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XF Software Trumped User Popularity Over VB4

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by Anthony Parsons, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    I found this quite interesting... I decided to look into how my users where coming back to my main forum, basically a simple math, new visitors vs. returning visitors.

    If memory serves me correctly, I installed VB4 in Jan 2010, and added the same SEO features I am still using in XF. From switching VB3.x, where my users had a good return rate, unique vs. returning, similar to what I get now from XF, I considered reviewing what went wrong when I upgraded to VB4.

    Considering Vbulletin make claims to the public their software is so great, and against Xenforo themselves... then why not let user statistics do the talking instead!!!

    Screen shot 2011-04-29 at 2.51.56 PM.png

    Feb 2010 - 130% difference
    Apr 2010 - 95% difference
    Jun 2010 - 66% difference
    Aug 2010 - 70% difference
    Oct 2010 - 54% difference

    As you can see, my users actually decreased in returning to the site overall, as my uniques increased over the year, showing basically, statistically, that users less favoured returning to my site whilst using VB4 software, and progressively got worse and worse over the course of the year.

    Changed to XF a week or two after it was released... Nov 2010 approximate area from memory... and suddenly, 2011 using XF software...

    Screen shot 2011-04-29 at 2.53.21 PM.png

    Jan 2011 - 125% difference
    Feb 2011 - 117% difference
    Mar 2011 - 125% difference

    So starting to measure again in Jan 2011, after a month and a bit to stabilize, add Christmas into it, and suddenly my new visitors vs. returning visitors after changing to XF, have once again risen to near the same levels as what it was when using VB3.x software.

    I didn't include Apr, as the month is not complete. No doubt, this will only continue to slowly improve as uniques go up vs. returning traffic, using the better software choice for delivery to my users.

    IMHO, this really reinforces those who chose to remain on 3.x or change to XF vs. using VB4.x software... have made all the right decisions to shift. You can shoot crap between admins all day long, but user statistics do the talking the most.
  2. Saeed

    Saeed Well-Known Member

    Brilliant stuff, Anthony! (y) As long as they are true, nothing speaks louder than hard cold stats.

    This post actually deserves being posted on the XenForo Facebook page, just like Andy's a couple of months ago, if not being made sticky. :)
    Anthony Parsons likes this.
  3. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing those stats, very interesting reading :)
  4. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Member

    Great, but this is a vb+vbseo or a "naked" vb?
  5. Leo Koo

    Leo Koo Member

    awesome stuff bro!
  6. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    No VBSEO... I used to have that on VB3.x because it was nasty SEO wise... VB4.x fixed the basic SEO issues, just as XF has out of the box, so I never ran it in my 4.x installs, outside one isolated couple hour test when I tried it again, and it just about crashed my server due to the load it put on it in conjunction with 4.x, so it was quickly removed again.

    I read these statements by Vbulletin like they are innocent and make this awesome software, but my users clearly beg to differ when looking at my stats. 3.x, users loved it... 4.x, users didn't love it... XF, users love it. My opinion as an admin is irrelevant at the end of the day compared to my users opinion by using the site. Numbers talk.
    duydangle, Steve10, Kaiser and 2 others like this.
  7. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Anthony, could you please update this thread? Especially since its referenced in this interview with Jake Bunce.
    I would very much like to see if that growth persists and rises above the vb3 levels. I would expect that it does.
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  8. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    There is no real change from initial XF usage stats, apart from progressive increases in traffic. XF software is producing the same results as what VB3.x software did for user interaction.

    Obviously if you put them side by side, the majority may prefer XF now because it has far superior methods of interaction than vb3.x... more inline with what users have become accustomed using Facebook, Twitter, and social networking solutions; overall user view, I have regained that old status I had using 3.x software with my user base using XF, compared to VB4.x, which went to crap and users pulled away from my forum.

    I don't see a remarkable difference from users between 3.x to XF, only 4.x to XF, being significant change in user interaction with the site.

    I personally think, if you're running VB3.x, then you are going to be getting as good a load times and server function than you are from XF. The only difference, as stated, one is a decade plus old and lacking intuitiveness, one is current to social networking functions that many have become accustomed.
    duydangle likes this.
  9. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    Okay that's awesome without doubt! But your uniques dropped suddenly to 50%! and recovery seems to be taking longer!

    PS: How's the ad revenue? :|
    AzzidReign likes this.
  10. AzzidReign

    AzzidReign Well-Known Member

    I thought you said stats talk. Could we see more numbers please?
  11. MarcosPreviato

    MarcosPreviato Active Member

  12. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    I didn't use any redirects on that experiment above, nor do I run ads on my sites.

    My numbers have fully recovered... but more importantly, XF software has changed my posting statistics (being the experiment above about user interaction with the site) and more than tripled daily posting from 200 - 300 with VB4 best daily visitors to 800 - 1000+ daily posts with the now same visitor numbers, just due to the change in software and how easy it flows to more a social platform medium.

    Don't get side tracked from what this data above demonstrates please... it demonstrates user interaction, not ad revenue. Users interact far better with XF than VB4 software, without question.

    The above was also very clear that there is near no difference from VB3.x to XF... other than one is over a decade old software and one uses the latest technologies and advancements used in social mediums today.
    Rudy and TheBigK like this.
  13. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot! I think redirection would help limiting the traffic drop. I'm also confident that user interaction will grow up which is quite essential in the longer run. vB3 was awesome and I'm quite sure XF will bring back the glory to my site :)
    Anthony Parsons likes this.
  14. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    This sort of ties in with a "big board" we still have running on vB 3.7, and my looking at XF 1.1 as its replacement. We had to purchase the vB4 suite in order to maintain our license, and it turns out that the resource hogging of vB4 would kill our already strained server. So essentially, we paid for a product we'll never use, and it galls me. Hearing nothing but complaints about vB4 has really made me steer away from it.

    I've heard numerous times here that XF is lower in server resource usage...but I would think XF is better with resources than even vB 3.7. I just spent the last few hours going through our 3.7 installation, as I've seen some nasty and quite inefficient queries jamming up MySQL. I've never felt the queries in vB were all that well thought out, mainly due to so many features being piled on top of the old vB2/vB3.0 platform with each "upgrade." I feel XF's queries are a lot more streamlined and efficient, and were developed (along with the whole user interface) with an eye toward heavy usage. Starting with a clean sheet was the best thing they did when creating XF; it needed to happen.

    Tonight, I modified half a dozen queries, and also removed the generation of stats from the admin control panel since it was taking about four minutes (!) to generate the stats! I have way too many accelerators, tweaks, enhancements and optimizations in place to even begin to detail them here; I'm about tweaked out, in fact. And one thing I refuse to do is throw more hardware at what is essentially a software problem. Our server is now near its limits. We need to make a move anyway because, as you say, vB3 is outdated. I'm just deciding which move to make next.

    And I agree completely about user engagement: two forums I converted to XF saw dramatic increase in participation from existing members (more users online, and estimated about 25% or more posts weekly on average), and those numbers endured. I'd seen surges in usage after upgrading all of my forums (I would call it the "new car smell" effect :D ), but it would always drop back to normal levels after a couple of weeks.
    Anthony Parsons likes this.
  15. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    It actually just surprised me looking at stats today, in relation to the Elasticsearch installation done a few days ago on my main site. Since the search upgrade, my daily posts have increased around 40%, all due to users being able to find things more efficiently when searching singular and up phrases. XF continues to kick goals IMHO.
    iTuN3r likes this.
  16. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    Another of the admins on our staff mentioned that if search in XF is improved over what I have in vB (powered with Sphinx), a lot of members would be happy. One common pet peeve is that, being a music forum, some are searching for the album "Who's Next". That term is impossible to find in vB (partly due to stopwords). The new Elastic search here will really kick things into high gear since we can tailor it more toward our membership.
    Anthony Parsons likes this.

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