease if I knew others had a successful conversion (and it seems like small sites do well when converting even to IPB so I don't really want those stats unless it's a HUGE difference - I mean...for most small sites the only direction to go is UP). My site is spiraling downwards looking at the stats. I have a huge following which helps keep us together and a lot of great unique content but I definitely could see us doing better. We have tried everything to improve user experience on the site and seem to be coming up short all the time when looking at stats.

    Thanks for reading this and thank you to those that will provide information for me to evaluate.
    jauburn, Blair and Steve10 like this.
  2. Robbo

    Robbo Well-Known Member

    I will say, as a developer, XenForo has made me a hell of a lot more efficient. I used to work with SMF as my main platform making mods and running my own SMF powered websites (as in building a site around it). I have since built a website around XenForo for a project which also branches off to make a RESTful API for a games auth and stats tracking and it is nice, MVC OOP code that is very easy to extend and maintain. Someone here requested a mod to change routes around and it took me about 10 minutes to sort it out extending routes. In other software such a thing wouldn't be possible or as easy with modifying the core package.

    This is by far the best platform I have developed on. All that is needed now for me is the same platform stripped down so I can use it for other projects in the future.
    Steve10, duydangle and AzzidReign like this.
  3. AzzidReign

    AzzidReign Well-Known Member

    No stories? :( Are all the bigger sites looking to convert when Kier releases his bigboard search feature?
  4. Marcus

    Marcus Well-Known Member

    Today my community moved to xenforo. The last days my forum was closed because of the transition. This is Pages/Visit from Google Analytics

    hellreturn likes this.
  5. AzzidReign

    AzzidReign Well-Known Member

    That's an extremely small screen shot. Did it shoot back up to average or slightly more? It's hard for me to tell.
  6. robdog

    robdog Well-Known Member

    Also, you had to close your forum for days to do the move?
  7. kkm323

    kkm323 Well-Known Member

    XF is the best possible solution for you. We all know Kier and Mike and their work in vb3, our first choice. To me its like vb3 but completely reworked and redesign with features that can replace facebook and other boards. Most importantly its lighter and cleaner. I Personally don't have a big board but I've seen other boards and their complements. I am impress because I was going to move to IPB, from your review thank god I didn't made that decision.

    Forum Showcase and Critiques
    XenForo - destroyed by vBulletin?
    Are IGN moving to XenForo?
    Converting a “Big Board”: vBulletin to xenForo Migration
  8. Marcus

    Marcus Well-Known Member

    I also don't know and I can't say anyting after one and a half day. So far Likes and Registrations increased where mostly everything else is as usual. My site took a hit from google search traffic as I needed two nights to rebuild my search index and most likely google bots were unhappy to see an empty page then.

    My users like it. I like it.
  9. KozmoK

    KozmoK Active Member

    I had a vb site for 3 years, and I decided to start fresh/scratch with Xenforo. I love the interfaces and smoothness. I took a HUGE HUGE hit on google rankings because I didnt import messages etc causing page not founds etc from google, so all my links in google were wipped out.

    In hindsight I would have imported them and made sure the URI's were the same using re-write rules etc... so search engines wouldnt notice. Anyways After 4 months of Xenforo and SEO madness im slowly climbing back up.
  10. Reeve of Shinra

    Reeve of Shinra Well-Known Member

    AzzidReign likes this.
  11. Marc

    Marc Well-Known Member

    • What software did you move from? - Same as you, vb to IBP (mistake) then to xenforo from 1.1
    • What made you change? - Annoying bugs in IPB and the fact they seem to dev new products before fixing the current ones, and speed of site
    • Did traffic (more specifically uniques/day) increase/decrease? By how much? - Didnt have analytics at the time, but I know activity was up almost straight away, however put that down to 'fun change' however it never seemed to go down.
    • Has your bounce rate changed? How much? Again no analytics before, so unfair to comment really
    • Pageviews per user and per day changes? As above
    • Time on site changes? - Definatly, simply as our users (its a dog site so not so tech minded for the most part) find it easier to use
    • Ad revenue increase/decrease? How much (if you would like to answer, a percentage is fine)? - This i can tell you is up around 20% compared to IPB
    • Posts/threads per day before and after conversion - Has been increasing steadily since we opened 3 years ago, but the biggest leaps have been in the past 12 month pushing us to the 500,000 mark from around 400,000 before conversion 5 month ago.
    • Registrations per day before and after - Gone down... Which sounds bad, but its not as its the pesky spam that has gone down. And thats even with having IPBs spam filters on.
    • Site speed changes? - HUGE ... absolutly no comparison at all.
    • Member's thoughts and opinions on the switch both right away and after a few weeks/months - Members liked it from the offset, which I was actually supprised at, as when we moved over to IPB I had nothing but moaning. If I moved back to it now my members would go mental.
    • How are your SERPs doing? Did they bounce up right away? Have you been noticing better results than what you had in the previous software? - Im gonna plead ignorance Im afraid LOL.
    As someone who has made the same moves as you have, I would invite you to join my forum and ask the question in my main chat area to get an opinion on before and after the change over to xenforo. I can tell you the majority, however you will get more of a feel for what people think yourself by reading peoples replies.
    hellreturn likes this.
  12. Marc

    Marc Well-Known Member

    Ahhh now I just found out what serps is LOL ...

    Search engine results havent gone up or down to be honest. The redirection worked well so didnt loose anything, however wasnt much to gain due to being the top for the keywords I target on my site. That being Husky Owners, and Husky Forum.
  13. MGSteve

    MGSteve Well-Known Member

    Was I the only one who saw 'Husky Forum' and thought 'that Huskey in his avatar looks awfully like a lion.... oh wait'...

    Perhaps its an indicator of needing some sleep! lol
  14. Marc

    Marc Well-Known Member

  15. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    I'm moving away from IP.Board for my CycleChat site and can't wait. Similar reasons to you really - just never really got on with it and have seen a reduction in participation since moving to it from vB 3.

    Personally I'm not worried about the move at all - just looking forward to getting back to a simple (and, to me, logical) way of doing things.

    I'll be moving in a few weeks so will report back about how it goes; but me and my test team can't wait. :)

    Shaun :D

    Oh, 1.6 million posts, so can't wait for the big-board solution from Kier - I imagine it'll be as fast as the rest of XF.
  16. Marcus

    Marcus Well-Known Member

    That should work fine with mysql fulltext search at least for the time being.

    My members are very happy with the move to xenforo.
    hellreturn likes this.
  17. Lu Kas

    Lu Kas Active Member

    Moved from phpbb to xf and hell yea ist great :) just a small board but here are some figures

    xf_google.PNG xf_pageviews.PNG xf_visits.PNG
    hellreturn and GeeksChat like this.
  18. hellreturn

    hellreturn Active Member

    You need more content on your site and content is king is the pretty much standard reply of IPB staff even though you will show them what's wrong with their SEO.

    3.1.x - View New Content Broken.
    3.2.x - Slow, clunky and many SEO related issues which they keep ignoring. IPB tend to make simple things complicated.

    The day, I see official addons from XF for Gallery, Blog and Download, I will be converting my 3 forums to XF.
  19. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

  20. Marcus

    Marcus Well-Known Member

    I would more concentrate to define what you want to achieve and then contract a dev here. With the right database you can migrate to other solutions.

    There is a resource manager in the plans which most likely will be your download tool.

    I don't know what you need a gallery for but all galleries I saw lack very much of interaction with the forum. There were no notices about new entries and you can't connect different content types together.

    For the blog, just do this: Create a forum where you change "thread" into "blog post" and make the first blog entry stand out and create a big date from the thread start time.. Everyone can start a thread and therefore starts a new blog entry. Everything that is answered to the thread is the blog comment. If you display all posts in a forum from a special user, you get his blog. You can sort the blog entries by date, title. You can attach photos.
    Marc likes this.

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