After 10 years, I'm done with IPS

Lewis3262

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Messages
13
The direction in which Invision has decided to take with their software has left me with no other option but to seek other venues unfortunately. I will most likely be switching over to Xenforo because of the availability of support and access to 3rd party developers.

With the recent changes at Invision, you can no longer provide or receive support via their forums without an active license. Most of the support forums are in 'Read Only' mode. The forums you can post in are:
  • Feedback and Ideas
  • Community Administration Tips
  • General Chit Chat
  • Test Posting Messages

These changes are in relation to the Marketplace addition within the current release of IPS 4.5. Where you are now able to download community add-ons via the ACP (admin control panel); much like Wordpress. This helps keep add-ons current with updates and prevents users from breaking their software by installing applications which are not supported by the version they are using, thus making the software overall more secure.

However, with this new addition, you can no longer download 3rd party add-ons without an active IPS license. For example, I have a theme which I recently purchased; and is currently active. I cannot re-download that theme without a current active IPS license.

Invision has made it clear that the new system is not going to change. I believe this will only encourage users to seek support from other sites like TAZ and sites which provide nulled/shared software.

For me, this is game over. With the pandemic going on and lack of jobs in my location, I'm struggling to even purchase groceries. I cannot financially support IPS with the Marketplace changes; not even including the cost of additional apps i.e., commerce, pages, etc.

I've always been an IPB fanboy and now I'm kinda embarrassed to say I'm switching to another software. Invision has always been my 'go to' for any web project I created. But, until I'm able to afford the fees associated with the software or something changes, I will stay away from Invision.

I do wish them all the best as their staff have always been great and do excellent work.


- Nabix

P.S. Its sad. . . I haven't been able to use IPS 4.5. . .

I must absolutely agree that this is a horrible way to go. If you purchase software, you should 'own' that software as a paying customer, even if you do not renew, and should not be locked out of functionality, support forums (although they sound pretty useless anyway), or be restricted from downloading plugins after expiry. Just seems like pure greed.

EDIT: I just had a look at the last page and have seen the change that you can now download plugins after your IPS license has expired. That being said I still understand you can't get the files of something via their marketplace to install seperately later?
 
Last edited:

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,600
If you purchase software, you should 'own' that software as a paying customer, even if you do not renew, and should not be locked out of functionality, support forums (although they sound pretty useless anyway), or be restricted from downloading plugins after expiry.
Generally only a developer or their employer can actually own software. Software is sold under license and rightly or wrongly you must abide by the licensing terms.

In this particular instance while I'm not sure I entirely agree with the licensing terms, I understand some of the reasoning behind them and it's for the customer to decide whether or not they are acceptable to them.
 

Lewis3262

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Messages
13
Generally only a developer or their employer can actually own software. Software is sold under license and rightly or wrongly you must abide by the licensing terms.

In this particular instance while I'm not sure I entirely agree with the licensing terms, I understand some of the reasoning behind them and it's for the customer to decide whether or not they are acceptable to them.

I knew my wording would get mixed up, darn it. I know we don't own it in the same way we don't own physical items, but regardless of the license, in my opinion, if you buy software to host it yourself, you should have full rights to access the product/software itself, including plugins. You of course won't get support or updates but you should be able to install that same version again (replacing the previous site) including plugins without being locked out of doing so. Does that make sense? I'm probably not explaining it well
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,600
Does that make sense?
It makes perfect sense and I don't completely disagree but I can also appreciate the developer's position. Allowing access to obsolete code may well lead to an expectation of support. It may also impact the developer's reputation if insecure code is available for download.

In addition the comparison with physical goods is actually quite valid in one respect. In both cases you need to take care if you want things to last so backing up your licensed software is an obvious step to take.

I've been in a situation where I purchased three themes from a choice of many. I downloaded one and later decided I'd go fetch two more only to find my window of opportunity had expired. I was annoyed but had I actually bothered to read the terms instead of just done a scroll down and accept I'd have known that my access was time limited. Irritating to say the least but at the end of the day I had no choice but to suck it up.
 

whitetigergrowl

Participant
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
54
It makes perfect sense and I don't completely disagree but I can also appreciate the developer's position. Allowing access to obsolete code may well lead to an expectation of support. It may also impact the developer's reputation if insecure code is available for download.

In addition the comparison with physical goods is actually quite valid in one respect. In both cases you need to take care if you want things to last so backing up your licensed software is an obvious step to take.

I've been in a situation where I purchased three themes from a choice of many. I downloaded one and later decided I'd go fetch two more only to find my window of opportunity had expired. I was annoyed but had I actually bothered to read the terms instead of just done a scroll down and accept I'd have known that my access was time limited. Irritating to say the least but at the end of the day I had no choice but to suck it up.

After reading some of what people have posted, this one stuck out. A simple solution would be to only allow support going back to a certain version. Then, like Apple does, eliminate a previous major previous version from support. This would force some users to upgrade from older versions if they want continued support. But eliminating it without a forced renewal I do not get behind.

Some of the moves I have seen I do not get behind. There seems to be some nickel and diming going on. I support IPB and the software. But if IPB isn't careful they will essentially be forcing people to other platforms that may not go back. So that's lost revenue. Some of the hobbyist forums do end up doing well, even in these tough times. So downplaying hobbyists isn't smart either from some of the comments above I have seen.

Sometimes businesses create other avenues of revenue because they are losing it elsewhere. Sometimes it's just to make more money. That's not the problem. Whatever the reason, eventually a threshold will be reached if they aren't careful that will send them the direction VB has gone. And in a day and age like this, that's the last thing you want because then convincing them to come back is going to be even harder.

To push people elsewhere then have to rely on the bigger sources of money for revenue isn't a good strategy either. Because eventually they may switch to something else or drop forums all together.

It's about perceived value. IPB and Xenforo are 2 different forum software. But Xenforo I would have to argue is the most popular of the 2. For some reason IPB never seems to really strive to be #1. They were in #2 when Vbulletin was the strongest software and now the newcomer Xenforo which offers less, is #1 while IPB is still #2. Mainly in terms of popularity and forum usage.

In another post I saw someone comment on the cost of renewal difference between IPB and Xenforo and Xenforo was more expensive. So why would people renew with a forum software that offers less but charges more to renew? Because, it's about that perceived value. Which means there is a good chance they are actually making more money than IPB from their forum software if you go by those numbers.

With IPB if I want to change my forum name a few times in 6 months, it costs $15 every time. Just to change a domain name. There really should be no reason for that. Maybe I liked a better name. Maybe I decided to change the forum focus. Whatever the reason, with IPB it'll keep costing you. With Xenforo, there is no cost. Heck even VB doesn't charge for it. IPB is the only one that does which is odd and seems like a money grab more than a useful purpose.

The recent changes to support with IPB are also inhibitive. At some point Xenforo may change things too, but for now they aren't and I think some feel if they did, they would be more reasonable about it.

I could go on. But the fact remains forum popularity has been waning. It will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As such it's important for the forum company to still make money without also risking losing a lot of customers due to cost increases and nickel and diming. There is a fine line that if eventually crossed could cause long term harm to that company. Like I said it's easy to lose people. But it's harder to get them back.

Hopefully both companies are looking at the financial numbers but also customer numbers and trends to see if it's sustainable long term. If not, I hope they re-evaluate their strategies and try to find more reasonable sources of revenue. These are tough times because of the pandemic amplified by the exodus to social media from forums. Decisions made now will have long term effects that may be very difficult to pull back from later.
 

Lewis3262

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Messages
13
After reading some of what people have posted, this one stuck out. A simple solution would be to only allow support going back to a certain version. Then, like Apple does, eliminate a previous major previous version from support. This would force some users to upgrade from older versions if they want continued support. But eliminating it without a forced renewal I do not get behind.

Some of the moves I have seen I do not get behind. There seems to be some nickel and diming going on. I support IPB and the software. But if IPB isn't careful they will essentially be forcing people to other platforms that may not go back. So that's lost revenue. Some of the hobbyist forums do end up doing well, even in these tough times. So downplaying hobbyists isn't smart either from some of the comments above I have seen.

Sometimes businesses create other avenues of revenue because they are losing it elsewhere. Sometimes it's just to make more money. That's not the problem. Whatever the reason, eventually a threshold will be reached if they aren't careful that will send them the direction VB has gone. And in a day and age like this, that's the last thing you want because then convincing them to come back is going to be even harder.

To push people elsewhere then have to rely on the bigger sources of money for revenue isn't a good strategy either. Because eventually they may switch to something else or drop forums all together.

It's about perceived value. IPB and Xenforo are 2 different forum software. But Xenforo I would have to argue is the most popular of the 2. For some reason IPB never seems to really strive to be #1. They were in #2 when Vbulletin was the strongest software and now the newcomer Xenforo which offers less, is #1 while IPB is still #2. Mainly in terms of popularity and forum usage.

In another post I saw someone comment on the cost of renewal difference between IPB and Xenforo and Xenforo was more expensive. So why would people renew with a forum software that offers less but charges more to renew? Because, it's about that perceived value. Which means there is a good chance they are actually making more money than IPB from their forum software if you go by those numbers.

With IPB if I want to change my forum name a few times in 6 months, it costs $15 every time. Just to change a domain name. There really should be no reason for that. Maybe I liked a better name. Maybe I decided to change the forum focus. Whatever the reason, with IPB it'll keep costing you. With Xenforo, there is no cost. Heck even VB doesn't charge for it. IPB is the only one that does which is odd and seems like a money grab more than a useful purpose.

The recent changes to support with IPB are also inhibitive. At some point Xenforo may change things too, but for now they aren't and I think some feel if they did, they would be more reasonable about it.

I could go on. But the fact remains forum popularity has been waning. It will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As such it's important for the forum company to still make money without also risking losing a lot of customers due to cost increases and nickel and diming. There is a fine line that if eventually crossed could cause long term harm to that company. Like I said it's easy to lose people. But it's harder to get them back.

Hopefully both companies are looking at the financial numbers but also customer numbers and trends to see if it's sustainable long term. If not, I hope they re-evaluate their strategies and try to find more reasonable sources of revenue. These are tough times because of the pandemic amplified by the exodus to social media from forums. Decisions made now will have long term effects that may be very difficult to pull back from later.
You pretty much nailed that.

The funny thing is, if they fixed these greed issues, implemented some better forum functionality in some areas, and communicated better especially on their own forums, I really do feel they would have an edge over Xenforo.

I did my own evaluation of both to see which is functionally better, and Xenforo won on many levels for the forum side of things. Obviously neither is perfect and both have strengths and weaknesses. But the additional features of clubs, pages and others outside of just the forum functionality is honestly second to none to have all of that without plugins, above any competition that I've seen.
 

Matt M

Director Development at Invision Community
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
372
Invision Community pricing meetings:


giphy.gif
 

Chemical

Participant
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
50
The funny thing is, if they fixed these greed issues, implemented some better forum functionality in some areas, and communicated better especially on their own forums, I really do feel they would have an edge over Xenforo.
Yeah but XF haven't (yet) added a pioneering cat emoji to their list of reactions. It's groundbreaking stuff and all things considered that bout of feline inspiration probably has them neck and neck.
 
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