IP. Board vs. XenForo

Matt M

Developer
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
471
I agree there is some engagement from IPS staff here but then that's because they're not really accountable here but try and advertise/push whenever possible though.

Absolutely not. I'd never push Invision Community, where successful communities thrive ever.

Then again it depends on team size too, I would imagine IPS has more in the way of team members, but i could be wrong.

There's a few of us now. I'm really proud of how the business has grown from just a few of us (even with smaller marketshare šŸ˜‚). If you can name all of us, I'll send you a signed photo of Daniel.

Collages-spaced.png
 

Joel R

Fan
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
916
IP. Board 4.5 is the best looking design since IP. Board 3 and IP. Board 4.0 which is surprising. It's the most promising design in years. I am worried it will decline again and purposely become outdated. IP. Board was on a downward spiral. 4.5 looks like it has picked back up again but who knows how long it will last whereas XenForo has been consistently good.
Hi JLT

If your primary and biggest concern is on overall design, then you have the entire Marketplace of themes to switch for around $30. There are 200+ Marketplace files on themes and you can pick and choose and stylize any way you want.

I'd be curious to hear what specific elements of the design you're concerned about. To be objectively candid, the forum postbit / post design is virtually the same across all of these platforms. IPS is actually more innovative and modern with things like their forum index, and offers more options with their default choice of design.

Other platforms:
Forum Index - Table or Grid
Topic View - 0 choice

IPS:
Forum Index - Table or Grid or Fluid
Topic View - Default or Expanded or Q&A

Table View.PNG
Table view - traditional view of the forum index

Grid View.PNG
Grid View - colorful image boxes


Fluid View.PNG
Fluid View - the modern flat design
 

Joel R

Fan
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
916
There's a big difference between been selected as default and been additional extras not selected.

Just like listed on https://xenforo.com/purchase/

Extras are not selected as default.

And even after selecting everything, even installation service and branding removal, it's still cheaper than IP Board.
While price is a consideration, it's one component of a difficult and challenging decision for any forum administrator or community manager to consider. You also need to evaluate:
  • Scale and speed of development
  • Growth path and vision of the platform
  • Professionalism of support
  • Vibrancy of the third-party ecosystem
  • Existing feature set
  • Community-at-large
I think most of us would be happy to pay a little bit more or less for a better fit, and price becomes less and less of a concern as you find a platform that can fit you better and better. You don't buy the cheapest pair of pants, which don't fit. You don't buy the cheapest car, that breaks down after a year. You shouldn't buy the cheapest community platform either, you should buy one that will grow with you over time.
 

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Frode789

Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Messages
122
XF is great forum software. Very few will argue that.


But that's it.



IPS is great holistic community software whose limits are your own.

Want a forum / gallery? IPS can do that.
Want CMS? IPS can do that.
Want to let your users have blogs? IPS can do that.
How about an integrated Calendar? IPS can do that.

What about letting your members create & manage their own groups?
And letting those groups make their own CMS Pages?
And letting those groups manage their own separate forums & sub-forums?
And letting those groups run their own galleries? And events calendars?

IPS can do all that & more.


Now the common argument is "too much bloat". But you get to pick & choose.
Don't need it? Don't use it.

Isn't it nice to have the option if - months or even years later - your community evolves & has use for these things? I think so.

And lets not forget all of that is 100% first-party, so there's no fear of compatibility or lagged updates keeping you on old versions.

I use Xenforo, but I agree with this sentiment. Since I already had a license for XF (and I do really enjoy the software), I decided to use it for my new project. But, after seeing the progress of IPS recently, and their awesome 4.5 update looming, I can only begin to wonder if I made the right call.. IPS just kicking it out of the park and I don't think we'll see such a big update (comparable to IPS 4.5) on Xenforo with 2.2.

Forums are not just forums anymore. That was enough in 2005. Today, it's not. You usually need much MORE, to be able to compete. IPS has most of those tools ready to go, first-party and well maintained. Relying on 3rd party addon makers is much more of a risk.
 

liquidfractal

Aspirant
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
13
My (very brief) two cents:
I've been with Invision since 2009 and, as a niche open learning/academic user (to whom several criticisms about platform bling do not necessarily apply as a result) I've always been pretty happy with the functionality. However, given the price, I've looked very briefly at XenForo for another project.

So this will disappoint many of you, as this is the one thing that stood out to me (so far anyway). As a researcher and writer, I will go on record as saying that I really really like XenForo's text editor and the way you can drag and drop images into a post, but also drag images around very intuitively and watch the WYSIWYG result as you format your post before submission. Quite frankly this blows CKEditor out of the water for me, as I find it far more clumsy and "mechanical" without the "organic" feel of XenForo's editor. I get sick of moving images around in my CKEditor post to have it delete all of my text, and I get really sick of having to change the font size for every post (which is my way of saying I think the default look of XenForo's editor is great).

So if Invision got on board with something like XenForo's text editor, I'd have almost no reason to complain. Well, aside from complaining (a bit) about the price. Of course, if Invision were to offer discounts for those who purchase several licenses....cough
 

Arcade King

Aspirant
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
20
My (very brief) two cents:
I've been with Invision since 2009 and, as a niche open learning/academic user (to whom several criticisms about platform bling do not necessarily apply as a result) I've always been pretty happy with the functionality. However, given the price, I've looked very briefly at XenForo for another project.

So this will disappoint many of you, as this is the one thing that stood out to me (so far anyway). As a researcher and writer, I will go on record as saying that I really really like XenForo's text editor and the way you can drag and drop images into a post, but also drag images around very intuitively and watch the WYSIWYG result as you format your post before submission. Quite frankly this blows CKEditor out of the water for me, as I find it far more clumsy and "mechanical" without the "organic" feel of XenForo's editor. I get sick of moving images around in my CKEditor post to have it delete all of my text, and I get really sick of having to change the font size for every post (which is my way of saying I think the default look of XenForo's editor is great).

So if Invision got on board with something like XenForo's text editor, I'd have almost no reason to complain. Well, aside from complaining (a bit) about the price. Of course, if Invision were to offer discounts for those who purchase several licenses....cough
One of the features that stood out to me in IPS4 is you can drag and drop multiple images at once. This was a huge sway for me to go the IPS route.
Both Xenforo and IPS4 are excellent in their own right but for me IPS ticked all the boxes and the migration package worked great.
 

liquidfractal

Aspirant
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
13
One of the features that stood out to me in IPS4 is you can drag and drop multiple images at once. This was a huge sway for me to go the IPS route.
Both Xenforo and IPS4 are excellent in their own right but for me IPS ticked all the boxes and the migration package worked great.
Congrats on a smooth transition to Invision! And yeah, I'd agree - the drag-and-drop feature (as well as being able to insert an image at the cursor with one click) is really sweet.
 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,434
Forums are not just forums anymore. That was enough in 2005. Today, it's not. You usually need much MORE, to be able to compete.
This is something that gets said quite often. I can't help wondering if it's actually true or just wishful thinking on the part of some admins. I would really like to see the results of a study, or some measurable data that backs up that claim. Not only would it help new and existing admins make better purchasing decisions, it would inform developers on the direction they need to go.

Until the facts are in, we admins should be careful in making such blanket statements, lest we influence new admins into buying more than they need.
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
2,694
It's sort of true depending on your niche. There are definitely communities that connect to and belong with other content (c.f. Jaxel's add-ons for XF are all demonstrative of his own needs for sidealong content that sits with its forum), there are definitely communities that really do work best being expert content/subject matter expert blogs that are not and should not be presented as threads in the same format as other threads. They're not part of the many-to-many connections that forums tend to be.

There are also certainly sites whose forum content also needs some additional tools for categorisation, classification, archival - where you need something like a wiki to be a summarised version with links back to the content. Things like StarArmy for example - and even my own little Floo Network has some dedicated tools for curating collections of content together that are alongside the content. They're not exactly content _discovery_, either, though it's certainly possible to use the provided resources as such.

I think it's fair to say that there are fewer niches than there used to be that can *effectively* compete as *just* a forum. I think many forums *can* benefit from additional features but that the nature of the features varies from niche to niche, whether it's having tools for content curation, leaderboards, tournament features, video presentation/webinars or more large-scale endeavours such as e-learning resources.

However I don't think we can say that you *need* such things to compete but your ability to compete will be hamstrung if you do not at least consider the possibility of what your audience needs/wants and what - and how - you can bring to the party that makes you stand out. I would argue that a forum with fewer features, but the *right* features for the audience will do better than a forum with all the features misapplied.

Figure out what it is that you want to offer and whether that aligns with your userbase, then figure out how to deliver it, it's really as simple as that.
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,405
One of the features that stood out to me in IPS4 is you can drag and drop multiple images at once. This was a huge sway for me to go the IPS route.

Question: since Xenforo has had drag and drop since 2013, maybe longer, why would it tilt the decision away from XF?
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,405
It's answered in the post you just quoted.

How is that since both had it at the time you reviewed both?

It's one thing to decide based on actual differences. It is another to claim a deciding factor is a feature that both products had. It makes little sense.
 

Arcade King

Aspirant
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
20
How is that since both had it at the time you reviewed both?

It's one thing to decide based on actual differences. It is another to claim a deciding factor is a feature that both products had. It makes little sense.
Makes perfect sense and it wasn't the only deciding factor. The real question is why are you getting so bent out of shape over my decision which has NOTHING to do with you?
I'm not going to get drawn into this "fan boy" rubbish. Leave that crap in the 80's school yard.
 
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zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
8,065
This is something that gets said quite often. I can't help wondering if it's actually true or just wishful thinking on the part of some admins.

I think it is partially true insofar as many forums are no longer just plain forums. I also think forums do need more but not more alignment with social media.

I strongly believe forums need to expand on what they do best which is to provide a history of rich content created by a multitude of their members. Other types of social platforms tend to focus on the immediate which may have substance but only a limited amount of time. Forums on the other hand often contain a wealth of content that could be as important today as it was when first posted.

Personally I would like to see development to better expose that content and bring it to a wider audience. I would also like to see forums stop sitting in isolation and start sharing their communities with other forums. Facebook arguably has one community whereas forums have hundreds of thousands. We could all benefit from sharing.

The functionality to achieve that is not an easy ride but to some limited extent it's been done before so I have no doubt it could be done again and better f there's a will to do so.


[EDIT] After posting it occurred to me that this thread 'IP. Board vs. XenForo' is the right thread to post this in because a degree of collaboration rather than full on isolation and competition is perhaps the best option for us all.
 
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Nev_Dull

Anachronism
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,434
There are forums which have done well expanding beyond the core discussion function. However, I don't think every forum needs these extra things. Pete summed it up quite well; it all goes back to the purpose of the site, the content it contains, and the needs of the audience.

As far as IP Board vs XenForo, I don't see a competition. They are different products that serve different needs. It's up to the owner/admin to choose the product that best serves them. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to change between those softwares, if needed. (I'd like to see more standardization so it's even more seamless.)
 

dojo

Passionate admin
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
3,788
Xenforo when it came out. Never looked back. It's pretty nice to be able to run a forum without having to deal with issues and I've noticed the updates are also easy to make now.
 
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