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How different will 4.1 be from 4.04? Need Answers.

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  • [Forum] How different will 4.1 be from 4.04? Need Answers.

    Hi guys... it has been a while since I've posted. I'm still using 3.8.x on most of my sites since moving them over was too tedious until the code base stabilized. But now I have a serious and significant decision to make. I am going to be integrating several software packages and one of them is vBulletin. This will also including a custom theme/skin.

    I really don't want to have to reintegrate the entire site again. I'd rather do it just once. What concerns me is that I keep hearing that 4.0.x still has so many things that need to be worked out, that 4.1 will be a very good version but it will also practically rewrite much of the existing codebase out of necessity. Case in point are styles. Virtually every professional vBulletin designer has ceased all vBulletin design and is not/will not update their themes/templates/skins until a change is made to the existing style system. This isn't opinion, it's fact and I won't name the 4 major players I've been buying themes from for years who have decided that it's too much trouble. So will 4.1 need a graphic designer to redo our custom theme? If it needs to happen then it needs to happen but I need to know!

    What about the rest of vBulletin 4? The plugins system? How different will this be? How different is the login system anticipated to be - I'd hate to have problems with integration issues. Right now integration of vBulletin 3 with any script is beastly. How difficult is vb 4? Is it the same challenge? Better? Worse?

    The truth is that I also need a significant understanding of the general benefits of upgrading and how vBulletin 4 is an improvement over vBulletin 3. I don't need blogs at all nor do I need the CMS - I've invested in something else that is advanced and very indexed. How about the user profile system? Is it more flexible to add different fields? How easy is that to style? I'd like my users to have something more than the awkward and minimally useful vB 3 profiles. Are there any other extras? A better download/file system?

    Regarding SEO, I've heard the new SEO is so-so. I haven't bought vbseo and am reluctant to do so and certainly won't use it on vb 3 unless I plan to keep those sites on that software indefinitely.

    Any and all comments would be greatly appreciated, especially those who have upgraded forums with greater than 75K profiles and over 100K posts.
    My law forum, lawyers and legal help site

  • #2
    vBulletin 4.1 will be totally bug free, it will run excruciatingly fast, have all the features we've been asking for and dreaming of and a knock-out design that is easy to customize. Stylevars will be easy to understand and be laid out in a logical fashion. The CMS will be completely customizable and easy to use and understand. Custom pages will be easy to create, with simple drag & drop and WYSIWYG functionality. Social networking will be integrated and work perfectly.

    I can dream, can't I?

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    • #3
      They haven't nailed down the QA process. The last I heard, they are going from 4.0.4 to 4.1. If you are on 3.8, check back in when 4.1.5 is out.
      Plan, Do, Check, Act!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Reeve of Shinra View Post
        They haven't nailed down the QA process. The last I heard, they are going from 4.0.4 to 4.1. If you are on 3.8, check back in when 4.1.5 is out.
        Wow... you are far from the only person to say this. I've posted this question at one or two other popular places and the answer from those who switched seems unanimous - that I should wait until next year to start thinking about making the switch, if ever.

        I came here with the hope of hearing that someone with a big board and positive experience upgrading to version 4 (other than DigitalPoint, I don't recall seeing anyone move.) After all, this is the place where more pro VB 4 licenseholders would be. We're going on 10 months since I was given my two weeks notice to pay for vBulletin 4. This is rather discouraging. I've got some major integration work to do and it seems the choice is really vB3 or something else.
        My law forum, lawyers and legal help site

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        • #5
          4.x is perfectly usable and worthy off upgrade. Anyone who comments on the SEO aspects, that one I will happily go toe to toe with them. The SEO development off 4.x is exceptional. You need VBSEO with 3.x, not with 4.x. You only need one small addition at $30 to 4.x, being to target long tail traffic. If you use VBSEO for other features, then sure... otherwise, not a requirement for 4.x to obtain search friendliness. Out of the box... SEO is 98% solved.

          Yes, it still has some bugs. Nothing that isn't quickly ironed out for the most part. 4.0.4 offers some significant improvements over past version, as performance is now corrected, FB graph protocol implemented, ability to create static pages.

          I believe profile customisation is in 4.1, along with CMS GUI upgrading, obvious bug fixes and it has been said that the stylevars will be rebuilt for 4.1. Saying that, it has also been stated that the upgrade will allow current customisations be transferred into the new stylevars automatically via merge, so it would be a minority / zero styling issues after upgrade due to built-in conversion. Being a realist, I would expect a few minor tweaks having to be made to my own custom design, but nothing that I worry about, as past merge has seemed to work effectively with only having to manually migrate one or two templates each upgrade. I have found a border or such that had changed a stylevar, so I had to locate and style it, but nothing serious yet.

          Yes, it is harder than it should be... The CMS is easy to modify and customise, being the new code. So the sooner they get the forum and blog to the same new code, the better. Customising 3.x was still a lengthy process... 4.x at the moment is a little more lengthy... I am referring to actual customising, not just modifying via the ACP CSS panel for colours and a couple off backgrounds, but writing custom CSS and XHTML.

          Honestly, upgrade now or upgrade later, here nor there to be perfectly honest. There are other big boards who have upgraded by the way, not just digitalpoint. I have seen them posted around here... there are quite a few actually.

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          • #6
            Anthony - thank you for your response. Respectfully, what is the basis for your opinion? I looked at your forum and notice there is very little activity. I'm not trying to knock you but I'm hoping to find positive experience from active forum owners who have converted their large boards. Right now I'm having a difficult time finding those people. Many said that fixing several hundred bugs in 4.04 was good but it also exposed numerous more. They said wait at least until 4.1, which seems to be a long way off itself and still I don't know what that feature set may be as well.

            I need to know whether to upgrade now. This is because I am not going to pour several thousand dollars into integrating a forum to do it all over again after a short period of time. But that said, I don't care to use 4.0.4 if, as I'm told, it can cause a serious time drain.
            My law forum, lawyers and legal help site

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            • #7
              That one in my link is only a new one, my main one has 150k posts, about 200 online average, 60k monthly traffic. Not large, not tiny, about average size I would say. I am not upgrading my main forum to 4.0.4 as it uses 4.0.3 extremely stable and usable, out of the box and the only feature I want from 04 is FB, though it doesn't work with private fields, so I am waiting until that is resolved. My 03 has Shawns performance improvements installed which make it pretty speedy even during busy times with 400 - 500 online.

              Ok... if your talking about the change costing you thousands, then I may concur that you are better off to wait until 4.1. The sole reason I would agree with that, is only due to the cost and I know the style system is changing. How drastically, none of us know. Could be minor tweaks for usability, could be a total rewrite. Your guess is as good as mine, and as good as the next persons. At some point, if you "want" to upgrade, you have to upgrade, and choosing that point is really your decision. My viewpoint is this. Even if you wait until 4.1, then your still going to want too upgrade to further versions... so again, you still end-up at the same point, being you have to simply make a decision on when to upgrade and at what release. Most of the people who are committed to 3.x, honestly, many seem disgruntled more with IB or loyal to past developers being their motive to not upgrade, as the majority haven't used the product beyond a test install.

              Your using it right now... so make your decision based on what you are using, not what people are saying. That's what I did. Minor issues are easily fixed... simple as that.

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              • #8
                anthony - Thanks for your honest reply. I appreciate that you are using 4.x and told me your experience. Perhaps it is best to move to the framework now as updating the rest will be minimal later as opposed to having to do an entire overhaul. As for the stylesheet, I will guess that IB will need to have some method of being able to do an easier conversion or there will be hell to pay. I have to make a decision to integrate something and there is no question that 3x. to 4.x will likely be a bigger deal than it is now. Truth is I like the way profiles look much more than in 3.x, which is a disaster in that regard.

                I am not familiar with Shawn's performance improvements and perhaps you can point me in the right direction.

                I'm wondering if there aren't any more people with a good experience here. We'll see who turns up over the course of a day or two or I'll begin to wonder whether upgraders are seriously in the minority. While I need to make a decision for myself, those numbers do speak for experience too and I need to consider them. Thanks again.

                -----------------------

                Perhaps I stand corrected. I found this post, which is exactly the kind of thing that makes me wonder about the wisdom of ever going to version 4. I'm going to need to test this quickly. The issue with the number of queries is not trivial, especially when you have a good sized active site. I guess Shawn you mean whomever is running Digital Point. Truth is that the old Jelsoft was darn great about having the software stable. They took a LONG time to get out version 3 and didn't have a presale. They decided they'd take money as soon as they were ready to put out something worth selling and they sure as heck did.

                ----
                Hmm I still cant upgrade to version 4 when there are 2057 unresolved issues, and thirdparty forums (digitalpoint) are having to release a patch to bring down the number of queries. Please advise when we can expect vBulletin to be back to how it was. In the days of Kier and Co, the issue tracker never hit more than 10 issues that werent being worked on, even for a new release. This is very concerning, especially since your budget and staff is much bigger than Jelsofts was. Please let us know, by responding here. No response = avoidance.
                Last edited by slinky; Wed 30th Jun '10, 5:01am.
                My law forum, lawyers and legal help site

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                • #9
                  You can find the article on optimizing vb4 here:
                  http://articles.digitalpoint.com/con...ze-vBulletin-4

                  You may also be interested in this thread:
                  Whats is your average Page Generation Time? (vB4)

                  I think the queries on the CMS could be a lot lower especially when I compare it to vbadvanced's CMPS. Despite the backend differences on the front end (content.php), its just pulling info and showing it to users / no more no less. Thankfully the forum component is relatively the same as far as query count goes.
                  Plan, Do, Check, Act!

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                  • #10
                    To be quite honest... this post is embarrassing to vBulletin. Why these optimizations aren't in the product almost 10 months post presale is staggering. I'm not about to start cutting up the core product and messing around... yeeesh. I don't use vBadvanced CMS. I won't even use vBulletin's CMS which won't cut it for a long time.

                    This is sad. The more I read the more my choices are (a) stay with 3.8.5 and never switch or (b) switch to an entirely new forum. Version 4 looks like it won't be done before the next presale next year. Thanks guys, much appreciated.
                    My law forum, lawyers and legal help site

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                    • #11
                      Question: If I put my own skin to my vb CMS. Will I have problems with every new version upgrade?
                      Like from 4.0.2 to 4.03 for example?
                      People ask me why I don't like rats. Sorry, I'm not giving you the answer

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ChaFF View Post
                        Question: If I put my own skin to my vb CMS. Will I have problems with every new version upgrade?
                        Like from 4.0.2 to 4.03 for example?
                        This is exactly the reasonable question I'm asking that the team seems not willing or just unable to answer at this late date. I'm investing in the future and can't get where I need to be.
                        My law forum, lawyers and legal help site

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by anthonyparsons View Post
                          4.x is perfectly usable and worthy off upgrade. Anyone who comments on the SEO aspects, that one I will happily go toe to toe with them. The SEO development off 4.x is exceptional. You need VBSEO with 3.x, not with 4.x. You only need one small addition at $30 to 4.x, being to target long tail traffic. If you use VBSEO for other features, then sure... otherwise, not a requirement for 4.x to obtain search friendliness. Out of the box... SEO is 98% solved.
                          Anthony, can you expand on this further? You got my attention with that post. What is the addition and why is vb not good for long tail traffic?
                          Canadian Bodybuilding | Supplement Reviews

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                          • #14
                            you can now upgrade to vb4. 4,04 works well..
                            MobilePhoneTalk.Com - Mobile Phone Community Powered By EuroVPS.Com

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                            • #15
                              http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=234192

                              Longtail traffic is basically the skewed phrases that may be partially relevant to your site, though many will not be relevant, though captured for traffic purposes only. Say a page for a search phrase "blue red purple kindle olive color" ranks on page 3 of Google all by itself. So it has some relevancy to the page content, but sits on page 3 and is likely rarely searched. When you capture longtail, you use a method to capture that phrase and feed it to search engines when that page is spidered. The search engine finds that phrase exactly now, and the more than likely event is that your page now sitting on page 3 will move to page 1, position 1 - 3 hopefully.

                              Longtail traffic is something that brings that little extra traffic, though typically also increases your bounce rate and may even water other key phrases down depending on reach. I always encourage people to usually try it... if it doesn't work, remove it. If you like it, then continue using it. Apart from niceties that VBSEO offers, this is about the only real SEO aspect of direct traffic importance it offers, which can be purchased for a fraction of the cost or downloaded free using the free version, which still captures all longtail traffic.

                              VB out of the box has the capacity to capture pretty much all standard SEO aspects, spiderability, etc... just not longtail traffic. VBSEO has some nice features, though they are not essential to building traffic, ie. URL to thread title conversion is nice to display the thread title when an internal URL is posted, automatically, but isn't going to do a great deal traffic wise as Google doesn't give weight to all those old tactics nowadays. If your internal link structure passes from page to page, that is all Google cares about for spidering, not whether it now used keyword terms in an attempt to manipulate their results. Google puts weight on internal links, and they come with there own entire set of aspects. Each page when linked internally is taken on its own merits, not how many links internally point to the page or whether it has phrase text. Google look at the page content, page titles, etc, for everything internal nowadays. That is where longtail leads get delivered, ie. a phrase at the bottom of the page or dynamically fed to search spiders.

                              I posted a basic tutorial at http://www.nocostinstall.com/content...al-Performance for the basic setup & SEO aspects for a vb install.

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