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vBulletin switchers experience

Miss Moiraine

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I've been thinking about making a feedback post for awhile, and I finally overcame my laziness and did it! I'm just going to try and give my honest thoughts as a fairly recent convert. I apologize in advance for any rambling.

I moved my forum off vBulletin onto IPB back in mid-October. To be honest, I hadn't paid much mind to IPB since probably 2003, and was a bit floored when I tried out the demo for 3.0. Things I'd need a mod for on vB are already in IPB by default, which is a nice change to be sure. Not to say I don't understand the concern over the lack of a more active mod community, but 3.0 is pretty darn new, especially compared to vB 3.x, so I can only see things improving in this regard.

There was a bit of learning curve with the admin cp, but I find that I have an easier time finding things (thanks to that handy dandy search) in IPB than I did with vB; even after 3 1/2 years on the latter system. Your mileage will vary, of course.

I never liked skinning vB. Never. All those images and the templates that you had to keep up-to-date. Ugh! I honestly dreaded whenever I wanted to give the main site a makeover because that meant touching the forum. I do not feel that way about IPB. I'm not saying it is a perfect system, but for someone like me who feels more at home in a CSS file than a WYSIWYG color picker deal, it's pretty nice. I can see how it might be confusing, however, not going to lie.

The biggest thing for me is the support. Support and developer attitude is what caused me to move from phpBB to vB in the first place, and is what caused me to move yet again three years later. I had some issue with redirects not working, and instead of asking me "do you have mods?" "are you using the default skin?", support just went in and fixed it for me. The fact that I can see actual interaction with customers and their feedback is also a plus; it's always nice to feel like your suggestions are actually being listened to and noted.

When it comes to how my members feel about all this, aside from one member who hates change, everyone seems to really like the new software. :)

Nothing is perfect, of course, and I would be lying if I said I didn't sometimes look at others vB boards and get all nostalgic or wonder about what it'd be like having my site on vB 4. However, I never feel that way when I'm actually on my own board, so clearly I don't miss vB that much. Even so, there a couple of things I miss:

Emoticon Management
This is one area where I greatly prefer vB. The ability to put smilies into categories, and move them between said categories, as well as being able to set the display order would be a godsend. I can only imagine how chaotic the management screen would look to an admin who just converted from vB if they have more smilies than I (I have about 125). I also miss being able to name smilies and have little hover text. Which is really shallow and minor but I'm throwing it in there. :blush: Oh and an on/off switch to allow smilie bbcode in signatures. I really like smilies....

People complain about IPB's search, but they also complain about vBulletin's. ;) Personally I have no real in-depth feedback on it, aside from saying that every time I use it I'm surprised by what I get: I couldn't tell you why, it just doesn't search in the way I expect.

Post Icons/Thread Prefixes
I'd like thread prefixes, to be honest. I never used them, actually, but I'd like to in order to not have to use the post icons that I've held onto from vB. And on that note, easier post icon management would be nice. :)

I can't really think of anything else "negative" to say (well I do miss keyboard shortcuts in the text box not working in Opera), and my issues with IPB (if you can call them that) are really so minor and not anything near enough to make me want to go back at this point in time. So I guess the tl;dr of it is I am a very happy customer. :)

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