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Xenforo Review system - Would you invest

Discussion in 'Resource and Add-on Discussions' started by woodward82, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. woodward82

    woodward82 Member

    I have seen a lot of demand for a custom review system mod for the xenforo software.

    So I have a couple of questions

    Would members here be willing to donate to have it created?

    How much would you be willing to pay for an addon like this?
  2. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    I would buy such an add-on - if it was of the type I need. Mine would be fairly simple - just something to replace my current review system. It would require custom fields though!


    Whether I would finance the system being built is another story. The biggest problem I see with XF add-ons is future support, so before I moved a major part of my site to one I'd want to have some assurance - for instance, that the add-on writer was a regular long-term community member and they would agree to release it into the wild (not terminate it) if they decided not to update it in the future, etc.
    Walter likes this.
  3. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    Don't see the difference myself really, as opposed to just creating a "Reviews Forum" for people to post stuff and get review comments made back that way instead? You have that already in a sense with the post your theme forum people post remarks on here.

    Some things can done like that, simply with a new forum added and gives good reason for adding one that's more public viewable. Than having to click a link in navbar leading to add-on one, which then usually will only end-up getting overlooked. Seen that happen with IPB sites, add-ons never get used because people spend most their time on forums talking. If something like that cannot be done with a forum board added, go for it. If it can, you might as well head down that road keeping the forum less bloated.

    Maybe I'm old fashion that way, but feel the same about a Gallery also. Why can't a forum just be created dedicated to Gallery Image uploads members can use, does the same job when you think about it? Plus XenForo even lets you insert full-sized photo's in posts. :coffee:
  4. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    I think you are somewhat right about the gallery - although the lack of captions is a slight problem - but when it comes to reviews, I think you need a better system to sort, search and format them.

    I guess it depends on what you are reviewing. We have 1500+ reviews of various name brand appliances (wood and pellet stoves).

    A forum for reviews is also the wild west - in that people are not constrained by the fields......which is asking for trouble, IMHO.
    Trombones13 likes this.
  5. Eric Russell

    Eric Russell Active Member

    I just tried the gallery in a forum and it looks terrible due to the inconsistent way people add their photos. Half the people just leave them as attachments and it looks horrible.

    If there was a gallery template icon in the editor to allow you choose from which would add all uploads to a nice gallery layout, then I would agree a forum could be used as a gallery. But you are still losing the ability to comment on individual photos, like photos .....
  6. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    The drawback of reviews in a forum setting (as threads) is Xenforo does not have much in the way of organising and sorting them. There is no thread rating for example (even IPB with its thread rating seems to have lost the option to resort threads by rating, vB remains the best for this). Trying to get members to remember to like the first post in a thread (one of the few sorting criteria) would be difficult.

    Although you can use thread prefixes to help narrow things down, it becomes complicated if you have items within several categories, since you need many sub forums then, plus prefixes, and still have no "global" way of rating and sorting reviews.

    So a proper add-on to do this - especially rating the items - would be great. As for reviews not having much visibility this way (like a gallery) you can just create a forum that is actually a redirect to the review section, then you can make it as prominent as you want.
    Shelley likes this.
  7. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    True, you could do that and it would lead people better to it. Just me this, but never been fan of forums listed on front-page doing nothing but redirecting a person only, it's wasted page real estate that could be used as a proper forum for posting in. Would agree if being a sub-forum, but then that's getting back to "hidden out the way" thing again.

    See your point about the "Rating System" not present in XF, but never saw it used much on vBulletin forums before. Not hard to add 10 prefixes saying "Rated 10, Rated 9, Rated 8" e.t.c. Ops, hold one! No you couldn't use the Prefix system because only thread starter can add them, not replies made to rate a thread.
  8. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    Review systems or a way of reviewing stuff in standard forums/threads will never compensate for a dedicated add-on. There's far too many criteria(s) you'll loose when it comes to rating the item/product <insert other criteria here> etc in standard posts. Then you have the issue of layout, standard posts don't cater for a interactive proper review system and that is just a small portion of potential issues you'll encounter if you are wanting to cut corners and settle for second best.

    I'm not saying anything is wrong with standard threads used as reviews but if your wanting a dedicated reviews system and want to expand there's just no way you'll use prefixes as a form of rating threads.
    Kim likes this.
  9. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    Can't be done anyway from what I see, prefixes can only be used for thread starter who's not going to rate their own thread. All other replies after posted don't have option to make use of prefixes for anything in that thread. Unless, I've missed something?
  10. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    It might just take a plugin that adds a rating functionality to threads to make this a workable system with the existing forums.

    So each thread constitutes a review, members can rate a thread (which in effect is rating the item being reviewed in it). These ratings would need to be displayed alongside the thread title. You'd need new options to re-sort the threads by rating. Additional screens to view the rated threads across all the forums, say in a top 10 or top 50. Thread rating would need to refuse members who had already rated it.

    And options to specify which forums to have the ratings enabled, which usergroups can rate, display who rated, delete selected ratings, which usergroups can see who rated etc.

    I think I would prefer a review system like that, with forum threads being reviews (since that is the posting and replying options already taken care of).
  11. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    I would imagine so. I think prefixes are better suited for a system such as this as ways to highlight the submission has been "Reviewed" "Pending" "declined" <insert your prefix tag title here>.
  12. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    Expanding further. By all means the review system i linked you to doesn't come without it's issues. The main problem with it is that when a review has been made or a submission for a review has been created there's no way of knowing it's been made, what I mean by this no notification alerts you of it. I'm not sure whether this was an oversight by the author or it just can't be done by introducing a alert balloon on a custom reviews tab but hopefully xenforo will add support for item count for custom tabs so that we can introduce a alert specifically for this reviews system alerting people a review was made, or a submission was created. Eitherway at this time we have a redirect linking to reviews (originally had it as a tab) and it's not what I will say is a great solution.

    Just something to think about if somebody does take this on. I might even throw some money into this pending on the above.
    Ingenious likes this.
  13. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    This is of course where we all have slightly differing needs which reflect the diverse types of reviews we want to host.

    Basically in the absence of any good add-on to do this (or any thread rating) I will be using forums, with a forum for each manufacturer. Within that, each thread will have a prefix for the product type, however, by luck, those are the only two categories I need to drill down to (manufacturer / product type). Within each forum, people can click the prefix then to list all reviews of that type of product.

    New content, ie. new reviews, are notified to me by the fact all posts in those forums need approval by a moderator.

    Unfortunately, that won't allow any meaningful ratings by users, they can only add comments/reviews of their own by way of a reply.

    Shelley thanks for that link, I'll have a good look over that.

    I also wonder whether the resource manager could be cobbled to do this, replacing "resource manager" with "Reviews"?
    Shelley likes this.
  14. Trombones13

    Trombones13 Well-Known Member

    I'd be interested in this as well, though I think the Resource Manager may provide enough that a few tweaks will make it into a good reviews add-on. Right now, I'm thinking I'll get the RM and convert it--mine will be for songs and albums, so I'll just have to change the download links to Amazon/iTunes/Spotify links (or free downloads for the occasional few that I can) and make the authors be artists instead of members.
    ragtek and Shelley like this.
  15. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    Just looked over the RM and it has possibilities as a base for reviews. But it's not quite there - you'd have an initial entry, "reviews" tab plus discussion tab, I think for product reviews that could all get a bit dispersed and confused. Also you'd have a main entry in the RM and a separate discussion post in a forum, not sure that's going to work.
    Shelley likes this.
  16. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    I myself can't see the RM being a great foundation to adapt it to be used as a review type system myself. There's too many quirks both that you highlighted upon and many others that haven't been mention.I think the blog has more chance of being adapted as a review system than the RM and even then there's limitations with that but needless to say I would assume something like this for example would be easier to adapt but would still come with it's own set of limitations and obstacles to overcome.

    I think when it's all said and done a review system is something I feel so interactivity, layout structure and feature implementation isn't compromised is something that needs to be built from scratch not adapted from <insert add-on here>.
  17. Trombones13

    Trombones13 Well-Known Member

    Obviously Shelley's seen this, but Admin Extra has a nice review add-on already...but that's not getting released, as far as I've heard. Could provide some inspiration for another developer, though (I'd personally request download/purchase links along with what it already has).
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  18. Brent W

    Brent W Well-Known Member

    That does look nice. Would be nice to have something like this. Maybe we could all pool together some funds to have some replicate that?
  19. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    That's a pretty vague plan !
    Forums are semi-horrible review systems, and the RM is not going easily become a Review System either.

    A dedicated Review System is probably a great way to go.

    Another safer, quite possibly better plan would be to bridge Xenforo to Wordpress and find a good Wordpress Review system.

    Looks pretty good.
  20. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

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