Why won't XenForo let me trial its software?


New member
Good evening

I will have the pleasure of bringin a vBulleting 4.2.5 forum into the year 2021 by migrating to a different forums software. I preselected two forums, one of those is XenForo. So I created an online demo, clicked a bit around and found that it could be a good fit - but obviously, I need to trial it in depth with the data of my existing forum and to see how easy migration is going to be which is a big decision factor for me.

Now while my forum with 4.100+ users and roughly 250k posts might not be the biggest on the planet, it is big enough to properly check stuff out before buying a new software.

So I wrote to XenForo support asking whether I could get a proper trial. Friendly but not helpful "Paul" told me that this is not possible. I explained my situation and why I need to trial it and his response was that XenForo has been installed thousands of times including migrations of huge forums, so I should bugger off.

Which is not just really bad customer service, it is also a very bad idea. Because the OTHER software forum SEND me their actual software for a trial and in this way I learned after spending several evenings trying to get their migration tool to work how painful it is. This is also a very popular software so why should XenForo be any better? After this experience, I will certainly not accept "Pauls" wise words for granted.

So why exactly is XenForo not helpful in presales, why should I buy it if post-sales support certainly wont be better and how on earth can I see how easy I can migrate my vBulletin to XenForo?

A very frustrated non-customer

We maintain a reasonable refund policy. We have never refused a refund to anyone who has had insurmountable issues with the software be that through issues with migration or other technical issues that we were unable to solve.

To be clear, people stealing the software do not get better support. They get no support whatsoever.

We don’t offer a trial version and the sheer majority of forum software companies do not because once the software has been downloaded there is no feasible way to expire the software.

But in spite of that, we’re also one of the very few companies that do offer a refund policy at all if the software has been downloaded.

So, if you like the software, buy it and if things don’t go to plan we’ll be here to help and...


Well-known member
The difference is like night and day from vbulletin 4, which is a sinking ship/end of life. I have a couple forums on Xenforo, and one that converted painlessly that is over 1.1 million posts, and 10k users. No problems at all, converting them from VB 4.2.x. I had a third with VB5, but that was a short lived and frustrating experience.

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Well-known member
The XenForo official demo sites are enough for almost all testing purposes except:

1) the experience of how you install the forum software and its official addons like XFES, XFRM, XFMG.
2) installing and developing addons.
3) designer mode, developer mode, and debug mode.