XF as website or as part of website?

GinaKaye

New member
Hello,

I am learning code to build my website, and want a forum as part of it. Being new to all things web design, I'm trying to understand how XF functions. Would the entire site be through XF, or can I have my entire website and have XF just active on the "community" menu tab?
 

frm

Active member
You can do both.

XF is only a community, though. However, you will need additional add ons to make it a full-fledged content management system for how you intend on delivering content.

I didn't like the idea of bridging WordPress and XF as there'd be two different software bases to maintain, as well as drastically different plugins and add ons for both, as well as themes and styles for WordPress and XF respectively. As such, I passed bridging the two together and/or having a "community" tab with two separate user databases as you suggested.

XF's own Resource Management add on can be tweaked to become a blog as well.

In lieu of all that, I went with an article management system add on for XF and use it as my "blog".

You don't necessarily have to buy an add on for creating a blog or page, either. But, it will take much more coding. You can play around in the XF demo creating "Page" nodes and then creating pages from the ground up that are essentially an index, blog posts, or individual pages (such as "About Us", etc.).

My advice is to familiarize yourself with the demo and then look at screenshots of add ons that you wish to add to make your site, your site. Then, purchase (or download some freebies) and install to build it how you want. Or, just play with the demo enough to design pages of your own -- it's a very powerful system on its own, but it will take much more work without an add on to accomplish some things.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
I agree with the above. If the site is quite small (a few pages in addition to the forum) then the Xenforo page nodes can be used - but you do need to compose them with html as opposed to a nice user friendly text editors like we have here in the forum posts.

using the resource manager can work - as you can see from resources here they are used as a distribution for a file download but they can be used form articles and tutorials and there is an in-built navigation system based on categories so it's the closest to a CMS without a dedicated 3rd party add-on or a bridge with Wordpress.

The resource manager does use the user friendly text editor, and is better now that images can now be resized and aligned.

Also you can add custom bbcodes that allow for more formatting than the standard editor features.

What is not so easy is an easy way to make a nice home page that pulls it all together with a nice look. This is probably where the 3rd party addons like Bob's AMS come into their own (but have not yet tried it myself)

However if you are good at coding you'll find your own way to do what you want.
 

GinaKaye

New member
Thank you! I was planning on coding the site from scratch using Dreamweaver... not using Wordpress, if that makes a difference.
 

dknife

Well-known member
Thank you! I was planning on coding the site from scratch using Dreamweaver... not using Wordpress, if that makes a difference.
You can do anything you want on your site outside of the XenForo portion. It depends on whether you want to integrate with anything from XenForo on the website itself, which requires custom integration and fairly extensive PHP knowledge.
 

GinaKaye

New member
I agree with the above. If the site is quite small (a few pages in addition to the forum) then the Xenforo page nodes can be used - but you do need to compose them with html as opposed to a nice user friendly text editors like we have here in the forum posts.
What if the site is really big? Can you not do that just through XF?
 

frm

Active member
What if the site is really big? Can you not do that just through XF?
Sure, you can, but the ideal way of doing it would be with an addon to save a tremendous amount of time as it's a bigger site so one could only assume you could afford an additional $50-75 for that capability of somewhat automation.

It already takes me upwards of 1 hour compiling an article with an editor using the best SEO practices I can with the base BB code. I could only imagine, even if I cut and paste some Page node templates and used a private board's thread to copy formatting from HTML over to the page how much longer it would take me.

I only have about 30 articles now, but I value my time much more. With the time saved, I've been able to focus on promoting the articles as well as making business partnerships with another area of my forum, and since it's a geographic forum, travel around to experience new things, photograph and edit them, and share them on different networks (e.g Instagram) to drive more traffic.

The investment into a blogging addon, which I'm unsure we can mention here (mods: edit this out if we can't), of $60 into @Bob 's AMS has already paid for itself.

But if you want to start out slower cause not a lot of capital, go with page nodes... but always shoot for the stars in growth to where you can save time to do some of the content curation and business tasks that I do as well as, importantly, have time to interact with your own community.
 

frm

Active member
On another thought, if you wanted to start out even cheaper, you don't even particularly need to have XF Resource Manager or an addon too.

You could merely make a "Blog" forum with permissions to only read and reply for members and just use it as your "Home" then "Forums" be a list of all your other forums.

Then when you do invest in an addon, you can simply convert your old blog threads into blog posts as opposed to doing even more work copy/pasting Page nodes.

Good luck either way. Keep practicing with the demo and pull the trigger to get real support and help from others here.
 

Manster54

Well-known member
You might even take a look at this and consider it as well:

 

GinaKaye

New member
Thanks so much for the help! I am thinking my best bet is likely using XF as the entire site, but I may need a couple of custom addons built (I'm guessing.) Is there any way to ballpark what that expense might run?
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
Thanks so much for the help! I am thinking my best bet is likely using XF as the entire site, but I may need a couple of custom addons built (I'm guessing.) Is there any way to ballpark what that expense might run?
I think you'd need to formulate a brief and get quotes.
 

sbj

Well-known member
Thanks so much for the help! I am thinking my best bet is likely using XF as the entire site, but I may need a couple of custom addons built (I'm guessing.) Is there any way to ballpark what that expense might run?
Depends on how many custom addons and how custom/deep.

Prepare to lose couple of hundreds at least.
 

frm

Active member
I have more than just a blog, but I've spent ~$850 on XF and add ons and still looking at 1 more to complete my "CMS". Granted, I bought XF brand free before the $250 to $300 price hike too.

Though, I examined each add on and style that I needed before purchasing XF to know how deep I'd go and not just wing it. And, I bought 2 styles and 1 add on that I ended up not even using for about $120 too, which I'll put to use on a 2nd forum.
 

GinaKaye

New member
Thank you, the prices are very helpful!

I will definitely be trying the demo out as soon as possible, thanks everyone, I really appreciate the advice!
 
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