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Upgrading / Migrating to other forum software


Staff member
We haven't upgraded vB in a long time. Our current version is 4. There has been a lot of complaints of vBulletin 5 from clients so we are not going to upgrade. Instead we are considering migrating to some other forum software.

Let me know what you think.

Currently we are looking mainly at xenforo and IPB since both of those have migration tools and the features we are looking for.
vB 5 is horrible. Stay away from it. IPB is... meh. I'd stick with vB, but maybe just upgrade to 4.2.2 and install a new skin to freshen the place up a bit. This default layout really is starting to get old.
I haven't tried vB 5 myself, but from I've heard it's bad.

I'm currently using IPB on another forum and I'd say it's slightly better than vB, but not perfect. At the moment I guess xenforo is at the top of my list, unless I hear something bad about it. I'll try out the admin demo within the next week. I'm also looking at some other interesting new forum software, but it's safer to go with something that has been tried by other forums.

[MENTION=49656]Richard[/MENTION] suggested we wait with the email to NLC members until after making some upgrade/migration/changes. Then we'd have to wait a couple more weeks I guess. On the other hand it could be nice for old time members to see that we haven't changed that much, but things are about to change and they can take part in that change.
Now you see, I've actually tried vb5 and really like it - The reason loads of people are complaining is because it's different. vB are going in a new direction, and its one that I think is needed, ofcourse there is going to be hate - No one likes "change" unless it actually improves things, and no one is giving it the chance it needs. Kudos to vB for sticking with their decision up to now however.

IPB is a good forum system - but it's done little to change it's clunky ways since releasing its current major version a few years back. IPB are mainly focused on their side products, IP.Content, IP.Nexus, etc. If you want to refresh the "whole site" or add systems on the side, IPB is the way to go. I think they know the forum industry is change, 3-5 years ago it was feasible for a site to only contain a forum, now, a forum is just an addition to an already functional site. IPB realise this, and have made products that work with the forum system rather than working for the forum system. It also explains why there have been no major updates to their forum system since 2012...

Xenforo, meh, I've never really liked it.. In my eyes its too lightweight (limiting), too fluid, the default skin is terrible as a standard (looks nice... but functionaly terrible) - They have good features, but the overall execution is poor in my eyes - It's like the older version of IPB. It appears the Skinners have decided to adopt this as well.. It's a shame. The design and features do nothing to engage it's audience, something that we have learnt is needed to compete with Facebook.
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In my opinion, the whole site needs to be scrapped. That joomla homepage is just nonsense and I really doubt that anybody pays attention to it because the info is so outdated. I just go straight to the forum, and I am sure everybody else does the same. We use the vB4 publishing suite over on the mustang forums and it's been working out nicely. There's a learning curve, but I migrated it from a "forum only" site to the publishing suite back around the end of October, and it's proven to be favorable by the members over there.
Out of the main 3, the best looking default skin is vBulletin 5 so I agree with you on that. But that's not the most important thing to consider and the difference isn't that big.

My understanding of vBulletin 5 is that there are issues not taking care of after IB took over a few years ago. It's also become way too much of a mess on the admin side, already in this version 4. IPB is better when it comes to inline moderation for instance. The people running xenforo (used to work at vBulletin) and IPB appear more responsive and professional. That's the impression I get.
Joomla was a bad decision at the time. In retrospect I should have gone with wordpress instead. I'm looking into options on how to change that but it will take a few months until it's ready.
In which case, I think the best option would be to setup a sandbox area - with all the new content, and then invite the 1000+ members back to be a part of the process to shape the future the site. Might get people a little more involved with day to day postings :)

You've only got to decide on the forum software and CMS. Of which, if you go down that path, I can highly recommend IPB and IP.Content. Of which as said, I have a spare license of both, never used before, then invite everyone - and take it from there :)
Got to admit too vB has gone south, but...

What is easiest to navigate?

What are the major client complaints Peo?
I've taken a quick look at phpBB but it hasn't impressed me. Six months since last bug fix release from what I can see.
MyBB have recently lost their lead developer, and there has not really been any "major" releases for over 6 months, last bug fix release was 3 months ago (December) and another before that in October.
Not to mention... It still looks the same as it did when their old lead developer left in 2010 :S

phpBB 3.1 has been in development since later 2011, 2+ years later and we are still nowhere near a release.
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