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SMF to vBulletin: Some questions

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  • SMF to vBulletin: Some questions

    Hello to all, this is my first post here...
    I currently have SMF at my site and I am thinking of moving to vBulletin as it has always been something I dreamed
    I am quite sceptical though, considering the fact that I'm a university student so my monthly income is not much and I already have to pay for the hosting.
    Here are my questions:
    1. I ran the vb_test.php and it it reads pass to everything exept for safe_mode and magic_quotes_gpc. What should I do? I don't want to pay such a big (for me) amount of money and not have the full functionality of vBulletin!
    2. I am using Windows-1253 encoding on my site (I'm greek you see...). Will I have any problems with that?
    3. I assume it's legal to make changes at the code after I buy it but I would like an extra assurance from somebody who knows better.
    4. In my current SMF board I have enabled a choice wich displays the last 20 posts at the forum homepage. Is this possible with vB? Because the only vB sites I have seen either don't use such a thing or have only a much uglier one with five last threads, not posts...
    5. Will it be easy for me to make a similar theme to my current one so that it matches? I am using a variation of the YaBB classic theme for SMF.
    6. Ok, lets assume I paid all this money. Should I pay also for modifications or themes that I find on the web or most of them are free for licensed customers?
    7. I'm a little confused with the price. I want to buy a vB version for ever (not for just one year) and one month of phone support maybe. How much should I pay? Notice that I live in Europe and specifically in Greece.
    8. Is it easy to add Karma in vB? In SMF it's a standard feature and my members are very fond of it.
    I hope the answers to all these questions are easy because I really really want to put vB on my site.
    Thank you all in advance.

  • #2
    Hi there:

    Welcome to vBulletin!

    1) For the vb_test results, could you post the exact details on what failed? I don't want to give you a wrong answer . But historically, vB3 doesn't need both safe_mode and magic_quotes_gpc to run.
    2) There shouldn't be any problems with using Windows-1253. vBulletin supports lots of other character sets with no problems.
    3) Yes, vBulletin is visual source and you are allowed to modify the code. Moreover, in vB3.5, it introduces the feature of hook/plugin system which allows you to modify majority of the code without touching a single PHP file.
    4) As for the last 20 or so topics, it's quite possible through the built in RSS/Javascript system. It should help a lot in displaying the last x amount of posts . You can also codehack external.php to make it display the last 20 posts. Anther possibility, checking for a codehack that matches your needs in such an instance.
    5) It should be really easy. If you aren't sure how easy, I strongly recommend signing up for a free admindemo and testing out the style system. A lot of people have nothing but high praises for the style/template management system and the power it holds. You can sample it at
    6) You'll find a mixture of both paid and free resources. Resources found here and at will always be free to licensed customerse. There is potentially a chance a third party will offer a free resource (see, for their cmps system)
    7) vBulletin has two licenses, a leased license and an owned license. The leased license (@85.00 USD) to operate your board for a period of one year, and grants you one year of updates. Thereafter when the year is up, your license expires, and you'll need to remove your board (unless you renew the leased license or get an owned license)

    The other license is an owned license (@$160.00 USD). This license allows you to operate the board for life, and gives you also one year of updates. Once the year of updates has passed, and you desire to download the latest release version that occurs after your free year of updates has passed, you'll need to purchase a download access renewal @30.00 USD. The download access renewal is totally optional and you can pay when you desire to.
    8) Karma is alread a built in feature in vB3. It's better known as user repuitation
    ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
    Director, | Gaming Hosting Administrator,, Urban Online Entertainment


    • #3
      Thanks so much for your replies!

      I have already seen the admin demo otherwise I wouldn't be posting here. But I didn't have time to pay a visit to all it's sections so I probably didn't see the Karma one, especially if it doesn't have that name
      I loved the style manager, in SMF you have to edit the CSS files to make a change to the theme but I didn't look at the details. The main problem is that I want to make it as similar as I can because I don't want the members to see many changes and because I really like that colors, they are very comfortable for the eye. Maybe that's the reason we had 168 memebers in just five weeks that the forum is "open"!
      Are you saying that I will pay only 121 euros ($160) for the owned license? Dunno, it seems too good to be true! Isn't there any "hidden" fees or anything else I have to pay? Because another person told me it's 314 euros!!
      I am also wondering whether it will be easy to import the posts, threads, members and preferences from the SMF board I now use... Because as you can understand it's useless to put vB if this is impossible or needs a lot of programming (I only know the basics of PHP).
      The details of the fails of the vb_test are:
      • magic_quotes_gpc should be off for optimal performance, ask your host to change this in php.ini
      • You may experience problems with uploading files to vBulletin
      Thanks again, I will post here any other questions that come to mind...
      edit: I would also like to know if the update process is easy otherwise I have to wait until 3.5 version is released. Do you have any idea when will it come out?
      also my site is if you would like to see it before you reply
      Last edited by Michelle; Sun 17 Jul '05, 1:41am.


      • #4
        Changing colors would be very easy, for other changes you need to know a litle HTML, in most cases no PHP knowledge is needed for Style changes.

        Yes an owned license will cost you $160, and it will be yours to use forever, no hidden costs. With the owned license you will get 1 year free download of new versions. After that period you can still download the versions that where available during your first year. Security updates will always be released without any costs. If you want to download a version that was released after your year is finished, you can buy another year of new version downloads for $30, which you can start any time you want.

        I doubt that you will need telephone support, because installation is dead easy, and vB got probably the best and fastest online support.

        Like said magic_quotes is merely a performance issue.
        Safe_mode on your server is fully supported by vB, but you can run into occasional up/download issues that you must solve. This is because of restrictions placed by the webserver and has nothing to do with vB itself.
        On both of these configuration issues you could request your host to chnage the php and apache settings.

        Upgrading standard vB is very easy. You will just have to run an upgrade script and will in most cases only take you a few minutes, after uploading the new files. If you have made modifications to the source files your board, it could take you longer, since the modifications will be lost.

        One more note on modifying your board. As long as you don't edit any sources (you are entitled to do so, see also our community at you will receive official support here at by Jelsoft employees. If you have modified your sources, Jelsoft might ask you to restore the original files before giving support.

        PS There is no time set for the official release of 3.5
        Want to take your board beyond the standard vBulletin features?
        Visit the official Member to Member support site for vBulletin Modifications:


        • #5
          wow you type alot of thing!


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