Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by Darksbane, Jun 4, 2011.
Just wondering, never heard of this forum software before.
I've been using IPB since version 2.0.
Not as long as you, I've been using IPB since 3.0.1 My current forum is IPB 3.1.4 I think?
These are my personal opinion based on 3.0-3.1. I have no experience with 3.2, things may have changed.
- I was first drawn to IPB for it's feature. I think I bought 5... board, blog, content, gallery .... can't quite remember what else.
- Right away, I found out I wasn't a big fan of their default 3.0-3.1 style. I shopped around but never really found anything that "clicks" for me. : /
(for reference, my IPB installation is http://all-final.com/forum/ )
- As you can see, I found some based skin I think had potential, and modified it a LOT. I must say it wasn't a very pleasant experience doing so. After I was done, I seriously didn't want to touch the skinning ever again....
- But a lot of updates broke my skin. Tiny little things would move out of place I had to spend days figuring out what was going on, some features would simply stop working. So I had to dive back into skinning, and it was painful.
- IP.Content. My website staff wasn't able to get a hold of it. After 3 months of trying to get everyone involved creating content, they simply lost interest. My site's content was halt to a still. Until later I switched to some other free CMS which bumped up the productivity of my team a ton.
IP.Content had a lot of potential... Too bad it is so -not- intuitive. My members also wasn't too fond of IP.Blog. It's hard to skin and again the default layout is horrible, for my taste.
OK now to Xenforo..... it's a big contrast. Because right away when I discovered this website, I loved the theme. Yes, the default theme. This is highly subjective so yours may differ
But being a picky ******* as I am, I once again cut Xenforo's skin to pieces. And guess what - I've skin phpBB, myBB, IPB... skinning Xenforo was simply the best experience I ever had. It was actually fun.
When Xenforo releases updates, I download them and install with my heart pounding. I hid in the corner of my room, click my mouse in fear my skin would fall apart. Twice I updated my forum, and both times only took me.... 5 minutes to fix my skin? Oh Em Gee.
I can't quite explain but , right now I feel like when I was a kid having new toys. I feel excited. Playing with Xenforo is fun. Working with Xenforo is fun. Learning to expand Xenforo's code is fun. Having my Xenforo up and running for my community is fun. Almost about every aspect of Xenforo is fun.
Damn, I want to stay home on weekends to play with Xenforo much more than going out with my girlfriend these days.
You should think about getting a new girlfriend in that case
Try the demo and see for yourself: Admin Demo
If you, and your users, are happy with your current IPB then there's imho very little reason to change, especially if you have an install which heavily relies on add-ons/mods.
I purchased XF, and I will probably deploy it over IPB (which I also purchased) for a totally new forum. I am not an XF fanboi by a long shot and while there are any number of things I personally do not like about XF at all I also recognize that at the end of the day what matters most is what users like.
Because XF is essentially a forum software infant compared to other solutions out there it doesn't have a lot of functionality that long term admins have become accustomed to. What that means for you as admin is that you will have to do a lot more work manually which was previously automated as built in function of whatever other software one was using.
Then you have to deal with some features which exist in XF but are worse than what you are used to in other software, for example the infuriating delay of the link/embed overlay when in pretty much all other scripts it comes up as soon as you click the button. Granted, that's overall a minor issue but it adds to the pile of minor issues.
Having said all that, the primary reason why I will most likely deploy XF is that the user experience is engaging. You have the "Like" functionality, you have Alerts, both of which are subtle features to encourage users to come back to your forum. Users won't know what issues the admin is getting frustrated over, all that is hidden from them, all they see is something they like to use.
It's a matter of personal preference. I've never found a forum software that I have like enough to purchase it.
Then I found xenForo. I watched it for a couple of weeks. The day that it was released for beta, I had a copy in my hands within an hour of it going online. I had a little trouble installing it and even though it just launched the developers had time to find a fix for me and I had it running right away.
Everytime I login to the ACP I found myself looking through things and getting excited that I have such a cool forum! Every update, I love all the new features. The developers are wonderful and it's so easy to use.
I love styling XF because it's soooooooo easy and fun to do!
Use it - as and end user - it is by far the best forum software from the user's perspective that I have come across. Quick, clear, it just works!
I've never really liked IPB3.1 forums that I have used. IPB3.2 seems better - I loved the preview - but I do get a sense of mutton dressed as lamb and the novelty has worn off a bit.
The other side of the coin is the admin side. User management and some other moderation tools are much more established with IPB. The way I see it is this: For a new install and new community, XenForo would be my choice. For an established community that has grown fat on various features, maybe IPB - or wait and see how XenForo evolves.
Here are few reasons which is why you should do it:
1. New Content with pagination.
2. When you click on topic which is updated since last visit, it will take you to the post from where you left over.
3. Best notification I have ever seen. Gives me simple 2 options while subscribing. Do I need email notification or just forum one and I can choose between those 2 options for every single topic. This is freaking best. I tried to do that in IPB but I can't.
4. Lightbox for images. IMO Best.
5. I can actually see which of my topics are liked by other members.
6. As an end user, i feel Xenforo is faster in loading the forums. I visited many Xenforo forums around here. They all loaded faster to me.
My only dislike in Xenforo:
I just can't figure where post ends and where signature starts many times while reading topics.
If you only need forums - Xenforo is best.
If you need store and blogs - IPB is best.
IMO I personally like layout of Xenforo. No repeated things, less white space around and perfectly organized.
I think I know what you mean. There is something about IPB 3.1.... I can almost, *almost* like it. But at the end I'm not totally happy. I have no idea why.
It took me a while switching the ACP to Xenforo's but so far, except for mass member editing, I don't feel it's lacking much :O The permission settings got me confused for a bit until I read up the documentation xD
If you are not comfortable switching, then do not switch.
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