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Add-on Why is there no decent blog addon for xenforo?

ekine

Active member
#1
Does the xenforo community not miss a decent blog addon?

All users who want to move from IP.Board to xenforo have a huge conversion problem. For example, on our IP.board the blog feature is very popular and we can not just remove all blogs of our users for the sake of switching to xenforo.

Now you probably say, then why don't you use the better blogs addon or the XI Blog addon. Both addons seem to be abandoned, also they are not on the same level like IP.Blog and importer scripts for IP.Blog are non-existent.

Do your forum members really don't care about blogs? Or is coding a quality premium blog addon too hard to transform?
 

Daniel Hood

Well-known member
#3
I don't think it's fair to dismiss those two add ons as not being decent.
They may not be the same level as IP.Blog but the author's resources are very different. As @Mouth suggested, if there was some funding put up to start the development of the software, it may result in a higher quality rather than a developer risking his time (which for developers is money), hoping that their product will be adapted.
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#4
The blog addons are decent, but indeed seem to be abandoned. Only a few months ago there were weekly updates for these popular scripts, so it did not seem that there was much market for a third script.
Now that has changed and I have no doubt that someone will start a competing addon. Simply because there are many potential customers who need a blog.

The lack of an importer should not be something that holds you back. You can simply hire a developer and have an importer created.
Its the abandonment of addon thats the real issue, because the two fully functional addons may stop working once xenforo 1.3 comes out.
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#6
Any developer with a long track record on XenForo is overloaded with work, which causes problems of it own.
In this respect XenForo has a deficiency of quality developers. There are a good number of quality devs, but there is way more work than devs, because so many websites are making the jump from vbulletin.
 

Eagle

Well-known member
#10
I do not see necessary in such a thing in forums. Because I think, blogs are bad and unnecessary in forums. If blogs need to in forums, Google would do it but no, never. I think so. Everything you add to your forums, there are two things you should ask first; Will your users use it? I like to think of this as blog question. Will your users use it? Some forums, yes but most forums no, never. Does it take away from your forums. In generally, everything you add to your website, you add because you want to draw people to your website. I don't think so, blog or social groups do not do this.
 

DRE

Well-known member
#11
When Rigel stopped working on Better Blogs, I told @sonnb I'd pay him to create a blogs addon several months ago. He said he would after he was finished with XenGallery. I have not asked him about blogs again because I feel like his work on XenGallery is more important than him diverting attention from it to create a blogs addon. @Daniel Hood told me he'd consider creating a blog addon. He may have changed his mind due to XenReviews. @Rigel Kentaurus is a good coder though and is planning to add more features to Better Blogs once he gets back in the swing of things. The only thing I dislike about Better Blogs is the issues I have with it's Vanity URLs feature.
 

Daniel Hood

Well-known member
#12
I am swamped with XenReviews. With that said, a lot of people have brought up a blog add on lately. I can't I'm interested in making it due to the competition. I think the there's too much money committed to the current ones for me to make any money with it. Crowd funding it like XenReviews was could definitely change my opinion of that though. Either way, it'd be a few months, at the very least, before I would start.
 

craigiri

Well-known member
#13
I think we keep getting confused by the word "blogs". After all, wordpress (a blog) is used for a wide variety of stuff and I don't think a Xenforo add-on would need that kind of flexibility. Even the simplest of "article" systems would do for me (and probably many others).....

What I need is something just a couple steps above the wiki...which I also use.

At the most basic level, it would need only these features.....

1. A single author (or allow only admins to be authors).
2. An editor to create the articles in - but with some basics such as word wrap around images.
3. A built in portal or category page with the choice of being automatically populated (by categories, widgets, etc.) or manually populated.

That's about it for basics. It would seem simple. Of course, improvements could be made (maybe a free and paid edition) to add for:

1. Comments or threads related to each article
2. Multiple authors
3. smart tags to allow for insertion of banners and/or other code (amazon links, etc.) mid-article, etc.

IMHO, basic blogging can be done in a forum almost as-is, especially with the various "thread starter" add-ons or similar tools. What is much harder to do - the missing link from Xenforo - is what Xenforo themselves have done with their front page portal, manual, etc. right here.

That's my take anyway. The ezine add-on is interesting, but it's too graphic-centered for my needs. What I have been looking for is someplace to put these articles.
 

Rigel Kentaurus

Well-known member
#14
Does the xenforo community not miss a decent blog addon?

All users who want to move from IP.Board to xenforo have a huge conversion problem. For example, on our IP.board the blog feature is very popular and we can not just remove all blogs of our users for the sake of switching to xenforo.

Now you probably say, then why don't you use the better blogs addon or the XI Blog addon. Both addons seem to be abandoned, also they are not on the same level like IP.Blog and importer scripts for IP.Blog are non-existent.

Do your forum members really don't care about blogs? Or is coding a quality premium blog addon too hard to transform?
I haven't updated Better Blogs in a couple of months, but that is because I need to take care of family and personal things, and I took a break. I had a speedy pace of development for a while that I hope to pick up again.

Now, answering your question. Business. That is probably the issue. The blog add-on sells maybe ... once per month? That is the current market for the solution. When I was actively updating it more people got interested and it ramped up to 3-4 times a month. Think about it, that is $200 a month.

I tried things. I tried advertising it more. I tried picking up the development speed, and I tried releasing a free version (surprisingly that actually slowed sales, I guess freemium model does not work for everything). Yeah, i am software guy, not a businessman or a marketing guy. I haven't tried doing sponsored development. Maybe that is the next thing. Or maybe I should try the crowdfunding thing that is going on these days.

If the XenForo guys would create their own, integrated, or official add-on, I feel bad for them. They are going to probably spend 400 hours developing it and would sell 300 copies (because it is the official one, I would expect it to sell way more than mine). I would urge them to sense the market before even attempting it. Unless it is not business but passion.

Really, if you want the best blog ever, maybe go with Wordpress. Awesome ecosystem. Plugins, Templates, developers, bunch of freelancers.

If you want an integrated solution, ours works fine, really. And once I finish ironing out the UI issues that I started working on december it is going to be even better.
 
#15
Rigel,
The only reason I haven't bought your blog is because you disappeared. The product and price are perfectly acceptable to me, but if nobody is supporting it, I have absolutely no recourse if there's a problem (I'm not a programmer). I'm not trying to be rude here, just want you to know what at least one potential customer is thinking. I hope you will continue to support it, and that you will make lots of sales. You have done a lot of work, and deserve some return on it imo.
 

DRE

Well-known member
#16
I agree with @wulfgar1
Your first reason for disappearing was considered rude to your existing customers (RE: You saying you stopped developing it until Xenforo development continued). Your second reason is excusable but at that point it makes you seem undependable. I think you are having issues with sales because you don't have a team. You are trying to run it all by yourself. If you think about it, your blog is $50 and $100 for multidomain installation. That's more than the price of Xenforo itself and nowhere near the support level or consistency. IMO take one of the mods from your own site that speaks english or ask a developer here to help and/or codevelop and co-maintain your official support site.
 

ekine

Active member
#18
The number one reason why some users would prefer an official xenforo blog add-on is because people always prefer consistency. When I choose to use a forum application, I want to make sure that the application will be supported for some years because I don’t like switching software and my users also don’t like it.

If there is only one developer working on an add-on or on any software, inconsistency much likely starts to kick in at some point because there is nobody who can back that person up and motivation usually drops significantly after not seeing the desired results.

It is not like we want something like wordpress, but rather a blog application which is tightly integrated into xenforo with the benefits of the browsing experience people are looking for.

When opening up the 'better blogs' demo home page, it only shows the first blog entry (using safari, chrome & firefox). You get to see the rest of the entries when scrolling down. The problem is that you don’t think that there are more entries because of the white space after the first blog entry. I think that this could be fixed easily.
Also, the way the blog entries are presented on the home page is not really appealing to the viewer. The dates are not that important that they need to be displayed in such a way. There is no pagination on the blog overview page which is not user-friendly.

Anyway, I will keep an eye on 'Better Blogs' and I am looking forward seeing the upcoming UI changes. :)
 

Deepmartini

Well-known member
#19
I haven't updated Better Blogs in a couple of months, but that is because I need to take care of family and personal things, and I took a break. I had a speedy pace of development for a while that I hope to pick up again.

Now, answering your question. Business. That is probably the issue. The blog add-on sells maybe ... once per month? That is the current market for the solution. When I was actively updating it more people got interested and it ramped up to 3-4 times a month. Think about it, that is $200 a month.

I tried things. I tried advertising it more. I tried picking up the development speed, and I tried releasing a free version (surprisingly that actually slowed sales, I guess freemium model does not work for everything). Yeah, i am software guy, not a businessman or a marketing guy. I haven't tried doing sponsored development. Maybe that is the next thing. Or maybe I should try the crowdfunding thing that is going on these days.

If the XenForo guys would create their own, integrated, or official add-on, I feel bad for them. They are going to probably spend 400 hours developing it and would sell 300 copies (because it is the official one, I would expect it to sell way more than mine). I would urge them to sense the market before even attempting it. Unless it is not business but passion.

Really, if you want the best blog ever, maybe go with Wordpress. Awesome ecosystem. Plugins, Templates, developers, bunch of freelancers.

If you want an integrated solution, ours works fine, really. And once I finish ironing out the UI issues that I started working on december it is going to be even better.

Xenforo should buy your blog addon and improve upon it. Why reinvent the wheel? Seems like you got the basics all there. An officially supported version would be well received and could be put into a package deal when someone buys the forum script.
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#20
I had a speedy pace of development for a while that I hope to pick up again.

Now, answering your question. Business. That is probably the issue. The blog add-on sells maybe ... once per month? That is the current market for the solution. When I was actively updating it more people got interested and it ramped up to 3-4 times a month. Think about it, that is $200 a month.

I tried things. I tried advertising it more. I tried picking up the development speed, and I tried releasing a free version (surprisingly that actually slowed sales, I guess freemium model does not work for everything). Yeah, i am software guy, not a businessman or a marketing guy. I haven't tried doing sponsored development. Maybe that is the next thing. Or maybe I should try the crowdfunding thing that is going on these days.
If you go back to weekly releases then once trust comes back, you'll see plenty of people jumping ship from the other blog addon to your supported addon.

Stop hiding your profile as it causes distrust, which is kryptonite for software sales.

Consider to add a yearly renewal plan so that your yearly income increases as time goes and there will be financial motivation to keep releases flowing even when sales are slow.
Once your software is completely up to par, you could consider to add a Branding Free Option for additional income.