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  • Comparison Between vBulletin 3.5 and IPB 2.1

    I am very interested in both vBulletin and Invision Power Board. However, I can only choose one and thus require your opinions on these topics so I can see which one suits my needs better. I understand that this is a vBulletin board, but this is all the reason to say why vBulletin is better. As of my current standpoint, I am leaning towards vBulletin 3.5, but am unsure.

    1- Skinning
    In terms of Skinning, which one do you feel has the best skinnablility? Is it easier to skin with IPB or vBulletin? Why?

    2- Management
    I personally tried out the demos of IPB 2.1 Admin Panel and the vBulletin's demo. However, I noticed that IPB's seems to be much more professional than vBulletin and had a much cleaner feel. vBulletin's Admin Control Panel seemed to be a bit sour for my taste. Is there a way to change the style of the skin in vBulletin?

    3- Modding
    Both IPB 2.1 and vBulletin seem to have pretty good mods. Which one has more? Is it easier to mod with IPB or vBulletin?

    4- Features
    Both software are chock filled with features, so many that some people call a few of them "bloatware". But which one has the most features? Are the features in vBulletin or IPB what you consider to be "bloatware"? Are there features in vBulletin that IPB doesnt have? Are there features in IPB that vBulletin doesn't have?

    5- Ease of Use
    In terms of the criteria from the 1st 4 subjects, please tell me what you feel is the ease of use. With many features in both vBulletin and IPB, there comes the fact of the comfortable setting of getting something done. Which has the upside in ease of use?
    -NOTE: Value and price is NOT a factor-

  • #2
    I'm unable to help you out with those questions because I don't know enough IPB to compare. However, I did try a demo Admin CP from IPB, and thought that it was a little confusing for my taste (personal opinion of course). I decided to go with vB because of one major factor: common user interface. Most big boards are using vB. So for a regular forum user, vB user interface is something that they are familiar with, and easy for them to navigate around. User friendly can be a major factor in attracting and retaining new members.

    Edit: here's a link to a message board ranking site, http://www.big-boards.com. There are quite a few vB boards on the top 25, which means most likely people are more familiar with the end user interface.
    Last edited by Vtec44; Sun 9 Oct '05, 6:38pm.
    So Cal Sportbike forum - So Cal Moto - Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum - Custom vinyl decals - Southern California camping forum

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    • #3
      You will get a rather generally biased opinion here and on IPB. You need to visit webmaster related websites. And we all know that being biased does not mean you will be getting all of the available facts for either board.

      In response to vtec44, as he stated he does not know enough about IPB to compare. He thought as an opinion that the IPB admin interface was confusing for him. However, I went from IPB to VB and thought the same thing about VB. To an extent I still do. Control panels for plug-ins usually go to the top of the admincp, which IMO is very poor control of the plug-ins. They should have their own area or something to prevent the default controls from being pushed down. And I do still feel IMO IPB 2.1's and VB 3.5's admin cp, IPB's is much better. Some may argue that, but it comes to personal opinion and what you use it for, or how well you understand how to use it. Some people need training wheels, some people can fly by the seat of their pants. BOTH have a small learning curve regardless. Especially if you go from one board to another. However, I had to spend some time with VB in order to figure it out too. What one person may think is a simple or user friendly interface, the other might think is a non-simple and non-user friendly interface. Its a matter of opinion...and not fact.

      You need to decide what features will benefit your members and you more. IPB has features VB does not (and does not have at vb.org either), and vice versa. It's also not a matter of who has more mods, but rather who supports their mods more. I still see a lot of mods at vb.org that are still for VB 3.5 Beta. Which means support has been lost, the code has not been optimized for the final release, or that its a simple enough code, that it does not affect the board or its performance anyways. But thats not always the case either.

      I could go on what I don't like or whatever for each board. I use both. Its up to you to decide which is best for your and your members uses and taste.
      Last edited by whitetigergrowl; Sun 9 Oct '05, 6:15pm.

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      • #4
        Due to the hundreds of IPB CSS ids and classes, vBulletin is far easier to skin. However, both require advanced knowledge.

        Knowing both vBulletin and IPB very well, and code related, I'd say you need to try both. I have my favorite of the two, but it's a secret.

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        • #5
          I've used both BBS extensively now, and I can say this: no matter which you choose in the end, you'll have made the right choice. vB and IPB are easily the best BBS packages available today. That said, here is my personal opinions...

          ACP Navigation: I'd have to say the ACP of IPB 2.1.1 is far better laid out than the ACP of vB 3.5.0. I just find the tabbed interface to better classify all the options, and gives better placement overall to just about everything. I'd really like to see future versions of vB adopt this layout.

          Style/Template Modification: Personally, I find both BBS to be about the same. However, when it comes to styles, vB goes for the WYSIWYG approach, which may arguably be more user-friendly. When it comes to templates, vB is "internal," in the sense that it's all done within the ACP. With IPB, it's more "external," in the sense that you generally edit PHP files outside the ACP. Both produce the same results, so there's really no advantage to either system.

          Company Support: Again, despite what you may have heard, both companies provide good, equal support. While it may be true that IPS takes longer to answer support tickets, I've generally found their responces to be very helpful. The same with Jelsoft.

          Licensing: I think that IPB has the better annual licensing, whereas vB has the better "lifetime" licensing. Speaking of the "lifetime" licensing, both products allow unlimited members' area access. However, vB also gives you free support for the longevity of your license, whereas IPB gives you free upgrades for the longevity of your license.
          Forums

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CrimsonBat
            2- Management
            I personally tried out the demos of IPB 2.1 Admin Panel and the vBulletin's demo. However, I noticed that IPB's seems to be much more professional than vBulletin and had a much cleaner feel. vBulletin's Admin Control Panel seemed to be a bit sour for my taste. Is there a way to change the style of the skin in vBulletin?
            The default blue style for the AdminCP of vB3 is pretty godawful and indeed unprofessional. When you login to the AdminCP, click 'Options' and pick the Silver style.

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            • #7
              IPB in all honesty is a forum software for those who are starting out, I have it, bought a license and I do not like it- at all. Matter of fact, I'll be giving away my license on my forum over at Unexplained Mysteries, once it is up and running.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Unexplained
                IPB in all honesty is a forum software for those who are starting out, I have it, bought a license and I do not like it- at all. Matter of fact, I'll be giving away my license on my forum over at Unexplained Mysteries, once it is up and running.
                Funny, I've found it to be more in depth. In fact, this forum is refelecting that. Many people here got turned off because they felt it was too complicated. Not exactly something you would give someone starting out. Usually people prefer VB being for those starting out. Exactly what version were you using?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by whitetigergrowl
                  Funny, I've found it to be more in depth. In fact, this forum is refelecting that. Many people here got turned off because they felt it was too complicated. Not exactly something you would give someone starting out. Usually people prefer VB being for those starting out. Exactly what version were you using?
                  Complication doesn't translate into better forum software. In general, you don't start out with IPB or vB. phpBB is exactly for that purpose.
                  Last edited by Vtec44; Wed 12 Oct '05, 6:54pm.
                  So Cal Sportbike forum - So Cal Moto - Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum - Custom vinyl decals - Southern California camping forum

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                  • #10
                    I was using the newest, and it lacks in features when compared to Vbulletin. It's skinning system is also lacking, I was attacked over at the IPB board for asking if/when the skinning system would be made to a more professional level.
                    I don't find IPB complicated, just amateurish and I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by that remark.

                    I have a license that is about a month old, and I really loathe it due to it's lack of functions, lack of use friendliness and oh yes, large lack of customer support- when I was there, people were having threads locked, and their posting privileges revoked for no reason. That is not the kind of people, I wish to be around.
                    Last edited by Above Top Secret; Wed 12 Oct '05, 7:01pm.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Vtec44
                      Complication doesn't translate into better forum software. In general, you don't start out with IPB or vB. phpBB is exactly for that purpose.
                      True, when I started the best free board around was...GASP! "IkonBoard"

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                      • #12
                        Being Totally unbiased here. IPB has a great style and is simple. While VB is more advanced in features and customer support.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Unexplained
                          I was using the newest, and it lacks in features when compared to Vbulletin. It's skinning system is also lacking, I was attacked over at the IPB board for asking if/when the skinning system would be made to a more professional level.
                          I don't find IPB complicated, just amateurish and I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by that remark.

                          I have a license that is about a month old, and I really loathe it due to it's lack of functions, lack of use friendliness and oh yes, large lack of customer support- when I was there, people were having threads locked, and their posting privileges revoked for no reason. That is not the kind of people, I wish to be around.
                          What features are it lacking compared to VB? It has the plug-in system (since 2.0). It has Ajax and inline moderation. All of the stuff some vb fans like to tout. I hate vague comments like that. Why even make them if you aren't going to back them up? Should the IPB fanboys start freaking because they had things such as the plugin system quite awhile ago AND it's implemented better?!

                          As well, I see you joined their forums Oct. 4th. And have made a whole 2 posts. Not quite showing any of what you claimed. (BIG IPB conspiracy coming...) If thats about the time when you bought the license, thats not quite a month. I visit their forums (and VB's) almost daily. The 'posting privledges being revoked' situation, I have not seen. Besides, how would you know of such a thing unless you are in a position of power? Not like that would get publicized. Remember, if their privledges have been revoked, how could those people post about it there? Also, some of the threads being locked were going nowhere or were creating a hostile enviroment. VB has done the same for such situations.

                          As for IPB amatuerish. Thats funny. You obviously haven't spent as much time with VB 3.5. The plug-in system is a great idea (old idea though), but has been poor in execution. Install numerous plug-ins that have their own control panels, and they move all of the default control panels down, while they sit at top. Blame the modders, I blame lack of plug-in control. There was also a plug-in I couldn't uninstall, even though it was through the product manager. Sure the option was there. But it would never fully uninstall. And this was in 3.5 final. Also, some plug-ins have also slowed boards down dramatically, or fubar'd them. (Mine was almost one. And yes, that was following directions.)

                          The 3.5 quick edit system sucks. Why should I go through one option, to get to the advance edit mode? With IPB you get an immediate choice. With 3.5 if you want to advance edit a post, you need to open quick edit first, THEN click on advanced edit. Makes zero sense. The list goes on.

                          As for the skinning, that all depends on the person. I have no problem with either of the boards. (For those that don't know, I have lifetimes to both boards.) In fact, I found IPB 2.1's to be easier to do than VB's, with more options. Others have too.

                          I also do not like the fact that VB seems to rely more heavily on its modding community for board features such as multi-quote or rss feeds. Remember, if a mod coder drops his pet project, and it does happen, and if no one else can pick that up, you may be screwed for future updates AND support for it. Not only that, but I have come across numerous plugins that have been poorly coded and either slowed down (mine and others) sites, or broke the board. Mine included. And yes, thats after installing the plug-in as stated. I've asked for support there numerous times on numerous things, and half the time I'm lucky to either get it, or for an upgrade to happen that fixes the problem.

                          IPB has also been more open about its developments than VB. What about that OFFICIAL CMS? Or Gallery? Good luck finding anything out. Thats been tossed around for years. Some people still wanna believe its coming. Yeah...2010 if you're lucky at the current rate. When I saw IPB 2.1's feature list....then VB released VB 3.5's...I was underwhelmed. Why? Many of the features in VB 3.5 that were big news for the vb fanboys, were already on IPB 2.0 and going into 2.1. Anyone watching 2.1's feature list for at least the 6 months prior to VB 3.5 being announced, knew of these features. So I know when I saw the 3.5 list, I was underwhelmed and unimpressed.

                          So....what features does VB 3.5 have that IPB 2.1 doesn't? They both have ajax, inline moderation, plug-in system....etc etc. Mentioning things like how easy it is to skin, etc etc do not count. Why? Because thats opinion and not fact. I'm talking strictly board features.

                          I also can't seem to understand why VB announces things AFTER IPB. Never understood that. I'd like to see VB announce VB 4 or something (and some of its features) BEFORE IPB 3 when that time comes.
                          Last edited by whitetigergrowl; Wed 12 Oct '05, 9:52pm.

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                          • #14
                            As a user and license holder of both BBS, I agree with a lot of your comments. I would just like to say that the thing about Jelsoft making announcements after IPS may purely be coincedince. Also, just to make a note of it, vB 3.5 does have a strong reputation system, along with a better executed threaded/hybrid mode system. (In my opinion.) While I think IPB 2.1.1's multi-quote system is very convenient, it also breaks Outline Mode far too easily.
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                            • #15
                              While you are entitled to your own perspective and opinion white, one common theme that's carried throughout your posts when criticizing Jelsoft is that you consistently fail to give Jelsoft the credit they deserves and you consistently fail to give credit to others who developed other forum technology first.

                              In my opinion, your posts have become increasingly hostile, and while you are indeed a vBulletin license holder, your actions are starting to become borderline trolling, if not crossing that line already.

                              Clearly you're trying to pass off as the lone voice of being unbiased (by holding both licenses), and neutral, but as people continue to read your posts more, they are starting to see your real agenda, and your biased spite.
                              Last edited by ManagerJosh; Wed 12 Oct '05, 10:17pm.
                              ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
                              Director, WorldSims.org | Gaming Hosting Administrator, SimGames.net, Urban Online Entertainment

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