Xenforo CMS Add-On Options

Pigoo

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
213
Hello folks. I'm deciding between Xenforo & IPS for a website upgrade. For future growth of the website I'm researching CMS options for both software packages. IPS has their own "Pages" add-on CMS app...and Xenforo has some CMS options (XenPorta, Bob's Article System, XF Resource Manager).

The integration & ease of use of the IPS "Pages" app is impressive! Here's a short 5+ minute video from IPS using their "Pages" add-on app to create a home page in just 5 minutes:


Can anyone experienced with any of the Xenforo CMS add-on options comment on how well the Xenforo CMS add-ons compare to the IPS "Pages" add-on?

Thanks

p.s. Creating a home page in just 5 minutes with the IPS Pages addon is pretty slick!
 

Joe Blow

Participant
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
68
I'm actually very interested in this topic as well even though I'm sure it's been discussed before.

I'm in the process of upgrading from XF 1.5 to XF 2.1 and I was previously using Widget Framework for a home page and am looking for a XF 2.1 replacement for it.

I must admit that Invision Community page builder looks pretty impressive and is exactly what I'm after for Xenforo. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be anything like it out there for XF.

The two obvious contenders are AMS and Xenporta 2 and I have spent weeks trying to decide between them. As I'm only looking to create a portal page (coming from Widget Framework) I keep thinking Xenporta 2 will be enough as I don't really need the article management system. But then I think, perhaps AMS is faster and more robust for a portal page and maybe I'll end of using the article management system down the track.

I honestly don't know which way to go. There is no way of comparing them side by side without purchasing both of them.
 

haqzore

Devotee
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,387
I'm actually very interested in this topic as well even though I'm sure it's been discussed before.

I'm in the process of upgrading from XF 1.5 to XF 2.1 and I was previously using Widget Framework for a home page and am looking for a XF 2.1 replacement for it.

I must admit that Invision Community page builder looks pretty impressive and is exactly what I'm after for Xenforo. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be anything like it out there for XF.

The two obvious contenders are AMS and Xenporta 2 and I have spent weeks trying to decide between them. As I'm only looking to create a portal page (coming from Widget Framework) I keep thinking Xenporta 2 will be enough as I don't really need the article management system. But then I think, perhaps AMS is faster and more robust for a portal page and maybe I'll end of using the article management system down the track.

I honestly don't know which way to go. There is no way of comparing them side by side without purchasing both of them.
mysiteguy is definitely an opinion to value. Here's one of his recent summaries:


...

I've recommended both AMS and XenPorta to clients. AMS is great for the stock presentation, big plus in it's favor, much like the category menu in Resource Manger. XenPorta is great for creating a very customized home page, and converting threads into articles.

AMS uses it's own tables for article content. XenPorta, articles ARE threads, just that the first post is formatted to look like an article and replies like comments. All addons that work with threads, work with XenPorta.

By using both XenPorta and Resource Manager, he was able get a bit of the best of both. The Resource Manager styled layout similar to AMS, with the front page capabilities of Xenforo. XenPorta handles displaying the articles within Resource Manager. In this case, buying the additional addon wasn't a big deal. For others, where budget is tight, I tell them about both AMS and XenPorta and they tell me which they think is best. But if they want it all: XenPorta + Resource Manager is what I recommend.

There's also the consideration of their original forum platform, and how involved their current articles are. I have importers into both XenPorta and AMS, but if they are also using blogs in VB, XenPorta is easier since even the default XF importer handles blogs into threads. Then I run one query which turns all those blog threads into XenPorta articles.

In my opinion:
XenPorta > AMS for customizing
XenPorta > AMS for combining with RM.
XenPorta > AMS for using stock thread / post tables, which gives easy conversion between thread, article and blog presentation.

AMS > XenPorta for less work getting things ready to launch
AMS > XenPorta for a more intuitive admin interface
AMS > XenPorta when it comes to product support

Both great products in their own ways. :) On one of my own XF 1.5 forums I'm going to convert to XF 2.1 (one of these days when I have idle time, lol), I'm going to buy both. AMS is going to be for user-created articles since it's a bit more intuitive for the users. XenPorta is going to manage the site's "official" articles and knowledge base as well as the home page.
 

Joe Blow

Participant
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
68
Thanks, that's actually very useful and really answers my question. My purpose is to create a portal/CMS on the home page, and it would seem that Xenporta is probably the best tool for that particular job.
 

Kevin

Oooh, something shiny!
Joined
Jul 13, 2004
Messages
3,440
I'm just putting this out there as an FYI...

For anybody that needs just a "home" page for XF that you're planning on filling with widgets, as opposed to an "articles" add-on or similar, you don't need a paid add-on. You can do something like manually creating an XF page as the home page or if you're prefer a more 'plug & play' method you can just install an add-on like CinVin Home. Either method will allow you to have an XF home / portal page that you can use for displaying widgets with the difference between adding widgets to the page will require more manual work while using an add-on allows adding widgets & ads to the page using the normal XF menus.

Speaking of articles, just a personal opinion but when XF 2.2 gets released with it's new 'articles' thread types & editor enhancements it's going to make life a bit easier for some sites as they'll be able to get away with using the stock XF options for managing their 'articles' content. With the ease of creating an XF home page combined with the new XF 2.2 features the need for overly complex add-ons for certain tasks will be overtaken by the need for visually appealing content discovery widgets.
 

Creaky

Adherent
Joined
Feb 14, 2010
Messages
400
Installed the CinVin Home portal recently and works really well
 

Joe Blow

Participant
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
68
I need a three column home page layout. Does CinVin support three columns?
 
Last edited:

Doug Heffernan

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
158
Hello folks. I'm deciding between Xenforo & IPS for a website upgrade. For future growth of the website I'm researching CMS options for both software packages. IPS has their own "Pages" add-on CMS app...and Xenforo has some CMS options (XenPorta, Bob's Article System, XF Resource Manager).

The integration & ease of use of the IPS "Pages" app is impressive! Here's a short 5+ minute video from IPS using their "Pages" add-on app to create a home page in just 5 minutes:


Can anyone experienced with any of the Xenforo CMS add-on options comment on how well the Xenforo CMS add-ons compare to the IPS "Pages" add-on?

Thanks

p.s. Creating a home page in just 5 minutes with the IPS Pages addon is pretty slick!
Personally I would prefer to use a cms that is built in the software rather than use a third party add on whenever possible. Because if you use third party add ons, you will be dependent on their developers to maintain said add ons properly.

Anyways should you go with xf, for a portal, I would recomend Jaxel 's XenPorta. It will do the job perfectly.

If you want something proffesional for your homepage, that is properly maintained, go with Ipb 's pages. Good luck with whatever you choose.
 

Pigoo

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
213
Thanks very much for the help.:)

Personally I would prefer to use a cms that is built in the software rather than use a third party add on whenever possible. Because if you use third party add ons, you will be dependent on their developers to maintain said add ons properly.

Anyways should you go with xf, for a portal, I would recomend Jaxel 's XenPorta. It will do the job perfectly.

If you want something proffesional for your homepage, that is properly maintained, go with Ipb 's pages. Good luck with whatever you choose.
I definitely understand the logic going with an integrated package (IPS)...since in theory integrated can provide better seemless compatability than 1st party package + 3rd party add-on's...and as mentioned...only need to rely on a single developer with an integrated package going forward.

I throughly investigated both IPS & Xenforo...plus CMS options for both. Both packages compared to vB 4.2.5 (where I'm coming from) were awesome. Each package had some nice individual features which made deciding difficult.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) the decision was made about a week ago and $$$ spent. Went with Xenforo + Xenporta.:)

Some folks may want to know what was the tipping-point in the decision. Tipping point was customer service. IPS was lacking...Xenforo was awesome...almost couldn't get a more opposite ends of the spectrum example (in my experience)! Quality of customer service (technical knowledge) was fine for both...big problem was timing.

In the initial 2 days of signing up & running demo's for both packages...Xenforo support answered approximately 8-10 questions before IPS answered my 1st question. Most of the questions to Xenforo were answered in 30 minutes or less (not all...but most)...and Xenforo answered questions at all hours (day & night)...way outside of normal business hours...and weekend questions. Additional IPS questions were equally as slow & additional Xenforo questions were equally as fast. Total demo time and Q&A time with both packages side-by-side...was about a week (7-8 days).

Q&A reply time with both companies (in many cases) would probably be fine for an existing customer with questions that weren't "mission-critical". Of course for most customers...getting fast Q&A replies to non-mission critical questions is always appreciated as well. In my case...Q&A reply time as a potential new customer...was too slow from IPS...Xenforo was great.

For fairness I'll also include my years of experience with vBulletin customer service. vBulletin usually always answered questions within 1-2 hours (sometimes less...sometimes more)...as long as the questions were posted during West Coast, USA business hours.

My personal overall customer service rating for IPS, Xenforo, and vBulletin for Q&A replies in terms of timing as a new customer (with the quality of the Q&A being mostly even).

On a 1-10 scale (1 being the worst...10 being the best):

* Xenforo = 9
* vBulletin = 6-7
* IPS = 2-3

The customer service parameter was evaluated via one-on-one Q&A by contacting each companies customer service directly via email...and in the pre-sales community/forum area of both companies websites.

I should also mention that my site has been vBulletin for at least 15 years...and that I knew mostly nothing about IPS or Xenforo before this. Thus I went into the IPS vs. Xenforo decision with a blank slate (no bias in either direction).

And to be very very honest...if IPS customer service had been more responsive with my Q&A's...I was probably leaning slightly in the IPS direction. The customer service comparison parameter was what sold me on Xenforo.

Both packages (IPS & XenForo) are awesome...deciding between the two (for me) was not easy! The Pro's & Con's of both packages could be discussed/argued all day (without a clear winner)...which as we know...happens quite often!;)
 
Last edited:

Doug Heffernan

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
158
The customer service parameter was evaluated via one-on-one Q&A by contacting each companies customer service directly via email...and in the pre-sales community/forum area of both companies websites.

And to be very very honest...if IPS customer service had been more responsive with my Q&A's...I was probably leaning slightly in the IPS direction. The customer service comparison parameter was what sold me on Xenforo.
To be frank I am a little surprised to hear this. My personal experience with Ips customer service has been very good. They are extremly helpful. Whereas with xf my personal experience has not been very good. I found their staff to be somewhat arrogant. Can you please post the links to your pre-sale topics that you posted at both forums?
 

Pigoo

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
213
To be frank I am a little surprised to hear this. My personal experience with Ips customer service has been very good. They are extremly helpful. Whereas with xf my personal experience has not been very good. I found their staff to be somewhat arrogant.
There was quite a bit of info mentioned in my last post...and maybe an important detail was lost in there.:)

My issue wasn't with the quality of the customer service (technical knowledge)...or the demeanor of the individuals helping...it was 100% based on the timeliness of replies to questions. The Xenforo folks were much much faster answering questions...IPS was very slow.
 

Doug Heffernan

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
158
There was quite a bit of info mentioned in my last post...and maybe an important detail was lost in there.:)

My issue wasn't with the quality of the customer service (technical knowledge)...or the demeanor of the individuals helping...it was 100% based on the timeliness of replies to questions. The Xenforo folks were much much faster answering questions...IPS was very slow.
Thank you for clarifying it. It looks like I misunderstood you. I thought that you meant the quality of support.

Anyways, can you please post the links to your pre-sale topics that you posted at both forums? As you have made your forum choice, this has no bearing anymore, but I am curious to see how slow Ips was in replying and how fast xf was.
 

palhanow

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
168
I have a similar question on the past with a CMS for XenForo.

This is my experience with AMS from Bob, you should take a minute to read:


After that, i totally dropped Wordpress from my site and all my website is currently based only on XenForo and specially, with AMS from Bob.
 

Dubbed Navigator

Adherent
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
339
I've used both softwares and would personally say IPS is the way to go if you want to achieve a really slick looking front page, and easily.

The page builder on it is great quality. You can achieve similar with the widgets in XF, but not as easily or as intuitively.

Speaking as a xenporta user, I would say it is quite the machine of a product, but I would not buy it again. For 2 perticular reasons.
1. The support is terrible. I found it very difficult to actually get in touch with Jaxel, and when you do the replies are short and sharp, and actually quite arrogant.
2. The product intentionally leaves out the ability to automatically promote threads to the portal. In the support threads this was pretty unpopular, but remains out of the product scope.

There's actually an entirely different bolt on add on aimed at improving xenporta form a different author. To me that speaks volumes about a $40 product.

Just think carefully about your use case. If you want free flowing, automatic content that is fairly untouched from the original thread, consider staying with the stock systems of either software. If you want a rich plug in that you can have a greater degree of customisation with, xenporta.
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,103
2. The product intentionally leaves out the ability to automatically promote threads to the portal. In the support threads this was pretty unpopular, but remains out of the product scope.
Both the XF 1.x and XF 2.x versions support auto-promoting threads based on the forum section they are in.
 

palhanow

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
168
1. The support is terrible. I found it very difficult to actually get in touch with Jaxel, and when you do the replies are short and sharp, and actually quite arrogant.
Unfortunately this is a very common point, shouted out by a great variety of people, even developers, if I'm not wrong. Another famous add-on developers on XF suffer the same complain, very, very unfurtunaly. This is not the way to deal with any clients.

On the other side, the support from Bob in AMS (and all of his products is exceptional, better than the XF itself). For one example, i reported a bug recently, two days after the report Bob released the fix.

And i can't even renew my license right now. This communist virus situation literally broke my country. Goddamm communist party and this WHO.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,337
I tend not to use add-ons other than those that I've designed and had coded but I did use XenPorta for a while. I found it fairly reasonable but with two major failings. Poor support as already mentioned here was one issue but what ultimately caused me to ditch it was the way in which it utilized CSS from the core product. That played merry hell with my custom theme and I got sick of having to tweak it at every update.
 
Top