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Your number one reason for using IPB vs competition?


SJ77
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As I am sure you're aware, there are many forum software options available. Some really great ones too that range in price from free to very costly.
Obviously you've chosen to pay IPB a decent fee for this software.  I am wondering what your number one reason for using IPB vs competition is??

I will start: I like IP for their focus on money making options. (Selling banner ads, memberships and digital products.)  Nobody seems to be doing this better than IP

What are your reasons?

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only one reason? :tongue:

I admit the last time I looked into other forum software is years ago.

I've migrated my old forum to IPB about a century ago. 2004 actually. Oh a century indeed. What makes me stay (ok more than one, but let me try to order them):

  • the board is reliable
  • the support was always helpful
  • the board evolves (I had a separate gallery, which I migrated to IP.Gallery),
    the layout and theme is modern and up to date to the internet fashion
  • extensibility

From what I remember comparing to other forum software: some had more features, some had some cool ones (online upgrades in admin panel). But IPB had the features that where useful. In some boards you can configure lots of things - but without an effect to the community. IPB has those feature I need to manage the community.

And well it just runs and runs and runs. No ongoing attention needed. If I would not restart the server from time to time the uptime would be 100%

 

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I couldn't choose just one :)

I've used the competition(Xenforo) twice.....I've contemplated other competition but I wasn't blown away.


For starters, free software has nothing to offer me on what I want/need for my site.

I choose to stick with IPB because while it isn't perfect, it is perfect enough for me.

-IP Chat---

Having struggled with my own hosting and how it struggled handling a self-hosted chatbox or if it broke, I had to struggle to fix it.....IP chat is hosted and maintained by IPS. So if it breaks, I can yell at them(LOL I don't actually yell at them). You can get a small chat FOR FREE with your license....and the cost per year is not that much at all considering what it/they do.

-IP Board-

It's a nicely made product and there is no compromises(For me). I don't have to rely solely on 3rd party mods to have features that should already be default in a PREMIUM product....

Side-note: If in the last 3 years or so, you release a product that is $140(or more) and then you announce with great excitement the addition of features such as merging users, multi-quote, the ability to watch/follow a forum, or the ability to add a poll to an existing thread....something is off about that picture. That's the competition ;)

Any Add-ons I use, I use because the software already does what I  NEED it do and not me having to plug-in deficiencies/holes. Of course that is in my experience, for someone else their need may be met or not met differently.

-Support Tickets-

While they COULD be a little faster(especially on the weekends), I like the fact that they are really helpful. I've gotten replies from Lindy himself as well as Rhett, Mark, and a few others and they were helpful.

-IPS Staff-

Following off the support tickets, I really admire and respect the work ethic of the staff as well as Charles' sarcasm LOL.

I made a very poor choice last fall and I could've been shunned and banned but what I love is the fact that IPS was willing to give me a 2nd shot for my stupid choice and I don't feel judged or disrespected. I can't say the same for other company and their staff :)

More importantly, I like the fact that they as a company partake with their clients and converse with us and are pretty laidback.

-Our Developers are awesome

I haven't heard of any scandals like I did with Xenforo with any of our developers being involved in nefarious things or cheating customers. I like the fact that IPS acts as a medium for our transactions here in the Downloads section. I didn't know that until recently. We have some amazing developers and unlike the competition, they aren't trying to overcharge you(In my opinion) for features the software lacks and they know people want.

-Themes

IPB themes don't all look alik. Nuff said ;)

-Our Community

Lastly, I love the community  here. I do think sometimes people blow things out of proportion and I do think there are a lot of egos and know it all. But having used the competition, I really don't feel like I have to 'prove' anything because it's all a pretty good unit. We fight/debate but it comes from a good place and it does allow change to happen(Check the feature plan).

I've tried the competition and I gotta say....it's severely overrated and don't buy into the hype. IPS may not always get it right the first time and they do make some rather questionable choices but they usually do get it right in the end and it is a company/product I can support.

-Micah

 

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I agree with everyone else here, their support is great; even for a small company. I'm running RC5a as my main forum at this point, and just a few hours ago they finished up a support ticket for me which helped them identify an issue and is being corrected in the next revision. Very few companies would personally support someone using a pre-gold build as their frontend, never mind small ones such as IPS. Very friendly.

In terms of the application itself, what can I say, it just works. I purchased my license in June 2013. I was in love with the admin control panel in 3, and I think 4 is even better. Very simply laid out and easy to navigate. I never gave Xenforo (their website needs upgrading, which speaks nothing of the application but is still a deterring factor) or Vbulletin (I heard a lot of talk that vb4 was a disappointment built off the old platform and vb5 was a disaster all over) a chance. Honestly, from my experiences with IPS so far I'm glad I didn't. IPS 4 definitely has a little ways to go (performance/speed being the real issue for some), and IPS themselves could even improve in certain ways (changelogs, they make people feel comfortable :P); but these are drops in a barrel when it comes to the other great things IPS does/will provide!

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Service.

That's the number one reason. I also use it because I find it to be a generally better forum (lets not forget, we all pretty much have it for the forum and IPS will or at least shouldn't forget what got them to where they are). I also have it because the community here is helpful (just like other competitor forums). However, the integration of the suite is what is the killer.

I don't agree with suite wide automatic post incrementation for example but I understand why it has been implemented this way, I don't agree with the followers system but understand the reason for switching from friends (just think not a lot of thought went into it, other than we need to change it from friends). Although some of the implementation of V4 isn't what I would ideally like, it doesn't mean that it will exist this way forever or that an addon won't come out for it.

Bottom line, IPB is simply better than what the competitors offer (for me anyway).

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I am ashamed to say how long I have been a client, then I remember how old I am -.-

But I like it because it is simple enough for an amateur to use, still enough complex to keep me interested and learn new things. It looks better than other boards. Something modern with every release. They solved most of the issues I had with board. 

And community, this one I mean, people here really help a lot. Can't count the times I sent somebody a message and they helped me out. Dmacleo, Mur, Kirito, Mercher, Ahmad El-Oukly, RedEnzian, etc... Can't count them all now, but if I had to pick one reason, this is the one.

Edit: Also, I think IPS owes me something. If it wasn't good, I would have given up on boards like 5 years ago and have a normal life. Now, after work, I come here or spend time on my board. It made me a social retard. For example, if I go out and meet men, and say words like "board, php, server, IPB" or anything like that, you know what happens? They run away. So before I am 30, and that is soon, I think it would be fair if one of you guys comes here, goes with me to my mother's place so I can say "here, a man, happy?". Think that is the least you can do.

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I believe IPB is with some configuration the best classic styled forum. 

I like Discourse's digest emails and community moderation a lot, XenForo's notification system, but IPB is the only software that seems complete and can be configured to get close to these systems. 

 

I am yet to see what IPB4 shapes up to be, but IPB3 for me only really lacked in two areas, the mod community (high prices for simple mods, lacking some mods and integrations that would make sense) and user engagement (IPB3, especially unconfigured, really lags in trying to get people to post. It makes an assumption people come to the forum to find things to post on - opposed to showcasing good content, sending out digests, or automatically notifying people of anything they may be interested in). The latter can be largely countered with good configuration, the first I am hoping for IPB4 to fix.

 

Tl;dr, I think IPB is the most complete system. I do love the support, they're terrific folks. 

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A client using wordpress needed a simple elegant easy to use calendar for there school. There were using a known Wordpress calender plugin (The Event Calendar) but they where not happy with it and had some issues. 

I show them ip.calendar and they were so impressed with it that they bought IP.Board just because of the calendar module. They do not use the forum module at all, they use just the IP.Calendar and are very happy with it :)

http://elcaminodelamagia.com/foro/index.php?/calendar/

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  • 1 year later...

While I don't always agree that IPS takes some of the really important ideas on board, I'm fully prepared to accept that sometimes it's because I think my ideas are really good and "why the hell don't you listen to me?" ^_^.  I say this as someone who really used to be in to coding and software but now has no time (as an academic completing a PhD in English), and probably still has this somewhat outdated idea of how easy (or difficult) things are to implement, alas.

For my part, I've been an IPB license holder since 2008 when I started grad school.  Never looked back since, never really looked seriously in to the competition.  I've visited Xenforo's site a few times, thought yeah, there are a few little bells and whistles that IPB should adopt someday, but in terms of overall functionality I didn't see anything that would be a gamechanger in terms of switching platforms, which would take a lot of time and energy I could spend writing and researching.

As far as the customer support goes: in general I think it's great.  They put up with all the n00b questions I ask which I would never have asked if I had time to still be in to the whole software thing.  The only thing I sometimes lament is a consistently updated software guide that actually makes users (especially new users) aware of all the cool things they can do with the Invision CMS.

So as an academic nerd, count me in for the duration. :)

Edited by liquidfractal
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5 minutes ago, liquidfractal said:

While I don't always agree that IPS takes some of the really important ideas on board, I'm fully prepared to accept that sometimes it's because I think my ideas are really good and "why the hell don't you listen to me?"

We all have this problem :)

@Lindy hit the nail on the head:

Quote

Unfortunately, just like clients, nobody at IPS always gets what they want 100% of the time. We build things for the collective. :)

 

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There were two reasons for me and they played a role in my delaying my project for over a year whilst awaiting the arrival of IPS4:

Internationalization

My site absolutely must be in two languages. The IPS team has gone to great lengths to make this relatively painless. In my opinion this can't ever be absolutely perfect unless straight one-for-one translation is offered but IPS4 does a very good job.

Joined-up apps

I wanted a bit of everything and if I'd gone with Joomla or Wordpress (both of which I was familiar with), I would forever have been buying plugins and hoping that they didn't stop working when something in one part is changed. And I would've been going nuts that the different elements would've looked different, as though they weren't parts of the same site. IPS4 offers this functionality from the same user accounts within the same page wrapper. Perfect.

And there are elements that I wasn't aware of at the time which reinforce my decision. Support has proven to be an essential, cheap feature, and I love the fact that even a total novice like me can customise themes and databases.

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14 hours ago, Daniel F said:

 

@Lindy hit the nail on the head:

Quote

Unfortunately, just like clients, nobody at IPS always gets what they want 100% of the time. We build things for the collective. :)

 

Yeah, this is a simple point that cannot be repeated enough.  I know I'm in an uberniche where only a few people (if any others) tread with this software, and I have my academic nerd pipe dreams (i.e. a native, fully-formed PDF annotator which allows for group editing permissions and revision tracking :drool:), but IPB has never let me down in terms of what I want to do with my website.  More often than not it's a matter of me having to discover (or rediscover) what it can already do and sometimes thinking those functions creatively.  IPB is really easy to use, and the more challenging aspects of site-creation through the AdminCP (modifying themes etc) wake the dormant code nerd in me out of its slumber, so it's all good.

Last time I was on Xenforo I was reading this debate on "VBulletin vs. IPB vs. Xenforo" (there are a few of them around) and someone actually made the comment that IPB was inferior because it "wasn't a finished product" (?!?!).  I don't even know what that means...no one should issue patches or updates?  Develop new apps or plugins? >_<

Edited by liquidfractal
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I mainly decided to use IPB for its philosophy of not only providing a forum but a set of integrated applications. I am building an e-commerce and crowdfunding site, where 2 or 3 face-to-face events per month will be held, so I made an excellent choice of software, especially when I observe the great advances that will bring IPB 4.2 :thumbsup:

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