Ok, my experience with Proboards/Forums.net

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
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Dec 16, 2005
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Anyone else on Proboards?
I used proboards back when it was on server #1. Many many moons, ago lol. I know of at least one successful forum owner that has one of the largest and most active forums in the niche, on proboards.

However, if proboards ever decides to close shop, you lose everything and that is even right there in their terms that you agreed to when starting your forum. Too risky.
 

Phillip

The Priest
Joined
Aug 28, 2013
Messages
4,532
I used proboards once or twice...I can't remember the URL's for them. But it's been awhile, before I found .tk which made it easier to work with until getting a domain name to transfer over like .com .net .org
 

pclinger

Aspirant
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Jan 30, 2013
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48
I used proboards back when it was on server #1. Many many moons, ago lol. I know of at least one successful forum owner that has one of the largest and most active forums in the niche, on proboards.

However, if proboards ever decides to close shop, you lose everything and that is even right there in their terms that you agreed to when starting your forum. Too risky.
Why do you think there is even a remote possibility that after 15 years of hosting forums we're going to just suddenly stop? We're not some fly-by-night operation, we have physical offices and a full paid staff to support the product. We aren't going anywhere.

Patrick Clinger
 

Shawn Gossman

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Why do you think there is even a remote possibility that after 15 years of hosting forums we're going to just suddenly stop? We're not some fly-by-night operation, we have physical offices and a full paid staff to support the product. We aren't going anywhere.

Patrick Clinger
I didn't say you were. :) But can you answer me this, is there a way for me to get access to my forum's database on proboards in case it were to happen? It could happen, companies go bankrupt and close all the time. With the world, its hard to keep a business going especially as they try to change all these laws for internet use.
 

pclinger

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I didn't say you were. :) But can you answer me this, is there a way for me to get access to my forum's database on proboards in case it were to happen? It could happen, companies go bankrupt and close all the time. With the world, its hard to keep a business going especially as they try to change all these laws for internet use.
There are two options, and one hypothetical scenario you're trying to cover (somehow we are going to disappear from the Internet).

First, on ProBoards you can export a copy of your own posts at any time (from our main website when logged in).

Secondly, our Forums.net product (which you can transfer to from ProBoards) allows you to fully export your forum's database.

Last, for your nightmare-disaster-hypothetical-scenario, ignoring the fact that we have been 100% financially sound for 15 years without ever taking money from investors, what would happen if ProBoards was going offline permanently? Well, from my perspective, if that was unavoidable then I see no reason that we would not make the full database exports available to all forums and announce ahead of time any issues going on. There'd no reason to let the data simply disappear.

Patrick Clinger
 

Shawn Gossman

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Patrick,

Please don't take offense to my questions. :) I'm a catastrophist to a point, its what I do haha. I always look at risk - every business I do business with hates to see my emails but I see it as keeping them on their toes to have a proper continuity plan. Like I said, I have used proboards once upon a time and I've even recommended others user them :) In fact, I got to say your forum service has evolved over the years!

So no disrespect intended with my comments, sir.

Funny proboards memory story though, it was where I originally started forums. I had no idea what a thread was at that time because I was so newbified lol. I thought a board was the thread so I went on my mass posting spree (yes I've always had them) and created board after board and a buddy who was helping to teach me about it all sent me an MSN messenger message saying "What the hell are you doing?" LOL
 

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
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No offense taken Shawn, I'm just passionate about my business :)
You should be :) And you answered my questions with great responses so more power to you! :)

Maybe one day you can let me interview you for my blog? It would be a positive review - I'd leave out my distaster-view questions :p
 

ethan

im a fireman, i mean EMT
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
160
Same, don't take my questions with offense or as a attempt to drill you - Just legitimately curious.

I am aware you can manually convert the mySQL database obviously, but I was referring to tools for different forum softwares - I imagine none exist as its custom software. I imagine it would be difficult to convert a particularly large forum then without manually running through all the query info, which, on a large board, is going to take a while.


Anyways, I do like that you are passionate about this and are willing to answer our questions pclinger
 
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Bikenut

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
124
For $50 a month I have a team of pros to turn to whenever I need help with my forum. I couldn't hire someone for $50 per month, and this allows me to have multiple forums all running at the same time. When certain forums get busier, I will convert them over to Forums.net as well.

Someday, if I can ever make these forums my full time job, I may pay for the SQL dump and then convert them to Xenforo or Vbulletin. Until then, Forums.net really works well for me.
 

Andrea Borman

Aspirant
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Dec 10, 2014
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I took a look at Poboards. Although some of their features wee better than Forumotion in that yo can have premoderation of posts for new members, as well as view the IP fo members who have never posted. There were a lot of things I didn't like. That was there was no admin settings to stop members deleting their posts or their accounts. And every member who registered had to enter an activation key code. Which I don't like. I mean on my old FM forum you could set to account activation by the admin where I could just activate the accounts for the, and no captchas. So it's more user friendly for members.
 

GTB

Tazmanian
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
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4,038
I have a few free forums on proboards. Well, I did have to pay 9.99 or so to use my own custom domain name,
I upgraded one of my Forums from Proboards to their paid service, forums.net and it is currently 3 months and 22 days old. At this moment I have 415 members, Total Posts: 10,584, Total Threads: 807 and am averaging 8 new members per day. I also have three supporting Vendors paying me monthly to advertise on my forum.

Is that good for a new forum? Here it is FZ-07 Forums

I also own a forum for a bike that hasn't even come out yet, FJ-09 forums
But that one is new and I just started putting some time into it and will pump some SEO juice into it when the bike actually hit's the dealers showrooms.

I have no SQL or coding experience at all and Proboards is easy for newbies like me. I just knew that I wanted to start some motorcycle forums and see if I could get some good members and content. I love motorcycles alot, all bikes. And riders seem to be good forum members, I hardly ever have to delete or ban. I have ten volunteer moderators on the 07 forum.

My experience with Proboards is pretty good. I'm paying 50 per month for the Forums.net account and am close to going over that 300,000 pageview per month limit.

I recently had some dude in India make me a MyBB forum because I see the HUGE savings in just going the shared hosting route but the site keeps crashing, people can't post it just pasts the word "Undefined" and other problems pop up that I don't know how to fix. So, I'm probably gonna put a couple more forums into the forums.net account and hope like hell that I can get more supporting Vendors to cover the costs until it grows and advertising pays off. I am also about to start selling dropship motorcycle parts and maybe that will help.

I gotta say, Proboards/Forums.net is really really easy and the plugins are very useful and easy to install. I have Viglink and am doing about $35 a week already and it works great with Proboards. They have a large support community for the free boards and a dedicated ticket system for the paid service. I like them alot, but yeah. If I knew how to code and create/manage SQL and had the time, I would probably go Xenforo and shared hosting.

I'm really goos at creating SEO results, attracting members and even advertisers because I am a really good salesperson/marketer. But I just don't have the tech skills to build my own forum yet.

Anyone else on Proboards?
Be careful going XenForo with shared hosting.I personally think XenForo isn't well suited for using on cheaper shared hosting and will most likely suffer with resource usage issues
 

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
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Dec 16, 2005
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Be careful going XenForo with shared hosting.I personally think XenForo isn't well suited for using on cheaper shared hosting and will most likely suffer with resource usage issues
Most forums are in this case, forums are resource hogs. VPS or dedicated is the way to go outside of free hosting solutions.
 

pclinger

Aspirant
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Jan 30, 2013
Messages
48
I took a look at Poboards. Although some of their features wee better than Forumotion in that yo can have premoderation of posts for new members, as well as view the IP fo members who have never posted. There were a lot of things I didn't like. That was there was no admin settings to stop members deleting their posts or their accounts. And every member who registered had to enter an activation key code. Which I don't like. I mean on my old FM forum you could set to account activation by the admin where I could just activate the accounts for the, and no captchas. So it's more user friendly for members.
Hello,

The ProBoards Plugin Library has a variety of available plugins that are one-click installs. I believe that this plugin handles what you want in terms of preventing members from deleting their posts.

Our premium service, Forums.net, has an option to turn off the email activation requirement. On our free service, ProBoards, we do require email activation.

Patrick
 

Andrea Borman

Aspirant
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
27
Hello,

The ProBoards Plugin Library has a variety of available plugins that are one-click installs. I believe that this plugin handles what you want in terms of preventing members from deleting their posts.

Our premium service, Forums.net, has an option to turn off the email activation requirement. On our free service, ProBoards, we do require email activation.

Patrick
Thanks I saw that forum the link you showed me. It must have changed since I read the last topic at your support forum that said admins cannot change this. I see that Rick has left now and you are the new admin of Proboards Support forums.
 

pclinger

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Jan 30, 2013
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Thanks I saw that forum the link you showed me. It must have changed since I read the last topic at your support forum that said admins cannot change this. I see that Rick has left now and you are the new admin of Proboards Support forums.
Hi,

I'm ProBoards' CEO. Ricky is still a valued member of our Support Team. We have multiple people that cover our tech support to provide 7 days a week coverage.
 

Andrea Borman

Aspirant
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
27
Hi,

I'm ProBoards' CEO. Ricky is still a valued member of our Support Team. We have multiple people that cover our tech support to provide 7 days a week coverage.
I suppose there's got to be more than one admin.
A lot of members abuse the delete their account and post function, that's why it should be disabled. Otherwise you will have members deleting their accounts by the dozen from your forum, and you don't want that.
 

pclinger

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Jan 30, 2013
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Our general thought process, especially when it comes to letting users delete their accounts, is that they should be able to. I think that most people, after they join a site, would like the opportunity to remove their account if they so chose. I know that I highly prefer that option if I want to leave a service / forum / etc.
 

Andrea Borman

Aspirant
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
27
Our general thought process, especially when it comes to letting users delete their accounts, is that they should be able to. I think that most people, after they join a site, would like the opportunity to remove their account if they so chose. I know that I highly prefer that option if I want to leave a service / forum / etc.
But if they ask the admin or one of the moderators of the forum, they will do it for them.
 
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