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vBulletin 4.0 upgrade cost vs. switching to IPB

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Sledgstone

6,131 views

*blogging my VB vs. IPB crap for future reference*

________________________________

vBulletin = FAIL

[ame=http://forums.ancientclan.com/showthread.php?t=9752"]vBulletin = FAIL - Ancient Clan Forums[/ame]

Here is the email I received from vbulletin:

Quote

We hope your community is enjoying the flexibility and power of vBulletin™. As always, our goal is to offer a great product at a great price, and we are dedicated to helping you build and grow successful online communities.

Over the last 12 months, we have been building vBulletin 4.0 to be the most powerful forum and social publishing software. Today, we are proud to introduce the new vBulletin 4.0 Publishing Suite product that includes the power of the vBulletin 4.0 Forums with a seamlessly integrated content management system (CMS) and blogging platform.

As a preferred customer with an active license, we are excited to offer the vBulletin Publishing Suite at a pre-sale discount price of only $130 (over 50% off regular price). This is a truly limited one-time special offer giving you $120 off the upgrade price but will expire on Friday October 30, 2009.

Learn more about vBulletin Publishing Suite features and pricing on our new website: http://www.vbulletin.com/

Beginning today, we are introducing new a license structure. vBulletin is changing to a one-time owned license fee for each major point release. That means no more annual renewal fees. Once you purchase a major point version, you’ll receive maintenance, security and minor point releases for the life of 4.x.

You have the option to keep your current active license until it expires (according to the 12 month term and conditions). For the remainder of your active license, you will continue to receive support and have access to forum software updates, including vBulletin 4.0 Forums. Once your license expires you will only be able to access the 4 Series software updates by switching to the new one-time owned license. For more information, visit the vBulletin FAQ.

Over the last 10 years, our products have offered an exceptional value and we look forward to bringing you the best and keeping you as a loyal customer. Our team is expanding in number and expertise in order to develop more innovative features and to deliver them faster. We are investing in exciting development areas such as new products and services for 'Big Boards' and mobile applications and look forward to helping you grow your community.

Sincerely,

The vBulletin Team

The vbulletin team announced that vBulletin 4.0 would come out by the end of June 2009. It is October 14th today and with an announcement like this and a new website, you would think vbulletin 4.0 has finally been released! But no! It is still in alpha testing, there is no demo available and I have been given the opportunity to purchase the upgrade to the suite for the $130 discount for only 16-17 more days. And they still have not announced when the vb 4.0 version will even come out.

And even though I bought the blog add-on for $50 a year ago, I get the same discount price as someone who only owns just the forum license. wtf.

When my license support renewal is up, which last year would have costed me $40 for updates, will now cost me $195 for the new license if I haven't paid the $130 or more by then to download vbulletin 4.0 which may still not be out by then considering they are 4 months behind schedule with no product.

So. We will probably continue running vb 3.8 until we find another alternative or vbulletin changes their pricing structure (which I'm sure they won't). I wouldn't mind paying for new forum software, we've spent plenty on vb over the years with renewal costs and one time purchases. But I can't justify staying with the company because of the part I have put in bold above.

If we use just the forums and pay the initial upgrade price of $195 or so in january and switch to a free blog system because the version we have won't be compatible with vb 4.0... we'll still be stuck with another issue. Once vb 5.0 comes out (which should be 12-18 months according to a staff member), we'll have to buy a brand new vbulletin license for version 5 at the full price of another $195. And assuming a new major release then comes out every 1 or 2 years, it'll be hundreds of dollars every year or two just to keep using this software that still doesn't do everything I want it to do.

I'm really starting to hate vbulletin. If I want to stay with this forum software, the only way I'll save money is by paying the cheaper upgrade cost of $130 which gives me the entire suite, but I only have 16 days to make my decision or pay $200 in January and only get the forum software.

WTF!

Anyone have any forum or blog recommendations? I was thinking about invision power board, but they're in the process of releasing a new cms like system and I don't know if that will be bundled in with their current suite. But even ipb is $250 for the suite with $60 renewal costs. But even that price is better than the new vbulletin price structure. Apparently, I have to make a decision within 16 days. *kicks vB in the balls*


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[ame=http://forums.ancientclan.com/showthread.php?t=9770]Invision Power Board - Ancient Clan Forums[/ame]

We may be switching to Invision Power Board within the next couple weeks (maybe even this weekend). If you have never been on an IPB powered forum before, check the following website:

http://community.invisionpower.com/index.php?

If we switch over to IPB, we'll be using their IPB version 3 (the newest version).

Here is their blurb about the new features, etc. about version 3:

http://www.invisionpower.com/products/board/features/lookandfeel.php

If we switch to this software, we should be able to convert everything over. We'll loose some features but gain many more. Some of the things we'll loose off hand are the following:

- Chatbox (they have a different version, but I don't think its available for version 3 yet)

- Arcade (The arcade is being converted to the new version. I'm guessing it'll be another couple weeks or a month until its released.)

- Post Thanks (Last I heard, it is being converted to a ipb mod at this time.)

Other than that, we'll have a new blog system which for some reason doesn't have categories, but features multiple blogs per user. I have to look into this one some more. O_O Also, instead of profile albums, we'll have a full gallery script. All our current album pictures should convert over as well.

We're still at a cross-roads about what we'll do. Unless vbulletin pulls some major move in customer service or public relations (which I doubt), we'll end up switching to IPB and probably sell our vbulletin license.

I've looked all over the free forum solutions, smf, phpbb, but none of them offer everything we need. Also, burning board and some other paid forums don't have enough features. Gah, damn vb for being sellouts.

So, does anyone here like IPB? ^_^:

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[ame=http://forums.ancientclan.com/showthread.php?t=9790]IPB vs. vB - Ancient Clan Forums[/ame]

Argh. I figured I'd share this blurb with everyone because it will vastly impact the functionality of our forum.

After carefully going over both invision power board and vbulletin, both are definitely two very different pieces of software. In terms of price, over a 3 year period both will cost us about the same, but with different functionality.

The pros of ipb are the following:

- Support there seems nicer to their community

- They actively work on their software

- They have more than one basic theme

- Their pm system is drastically improved over vbulletin

- They have an official gallery

Cons of ipb:

- Their gallery is not impressive

- In comparison to vbulletin, their reputation system is non-existent

- Their blogs cannot be categorized.

- Their permission settings seem inferior to vb's.

- Their mod community is noticeably smaller compared to vb's and seem to focus more on paid modifications.

- If their import script doesn't work, I'd have to pay them $60 to get our stuff transferred.

- Their facebook connect feature is very very basic and is only good for registering new facebook members.

Pros of vb:

- I know their coding, and I'm used to modifying it myself.

- Alot of basic functionality that we are used to now is still there (ipb is missing quite a few basic things that would drive me mad.)

- vB has almost all new developers, which I'm actually glad for because the software has been pretty stagnant for about a year now.

- The initial cost of vb 4 is cheaper for me over switching to ipb.

- vb will now include a CMS package.

- Their mod community is pretty damn big.

Cons of vb:

- This whole bullshit, 'buy this product right now crap or be screwed.'

- They have let basic feature requests go ignored for almost a year. (but they have new developers now.)

- They are heavily modding their forums to look cheerful and pleasant when they pissed off alot of people.

- Their album gallery functionality needs alot of work, (but it doesn't cost extra).

- We have no idea when vb 5 will actually be released. If its an earlier than 2-3 years, I'll feel a bit ripped off.

So wtf. Both of the forum packages seem like good pieces of software. But, we're pretty broke and I think we might end up having to go with vb after all, because its the cheaper of the two up front costs. Also, ipb's admin panel and functionality looks like a mess compared to what I'm used to with vb.

Someone stab me. :bleedout:

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I've noticed that this blog entry keeps getting random views so I felt like I should update it. This blog post was made back in October of 2009.. and in November of 2009 we decided to stick with vbulletin as described here:
 
http://www.ancientclan.com/topic/9851-were-going-with-vbulletin/
 
In hindsight it was the worst mistake I have ever made for this website. vBulletin was a failed product and their quick "give me your money and take no time to think about it" really screwed me and all these years later I have a great resentment for vBulletin and their product.
 
June 2010
 
After vBulletin finally released version 4.0.4.. Four releases after their gold release I thought we would finally have a stable product.. but no..
 
http://www.ancientclan.com/topic/10328-vbulletin-4-possible-upgrade-to-ac/
 
July 2011
 
An entire year later and vBulletin 4 was still not a viable option for our conversion from vBulletin 3:
 
http://www.ancientclan.com/topic/11373-vbulletin-4-progress/
 
 
Sep 2012
 
Another year later...
 

So... vBulletin finally released vb 4.2 a few months ago and it was finally a fully stable version with many bugs fixed.. so I was going to finally upgrade AC to the newest version after what, 3 years? But just as I'm about to do the work on a few themes and get the ball moving, I see where they announced "vBulletin 5 Connect" and they want people to pre-order it now even tho its in beta and it will eventually be a useable stable product. It took them 3 years to make vb4 a fully stable product, which they will now stop improving because all development will go towards the new version 5. Check out the new demo of vb5:

 
http://www.ancientclan.com/topic/12381-vbulletin-5-connect-we-will-not-be-using-it/
 
December 2012
 
I finally decided to ditch vBulletin.. 3 years later they finally make a product that can actually import the blog attachments so a full conversion from vB 3.8 can finally be upgraded fully without errors and they announce that vBulletin 5 will be out soon which means they'll stop supporting vB4 in the near future.. I owned the software for 3 years and I was never able to use it on a live site because it would not meet the criteria I wanted. I should have been using IPB for over 3 years now.
 

This is a major announcement about our community.. We are finally ditching vBulletin! We will be switching to Invision Power Board software. We should retain all posts, post counts, albums, private messages, etc. Expect major changes with the overall site. We will be turning ancientclan.com into an actual website again. But it will not be anime based. We have had a good run as an anime site, but its time for us to move away from that specific genre and move towards a more general entertainment website focusing more on movies, television series, video games, anime, things that interest us, etc.

 
http://www.ancientclan.com/topic/12441-upgrading-to-invision-power-board/
 
December 2012
 
In December of last year we made the switch and everything has been great since.
 

Welcome to Ancient Clan! We are almost finished with the foundation of our new site. We are now running invision power software. Our forums converted fine, but we ran into some issues with the blogs and user albums. There are a couple IPB staff members that are looking into this issue for us still. Unfortunately, we will have to keep those two sections offline until we get this issue taken care of.

 
http://www.ancientclan.com/topic/12451-ac-welcome-to-the-new-ancient-clan/

 

Long story short, don't bother using vBulletin. They used to be the best forum software out there.. but now its pointless. By the time they have vB 5 working good, vB 6 will go on sale. I'm not interested in dropping over $200 every 3 years.. I'd rather pay the initial up front cost of IPB and renew the license when I feel like upgrading it. IPB's ticket support is great.

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