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transforming phpBB forums to VBulletin

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  • Marco van Herwaarden
    replied
    How easy it will be, depends on what you need to modify. Since vBulletin is using a Plugin system, it is often very easy to modify and maintain.

    vBulletin Styles can easily be modified to your needs.

    Leave a comment:


  • feldon23
    replied
    Originally posted by Bob H View Post
    Let's cut through the chase. Do you or do you not have this feature? If you have it, where is it documented? Remember the basis for the question, I want to be a customer. I don't want to be your enemy. That is not my purpose.
    vBulletin doesn't have SEO URLs out of the box anymore than phpBB does.

    I assure you that the SEO add-on for vBulletin is a lot easier to get working than the add-on for phpBB.
    Originally posted by Bob H View Post
    Providing a customer with a convenient migration path is a tactic used by many software/hardware/(and many other product and service) vendors in the past. As a matter of fact that is how a business attracts their competitors' customers.

    Does vBulletin not understand that? How basic of a business practice is that? Why do I have explain something so obvious?
    The performance overhead of trying to emulate someone else's URL structure would make vBulletin a poor upgrade choice and would create a lot of roadblocks for you in the future. There is nothing "obvious" or a good "business practice" about permanently implementing a kludge like you're talking about.

    The only reasonable solution to upgrading from one forum software to another would be to have a proper .htaccess file which tells the search engine how to find all the pages it has indexed with the correct redirects. Apache redirects are extremely powerful and are the correct way, according to Google, to migrate data without losing your PageRank values.

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  • feldon23
    replied
    Originally posted by Bob H View Post
    Marco, you tell me, what is missing in Avatar support that would justify the existance of an add-on that the customer has to BUY from a third party?
    There is nothing missing from the Avatar feature as far as I am concerned. It does everything that a site administrator or user could want. I'm also not aware of any add-on avatar features that you can buy? There are many add-ons for vBulletin. Their existance is not a sign of weakness of the product. Otherwise, what would it say about phpBB that you need to install over 50 add-ons (which exponentially increase the difficulty of software upgrades) just to get anywhere near the functionality of vBulletin?
    Last edited by feldon23; Sat 16 Dec '06, 1:56pm.

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  • feldon23
    replied
    Originally posted by Bob H View Post
    After a superficial investigation of features that I want, which are available in the current version of phpBB, vBulletin does not provide them, yet. And the product support people look like they want more money if they are going to provide them. What are they? Well, avatars for one.
    Avatars have been supported in vBulletin since 1.0. And they are better than phpBB because the avatars are stored on the server where you can control animation, size, download bandwidth, etc. There's a built in avatar gallery, you can restrict avatars to different sizes for certain users and certain usergroups, as well as allow GIF animation for only certain usergroups.

    Originally posted by Bob H View Post
    Another is url naming tactics that enable search engine optimization. The fact that vBulletin is trying to nickel and dime their customers out of more money is a bad sign.
    SEO is not built into vBulletin, nor does Jelsoft or vBulletin sell or make any SEO solutions. Maybe you are talking about vBSEO which is a third-party site? There are free SEO add-ons at vBulletin.org as well.

    Originally posted by Bob H View Post
    It looks like I am not going to switch to vBulletin right now, which probably means that it will never happen, because as Steve Machol has just indicated, there is no way to port the old directory structure to a vBulletin installation.
    I would check the SEO add-ons at vBulletin.org. Perhaps you can tweak them to suit your needs. And the ability to link forumIDs and threadIDs from phpBB forums to vBulletin forums was recently added to the Import-Export script.
    Last edited by feldon23; Sat 16 Dec '06, 1:59pm.

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  • Bob H
    replied
    Originally posted by Marco van Herwaarden View Post
    We do offer a migration path from more other Bulletin Boards then any of our competitors, and all of this is included in the price (i will not comment more on your previous remarks about our pricing strategy, although you are free to ask specific questions on that topic if you want). We even do provide an option to resolve the problem of links indexed in search engines that still lead to the URL's of your old board.

    What we can not do is modify our core system to change the URL's to mimic all the source systems that a new customer might be converting from.
    Thanks Marco, I think that I understand your migration path.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marco van Herwaarden
    replied
    Originally posted by Bob H View Post
    Providing a customer with a convenient migration path is a tactic used by many software/hardware/(and many other product and service) vendors in the past. As a matter of fact that is how a business attracts their competitors' customers.

    Does vBulletin not understand that? How basic of a business practice is that? Why do I have explain something so obvious?
    We do offer a migration path from more other Bulletin Boards then any of our competitors, and all of this is included in the price (i will not comment more on your previous remarks about our pricing strategy, although you are free to ask specific questions on that topic if you want). We even do provide an option to resolve the problem of links indexed in search engines that still lead to the URL's of your old board.

    What we can not do is modify our core system to change the URL's to mimic all the source systems that a new customer might be converting from.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marco van Herwaarden
    replied
    I am not looking into getting into a fight over words with you. But it might help if you asked straight questions that we can give a simple answer to. The Avatar issue is an example of that. It seems to me that you had the impression that our standard product would not support Avatars, and answer to my question "What do you feel is missing in our current Avatars options" would have cleared that up pretty fast.

    Seeing you have set an Avatar for yourself here on our forums now, shows that you have found how to set an Avatar, so if you still have questions about this, please ask. (PS We are running a complete default board here at vBulletin.com, no modifications to the standard product).

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob H
    replied
    Originally posted by Marco van Herwaarden View Post
    Sorry but i am not aware of any (commercial) add-on to our avatar system.

    Also it is more important what you think that is missing.
    If you are not using the avatar add-on in your forum, perhaps it is insignificant. Do you have a forum? If so, are avatars enabled without the purchase of an additional add-on?

    I have located your documentation, it seems that your documentation supports avatars to a level that is satisfactory to me.

    Marco, I don't know your product. I am considering purchasing it for my many forums (about 50). This is a serious fork in the road for me. I want to make sure that I take the right path. Actually, I have already created several forums, and I plan to expand the number of forums to about 50.

    In my evaluation of this product, I have stumbled over some ambiguous posts that I have clearly misunderstood. It seems that the avatar issue is such an issue. Thank you very much for helping me clairify that issue in my mind.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob H
    replied
    Originally posted by Marco van Herwaarden View Post
    It would be a strange thing for a product to try and reproduce the URL structure of a competitor.
    Providing a customer with a convenient migration path is a tactic used by many software/hardware/(and many other product and service) vendors in the past. As a matter of fact that is how a business attracts their competitors' customers.

    Does vBulletin not understand that? How basic of a business practice is that? Why do I have explain something so obvious?

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob H
    replied
    Originally posted by Marco van Herwaarden View Post
    vBulletin gets perfectly indexed by all major search engines
    Again, Marco, being indexed is a small part of the problem. Getting PR properly calculated is another. This is not a feature that is dreamed up by some wild-eyed PR egghead. This is a feature that addresses a documented issue. This has been clearly documented by Google for years in many different contexts. If Google says we need it, as far as I am concerned we need it.

    Again, why do you engage in the nebulous academic arguments? If you don't think we need the feature that is fine. You probably have some sound argument for a basis. The question is "Do you have the feature"?

    Wayne earlier made the comment that you already have the feature, which is great! If you have the feature, where is it documented? And please, don't send me to some multi-page thread dialogue that vaguely addresses the issue. I would like documentation that is clear and specific.

    Let's cut through the chase. Do you or do you not have this feature? If you have it, where is it documented? Remember the basis for the question, I want to be a customer. I don't want to be your enemy. That is not my purpose.

    If you don't have the feature, I simply won't be your customer. That is not such a big loss for you. Perhaps later you decide to have the feature. Perhaps at that point, I will decide to be your customer. It's no big deal.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marco van Herwaarden
    replied
    Sorry but i am not aware of any (commercial) add-on to our avatar system.

    Also it is more important what you think that is missing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob H
    replied
    Originally posted by Marco van Herwaarden View Post
    what do you feel is missing in our current Avatar options?
    Marco, you tell me, what is missing in Avatar support that would justify the existance of an add-on that the customer has to BUY from a third party?

    Leave a comment:


  • Marco van Herwaarden
    replied
    And the product support people look like they want more money if they are going to provide them.
    The fact that vBulletin is trying to nickel and dime their customers out of more money is a bad sign.
    I don't know how you came to that conclusion. vBulletin has not raised it's pricing for many years now, even with all the new features that have been added over the years.
    Well, avatars for one.
    what do you feel is missing in our current Avatar options?
    Another is url naming tactics that enable search engine optimization.
    vBulletin gets perfectly indexed by all major search engines.
    because as Steve Machol has just indicated, there is no way to port the old directory structure to a vBulletin installation.
    It would be a strange thing for a product to try and reproduce the URL structure of a competitor. We do however provide a solution to redirect your old URL's (that might be followed from older indexed posts) to the new vBulletin URL's, see: External incoming links (please read on in this thread, it starts as a request)

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob H
    replied
    Originally posted by Dilly View Post
    Sorry to hear that. It's a shame you believe vBulletin is inferior, because that points out you obviously haven't done your research. And good luck with phpBB. I just hope your forum doesn't grow too big because you'll be in a world of hurt with phpBB and its lack of scalability.
    Dilly, thanks for your post! Actually, I hope that they do grow! I want them to grow so big that they challenge the scalability of the whole internet.

    Do you know at what point scalablity is challenged?

    If you reread my post, I think that you will see that I mentioned that my investigation is superficial. But even in that superficial investigation, I see a lot of danger signs. One is that you have to buy an add-on for avatar support. Avatar support would seem to be a fundamental feature. If you have to buy avatar support, what other problems are out there lurking that has to be solved with another add-on?

    <Error correction>
    I have made an error, and it seems that the proper place to conceed the error is the initial point in which I made the error. Avatar support does **NOT** require the purchase of an add-on. I wish to thank Marco van Herwaarden for correcting me. I stand corrected.
    </Error correction>

    Nickel and diming the existing customer base is sort of cheesy, but that is not my biggest concern. I have to buy >50 licenses, so you have to multiply the price of these add-ons by 50. Second, undoubtedly some of these add-on merchants are going to figure out that they can make more money doing something else, which means that your add-on support goes away.

    That begs the bigger question. If vBulletin is so great, why are they not providing these features to their customers anyway? It would seem that maybe vBulletin cannot afford to. If that is the case, what happens if vBulletin goes out of business? What happens to vBulletin support? That would go away too.

    Like I said, these fundamental features that go unaddressed by vBulletin is a minor danger sign. The major danger sign is how they attempt to get others to address these problems.
    Last edited by Bob H; Sat 16 Dec '06, 7:51am. Reason: Correcting an error in fact that I made

    Leave a comment:


  • Dilly
    replied
    Sorry to hear that. It's a shame you believe vBulletin is inferior, because that points out you obviously haven't done your research. And good luck with phpBB. I just hope your forum doesn't grow too big because you'll be in a world of hurt with phpBB and its lack of scalability.

    Leave a comment:

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