Doing the Unthinkable :P

Discussion in 'XenForo Discussions' started by Superboy, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    I already posted about this on TAZ lol I figured i'd post here as well....


    I swear, choosing a College was far easier than choosing a Forum software. Then again, I've known what college I wanted to go to since I was 9 :p But yeah I may be doing the unthinkable and switching BACK to Xenforo....or BB. Or i may finally make the plunge and fully invest into the IPS platform(Downloads, Gallery and Content)

    So I renewed my IP board 2 weeks ago and I was going through(and still am actually) some back & forth about what to do with my site. The site itself is fine, but the Niche(Book) it is in is dying even if the forum itself is doing perfectly fine and active as always. I initially decided to do a name change and go General Discussion(Since the site has taken on a more General Discussion Feel) but then i realized in my heart, that isn't what I want. At least not right now...and in the present the site is fine and there is no need for a namechange and/or direction change.

    However, I know there are MANY many things I want to do with my site but I question whether IPB can help me achieve them and even if it CAN help me achieve them, can it help me in an easier way. I also decided to open my mind(and eyes) up and give XF a second look and Burning Board a look.

    First and Foremost, I strongly dislike the attitudes and arrogance of many XF users. However, I realize now that was unfair of me to judge an entire userbase based on a minority that actually only exists here on TAZ...LOL. I've had the pleasure of meeting a few XF fans who have helped me with Xenforo the past two weeks and I realize TAZ XF users do not equal Xenforo users. Some of them just make the collective look worse :p

    I also have been working with my friend as he set up his new Burning Board. He seems to like the software a lot and it was a learning experience for me since we both had no idea what to do and we learned together.
    I've even spoken with Users like @Lizard King here and some of my favorites from IPB support forums, to also learn more about the software I've been using for the past year. I realized there was so much i didn't know I could do(which also made me question...IPB may be more powerful than XF but is all that power really necessary for me as an end user. I can have all this power and yet no idea how to even use it).

    I learned IP content(Ugh....I like what it can do, I don't like having to figure out how to do it. IPC definitely mind***** me lol but i love what it can do). I also got into Gallery and Blogs and Downloads. I don't much like Blogs...Gallery and downloads are okay.
    So after about 2 weeks of Studying, Researching and getting help from more experienced Admins where am I at now?

    Burning Board is likely out of the question. I just....can't seem to really see myself using the software for my own forum. I like it but as a USER not as a customer.

    IPB I know fairly well and i've gotten to know even better. It's Powerful and with that Power so much can be done with it, if i am willing to actually take the time to utilize said power as well as I can overlook the shortcomings of the software and WTF moments.

    Xenforo....I've never HATED Xenforo. I used Xenforo long before I used IPB. In fact Xenforo was the first premium software i was exposed to aside from Vbulletin. What I hated was the fact the users treat the product as perfection(When it is not) and the lack of features and heavy dependence on 3rd party add-ons to fill in the holes that the software should have had from the start. But that was 2013....we're over halfway into 2014 and soon 2015 and I see that a lot of my Earlier complaints about Xenforo are being handled.

    Don't get me wrong...there are things i still dislike/hate about XF

    1. There is still a small reliance on 3rd party add-ons.....But diminishing :)
    2. There is nothing comparable imo to IP chat on Xenforo(I don't want a Shoutbox or ajax chat, I want something like IP chat with XF)
    3. I hate the fact that nearly ALL Xenforo Sites I frequent, no matter the niche, look exactly the same. Literally....I don't like that uniformity.
    (Thankfully, I've discovered some awesome styles that at least differentiate from the stale XF look)
    4. Heavy Ajax use
    5. ACP isn't as full featured as IPB but it is better organized
    6. The XF Permission system STILL pisses me off even after a year of using it.
    7. It still lacks a few key 3rd party add-ons I have grown accustomed to on IPB
    8. I dislike how everything(Forum stats for example) is shoved into the Side bar...Forum Stats should be at the bottom(but I am sure this can be easily fixed)
    9. Setting Up trophies/user group promotions is highly annoying.
    Personal opinion of Course:
    10. I hate that if I switch, I'll now be apart of a collective that uses my site(And any future site that switches to XF) as more proof that Xenforo is the best and King....and it isn't.

    I don't view XF any better than IPb or IPB better than XF. What i see is, IPB is way more powerful than XF which sacrifices usability while XF may lack power and full integration and 1st party but it does make it up with usability.

    As I said beforehand....I love IPB but even I am beginning to see cracks within the software as well as there are some things I really am beginning to dislike in it and some things I' am noticing in 4, that I am a bit meh or not understanding why it is done this way.

    I do like Xenforo...But Xenforo for me is something I feel like I'll always like but I am not sure I'd ever love.
    In the end, I'm going to have Settle....Do I settle with something I do enjoy but is obviously stuck in its ways OR Do I settle with something that I can likely grow to strongly like but in the end, I'll never Love but it does at least make my job easier?

    The Good Thing is....I let my Members get familiar with Xenforo again and the Staff absolutely does love the ACP and the Moderating tools as well as the Members either Preferred Xenforo or they don't care either way.

    I even checked out Vbulletin 4 :p:P It is a good software imo just way more difficult to learn/get the hang of then IPB 3.4 and Xenforo
     
  2. GTB

    GTB Regular Member

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    Good luck going back using XenForo.

    Not sure what you're debating, you've obviously already made your mind up. Posting same thing on TAZ before doing it here. Also, you do a lot of flip-flopping around regarding forum software you're going to use... for somebody seemingly happy with using IPB. Last read on TAZ, you was all set for using BB4, what happened to that one? You change you're mind a lot flip-flopping around from what I see?

    I find it hard to take anything you say seriously about switching site software. You remind me of Mark.B, changing your mind every two seconds. Not long ago you was banging on at great length about using WordPress. Joomla and others to replace your IPB front page, none of which ever came off. I knew it never would because you say a lot... but never do any of it.

    Sorry, but you're another: Mr Flip Flopper.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
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  3. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    Edit: And why does it matter where i posted this first lol I wasn't aware there was an exclusivity. I had intended to post here originally but the site had been having issues.
    Ouch GTB! Thought we were friends :) I am a bit disappointed that you decided to quote a post i made in jest when another TAZ user made a joke to me and i said "if you can't beat em, Join em". Come on now...context is everything my friend. Even if i switch to XF, i am still going to be an IPS customer regardless lol and I am still going to call XF users out on their bullshizzle and elitist behavior. The other day @BamaStangGuy made a good point and I realized I was judging the software more on WHO uses it more so than what the software can do for me.

    In truth, it is not about me Flip-flopping :D I am 18 years old(soon to be 19 years old this month, yay me!) so I am not as experienced and well-versed in various software as you and many others are.You guys have had years, some have had decades of playing around with discussion boards while i was playing around Action figures and pretending to be a power ranger :P

    What you call flip-flopping, I call finding my way and experimenting. Trial and Error.
    Seeing what works, Seeing what doesn't work. Which is what many forum admins who have been doing this for awhile have done(GOing from VB to IPb to XF or a mixture of all 3).

    Chaos Reads is my 1st true site and i make a lot of experiments on it and seeing what works and doesn't.

    I don't think ever mentioned anything about Joomla simply because I am not familiar at all with Joomla.....I did say that I was planning on using Wordpress or IP content.

    That hasn't changed.....I needed to first decide where i want to go with my site as far as niche and branding(I mostly have that decided)

    Next up, I need to figure out what Platform I want to use. If i stay IPB, then it would be IP content.
    If i go elsewhere, Xenforo or BB...it'd be Wordpress.

    I also wanted to take my time to learn how wordpress works and how ip content works(very daunting btw) before throwing it on my site as something half-assed :P

    Considering I only mentioned wordpress/Ip content towards the end of May aka barely 2 months ago, I wasn't aware I was on a time crunch to add features in just yet without looking like a "Flip-flopper"

    In regards to Burning Board, I never once said I was switching or set on BB. I've always said the lack of a Primarily English Centric site bothered me. I also said that, like Xenforo, there are some things that I am used to on IPB that don't exist on BB and i'd have to pay for 3rd party. I've also said I dislike pretty much the entire styling of BB and have yet to find a skin i'd want to purchase. Don't mistake me being curious and intrigued and researching(which is what I've always said) as switching. I also said I strongly dislike their url structure.

    When it comes to Xenforo vs IPB.....I do believe IPB is the better software. It is more powerful and it feel more full-featured with powerful integration and a lot of potential(that IPS has yet to tap into after all these years). Xenforo, however, i've never had an issue with other than a lack of features which has quickly diminished...had it never lacked those features, I never wouldve left for IPS. But just because it has more power, do I as an admin NEED that power especially if IPS themselves hasn't fully realized how to harness their platforms strength.

    I can get the same exact thing accomplished now with IPB and XF....the question is, which can help me do them best?
    I can invest time and work into IPB and also put more money into the platform. Or I can make a final choice and decide you know what, I LOVE IPB but Xenforo does not to do it BETTER as much as it does make it easier for me.

    Again not flip-flopping...it's called trial and error :P
     
  4. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Regular Member

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    If I were in your situation I would consider waiting for IBP4 before making a final decision unless there's a compelling reason to switch sooner.
     
  5. AWS

    AWS Administrator

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    It almost sounds to me like the decision is made, but, you're having second thoughts. Changing software is something that should be done only if the site is struggling on the current software or the software you use is too buggy. Sometimes new software will bring new users. It can also drive users away.
     
  6. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    In truth, the only second thoughts I am having is merely mostly Pride thing(I am kind of having to eat crow with this conversion lol) and a fear of leaving something I am familiar with.

    There are things with IPB i love(and that won't work the same on XF) but there are quite a few things that currently bother me and I decided to make a choice against Pride and use logic...I could invest more money into the platform and HOPE for the best and that things will be properly executed or I could accept that while I do love the software, IPB may not be the best for me any longer
    (I'll still be using IPB anyway so i am not leaving the platform entirely lol)

    However, I am sure this is the right move. I am looking forward to a second chance with XF and I expect things to be better this time around and I am very grateful to the help and advice of the XF users i've gotten the past couple of days(definitely helps with my overall opinion of XF users) and I am eager to convert and for a new beginning.
     
  7. Lee G

    Lee G Regular Member

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    Only you know your user base and their needs
    Sod what others say about your decision :D
    If it feels right, go for it. If it don't work, its another lesson you have learned :thumbsup:
     
  8. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    Thanks Lee :)

    One thing I do(and have always done) is i clue my members in on every decision I make. I know that sometimes that may not be the case(I am lucky to have a chill and relaxed bunch of members). Some forums I am on or have been on, don't really even give their users a chance for feedback and are like

    "Alright, we're converting. No questions asked. You will deal."

    I let them test out the software(I did a test conversion of our actual site), I linked them to popular XF boards to showcase the power of XF and answered their questions and researched those i didn't know and they are pretty excited about the switch(Which happens tomorrow or 12 hours from now, depending on your timezone). I did the same thing last year when we switched from XF to IPB :P

    (Ugh, i just realized, we'll probably be added to that Digital point cookie thing about sites converting from IPB to XF lol)
     
  9. Lee G

    Lee G Regular Member

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    Just block the digital point cookie thing :D

    Then buy a paper bag for your head and in big crayon, (the type the fan boys use to write on their monitors when sending emails) write "its not me, honest, Im someone else" :D

    That will confuse the living hell outa them :D

    Your website and traffic can go three ways
    Up and down :D
    It can go up with good seo and no bugger likes it, so they leave
    Members might like it, but the search engines take a different view
    Both search engines and members love

    Don't spend your life worrying about what others will think
    Do whats right for you and stuff the lot of em :D
     
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  10. Jack Rouse

    Jack Rouse Regular Member

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    Have you taken into account the cost that could be involved in switching, does XF have compatible MODs, is your present board MOD and custom heavy, can your bank account cope with the changeover ?;)
     
  11. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    Ooh I meant to update those here....I moved to Xenforo yesterday and it was mostly a good conversion.

    Feedback thread here
    http://chaosreads.com/threads/welcome-to-cr-2-0-chaos-reads-on-xenforo.8499/

    Running into Some Post-conversion issues

    1. My Current Skin is a bit jacked up, it doesn't look right on mobile devices(but the XF default skin works fine)
    2. Still struggling with permissions
    3. Trying to figure out how to add icon sprites for post ratings. Like how to uplaoded the extended ones.

    Other than that, Covnersion went well.
     
  12. GTB

    GTB Regular Member

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    Looks good. To be honest when you ran IPB before and visited it, the forum was pretty jerky and slow for me. A lot better now your on XF, you have a lot of boards and think that's why it was jerky before loading them all.
     
  13. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    Yeah I got pissed as I was doing the conversions and i was like

    "There are too many damn forums on this site" lol.

    So yeah, I am definitely going to look at what can be consolidated and removed since there are a lot(109 forums and subforums if I remember/read correctly during conversion). But yeah it does feel a lot smoother with XF.

    Thanks!
     
  14. Lee G

    Lee G Regular Member

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    One word to sum up what you have done "wow" or the two work version "f#####g wow"
    That is one the very best xenforo forums I have seen to date
    Well done for all the hard work :thumbsup:
     
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  15. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    Oh wow, thank you so much :)
    Means a lot!
     
  16. CreationNation

    CreationNation Regular Member

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    I must agree, very sharp looking forum!
     
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  17. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    Thanks, I appreciate it :)
     
  18. BamaStangGuy

    BamaStangGuy Administrator

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    Still enjoying the move back to XenForo?
     
  19. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    No not really :P

    I mean don't get me wrong, I absolutely love IPB 3.4.6 and I actually still use it for ChaosReads but XF is a breath of fresh air in the sense that it does things in some ways better.

    I also love that my site is definitely ranking faster with Xenforo and now that I got my IPB redirects working properly(Thanks to Mike/Brogan) all traffic is as it should be and increasing actually.

    That being said, I really do actually regret switching back to Xenforo tbh. A lot of annoyances and frustrations.

    Truthfully unless I work out those Frustrations and Annoyances, I would not be surprised to see me yet again switch back to IPB 4 once it proves stable. Sadly i am stuck with this license for Xenforo(it was transferred to me).

    I sort of got peer pressured into the move lol.
     
  20. Andy R

    Andy R Lurker Administrator Admin Talk Staff

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    I think you are over thinking the whole platform issue and should try to put that energy into other facets of running your community. Constant switching is going to cause some members to get frustrated. Often the conversions don't pull over notification settings so people might not be getting notices like they were hoping, etc. Each conversion is going to require some in post clean up like the @Username stuff that's left over in this post.

    Sure you might gain a little feature here or there but the most used function of most forums is simply replying to threads and even the worst software usually is decent at that. Your site looks nice, it's got plenty of activity. I think your time is better spent on building great link bait and reaching out to other sites to get them to post back. Another great use of time is continuing your successful work at building relationships with your members and asking them to help you spread the word and get links back. There is a famous expression, "It's not the arrow, it's the indian". You are now leading your tribe an I'd spend less time worried about and focusing on your platform and more time on how to build your audience.

    Try to build a double-opt in email list of 10,000 people with feedburner where you can send out high quality content vie RSS to email (like feedburner). That along has grown to surpass my Google traffic on one site only 10 months after I started to collect emails. Try to find successful strategies to find more posters on social networks. All these little things are a lot of hard work but they pay huge dividends over time!
     
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