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Thread: Forum Migration

  1. #1
    Administrator david's Avatar
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    Forum Migration

    Hi All,

    Over the past several months this forum has grown a lot. It has developed into a great place for Android developers to meet & share ideas, strategies and experiences. I'm very grateful for the contributions everyone has made to keep up the quality of discussions - I hope you're getting out as much as you put in!

    The site is currently running on MyBB. I originally chose this software platform for its ease of use, compared with other software such as phpBB. But as the forum has grown, I've found it more and more difficult to keep the site updated to the latest version of MyBB. The themes must be manually modified after every update, and very few plugin updates are released at all. There are several other minor issues - basically MyBB doesn't look like the best platform any more, especially considering future expansion.

    I've been looking at alternatives, mainly VBulletin and Vanilla. VBulletin is a very well established and full-featured forum solution. However, it does appear expensive and complex to maintain. Vanilla on the other hand is a relatively new, open source, platform. It has fewer features, but a solid plugin system & built-in integration with WordPress and social networks.

    Of all the platforms I've looked at so far, Vanilla is my favourite. It seems to be a clean & modern platform, and the fact that it's open source puts it ahead of VBulletin in terms of being future-proof.

    I'd like to ask for your feedback now. Are you happy with the current forum system? Are there any features you've been missing? Would you be happy / willing to accept a migration to Vanilla Forums? Or would you prefer a different forum platform?

    I've obtained a quote to perform a migration from MyBB to Vanilla, and it seems like there would be two major issues:
    • Private Messages would not be carried across
    • The link structure would change - existing links within posts would be broken

    The second issue can probably be fixed over time, but the private messages would be harder to transfer. How important are private messages for you? Would you be prepared to "wipe the slate" so to speak, and start with an empty inbox? It would be possible to keep an archive of the PMs to be available on request, but it doesn't seem viable to automatically transfer the PMs to any new software platform.

    Thanks for your continue support. Looking forward to hearing your feedback on the migration concept!

    Cheers,
    David

    UPDATE: If you would like to try the various forum software, here are some demo links:
    vBulletin 4 Demo
    Vanilla Demo
    phpBB Demo
    This post represents my own views, and does not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of my employer.

    My Websites:

    Making Money With Android Blog
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ramzixp's Avatar
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    RE: Forum Migration

    Sorry, I am new here but think about vbulletin, vanilla is shitty for me


  3. #3
    Administrator david's Avatar
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    RE: Forum Migration

    Quote Originally Posted by ramzixp
    ...think about vbulletin, vanilla is shitty for me
    Ok... is there any particular reason it doesn't work for you? Or just doesn't feel right in general?
    This post represents my own views, and does not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of my employer.

    My Websites:

    Making Money With Android Blog
    | Forums | Wiki | Live IRC Chat | My Apps on Google Play

    Ad Networks I Use: (use these referral links to get a bonus!)
    Supersonic ($120 bonus) | MobileCore ($100 bonus) | StartApp ($25 bonus) | AppNext | AppBrain | AppFlood

  4. #4
    Senior Member ramzixp's Avatar
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    RE: Forum Migration

    This script is total mess, look at vanilla community forum here:
    http://vanillaforums.org/discussions

    It's hard to find what you are interested to. Ajax is problem too, you need good server to keep ajax script. I like modern vbulletin style, typical "...bb" like phpbb, mybb, punbb. I think that vanilla is a shock for most forum users.


  5. #5
    Administrator david's Avatar
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    RE: Forum Migration

    Thanks for that feedback. It's interesting - I actually thought Vanilla looked nicer, and easier to navigate than vBulletin! Hadn't considered what you say about ajax, but that may be a concern as I'd be using shared hosting.

    Based on your suggestion, I just took a look at the vBulletin website. It seems to have been updated since I last looked - they're now pushing for the release of vBulletin 5. But I did a quick search, and couldn't find a single positive review of vB 5! All the discussions & reviews are extremely negative. Doesn't lend me a lot of faith in the future of vBulletin, which is why I'm now hesitant to move in that direction. Have you heard much about the latest version?

    I'll take another look at those "...bb" scripts you mentioned, see if any of them look promising.
    This post represents my own views, and does not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of my employer.

    My Websites:

    Making Money With Android Blog
    | Forums | Wiki | Live IRC Chat | My Apps on Google Play

    Ad Networks I Use: (use these referral links to get a bonus!)
    Supersonic ($120 bonus) | MobileCore ($100 bonus) | StartApp ($25 bonus) | AppNext | AppBrain | AppFlood

  6. #6
    Senior Member ramzixp's Avatar
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    RE: Forum Migration

    http://forum.android.com.pl/ - look at this, polish android forum

    Users:
    162 k
    Threads:
    75k
    Posts:
    1,6 mln
    Users online with guests:
    mostly 20k at the same time

    ----
    It's your forum but not destroy it using vanilla please it's not intuitive. Maybe vbulletin have negative feedback but mybb, phpbb, punbb have worst. I don't know vanilla but it's look shitty and have ajax. With shared hosting you can get a ban for traffic.


  7. #7
    Senior Member XdebugX's Avatar
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    RE: Forum Migration

    I don't know enough about either forum system to say one or the other. But I can say it would be no big loss to me to lose old pm's.

  8. #8
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    RE: Forum Migration

    My vote goes for vBulletin. It looks the nicest. I frequent a couple of other forums (non Android related) and went to see what they use because I like their format. Turns out they both use vBulletin! So my vote definitely goes to vBulletin. Thanks for your continued support of this forum! Good luck with whatever you choose!

  9. #9
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    RE: Forum Migration

    Hi David,

    I like the appearance of this bulletin board. I also like Vbulletin, the way it looks and ease of use. I don't know a lot about the different bulletin board scripts from an administrator perspective, but from a user perspective, I really like the appearance and user experience of this one and Vbulletin.

    I'm not a huge fan of the appearance of http://forum.android.com.pl/ (sorry ramzixp )

    Hope this helps, and I'll support you whichever script you choose.

    Rick

  10. #10
    Administrator david's Avatar
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    RE: Forum Migration

    Ok, I've been reading the feedback here and doing some more comparisons, and looks like vBulletin is the way to go. Regardless of the product's future, it appears to be the most popular, full-featured and extensible option available today. I still think Vanilla is nice, but doesn't seem to fit with most peoples' idea of a forum.

    I've installed VB on a subdomain (PM me or drop by the IRC if you'd like to try it out) and run a test migration. Everything seems to carry across ok, except for profile pictures (avatars). Even PMs are supported by the migration script - better than I expected! There are a few formatting issues with incompatible BBCode, but it's still all readable and that stuff can be fixed up over time.

    I'd like to schedule the migration to vBulletin for next weekend (17th-18th November). Does this work ok for people? I'll be making the current MyBB install read-only, then copying everything across to the subdomain. So rest assured, you won't lose anything! Both installations will continue to be accessible in the short-term.
    This post represents my own views, and does not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of my employer.

    My Websites:

    Making Money With Android Blog
    | Forums | Wiki | Live IRC Chat | My Apps on Google Play

    Ad Networks I Use: (use these referral links to get a bonus!)
    Supersonic ($120 bonus) | MobileCore ($100 bonus) | StartApp ($25 bonus) | AppNext | AppBrain | AppFlood

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