My name is Danny & we run a gaming channel on YouTube with over 100k subscribers. Having a website was never really a big priority for us, but a while back we set up Vbulletin 4. After linking the website in our descriptions we have seen viewers find their way onto our site & surprisingly we are starting to make money back from advertisements on the site (making the website less of a burden & more of an earner).
Our current site: http://www.xeraingaming.com
Here is where my problem lies...
Vbulletin 4 is extremely slow, dated & looks awful. A long time ago we actually had a very busy forum with Vbulletin 4, but when we made the upgrade to Vbulletin 5, all the users HATED it & the website suddenly went dead. This caused us to completely restart & install Vbulletin 4 again.
We are able to get users to the website when we advertise it. The problem we have is keeping them there & encouraging them to actually make posts. I feel like that is down to the unappealing design & speed of Vbulletin.
>Is it easy to transfer everything (posts, users, passwords, avatars) from vbulletin 4 to Xenforo? We had to restart the site in the past & doing it again will anger current users.
>How easy is it to set up premium membership?
- Can you make it so ONLY premium members can upload Gif avatars?
- Can you make it so ONLY premium members can have signatures?
- Can you make it so ONLY premium members can access a premium section in the forums?
- Can you make it so advertisements disappear for premium users?
> Is there a newsletter function or a way to e-mail all registered users?
> What does Xenforo have to improve interactivity in the forums? I heard something about Badges.
> Is there a way to have articles like we have now? We find that posting news & information about videos attracts more traffic.
> Are there any comparison speed tests looking at loading times between Vbulletin & Xenforo? (Google seems to say that Vbulletin loads slowly)
I am sorry for all of the questions, I have been looking over the community here for a week or so now, debating on whether we should make the change. I even tried the Demo.
I would just like to hear the advice from other fellow community owners. You will all have a lot more experience & will know tips & tricks on how to create a thriving community.
Once we get an appealing, faster, easy to use website we will start advertising the website properly. I just think the current Vbulletin 4 design that we have looks awful.
I forgot to add this... But we had a huge amount of spammers trying to register, I think we have blocked over 1000 spam registrations. Is there something to combat this in Xenforo?