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Possible switch to xenForo

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Nebulon Ranger, Jan 25, 2017.

?

xenForo or nah?

Poll closed Feb 1, 2017.
  1. yeah!

    4 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. nah.

    2 vote(s)
    33.3%
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  1. I've been perusing other forums recently and have noticed a clear patter: most of them use xenForo. What is xenForo, you ask? Well, back in 2009, two of vBulletin's main developers left after the acquisition by Internet Brands and began work on a newer, more modern alternative with more features that would eventually become xenForo.

    Now, you're probably wonder "why switch now after you've been using MyBB for so long?" Truth be told, while I adore MyBB and have a lot of respect for its developers, the upgrade to 1.8 broke a lot of things. Editor weirdness, theme weirdness, etc., and switching to xenForo would clean the slate in that department. In addition, there are a good number of both paid and free addons available for xenForo that simply do not exist for MyBB, such as integration with Discord, a media gallery with in-depth customisation and many more.

    However, the biggest positive for me, aside from its ease of style customisation through the style property system, is that its backend controls are laid out in a more modern way. I've worked with xenForo before, and while it'll surely take some getting used to for the other staff, it's a more modern product with a more logical layout so it won't take long to learn.

    Now, on to the unfortunate-ish part: it is a commercial product. It costs $140 USD. I do, however, have the funds to get us started as of next month. I'd also buy UI.X Dark from the fine folks at ThemeHouse so we could see the return of our old blue/black color scheme.

    So, I ask you, ZEJians: xenForo or nah?
     
  2. For posterity, Dark has set us up with a demo version of xenForo for those of us who haven't experienced the software to play with. It will only last for three days, but it should be a nice introduction!

    Go here for the test forums
     
  3. If anyone wants to help me fund the transition, use my paypal.me link: http://paypal.me/KevinReay
     
  4. I haven't voted in the poll yet because I don't have strong feelings one way or the other.

    On the one hand, I am very content with our current setup on MyBB. It's a good piece of software; we're all pretty comfortable here. I have no problem with sticking with what we know at this point in time; a sentiment which I feel several of our members probably echo. MyBB may not be perfect, but it doesn't require us (namely Dark, but special shoutouts to Cerby also for sending some money over to him) to shell out $140+ for it.

    With that said, I also don't have much of an issue with us moving over to xenForo either. From my limited experience with it, the editor seems like a functional version of the WYSIWYG editor we had been running before. Dark has expressed multiple times that he would be much happier working with the xF backend, and as our tech admin I feel like his opinion is certainly one to take into special account on this decision. Dark said that we won't be losing any of ZEJ's posts in the transition, and that we would be getting a nice amount of extra features. The mobile interface seems pretty nice as well, which is a plus. I would also be happy to chip a couple bucks into the transition, if we do decide to go down that route.

    In the end, it really comes down to what the general populace is happy with. So far, as Cerby said at one point in Discord, a transition to xenForo "seems like nothing but buffs." If everyone is content with that decision, then I think we may as well go for it, as Dark has been advocating for it for a little while.

    @Gold Dullahan - I know you mentioned on Discord, briefly, that you didn't love xenForo's interface when you were joining Storyteller's Circle. Could you speak a little more to that in here? I feel like having some alternate positions in this thread would be worthwhile when measuring our decision.

    @Nebulon Ranger - Maybe we could put a deadline on the poll, so that people feel somewhat more compelled to vote and/or post their opinions. Say, next Wednesday? One week is probably enough time.
     
  5. @"Nebulon Ranger" I trust your opinion and will happily support a switch. I am going to wait to cast my yes vote as I have no experience using xenForo and would love to read some opinions of others who have used it first. But overall at this point it is a yes from me!
     
  6. Okay, so we're doing next Wednesday as the absolute deadline, right? I know @"Eebit" mentioned as much here and on Discord since I'd received a notification stating as much, but just wanted to know here if that was agreed upon so that way people who are letting it stew have a good ballpark of when they'll ultimately cast their vote.

    Weirdly enough, checking out xenForo for myself, it looks a lot like something we would have made using the old myBB even just from an interface standpoint. I'm curious as per where @"Gold Dullahan" is coming from with her assessment kind-of against this design, as well, since- from a very superficial skim-through, mind you -to me, I kinda like it. Personally, I think that if Dark is liking what we're setting up for with xenForo enough to even propose to foot the bill for it so that he could more comfortably work with its Admin CP when helping ZEJ thrive to be up to its best performance at any given moment, then that alone is more than enough to support a switch to xenForo. Like Krista, however, since my personal experience with the product is quite low, I'll let it stew in my mind for a bit and hope to see some alternate opinion to my own posted here. If push comes to shove and we're nearing next Wednesday without any opposition to think over, I'll hop on and give it a yes.
     
  7. I've already voted in the poll, and I've put yes, for all the same reasons as everyone else so far. Dark's our grand ol' tech guy, and we love him.

    [​IMG]

    Re: Storyteller's Circle's design, this is the forum and my comments:
    [​IMG]

    Now i'm fairly certain these are just theme things, so don't consider these arguments against xF. I'm not a fan of the logo bar being so small. The big sign-up now buttons looks like a fake ad. I don't like that the top of the "staff online" doesn't align with the top of the box— the line above the first forum header ("Community"). I honestly don't know why, but everything feels too stretched out horizontally on STC. Not a fan of that navigation bar.
     
  8. So, given we have just over two hours to go until the poll closes and xenForo is still firmly in the lead, I think it's safe for everyone to start throwing money at me now.

    I aim to raise upwards of $80 CAD to help me cover the initial license fee. Everyone who throws some funds my way via the paypal link will get a Supporter banner on the new forums!
     
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