Ok, my experience with Proboards/Forums.net

Tracy Perry

Opinionated asshat
Joined
May 25, 2013
Messages
4,991
My second forum is now growing and just hit 500 members. I'm taking it to Forums.net tomorrow.
My first forum is now 8 month old and just hit 1300 members and growing.
Care to provide a link to those... I'm sure several folks would be interested in checking them out.

Found the link(s)... but any particular reason that the majority of the (at least the FZ-07) site is not available unless you register? And the FZ-09 site redirects back to the FZ-07?
 
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Bikenut

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
124
I'm not aware of the FJ-09 site redirecting back to the FZ-07 site, have had no complaints of such. Please explain in more detail, (cause I'm a newb). ;)

The Technical boards on the FZ-07 site are closed to guests. We have a wealth of info, specs and "how to" guides to share with the world for free, and all we ask is that they register and become a part of the community. Also, new members cannot send PM's until they have ten posts. These two options encourage people to also share info, pics, and "How to"s.
 

waterball

Neophyte
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
5
We created our own forum software from scratch, it is not a derivative of anything on the market. We use quite a few different technologies under the hood. Most of the back-end is in Perl (mod_perl for speed), MySQL for the DBs, Redis and Memcached for memory caching, Sphinx for searches, multiple load balancers, many Apache/nginx nodes, multiple data nodes which are replicated both on-site and off-site for backups, We even have a built in Avatar Maker where you can design your own custom avatar, which uses Flash / ActionScript. There's a lot of other behind the scenes tools and programs we use for monitoring all the services and alerting us for any issues.


It's hard to respond to vaguely asking for "more options" without specifics (if you can elaborate, I'm happy to respond). But, I think I can take this opportunity to tell you a bit about our software - which you may know, or perhaps don't. We spent 4 years working on our ProBoards v5 product which launched at the end of April last year. We focused heavily on making the software simple but powerful.

We vastly improved the forum search option, and I'm 100% confident that there is no other forum software's search is as good as ours. When viewing a board, you can type a search term in the box at the top of the page and all threads will instantly update on the page based on your search criteria (displayed in the exact same format as threads normally are displayed). You can also specify individual filters. For example, you could search for threads that contain the word "ProBoards" with more than 50 replies created by "Patrick Clinger" and it would instantly return all results live on your screen (there are many more filter options available). The same applies for viewing a thread. 1,000 page thread looking for that one post? No problem. Results are instant when you type your search or pick your filters.

Similarly we looked to improve the overall moderation and user experience. You will find that even though the software may appear simplistic at first view, we have many options tucked away in simple dropdowns so that the layout is not cluttered unnecessarily. For example, when logged in you will have a "Select" dropdown that appears when viewing a list of threads. You can easy click "Select All" and then from the "Action" menu next to it you can click an action such as Mark as Read, Mark as New or even choose from moderation actions such as Delete, Move, Lock, Unlock, Bump, Sticky, etc. You can also similarly perform actions on multiple posts -- even from posts on different pages of a thread (clicking between pages of a thread is done by AJAX so the page never has to fully reload). Each post has a dropdown you can click where you can do things like selecting post, grabbing the thread link, and more. You can select all the posts you want to do something to and then choose what you want to do. Multi-quote a bunch of posts? Click the quote icon and all selected posts will be quoted. Delete? Move posts? Also available from the action menu. There's also numerous other actions including banning members, disabling accounts, and more available while viewing a thread.
I got it. Thank you, your suggestion always provided some importance to me.

Another feature that we added was a way to quickly view from any page what threads you have participated in (and whether or not there are new posts). This helps you jump around to conversations you are already interested in quickly and easily. Combining this with numerous notification options, we helped increase overall engagement across our forums.

For SEO, we focused on providing an optimal experience for higher listings in search results. We saw an 80% increase in search traffic over a 1 year period.

We also introduced a new global login system that makes it very easy for our members to join new forums. When you're already a ProBoards member and find a new forum you love, all you have to do is pick a username for that forum and you're done.

Another great feature is our Forum Dashboard. We make it quick and easy to see updates from all forums you are a member of on ProBoards from one screen. You can see your notifications, personal messages, bookmarks, participated threads all from one simple screen. We know it's hard to stay active on many forums at once, so this helps you keep track of everything that's going on.

There are a lot of other great features, ranging from our intuitive Admin Panel (want to rearrange your categories and boards? drag and drop them!), full control of the forum's HTML templates and CSS, our developer friendly theme and plugin creation (there are hundreds of themes and plugins available to install in a single click, and it's super easy to create them), and so much more.


That's why we launched Forums.net, to address that middle ground. There are people who want someone to handle the servers, software, security, backups, and be available for tech support when it's needed. But, as you mentioned, people want control. They want to know that they can take their data and leave if they aren't happy. Forums.net is the solution for this. You can get all the benefits of a hosted environment, knowing that at any time you can choose to leave with a full database export.


As I mentioned in my feature description, you have full control of the HTML and CSS. You can make your forum look however you want. Here's a few examples of varying styles that showcase some of the level of customization you have:
http://theavatarrp.proboards.com/
http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/
http://smangii.proboards.com/
http://support.proboards.com/
http://cloudwanderers.boards.net/
http://knights-of-cydonia.proboards.com/
http://classiccomics.boards.net/
http://face.boards.net/
http://familyguymobile.proboards.com/
http://perfect-pandemonium.proboards.com/

Patrick Clinger
 

tome9

Neophyte
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
1
Hi, I know its a bit late and off topic but im intrigued by your forum site Bikenut. I was wondering if the FZ-07 forum you have is still hosted by Proboards, and if so how did you create your own login and register page rather than being directed to a proboard page.
 

Bikenut

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
124
Thought I'd leave an update on my experience with Proboards/Forums.net

I have one Xenforo forum and four Proboards based forums. Two of the Proboards forums have been switched over to their paid white label service, Forums.net.

I gotta tell you, the Forums.net experience is very very good. While I am alays having to work on or pay someone to update and fix the Xenforo forum. my Forums.net and Proboard forums just always work well. For $50.00 per month Forums.net support staff does all the work. And the forum is never down and is never slow. I also figured out how to get adsense working on the forums. Whenever I need something added or changed that is over my hear (most of the time), I just submit a ticket to Forums.net and they make the change for me.

If you want to build a forum but are technically not up to par as an admin, like me, then I seriously suggest looking at Forums.net. They even have plans as low as $9.99 per month for low traffic/bandwidth.

Having them do the support work on the forums frees up my time to market the forum and sell advertising slots to Vendors.

As far as hosted forums go, both free and white lablel, Proboards/Forums.net is very very good and the amount of free themes and add on's are growing like crazy and are very very good. Their support staff is very good, very friendly and totally committed to customer service.

Patrick is building a good company there.
 

Bikenut

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
124
I will also add, that after you have been on forums.net, you can download your entire database for no extra charge, whenever you want. It is complete. So, you are not stuck on Forums.net. I just choose to stay with them and their outstanding team of support staff.
 
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