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My community issues IPB to vBulletin

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  • My community issues IPB to vBulletin

    I have a license 1 year license of IPB with which I can use it for lifetime. Despite this as I am to know vBulletin is one of the best softwares out there and I am considering going for vBulletin instead of purchasing a lifetime license for IPB. What are the benefits if I purchase an owned license of IPB? Will the support/upgrade be for life or I will have to pay every year.

    Moreover I noticed in most vBulletin sites the template system is not much to my liking and neither my community members as they complain vBulletin looks too 'rigid and old fashioned'.My community is a teen community so they are a fussy lot. I have no idea if skins could be designed as good as IPB forums (They have some of the best as I used and found on sites). I tried to see if there are some decent skins in but I cannot get previews as I am not allowed.If I could get previews and find a skin/skins which is to my liking then I could have decided.

    Unless I have my queries solved in a week (I have to upgrade IPB license within this time) I might consider IPB as IPB 2.1 looks and feels so good, I have started getting second thoughts about vBulletin after it was relased

  • #2
    I'm assuming you mean purchased an owned license of vBulletin? You get to run the software forever, and have access to new versions / updates for one year, after this time to continue downloading newer versions of vBulletin you will need to renew your download access. You will recive support forever and ever, however, if there comes a time when you are running such an outdated version( for example you were running vB1 now and wanted support) we would have to ask you to upgrade as we no longer support that version.

    Have you tried using the Template system in the admin demo? I've worked with most of the major softwares style systems and to this day I still prefer vBulletins over anyone elses, perhaps because I am used to it. But alot of others, even users who have little to know expirence with html/css can modify the basicly look and feel by only editing a templtae and modifing the colors.


    • #3
      I assume you meant to ask what the benifits would if you bought an owned VB liscence.

      As a webmaster, there are alot of questions you should be asking in regards to any software (forum related or not) that you may be considering for your site. For that matter, these are questions that apply to any purchase you make in life but I digress.

      Some things you may want to ask yourself is how the software (forum related or not) will meet your current needs and is it flexible enough to scale with you over the years as your site, and in this case your community, grows. Aside from the technical aspects, what is the support like? Are the people knowledgable and helpful? What about the company itself - will they be enhancing thier product when issues are discovered and releasing new versions to take advantage of the fast changing technologies of the internet?

      The reason why I mention this is because vbulletin excels in all these areas and thats what sets vbulletin above and apart from both its commercial competition and even open source alternatives.

      Specifically, I see you have a lot of questions regarding styles. I've been very picky about styles for some new projects I have in development on vbulletin sites so I understand where your comming from completely. The VB template system is very robust and in conjustion with the custom CSS you can use, its a very powerful system. The only limit here is ones own knowledge of html and css. In fact, I can say that whatever styles you may have seen for IPB could be done as well on vbulletin.

      If you are a guru at html and css it may also reassure you to know that one of IPB's biggest style designers migrated over to vbulletin and has made comments to the effect that they felt that the vbulletin templating system was far suppior to that of IPB.

      As for free styles that are available, you can see alot of them being demo'd at
      Plan, Do, Check, Act!


      • #4
        Thank you for the quick response. I will have a look at the skins and styles system. Can we control all elemets of vBulletin skinning HTML and CSS from the admin CP ?

        Now my other question is about vBulletin source. I have used the free IPb 1.3 for two years in my community and very recently migrated to paid IPB. I am very familiar with IPB source and modding. I need a lot of mods to run on my board. So if I get a vBulletin I and my programmers have to learn all its dynamics to be able to make the custom mods I need. Is the source (php functions and vars, mySQL query strings) of vBulletin much different in structure from IPB ?

        Third problem is a large proportion my 6000 member community is very used to IPB. To change to vBulletin is a whole new change for them and will the learning curve be very high ?

        Fourth is I have quite a large database of 1.2 GB. I have to convert this in vBulletin format. There are several custom mods and public mods in my IPB which created addtional queries and table in the mySQL database. Will Impex be able to import the database of this size and customisation to vBulletin without errors ? Because I am not in a position to lose out all the posts, members and other information of my community.


        • #5
          Hi Andie,

          Yes all style side editing is done from the admin cp, this include the css manager and the templates which contain the html/javascript code. There are some external .js files stored in the file system, but rarely if ever should you have to modify these just to make a style change.

          The vBulletin source code does things differntly from the ipb source, but they are both coded in php so the learning curve should not be to bad, I've activly worked with both and never had much of a problem. We also have a large community dedcated to modification the software at

          As for the third problem, most forum systems rely on the same basic layout so this should not be much of a problem for your members. You can ofcourse make changes to the style if you feel that would help them find their way around eaiser.

          I imported a slightly modified version of IPB 2.0 before it wen't commercial with little trouble. You should preform this on a test forum with a backup of your ipb database away from the public eye.

          There will be a bit of clean up work that you will have to do before everything is in perfect order again. This is not to say this is a hard process, most of the clean up work is related to setting up your permissions correctly after the import.


          • #6
            I guess it is a very late reply.

            I had a look at some of the skins in and I am to say many of them satisfy my requirements. Since my one year license for IPB is expiring on May 14th and I have no plans to go further, I plan a switch o vBulletin. My forum has a 40 MB database with 50000 posts. Can I convert the database without any problems to vBulletin. Could you please mention the 'clean-up' I will have to do after the conversion. I guess password reset will be one of them. And can I purchase vBulletin via Paypal?


            • #7
              Andie! Welcome back

              Database conversion is completely possible. Use Impex to give you a hand in the importing process.

              PayPal can be used for purchasing vBulletin. Just be sure to have funds in there and you'll instantly get your license. If you need to have an eCheck issued out, it will take about 4-5 business days to clear first and then your license will be issued.

              Clean up is merely the reorganizing of your forums, rebuilding your settings and updating all your stats. It's nothing too complex and should take you minutes to finish and complete
              ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
              Director, | Gaming Hosting Administrator,, Urban Online Entertainment


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