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HostXNow 02-21-2017 02:51 PM

I'm not keen on VanillaForums, Discourse, Flarum, NodeB and I know IPB can be resource heavy, plus I'm not 100% on the look of that either.

For me, it was between vBulletin 5 and XenForo, and to be totally unbiased here, I mainly choose vBulletin 5 because I already had a vBulletin 4 licence and it worked out cheaper for me to get the best software with as many features as possible and at the best value. Otherwise, both vBulletin 5 and XenForo are much better compared to the rest, IMO. I'm more familiar with vBulletin than the other forums too, and so that was another reason I choose vBulletin 5.

I've used XenForo as a user but not admin so not sure what the administration is like regarding ease of use, etc.

I hadn't used vBulletin 4/5 for a few years, and when first set it up it took some time getting used to it, to say the least. There are loads of minor bugs they still need to fix (can view them all in their bug tracker), but the software does what it's supposed to do. But then what open-source/commercial software doesn't have any bugs? They all have them.

I won't link to the forum I setup to give you an idea what I did with vB5 as per rules, but I'd suggest anyone interested in vB5 or XenForo to signup to the community at both vBulletin and XenForo to see which interface you like best.

Both vBulletin 5 and XenForo have their pros & cons. What one offers the other doesn't and vice-verser.

I'm happy enough to use vB5 for the amount I paid for the upgrade. If I'm not happy with vBulletin later on, then I could just migrate from VB5 to XenForo, but I think vB5 will do what I want it to do which is to have a discussion forum that loads fast (works with PHP 7.1), has SEF URLs plus has a friendly interface for users.

One thing I don't like about vBulletin 5 is I find the Theme Color Builder is not that good, and it isn't easy to make a custom theme with it. That aside, I think the rest makes up for that, but I'd like to see vBulletin improve the theme builder (without us having to edit custom .css files, etc. manually).

I think HD would be best on vBulletin 5 or XenForo, or IPB if you think that is the way to go. Site Owner ultimately needs to be happy with software choice first, users second. You need to manage the forum using interface you like, etc. If you like it, then should have members who will like it too.

In short, I'm not 100% happy with any forum software and wish I was an excellent coder and had the time so I could make my own forum software, but that isn't going to happen, so will settle for vBulletin or XenForo.

PS vBulletin has improved a fair bit since this thread was created (supports PHP 7.1 now which is important in terms of speed, plus SSL, too).

GGood luck with whatever you decide.

Artashes 03-07-2017 10:40 PM

I have to take something I said back - XenForo is not a dinosaur after all.

I started this thread because it was getting evident that no innovation is coming out of vB and theme customization is still a headache with its latest release, so I can no longer afford to invest in it.

After investigating all the possible options out there (and there are some incredible innovative products out there), as suggested by some of you, I've taken my time (again) to look at XenForo, read around the forums, see how people manage themes and custom styling, what designers are available for custom work and check out how active the developer scene is. Even though my personal choice for a communication platform would have been a lot more radical (Vanilla, Discourse or even Flarum), I am very close to being persuaded that XenForo is the way to go.

To be honest, the initial few posts of people liking XenForo as a choice, it got me a little depressed because for the life of me I could not understand why members here would prefer XenForo, something that looks and feels like vBulletin. It seemed outdated and irrelevant because I am seeing the overall trend of how people communicate online change from traditional forums to more open and fun messenger-type ecosystem. So with all the apples on the table - most of the members in this thread and those I've had conversations with name XenForo as their preference. And you know what, I am starting to believe that you guys have been right all along.

While apps like Vanilla, Discourse or Flarum have a lot going on for them and they have some very clever and trendy social features, the road ahead is still exceptionally long. Plus, from what I've seen, I am starting to realize that some of those juicy and sellable features can probably be implemented on XenForo as well. If not through custom code, hopefully as part of default features in coming releases. I could name at least 3-4 such features that XenForo is missing today that I would have loved to offer HostingDiscussion members, but I'd be shifting away from the topic.

Through study I found that the problem with these new software products is that some of them are still in beta and most do not yet have a very long track record. Vanilla seems to be the most established out of the group and very well received. However, I've been following it for a long time and major updates take a painful amount of time to release. Pretty much all of them do not have the financial muscle to throw large development resource behind them, while others primarily target enterprises.

IPB was my top choice because it had a good mix of traditional and new social features that seemed to be gaining traction. However, after seeing what XenForo has in store with their upcoming brand new release 2.0, I like the direction just as much.

So, folks, I think we have reached the decision and I have YOU to thank for it. We are going to start the preparation towards migrating HostingDiscussion to XenForo. I have already identified developer and design resources that I am going to approach to discuss how they can best assist in this transition. I have a strong feeling that most people here would agree that HD requires an update beyond software alone and in the form of new look as well. Its been years since the very talented Lucian of Emblematiq designed our current theme, but I promise we'll present the new site with a design that fits today's design trends.

Looking forward to working on this new exciting change together with all of you!

Julio 03-07-2017 10:48 PM

I was reading thead again a few days ago because I clicked on it from your signature and I thought you might have forgetting about it.

I think xenforo is a really good choice take it from me I'm a big fan of forums.

HostXNow 03-11-2017 04:59 AM

I choose vBulletin 5 because it's tried and tested, been around for a very long time and not going anywhere soon. The other end is I tried to run sites on software where the people behind it did not have the resources to keep it going, and they ended up stopping development and my sites died because of it, i.e., I had to start again. I think this has happened to me for 3-5 different software wasting a lot of my time and money. Now I'd try to use vBulletin for everything if possible.

I'm think I'm 95% sure vBulletin isn't going anywhere and probably a good 75% sure XenForo isn't going anywhere, so either of those is a good choice, IMO.

Artashes 03-11-2017 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by HostXNow (Post 198318)
I choose vBulletin 5 because it's tried and tested, been around for a very long time and not going anywhere soon.

That's what Blackberry used to think, too.
Just because something has been out for too long, doesn't mean it is going to be there tomorrow.
Not at all saying that vB is going out, I really don't want it to, but a little innovation won't hurt.


Originally Posted by HostXNow (Post 198318)
I'm think I'm 95% sure vBulletin isn't going anywhere and probably a good 75% sure XenForo isn't going anywhere, so either of those is a good choice, IMO.

I'd actually place XenForo at same percentage as vBulletin. That team is committed, the development community is extremely engaged and XenForo is so customizable it often becomes the choice for enterprise as well.
But, it is still a traditional forum platform and as such depends on market adoption rate and response to stay in business. What is evident is how many big boards (1million+ posts) are migrating from vB to XF. There are a number of full time developers that make a living on that kind of work, which is telling.

But I agree. I've owned close to 10 vBulletin licenses and it used to be the one and only platform I'd consider for any community idea I've had. Things have drastically changed in 10 years. But I think it is awesome that there is competition between software products, as they push each other to build better products.

HostXNow 03-11-2017 01:25 PM

Completely agree with you on those points @Artashes.

It would be mad seeing HD on XenForo - vB 3.6.8 to XenForo I don't think we'd handle the awesomeness of that upgrade! :D

Artashes 03-11-2017 01:39 PM


Originally Posted by HostXNow (Post 198339)
It would be mad seeing HD on XenForo - vB 3.6.8 to XenForo I don't think we'd handle the awesomeness of that upgrade! :D

We will have to find a way to let all of that positive energy out through a lot of :beer: and :dance:

HostXNow 03-11-2017 01:54 PM


Originally Posted by Artashes (Post 198341)
We will have to find a way to let all of that positive energy out through a lot of :beer: and :dance:

Horse tranquilizer lol :bouncy::dance:

Serious, looking forward to the upgrade. :cool:

ughosting 03-12-2017 01:09 PM

XenForo is great. We host quite a few XenForo forums on our ElasticSites platform, as it has a LiteSpeed plugin (using LSCache), which makes it lightning fast!!!

LSCache is a bit like Varnish (only built into the server rather than a proxy).

So it's probably worth bearing LiteSpeed in mind, if you go XenForo!!!

Alex - A2 Hosting 03-26-2017 05:09 AM


Originally Posted by HostXNow (Post 198318)
I'm think I'm 95% sure vBulletin isn't going anywhere and probably a good 75% sure XenForo isn't going anywhere, so either of those is a good choice, IMO.

I'd reverse those percentages. Sites are moving and starting up on Xenforo small and big (DigitalPoint etc) yet, I rarely see a vBulletin 5 forum these days. It seems they're basically running on vB3 renewals (and thats probably low considering most people won't renew since well, there are no updates for this version?). So we leave it to vB4 renewals and the few vB5 renewals/orders (I rarely see a vB5 site).

Little back story:
Internet Brands acquired vBulletin and wanted to get a quicker ROI. To do so, they wanted v4 to be based on v3 whereas the lead devs wanted to start from the ground up. Said lead devs left vBulletin to start Xenforo (yeah, if they let them start from the ground up, vB4 would probably have been what Xenforo is right now!).

Internet Brands, they are a company that owns a lot of sites online. A lot of forums. I went on their site and opened up 10 random forums that they own (bare in mind, they also own vBulletin). 9 sites were running vBulletin 3. 1 site was running vBulletin 4. 0 sites were running vBulletin 5.

If they are not even updating to their own product, how can they expect others to stick around?

Artashes 03-31-2017 01:13 PM

I am just going to throw this question out there and see what people prefer.

I wish we could upgrade the forum yesterday, but we are waiting for XenForo version 2.0 to get released. XF 2.0 represents a major update from the current software and ad such, in the event we design a custom look, it is better to do so for the latest software available.

Once the 2.0 is out, would you rather see it here as soon as possible (running a default skin look for some period of time), or wait until we come up with a new theme for an unknown period of time and then re-launch it altogether?

Julio 04-01-2017 12:19 AM

I think as an SEO point of view the change should happen right away because there could/might be traffic lost because of the change.

You can always add the theme at a later time.

CarpCharacin 04-01-2017 09:04 PM

I agree, the change should happen sooner rather than later.

Artashes 04-01-2017 11:34 PM

Thank you for your input, guys.

whmcsguru 04-03-2017 04:38 PM

Can't wait to see what you come up with here! It might be worth participating in their public beta so you get an advantage on the XF 2 team as well :)

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