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[Suggestion] Xenforo vs World: How To Attract New Customers [LIKE ME]

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by trigatch4, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. trigatch4

    trigatch4 Member

    I run a pretty huge vBulletin forum. Like many others in my (ironically unfortunate) position, I am eagerly rooting for the success of Xenforo. But will I even have the opportunity to TRY it?

    Switching a huge forum to an unproven platform is too large a risk. Starting a new website/community on Xenforo is intriguing, but what happens if the site takes off and I find Xenforo is not a good match? I'm probably stuck, because the demand for Xenforo to vBulletin conversions will be close to non-existent.

    I'd like to see the Xenforo Team create a way to easily export Xenforo sites to vBulletin and other popular forum softwares. It would GREATLY reduce the risk of switching/testing, and send a fantastic message that, "we're so confident in our product, we've made it ridiculously easy to switch back to our competitors should you decide."

    With this type of exporting feature, I feel like I would have to try Xenforo. But without it? For myself and many others it may prove too risky.

    Fingers crossed. Will watch this thread closely.
  2. woody

    woody Member

    coming close to 6m posts on mine... +1 to this idea :)
  3. Nathan

    Nathan Member

    Great idea and the Xenforo team has the experience to pull it off easily too.
  4. Rob

    Rob Well-Known Member

    I dont think this is nessesary... they just need to provide a try out option or similar. This would just delay the launch by months.
    I like your thinking though.
  5. Tigratrus

    Tigratrus Well-Known Member

    I think trigatch has a point. Honestly, I don't think any of us will WANT to go back... But when you make you living from the income of your site, ANY major platform change carries a lot of risk with it. Especially when there's the loss (at least temporarily) of major bits of functionality like an integrated Gallery (not talking about the POS that is vB 4.x standard, albums are a waste), Blogs etc.

    I honestly think that moving to a forum system that's as fundamentally better for encouraging engagement and interaction as XF is will be a pure win. BUT, it's really hard to gauge exactly what the community reaction will be. I think it would give a lot of big board (and lots of others too!) a MUCH bigger comfort level in buying a license and giving XF a try if they knew that there was a way to migrate back.

    Maybe the community will love XF but can't stand living without the Gallery/CMS/Blogs etc. Well, if there was a way back, the site could migrate back, then try again after there were more add-ons available.

    I'd classify this as a "Good Idea" tm
  6. Tigratrus

    Tigratrus Well-Known Member

    A try out option really doesn't accomplish the same thing though. It's not really a question of whether the ADMIN likes the system. it's whether the COMMUNITY likes it without all the bells and whistles they are used to.
  7. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    Buy a license, copy your database, convert copied database, do an a&b comparison with members for a while (Ask for consistent feedback), check what you'll need for a full conversion (Mods/Skin), wait or create what you need, do a real conversion.

    Is what I'd do if I were planning to convert a pre-existing forum (I usually do this when I do conversions, but I didn't think I'd need to with vB4... Oh how wrong was I). 
  8. kforo

    kforo Active Member

    the conversion from vb to xf is there (according to previous posts from kier). The original person was saying/asking if he'd have a way to go from xf BACK to vb if they so desire. "export to vb"
  9. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    Missed that ;p.
    vB will probably have a converter eventually.
  10. Onimua

    Onimua Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there would be a demo of some kind in the future but in response to your post: You want Kier and Mike to make an exporter that will allow you to move to other forum software, away from XF? :confused: Other competitors already have importers, and likely one will be made for XF when demand for it comes up. This would require more resources to keep it up to date whenever a new update for other software comes out, not to mention you're asking XF team to put up money to acquire licences (remember that some had renewal fees) in order to build and test this exporters.

    I think that while this idea works in theory I really can't see it working in practice so easily.
    EQnoble likes this.
  11. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    Interesting thread this one. It's not just a risk in the sense of what your community will think of it, but whether the product will be a success and the company continues to develop. The safest approach is probably to give it a good year or so after release, until such time as it's established, the bugs are ironed out, an active community exists, and competitors offer import scripts to their own products (in case you want to go back!).

    I'm sure there will be enough people on small forums, or forums which don't require CMS and galleries etc, or don't make an income from it, that will be giving Xenforo a try.

    For me, even if vB did an import script so I could go back to it, it would mean going from vB3 to Xenforo to vB4 (their current product) and I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than use vB4. So I'll most likely be an early adopter of Xenforo. Because it's better than vB3 already, IMO.
  12. OperaManiac

    OperaManiac Well-Known Member

    I am looking for a similar solution. But I had like to get a free trial to check out how well the conversion goes and how the community reacts to it (i plan to install it on a subdomain first)...

    I am pretty happy with what I am seeing here.
  13. Shamil

    Shamil Well-Known Member

    A free trial (on your server) can be devastating to the business of XenForo.
  14. OperaManiac

    OperaManiac Well-Known Member

    mmm? how about a full/partial refund within a period of 15 days? that would not be too much to ask?

    i guess XF would validate the installation with their servers for proper authorization? so, it should not be tough to ask.

    maybe we can have a market here, where can can sell or buy vB and XF licenses. if my migration from vb4 to XF1 is successful, i would probably have no use for my paid vb4 license!
  15. tmb

    tmb Active Member

    While some sort of test drive is a good idea I don't think any other forum software gives you a converter away from their package and I don't blame them. Let someone on the vb side worry about that.
  16. OperaManiac

    OperaManiac Well-Known Member

    thats why a market where you can sell and buy second hand licenses of XF here would be a cool idea!
  17. Shamil

    Shamil Well-Known Member

    Who striked my post?

    A full or partial refund still doesn't sound satisfactory. What I would do, is have the setup on XenForo's server(s), such that you'd be able to import the forum backup, and you'd be able to go through with the thing yourself. However, I'm not sure how the automation would work.

    Swapping XF Lic, for vB lic, doesn't really generate any sort of tangible income for XF in the short term, and the administrative over-heads aren't worth it. I trust Ashley has something sorted out.
  18. OperaManiac

    OperaManiac Well-Known Member

    i surely did not do anything with your post. i got confused by it myself. :)

    i do not think it is practical to have the testing done on XF forums...

    but yeah, i hope developers of XF have something in mind...

    my last experience with migration from IPB to vB was not very pleasant. but i managed to survive. things have changed a lot since then. i do not run a huge forum. but 370,000 posts is still no simple task!

    when i was moving from ipb to vb... i had decided for sure that i was going to switch. no matter what.

    but switching to XF1 would be a more complicated decision because I would have NO idea on:

    1. if the migration would be smooth.
    2. would my server handle it.
    3. how would the links behave after the migration. would 301 redirects work fine? i am using vb4 with vbseo.

    and so on!
  19. Shamil

    Shamil Well-Known Member

    In terms of migration,

    1, it should be smooth. Always do a test on a separate test install first.
    2, your server should be able to handle it. I can't imagine you running with a celeron with 256MB RAM and so on.
    3, I assume the links get converted back to XenForo style, where it can be manipulated. You'll need to consult vBSEO concerning this.
  20. OperaManiac

    OperaManiac Well-Known Member

    haha. i am running on an eight core virtual server with eight GB RAM.

    about links, i did read that XF should be able to redirect links formed by vbSEO properly. of course, i would only find out when i test it out on a migrated forum :)

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