Seriously thinking about making the switch to Xenforo from vB4

scottkoz20

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Oct 4, 2017
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16
Over the last several months, I have been thinking about if I should upgrade my forum to vB5 or switch entirely to Xenforo2. I have over 100k registered members (10k active in the last year and over 14M posts). I also have a number of custom applications that use the login structure in order to access them without having a separate login.

So for those that have made the switch to Xenforo - what lessons did you learn about the switch over? Additionally, I do need to think about all of the add-ons that has been added on over the years... think about what I REALLY need and what I can live without.

Sorry if this is in the wrong area and/or overly vague. I'm just tired of putting lipstick on a pig...
 

Joeychgo

TAZ Administrator
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Feb 28, 2004
Messages
6,956
I have several big boards - and made the switch from vB to XF a few years ago...

The big reason I did so was simple. I don't see a future for vB.

Ok, I also had many customizations. Yes, I had to have them all rewritten. Yes that was a large expense. However, doing so gave me the chance to get rid of stuff I didn't need and improve on the stuff I kept. It also gives me the opportunity to add some new stuff that vB wouldn't have been able to handle.

You said you're just tired of putting lipstick on a pig... I felt the same way. IMO, every minute of time and every dollar I put into vB was going down the drain. Yes, I spent a considerable amount on new / rewriting addons, styles, etc -- but things run better. It also gave me new opportunities, new things to give my members, better ways to generate revenue, etc.

As far as how my members dealt with the change --- At first, many were bitchy. People dont like drastic change. However, it didnt take long for the comments to start to turn to "Hey, this change is kinda nice" They key is patience and educating your membership, especially about new things they can do.

I would setup a duplicate test board --- Do all the rewrites and changes to that board --- then privately invite a dozen or two of your most influential members to use it and give you their opinions. Get them comfortable with it and onboard with the new system, then when you make the actual switch, they'll be able to help other members and calm the masses.

But in the end, look to the future. To my knowledge, vB hasn't even announced anything about the existence of a vB 6 -- and vB 5, most will say, sucks. So yes, I would encourage switching.
 

Kyrie

Habitué
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
1,007
I have several big boards - and made the switch from vB to XF a few years ago...

The big reason I did so was simple. I don't see a future for vB.

Ok, I also had many customizations. Yes, I had to have them all rewritten. Yes that was a large expense. However, doing so gave me the chance to get rid of stuff I didn't need and improve on the stuff I kept. It also gives me the opportunity to add some new stuff that vB wouldn't have been able to handle.

You said you're just tired of putting lipstick on a pig... I felt the same way. IMO, every minute of time and every dollar I put into vB was going down the drain. Yes, I spent a considerable amount on new / rewriting addons, styles, etc -- but things run better. It also gave me new opportunities, new things to give my members, better ways to generate revenue, etc.

As far as how my members dealt with the change --- At first, many were bitchy. People dont like drastic change. However, it didnt take long for the comments to start to turn to "Hey, this change is kinda nice" They key is patience and educating your membership, especially about new things they can do.

I would setup a duplicate test board --- Do all the rewrites and changes to that board --- then privately invite a dozen or two of your most influential members to use it and give you their opinions. Get them comfortable with it and onboard with the new system, then when you make the actual switch, they'll be able to help other members and calm the masses.

But in the end, look to the future. To my knowledge, vB hasn't even announced anything about the existence of a vB 6 -- and vB 5, most will say, sucks. So yes, I would encourage switching.
I'm the same as Joey here. There is no future, in my eyes, for vB and if you have a long-term ownership plan you'll want to do it.
 

scottkoz20

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
16
I'm the same as Joey here. There is no future, in my eyes, for vB and if you have a long-term ownership plan you'll want to do it.
this is another aspect of this... i have thought about selling in the past... but I also see the growth on this; so whether it is me, a team (with or without me) - I see the current structure actually bring the potential value down.

I would setup a duplicate test board --- Do all the rewrites and changes to that board --- then privately invite a dozen or two of your most influential members to use it and give you their opinions. Get them comfortable with it and onboard with the new system, then when you make the actual switch, they'll be able to help other members and calm the masses.
I was thinking about this, spending the money and seeing if its worth the time/investment. However, I would think I would need create a copy of my database as surely 2 forums cannot read/write to the same database.

I really do appreciate both of your input. It's taken me up until recently to get to the acceptance phase after several years of denial. :)
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,360
However, I would think I would need create a copy of my database as surely 2 forums cannot read/write to the same database.
That's correct. You must create a copy of your database and then import the copy into Xenforo leaving your vBulletin installation and database untouched. You should do this for testing purposes and repeat the process if you decide to migrate.

I've migrated a number of large forums from vBulletin 4.x to Xenforo 1.x and the only real issue I encountered with one forum was a problem mapping the permissions across. This was probably due to the complexity of permissions on that particular forum.

One other thing to say is a forum of the size you are talking about will not run successfully on vBulletin 5 so I would rule that out as an option.
 

Kyrie

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Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
1,007
I've migrated a number of large forums from vBulletin 4.x to Xenforo 1.x and the only real issue I encountered with one forum was a problem mapping the permissions across.
This has been my experience too. It almost always never works if you customized your permissions even a little. It depends on the forum, but that's a good solid hour or two of just clicking back and forth to get it set-up how you'd like again. Plus, you'd need to test it once it's all set-up to make sure no user errors. Which is why your idea of a dual board is also good.
 

Joeychgo

TAZ Administrator
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Feb 28, 2004
Messages
6,956
I was thinking about this, spending the money and seeing if its worth the time/investment. However, I would think I would need create a copy of my database as surely 2 forums cannot read/write to the same database.
Yes - You would. But this is easy. If you like I would suggest you consider hiring NixFifty - he can rewrite the addons and handle the rest of the process --- and I would suggest Russ to create a new theme for you.
 

scottkoz20

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Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
16
Joeychgo - I was also thinking about the selling of the forum part... the value might be more with less for any prospective buyer to do.
 

scottkoz20

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Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
16
I understand that point completely - I'm still at a point where I need to understand the pros/cons and what needs to be done... it be one thing if I was starting from scratch (which I can do with a another domain I registered and have done nothing with it yet - politicaltalkforum.com - still scratch my head on how that was available)... but with SCF, there are a number of modifications, enhancements, I simply can't drop this without understanding everything with it.
 

Kyrie

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I understand that point completely - I'm still at a point where I need to understand the pros/cons and what needs to be done... it be one thing if I was starting from scratch (which I can do with a another domain I registered and have done nothing with it yet - politicaltalkforum.com - still scratch my head on how that was available)... but with SCF, there are a number of modifications, enhancements, I simply can't drop this without understanding everything with it.

Political Talk Forum is a great domain name! It's a little wordy I guess is the only downside. My domain I got for my new project is perfect too (DeliveryForums.com) and it makes me happy thinking I got that. A great domain name can initiate creativity like nothing else these days.
 

HallofFamer

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I wonder though, does XF 2 have all the features available for VB 3.8? I recall asking the same question before when it was XF 1.5 and was told that it did not have all the useful functionality from VB 3.8 yet. Has it changed since XF 2?
 

Paul M

Limeade Addict
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Jun 26, 2006
Messages
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It might help if you said what features are you referring to.
 

Joeychgo

TAZ Administrator
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I wonder though, does XF 2 have all the features available for VB 3.8? I recall asking the same question before when it was XF 1.5 and was told that it did not have all the useful functionality from VB 3.8 yet. Has it changed since XF 2?
XF isnt meant to be feature laden. Its meant to be a strong core product, and then you use addons to get much of the extras you want
 

zappaDPJ

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From what I recall of years running vB3.x forums I'd say XF 2.x is at the very least comparable in terms of features. In addition those features are far more suited to the modern user and hosting platforms than vB3.8 will ever be now it's EOL.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
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Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,584
I wonder though, does XF 2 have all the features available for VB 3.8? I recall asking the same question before when it was XF 1.5 and was told that it did not have all the useful functionality from VB 3.8 yet. Has it changed since XF 2?
If you used some features like social groups, it's an unofficial addon with a migration procedure on xenforo, and an officially supported feature in the base IPB forum.
 

Alpha1

Administrator
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May 28, 2007
Messages
4,000
If you need social groups then research the available XenForo addons really well and look at IPS. As mentioned IPS clubs are in core.
 
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