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YouTube Channel Community Website

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by xert77, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. xert77

    xert77 Member


    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?
    1. Can you make it so ONLY premium members can upload Gif avatars?
    2. Can you make it so ONLY premium members can have signatures?
    3. Can you make it so ONLY premium members can access a premium section in the forums?
    4. Can you make it so advertisements disappear for premium users?
    >How easy is it to set up adsense advertisements throughout the site?

    > 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?

  2. Amaury

    Amaury Well-Known Member

    1. It is easy to transfer everything, yes.
    2. Yes, with user group permissions.
    3. Yes, with user group permissions.
    4. Yes, with user group permissions.
    5. Yes, with user group permissions.
    6. Should be pretty easy, I think. (I've never used Adsense.)
    7. XenForo has no badges, but it does have trophies you earn by doing certain things, such as reaching a certain message count.
    8. Yes, with various portal resources (add-ons), such as XenPorta.
    9. Most of it depends more on the server than the forum software.
    @Jake Bunce should definitely be able to help here, so I'm tagging him.
    Adam Howard likes this.
  3. xert77

    xert77 Member

    Thanks for your response, I will definitely be taking a closer look at the software.
  4. Core Freedom

    Core Freedom Well-Known Member

    Hi Danny,

    After 2 years with Xenforo, and as Amaury stated above, XF does amazing things that vBulletin wouldn't allow me to do. Mainly the simplicity. I chose XF 2 years ago because it had "all that I needed" and vBulletin was way too clunky, ugly looking and overpowering for me. Plus, I wanted to stick with the brains and heart of who built XF in the first place, and give my business to a top team that had a lot of reasons to make XF a success.

    I use XF for my private community in the field of spirituality. 90% of my forum is inaccessible to users as they are premium forums. I use the video library to upload videos in the field of spirituality and people love them! A tip, I use a Youtube download software (free) so that I have the video on my own computer, then upload the video to my Youtube channel and either keep the video as public or make it unlisted so those on my Youtube channel can't see the video, but those in my forum can.

    My forum is a part of my Wordpress site. Meaning, my main WP site can be found at .com and my forum at .com/community. I run my digital products on my Wordpress site and protect them with a premium plugin called Wishlist Member. Then I have an affiliate plugin called iDevAffiliates, where I have created my own account for the forum. I don't use advertising on my site beyond having my own banners for my own products. The banner links, however, come from my affiliate account, which tells me where my sales come from (the forum or my site or through a third-party affiliate).

    Not sure if this helps you at all. Amaury did a good job in answering all your questions. Just wanted to chime in that you can't go wrong with XF. The software and the support are stellar. :)
    Adam Howard and Amaury like this.
  5. rudymaddy

    rudymaddy Member

    Thanks for sharing the experience. what is your website can you pm me
    Core Freedom likes this.
  6. Core Freedom

    Core Freedom Well-Known Member

    Rudy, I forgot that I erased my signature. It's back now. :)
    Adam Howard likes this.
  7. mistypants

    mistypants Well-Known Member

    It's very easy! When my site moved from vBulletin 4 to Xenforo, we used Jake Bunce's unofficial vB4 importer, as that the only one available at the time. It was quite easy and worked well, even for a large forum. There is now an official importer if that gives you some reassurance (not to say Jake's doesn't work well!).

    If you do have trouble importing once you purchase, though, there are many members here who offer import services for very reasonable costs.
    Very easy. Basically, all of your users' primary usergoup will be Registered Users. From there, a user can be added to a secondary usergroup (like a Premium usergroup). You can give them elevated permissions & privileges based upon their membership in that secondary group. Users can also be automatically promoted to a Premium usergroup based on things like post count, like count, trophy points, paid membership, etc.
    I don't believe there is any way to restrict file types by usergroup, though I'm sure you could get an add-on made.
    Yes. You could let only Premium members have a signature, or get even more advanced, by allowing regular users to have a text-only signature, but Premiums allowed to have images, links, etc. Xenforo has very flexible signature permissions. You can see a Have You Seen thread about signature permissions here: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/signature-permissions.47456/
    Yes. This can be done through node (word used in Xenforo for a section or forum) permissions.
    Yes, through conditional statements.
    There are pre-defined ad templates where you can paste your advertisement code. If that's too complicated for you, there are advertisement management add-ons available.
    Alerts are the most evident way to engage users. Basically, if a post of yours is quote, if someone likes your post, if someone tags you in a post... you'll receive an alert. This helps with the users who only log in occasionally--it keeps them engaged with the posts they've made; if someone quotes you, and you know about it, you're more likely to respond!

    As a gaming community, you'll also probably like the Trophy functionality. You can automatically award your users trophies when they reach a certain like count, post count, have been registered for x amount of time, etc. If that's enough for you, there are plenty of add-ons available to help engage your users (like medals or post ratings).
    Yes. The most popular add-on for articles & news is definitely XenPorta, but there are a number of other options available now (XenZine, Extra Portal, etc.).
    I don't have any stats or graphs, but I can say that Xenforo just feels snappier than vBulletin 4, which hasn't aged very well. I don't think I need to compare to vB5, especially if you have firsthand experience with it.
    My best recommendation would be to try the demo (which you've done) and to post around here & other Xenforo communities for a while. Get a feel for the software and see what you think. Within just a little while of using Xenforo I was impressed. I'd especially recommend checking out the Forum Showcase here, so that you can see sites with custom styles, add-ons, etc.
    Yes. There are a number of built-in anti-bot measures, as well as add-ons available to further lock down your site. Our bot problems have significantly reduced since we moved.
    Amaury likes this.
  8. xIsabel38

    xIsabel38 Well-Known Member

    From my experience, it's content that keeps users on your site not good looks. For example, people flock to Reddit and Gamefaq Forums yet these are two of the most ugliest websites I have ever seen in my life! I don't know if its just because you're using vBulletin 4 that user activity is dropping.

    That said though, XenForo is modern. Very modern. It has the feel of a social network with status updates and a like button. It also has built in SEO and as someone said before I've heard @Jake Bunce makes moving from one forum to another a painless task. I would recommend it to anyone!

    So if you're looking for something new and different and (IMO) way better than go with XenForo. But don't waste money until you're sure the forum is the issue and not the content.

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