Nothing bad can happen from holding off until gold... Not saying it will, but bad things could happen by not waiting.. Im in no way comparing vB4 to xF..... But i was one who couldn't wait to upgrade from 3.8 to 4.0 and man did i get burned.... Use this time to play with your shinny new copy o xF learn it figure it out and have fun with it from the acp side of things.. wait for gold and then go live...
I'm nosediving into all pre-Gold releases, installing them on my dev machine to learn the software better than the back of my hand, write some add-ons, create some styles, etc. Once it goes gold, I'll be ready to revive the forum side of my design career at full tilt, no holding back.
Why don''t you try something like this first. Make a duplicate of your main forum to a test folder/subdomain and convert that first to xenforo and see how things will go. You and your staff can test it out thoroughly. If things will go smooth which I think they will, then convert your main forum.
Here are the reasons I am anxious to move. I started my forum on a lark, never had one before. It was on SMF and I didn't know what I was doing, still don't. I used to do a huge amount of activities and carried quite a bit of stuff on myself and wondered if anyone had the same problem so I started a forum on what you carry everyday and how to manage it.
I did everything that people said you are not supposed to do, I did everything wrong and it grew for no reason. There was not a single down month, also every month it grew more than the last. From the first of February to the 25th of February it grew more than 800 members. I had not monitized it and was paying for it out of pocket.
I lost my job, then my dad got ill and I spent a huge amount taking care of him then he died, expense after expense piled up while I was not working then I lost my home.
I decided I had to get my forum making money, after a few months of trying that while homeless it started working and my forum got me off the streets but during this time I had lost everything I owned except for what would fit in a closet and in my backpack.
My forum got me into a home again, well I made the mistake of moving my forum, active members dropped from 6000 to 4000 in a month, it has declined to 2400. I never had a decline in active users before the move. Though the forum got busier and busier my revenue did drop as messages from the members got heavier and heavier, it took time away from marketing products. I moved to vB thinking some automaton would save time and the CMS would do the marketing for me. The CMS does do some marketing but to a decline group of members.
I finally talked to the members that left and they spelled out exactly why they left. I should have went right back to SMF and put up a front page for marketing but I didn't because I thought it would look like going back....well it would have been going back. The members that I did lose where the ones that had been with me from the first and second year. I have a younger crowd now but I want the older crowd back, the older crowd supported the forum better and where more like me. Revenue is dropping and when I look at XenForo it has everything the older people liked about SMF but much better.
My old members are not computer people but people that spend time outside. They want easy to use, emphasis on easy. My forum used to attract people that spend time outdoors, now it attracts more mall ninjas than it did before and fewer people that get their hands dirty.
Xenforo is the ultimate in easy to use. This is what my favorite members that are still with me want, and what the ones that left want. My competitors want to tap the members with social functions so those do not help me and the members that spend the most don't like the features either.
My old members that I lost favored Ebony, Desert Ironwood, and Walnut. The latest prefer plastic and G-10.
My forum is dying but it is not dead yet. I think XenForo is the perject pill for a sick forum. The sickness is vB4.
I think the rules that help some forums do not apply to mine when it comes to members.