Question about suggesting Proboards

JenniferK

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Dec 8, 2005
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42
One of my members is trying to convert a site he has for the homeowners association where he lives. What he is using now is *very* basic and he is paying $10 per month. The site reminds me of threaded displays from sites I used to visit many years ago. He said for him to add the option to require members to sign up and need a password, they want to charge him $50 per month. Obviously he is getting ripped off. But I can tell from talking to him if I directed him to most of the BB softwares out there, it would be too much. So I was thinking of directing him to Proboards. I started with them, and did run into the problem of having to start from scratch when I wanted to upgrade (I now use vB for my two sites) because they don't let you back anything up. So I would not recommend them to anyone who was looking to create a site they wanted to grow. But that will not be the case for him, there are 54 homeowners, so that's the highest his membership would ever be.

I know Proboards is a turnoff to those who are here due to the lack of control. But what about for someone who would have no clue what to do with that control anyway? I have to say, except for the fact that I had to start from scratch when I expanded, I am glad I started with PB. The admin panel is so simple (bad for those who want more options, good for a complete noob). In all honesty, I knew *nothing* when I started my first site, and if I would have looked at the admin panel of vBulletin for example, I would have been so intimidated that I would have never even started my site. I am talking about someone who is *that* inexperienced. I knew nothing about hosting and would have been clueless about backing up my site. I know I would not have been able to follow the directions to install or upgrade vB. There is no way I would have felt comfortable doing any sort of coding or adding hacks back then (the sites I have now are highly customized, but back then I didn't even know very very basic html). The person I am talking about is much like I was back then, with the difference of not ever needing to expand in the future.

For these reason I really think I want to suggest PB - it will be totally free unless he goes with the ad-free version, and even that would only be $7 per month. Is there anything I am not thinking of, or do you think in this particular case, PB would be a good match?
 

zorg222

In The Process
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Jun 6, 2005
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366
I would stay away from Proboards. Honestly, their service is just...really poor in my eyes. I might be a bit biased, but I am almost sure that InvisionFree would be a better choice for an "inexperienced" user. Its ACP is quite simple, but even if it is too complicated, IF's support tends to be much better than what you would find at Proboards, so anything your friend needs help with can be helped in a timely and effective manner. I've not heard nearly as many stories of distaste with InvisionFree's quality of service to existing customers as I have of Proboards. IF just tends to be more professional, and it really isn't difficult for newer users to utilize it and get answers to any questions they have. PB on the other hand...the same can't be said, based on what I've heard from people who have used the service.

In short: Being a newbie isn't a reason to choose PB in my opinion. There are other options for someone who has very limited knowledge. :)
 

fullphaser

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Jul 7, 2006
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zorg222 said:
I would stay away from Proboards. Honestly, their service is just...really poor in my eyes. I might be a bit biased, but I am almost sure that InvisionFree would be a better choice for an "inexperienced" user. Its ACP is quite simple, but even if it is too complicated, IF's support tends to be much better than what you would find at Proboards, so anything your friend needs help with can be helped in a timely and effective manner. I've not heard nearly as many stories of distaste with InvisionFree's quality of service to existing customers as I have of Proboards. IF just tends to be more professional, and it really isn't difficult for newer users to utilize it and get answers to any questions they have. PB on the other hand...the same can't be said, based on what I've heard from people who have used the service.

In short: Being a newbie isn't a reason to choose PB in my opinion. There are other options for someone who has very limited knowledge. :)
I think not, I see nothing wrong with their service honestly :( Alteast PB didn't betray their users and start adding a license to a product that they swore up and down would be free :p But I see nothing wrong with proboards, they are working very hard to improve their service, and as long as you aren't hosting Pornography you should be fine, and I would assume with the members being home owners they are going to be over 13, So I personally think it would be a great service for them, if he wants to expand there is a Database that can make the board more custom to the user. Add this to the fact that Proboards has as of yet not found to have any form of security vulnerability, I think it would be a good idea for them :)
 

zorg222

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Jun 6, 2005
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366
fullphaser said:
Alteast PB didn't betray their users and start adding a license to a product that they swore up and down would be free :p
I'm sorry, but I have no idea what you are referring to. Unless of course you've mixed IPS and InvisionFree up, which would be understandable I guess. They're not the same organizations at all, and in fact, InvisionFree will be breaking ties completely with IPS (the only "tie" they have now is the fact that they use IPB 1.3 to host with) soon. :)
 

Oldiesmann

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Oct 3, 2005
Messages
4,140
I haven't used Proboards in about four years, so I can't really comment on their service, but I still wouldn't recommend them for this reason:

http://support.proboards.com/index....n=display&thread=1106175098&page=3#1151977720

Q: Can I have a copy of my ProBoards database so I can convert it to some other service? I want to keep all my posts/members/etc.

A: This is not possible. ProBoards is setup to use a proprietary database format and transferring it is not possible. While we do make backups of your boards, we can not provide the end user with this information as it is intended for use by ProBoards staff to restore forums to a previous state, and not to transfer to another service.
I would suggest going with a hosted board service that will be able to give you your forum data should you decide to go elsewhere. Most of them will charge you for the data, but that's better than not having it at all.

There are lots of board-hosting sites out there, although most are for a specific system (phpBB, SMF, etc.) - the only one I know of that hosts several different systems is www.boardnation.com (SMF, YaBB SE, IPB 1.3 [I think] and vB [with license]).
 

ATARI

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Jul 10, 2005
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1,414
Expanding on what Oldiesmann said, partially in response to what Zorg222 stated:

Both Proboards and Invisionfree (With the current ties at least) will cause problems with expansion once you get to that certain point. Although, to be fair, PB will not let you access the database whilst Invisionfree will at a relatively hefty cost.

Like most things in life, you really need to shop around and think of your future as a community. There are many free board providers out there with differing outlooks on what would happen once you decide to make the all-important move to your own hosted solution.

I'd say the best option would be to gain some cheap-ish reliable hosting (Well reccomended in this day and age) and see what software works best for you. You then have the flexibility of installing various types of software and being able to 'play' with it out of prying eyes. Let loose and play with those features you are allowed access to, not forgetting that most community software companies have forums where users can ask questions. Most of these are incredibly welcoming, especially too those new to forum administration in general. After all it is what they are there for.

With that, i wish you the best of luck. Not that I think you will need it at all ;)
 

JenniferK

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Dec 8, 2005
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42
Thanks everyone for your input! I wish I had known about that issue with PB when I was starting out - I learned that the hard way. That's why I wouldn't recommend PB to anyone who might need to expand one day. This person would have no need to do that though, which is the only reason I thought PB might be a good match. Honestly, other than that particular issue, my personal experience with PB was very good. I have had alot more headaches dealing with my webhosts I have used (Site5 then HostGator)! And I was always able to get tech help when I needed it too.
 

fullphaser

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I should mention with the move to a mysql database rather than flat files, that may come to be a non issue in the future ;)
 

Isaac

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Jan 22, 2006
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fullphaser said:
I should mention with the move to a mysql database rather than flat files, that may come to be a non issue in the future ;)
I doubt they'd allow people the chance to pack up their forum and move elsewhere without incoroprating a hefty fee into it.
 
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