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XenForo vs IPB: Extensibility / Tweaking, WordPress Integration

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by sgr, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. sgr

    sgr Active Member


    I am confused between XenForo and IPB. I have a WordPress blog, and I'll be buying a forum in the next couple of days.

    I have the following questions:

    1. In terms of extensibility / tweaking , which one is better, XenForo or IPB?
    I'd like to develop a lot of apps inside the forums, but I haven't worked in either XenForo or IPB ecosystems before.. so I need some suggestions.

    2. My blog is on WordPress. I've seen that XenForo offers this bridge: http://xenforo.com/community/resources/xf-wordpress-bridge.1833/

    There are widgets in the resource section which allow WordPress to display forum data.. but, I want to display a list of blogs (in a sidebar or something, lists could be recent blogs, blogs related to forums, and so on..) into XenForo, I'd have to develop that using RSS, I think? I'm not sure. I want this, and I want to know if it'll be easy for me to do this in XenForo or not..

    3. The CMS in IPB seems very attractive. Also the developer documentation looks structured when compared to XenForo's. How are these two areas here in XenForo?
    Could you link me to the developer docs? I might be missing something..

    I have to choose a forum soon. I'd appreciate any ideas.

    Thanks! :)
  2. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member


    XenForo is extremely easy to develop for and most importantly, it's stable for both designs and add-on.

    I use to use IPB and found that every release broke things and required updates. 3.4.0, 3.4.1, 3.4.2, ect... It did not matter there was always something to fix when updating.

    My site has 80 add-ons installed. I can easily upgrade XenForo without the need to update another add-on. And with 10 styles installed, I virtually almost never need to change or modify them to accommodate a release.

    And while on the topic of development and stability, there is also the security aspect. XenForo in the history of the company (3 years) has had zero security concerns in relation to it's own code. The exception only being an outside flash uploader, that was promptly patched. IPB had to push out 7 security updates in just 1 year (link) and in my opinion, that is a little concerning.

    The community here is very supportive and eager to help. The support here is wonderful. I've never known a development where people seem to jump over one another in order to lend a hand, give advise, tips, and solutions.


    There is actually more than a few people who have incorporated XenForo with WordPress. What you want done can indeed be done with some modification. XenForo is very easy to customize.


    There are several popular portals / cms add-ons for you to choose from. Customizing them to fit your needs is also possible.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
    AndyB and Claudio like this.
  3. sgr

    sgr Active Member

    Thanks @Adam Howard ! :)

    The XenForo ecosystem feels pretty good to me too, as you have described. Thanks for the insight on security and stability.

    The IPB-WordPress connect product seems a bit better to me when I look at the feature set: http://community.invisionpower.com/files/file/6089-wordpress-ipsconnect/

    Any SSO issues you know of in XenForo?

    Any good ones you know of?

    I haven't developed inside a forum environment before. When I see this: http://xenforo.com/community/resources/categories/development-tutorials.36/ and I see this: http://www.invisionpower.com/support/guides/_/advanced-and-developers/ , as a first timer I'm attracted to Invision. There must be a developer documentation in XenForo? I can't seem to find it...
  4. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    There is currently no formal documentation.
  5. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    But there are a lot of user contributed documentation, including some video tutorials :)
  6. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    You're very welcome :)

    I do not know of any SSO issues in XenForo


    From my prospective based upon my experience, I came to form an opinion as to exactly why IPB hides their support forums from the general public (that actually involve support), as opposed to just having it in full view or maybe even using a modification to hide select aspects (if code was their concern).

    It was actually a question I originally had before buying into IPB.

    Why do they not display something to provide a real world, live, and true demonstration to reveal the actual level of friendliness and support within their community (why do they hide the forums that actually were designed for support)?

    It is question I ignored and learned the hard way.

    Believe me when I say that if you want to really learn how to develop within a forum environment , you're going to get a lot more support, advise, tips, and even solutions from other developers and designers, here on XenForo. And you can clearly see that even as a guest.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
    Tracy Perry likes this.
  7. nassella

    nassella Active Member

    It really is an interesting situation. The Xenforo Community appears to be alot more active, and I like the Forum better. On the basis of that I would say go with Xenforo.

    If we do a major tweak of the Forums, though, that's going to be the province of the developer. I tend to think the community is not going to play a big role after a developer has been found and IPB has laid out extensive documentation. I would think that would make it cheaper and easier to tweak IPB. On the other hand, developer interest doesn't seem to be higher over there.

    Not being able to see the discussions at IPB is unsettling for sure. It's not a strike in their favor. The Xen community is clearly the most vibrant which speaks well for the future of the Forums.

    IPB also has this nifty single sign-on application....

    This is a Full-featured IPSConnect Slave Application built as a WordPress plugin.

    Features Include
    • 'Password' Master IPSConnect/API Key Inputs for extra security[1].
    • Single Sign On[1][2], shared login credentials[1].
    • User Login Type setting, Username[1], Email[1], or Display Name[1][3].
    • Utilizes IPB registration and password resets[1].
    • Force 'new' WordPress Users to 'No Role for this site'[1].
    • Master IPB 'Forums', 'Topics', And 'Statistics' Wordpress Widgets With Data Caching[1][3].
    • Global WP Super-Admin control of the Minimum Lifetime of the Data Caching[1][3].
    • Globally Disable any or all API Widgets [1][3].
    • Option to treat specified IPB Group's Users as guests in WP[1][3].
    • Option to exclude Blog owner from the above option[1][3].
    • Option to post a new IPB Topic for every WP Post in a forum specified by post, with admin-defined form default[1][3].
    • Option to post a new IPB Post for every WP Comment in reply to the IPB Topic made for the WP Post enabled/disabled by post, with admin-defined form default[1][3].
    • Option to Synch IPB Posts as WP Comments enabled/disabled by post, with admin-defined form default[1][3].
    • Option to add a link to the WP Post in the posted IPB Topic OP complete with HTML Formatting enabled/disabled by post, with admin-defined form default[1][3].
    • Option to ONLY post the link format in the posted IPB Topic OP enabled/disabled by post, with admin-defined form default[1][3].
    • Option to force admin-defined form defaults globally, removing the options from post screens[1][3].
    • Option to post all topics as an admin-specified IPB member[1][3].
    • Option to post all Visitor/Guest WP comments to IPB as an admin-specified IPB member[1][3].
    • Option to Over-ride the Synched IPB Topic ID by post, to allow synching rss-imported items and posting new topics, with admin-defined form default[1][3].
    • Full IPB User Photo integration, including admin setting for uploads URL[1][3].
    • API Method debug area[1][3].
    • Hide WordPress Admin links on Frontend.
    • Replace WordPress 'My Profile' Links with Links to the master UCP.
    [1] Supported On WordPress MultiSite.

    [2] Same TLD as IPB Master Only.

    [3] IPB Master API User Required.
  8. aasajjj

    aasajjj Member

    xenforo seems much more faster,flexible,etc but ipb has many good features and more stuff in it.
  9. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    All of which can be done with XenForo. There is also a single sign-on add-on and several API add-on, including a WordPress add-on. There is so many ways you can go about it with XenForo, it's amazing.

    As for cost for developers here on XenForo, I've spent as little as $25 to have quality add-ons developed (2 of which in the popular resource downloads). And have had several others expanded beyond their original design for as little as $50.

    Take into the account the XenForo alone is only $40 for the whole year (renew with support) & I've saved more switching to XenForo and that is including support and outside development cost.

    And as you were quick to point out, the community here is very active and supportive :)
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  10. nassella

    nassella Active Member

    We're going to go with Xen...Do you know of any Forums that have used the Resource Manager? The article like option is intriguing but I'm having trouble picturing what it does.
  11. nassella

    nassella Active Member

    Yes, it does, although we have Wordpress for alot of the features that IPB has. We need something that's flexible and that we can tweak - and my guess is that Xen has the best code.

    We also like the Forum package for Xen better...
    Adam Howard likes this.
  12. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    IPB also eats up resources like candy and is slower.. Their general system requirements, which they no long publish (I assume because people kept pointing that out)....

    But you can read just as easily inside their "test script" (Compatability Checker) requires a lot more.

    128 Memory limit

    suhosin.post.max_vars 4096 or better recommended
    suhosin.request.max_vars 4096 or better recommended
    suhosin.get.max_value_length 2000 or better recommended
    suhosin.post.max_value_length 1000000 or better recommended
    suhosin.request.max_value_length 1000000 or better recommended
    suhosin.request.max_varname_length 350 or better recommended

    And I only skimmed through it.
  13. skizzerz

    skizzerz Member

    Having done small addons for XenForo and small to large ones for IPB, this is my opinion on the matter:

    1. XenForo follows the MVC pattern when developing, which means despite the lack of official documentation, it is very easy for someone already familiar with the pattern to add things to it. That said, you will have to spend more time looking at existing code (both core XenForo as well as how other addons do things) to have a better idea of what is going on. IPB does not follow this pattern, but as long as what you are trying to do is covered in their documentation (and not everything is), you shouldn't have much difficulty at all with that. I'd probably say this one is fairly tied between the two.
    2. XenForo is far more encapsulated -- when making an addon for it all of your files go in one place. IPB throws files all over the filesystem, and packaging that into something installable on a non-dev board is incredibly tedious and non-intuitive (there are buttons in the ACP to export the XML files IPB needs to install addons, but there are like 5 of them you need to press, and they are all hidden in various places around the ACP). Point in XenForo's favor.
    3. An upcoming update for IPB slated for sometime in 2014 is going to be a major release and rework (4.0) which has already been officially stated to break compatibility with every addon developed for the 3.X branch. This means any work you do now will have to be re-done later. XenForo has not announced such an update as of yet, and so far between moving between the 1.X releases, very little to no changes needed to be made to get things compatible for the new release. Point in XenForo's favor.
    4. Both places have developer communities willing to assist you with questions, provided you post for help. I haven't leveraged either all that much, so I can't say more about it. However, IPB's forum for developers to talk with each other is private and only visible once you get an addon accepted into their marketplace. I do not know if XenForo has a similar private forum since I haven't submitted an addon here yet.

    In all, I'd say XenForo is probably your best bet for now.
  14. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    There are several people here who have used the recourse manager for different uses

    Sorry, I'm not currently one of them.... Though I have installed plenty for others and configured it. I have not personally used it for my own use.
  15. nassella

    nassella Active Member

    Thanks for elucidating the code differences - that's something, as a laymen, I couldn't tell about
  16. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    I would agree on most of the point you have made, with the exception of #1 and #4.

    #1 XenForo is easier to code even from a newbie prospective.

    #4 I have never experienced assistance in IPB's developer forums and rarely ever witnessed any assistance for others (a lot of 0 replies). I often believed after buying into it all, that is why many of their forums were hidden from the public.

    But overall, I found your opinion to be fair minded.

    To answer your question, no, XenForo has no secret or hidden forum for developers. What you see is what you get here and people are very helpful in providing tips, informative in addressing questions, and eager to provider solutions. :)
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  17. nassella

    nassella Active Member

    We feel good about our move to Xenforo. Besides the better performing Forums, it was the community interest that made the difference.

    We're glad to be on board and look forward to interacting with everyone.

    Thanks for the help!
    aasajjj, AndyB, LPH and 1 other person like this.
  18. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    You're very welcome & welcome to XenForo :)
  19. LPH

    LPH Well-Known Member

    Welcome to XenForo. You will not be disappointed. ;)
    Adam Howard likes this.
  20. nassella

    nassella Active Member

    Thanks :)
    Adam Howard likes this.

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