VB4 vs VB5 for my first forum


Oct 5, 2020
Ok Team, I need some advice please.

I'm starting my first forum. I had to choose VBulletin because of the software that I'm bolting it onto (I run a marketplace) and the credentials get shared between the two. Long story short, I had to choose VB for simplicity.

Anyway, I've purchased the license (from a user on here actually) and am ready to download and get the show started. My question is, which version of VB should I be installing? A lot of folks don't appear to like VB5 due to bugs and security issues and tbh my site relies heavily on security so I'm leaning towards VB4. That said, I like the idea of an app and a slick mobile experience which VB5 seems to have. Plus, surely since VB is such a widely used software, VB5 holes will be plugged soon?

Any advice much appreciated :)

Also, any handy hints and/tips and tricks at the set-up stage? it'll be installed on a sub-folder of my current domain. Also keen on anyone's ideas on forums generally (terms of use, initial posts, using the BLOG etc)


Jul 1, 2006
VB4 was great piece of forum software. There was an abundance of mods and support from users. VB3 was even better in that aspect. As for VB5 I just recently upgraded from VB4 and to be honest I'm really digging it. I was hesitant at first because of all the negative reviews but I decided to just do it. I've been using it for about a week and haven't experienced any bugs. As for security loop holes I can't really comment because that's not my field of expertise but I use two logins methods and use real strong passwords. My only complaints with VB5 is the lack of mods but it is what it is. Why didn't I just stay VB5? I guess you can say it was because I needed to get to todays times even though I'm old school and so far so good.


Aug 20, 2018
If you absolutely...positively...have no other choice than vB4 or vB5...probably better off going with vB5. At least it's the most current product...it will still receive updates (security & bug fixes)...and will have compatibility with newer versions of PHP.


Aug 26, 2010
I agree with Pigoo.

vB4 is EOL and therefore largely unsupported by the developer. As far as I'm aware it currently has no security issues but as it is not compatible with PHP 7.2.0 or higher, that is a major problem as far as security is concerned and one that is not resolvable by the majority of forum owners.

vB5 is supported and on-going in terms of development. The down side is that it's built on refactored code which is probably why there's a need for regular security fixes. These are usually delivered swiftly but not before a multitude of compromised servers are reported. You can mitigate this to some extent by always keeping on top of the updates but that doesn't help if your server is one of the first to be compromised.

On balance I'd use vB5 over vB3/4 but only if there really is no other option available to you.


Apocalypse Admin
Jun 29, 2008
Bit of a dilemna here... If you must use vb4, consider running it in a higher security context (in containers), to limit the impact of its support lifecycle has ended and will not work or poorly on newer server stacks. VB5 is supported but directly modding its code is kinda limited. Bridging a service through the documented apis would however let you optimize the way you use and keep either separately maintained and secured.

But since you're just kickstarting this new project, a more optimal approach would be to pick another forum script that can handle your use cases. What software does your marketplace use ?

Paul M

Dr Pepper Addict
Jun 26, 2006
VB5 holes will be plugged soon?
Do you mean bugs ? I dont think it has any security holes atm.
As far as bugs go, no they wont be fixed soon, many date from years ago.

Personally, I would just never choose vB5, ever, becasue I know how its built, and works.
These days I would not suggest starting a new forum on vB4 either, but if you must, its the better choice (IMO of course).

You would really be better off using XF or IPS, and getting someone to look at your user intergration with them.


Aug 21, 2007
I converted my 2 vb4 forums over to XF 2.2 . VB4 hasn't been supported in so many years that it is likely a large security risk, and runs on an end of life version of PHP. It doesn't have very good mobile support. I also have a VB5 license, and it wasn't too bad and has improved a lot since I last used it.

If I had to do it again today, it would be Xenforo or VB5 if I had to pick VB.