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One Month After Switching From vBulletin To XenForo...

Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by digitalpoint, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. #1
    I've been more or less flooded with people asking how I like being on XenForo after being on vBulletin for so long... with the questions ranging from anything from just how do I like it in general to more technical aspects like, "How has it affected traffic, server resources, etc."

    Now that we've been on it for a month, I'll compile some data and show how things have changed.

    First of all, it's not a scientific analysis, I'm just taking the month since we migrated, and comparing it to the same number of days before the migration (starting with the same day of the week, and using the most recent date range that isn't affected by holidays).

    So... here's stuff from Google Analytics (green stuff means better, red means worse):

    High Level Stuff
    Visits: +9.25%
    Unique Visitors: +12.08%
    Pageviews: -4.64%
    Pages / Visit: -12.70%
    Average Visit Duration: +37.56%

    As you can see, we are seeing more visitors, with a MUCH longer visit duration, but with less page views (less pageviews is probably because popular functions like private message listings and the old UserCP aren't needed anymore since you can access the stuff from the pop-up menus directly on any page and bypassing the middle page). Also a lot more AJAX used, so less total page reloads.

    Visitors By Geographic Location (top 10 countries)
    United States: +12.20%
    United Kingdom: +18.00%
    Canada: +15.60%
    India: +0.99%
    Australia: +17.51%
    Indonesia: -5.42%
    Pakistan: -3.42%
    Philippines: +13.89%
    Germany: +15.71%
    Romania: +29.42%

    This mostly has to do with policy changes, and not the software itself (since we are doing a better job at mitigating low quality users/content now).

    Referrals
    Organic search: +6.22%
    Facebook: +81.76%
    Twitter: +155.76%
    Google+: +46.15%

    Social Engagement (use of like/+1/tweet buttons)
    Facebook: +20.00%
    Google+: +210.10%
    Twitter: +6.11%

    Site Speed
    Average Server Response Time: -24.77%
    Average Page Download Time: -53.83%

    Other
    New User Registration: -9.68%

    This has to do with the new stuff in place that blocks bots and low quality users from registering.

    Google Webmaster Tools
    Crawl stats in Google Webmaster Tools show page download speed averages about 2.5x faster:

    webmaster_tools.png

    Crawl stats in Google Webmaster Tools show page download speed averages about 2.5x faster, and a TON more pages being crawled (342,353 pages spidered yesterday, vs. 70,966 on the last day we were on vBulletin). Part of this I'm sure is simply different URLs, but a large part is also the time Googlebot needs to download a page is much faster, so they can get more (without them thinking they are wrecking your site).

    Edit/update...

    Added the full charts for the last 90 days... the red shade was on vBulletin, the blue on XenForo... it seems like Googlebot as settled down spidering ~750,000 pages/day now. And clearly you can see the pages are rendering drastically faster.

    webmaster_tools.png

    Facebook Insights

    facebook_users.png

    January 20th was the migration date, at which point you can see more Facebook users using the site.

    facebook_api_calls.png

    Facebook Connect needs 4x less API calls for us now because we use 4 web servers. vBulletin has a known issue where it saves Facebook sessions to the web server, rather than the user session (which we reported in October, 2011 and it's still not fixed). http://tracker.vbulletin.com/browse/VBIV-13376

    Conclusion
    I've actually been surprised we have seen no drop-off whatsoever on search engine traffic (I actually was expecting a temporary drop while Google respiders the new site).

    Servers are now needing about half the resources to do the same job.

    If I could go back in time and redo the vBulletin -> XenForo migration (even starting before I had to rewrite all our custom stuff), would I still do it? Absolutely yes. It's one of the best decisions (although a tough one) I've ever made. The site is faster, uses less resources, and it's a much better platform to build custom stuff on top of (which is a huge factor for me).
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
    digitalpoint, Feb 19, 2013 IP
    Megamon, xrvel, dean1122 and 14 others like this.
  2. FreeFun4Every1

    FreeFun4Every1 Notable Member Premium Member

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    #2
    These stats are really surprising, I thought you will surely drop traffic 2 months and lose some webmasters.. anyways to run forum successfully only big number doesn't matters, quality over quantity ;)
    If in future also if you lose some traffic then also they are just time waster, scammer and spammers. I had seen in many webmaster forum where total number of users are very less but 99% of them reliable and now DP is also going to become this type of forum.


    lolz now spammers understands that they are wasting their time by creating new account because they can't post links and also can't access BST..nothing to worry here
    FreeFun4Every1, Feb 19, 2013 IP
  3. Dakis

    Dakis Member

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    #3
    This is fantastic information, I cannot stress enough how thankful I am for this post.

    I have my main community in vb3.7 and my primary concern to move is the traffic drop I fear.

    Did you just use standard url redirection from xenforo converter?
    Dakis, Mar 1, 2013 IP
  4. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #4
    digitalpoint, Mar 1, 2013 IP
    Brandon Sheley likes this.
  5. Dakis

    Dakis Member

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    #5
    Thank you for the reply. I do not mind the speed of the importer, as my forum is not huge (18,000 members and half a million posts).

    Thanks!
    Dakis, Mar 1, 2013 IP
  6. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #6
    Yep... while I don't use XenForo's internal redirection system, it should work fine.
    digitalpoint, Mar 1, 2013 IP
  7. dcristo

    dcristo Prominent Member

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    #7
    I've always viewed DP as a dating site so the spike in AU traffic is awesome :p
    dcristo, Mar 1, 2013 IP
    digitalpoint likes this.
  8. rozehrocks

    rozehrocks Active Member

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    #8
    Oh I thought this is IPB. Sure looks like IPB to me. Tbh, I maybe one of those people who will leave DP. Idk. You guys probably don't care. Anyway.
    rozehrocks, Mar 1, 2013 IP
  9. BusinessMaker

    BusinessMaker Member

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    #9
    I'm glad to see that there are some profs that this forum is better now. There is and always will be log out button in the up right corner for those who still don't believe that this forum is better than before.
    BusinessMaker, Mar 2, 2013 IP
  10. Bilal Ali

    Bilal Ali Member

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    #10
    Average visit duration increase +37.56%
    Because forum is very slow, I expect you share a right calculation after cutting slow speed time.
    Bilal Ali, Mar 2, 2013 IP
  11. Neal-UK

    Neal-UK Active Member

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    #11
    Great to see the site improving every day. You certainly made the right choice moving it to Xenforo :)
    Neal-UK, Mar 2, 2013 IP
  12. Austech

    Austech Member

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    #12
    Site Speed
    Average Server Response Time: -24.77%
    Average Page Download Time: -53.83%

    Hmmmm.....
    Austech, Mar 2, 2013 IP
  13. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #13
    Less time is better as far as that metric goes.
    digitalpoint, Mar 2, 2013 IP
  14. Shelley_c

    Shelley_c Member

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    #14
    I'll say it yet again. Thanks for the information and a truly great move. Forums for me are more usable, cleaner and a more pleasant environment to be around as a whole. Excellent Job to all involved.
    Shelley_c, Mar 2, 2013 IP
  15. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #15
    Yeah, I'm pretty happy overall... not just the XenForo migration, but also some of the policy changes we implemented at the same time and some new features we didn't have on the old site at all got rolled out (digital goods marketplace for example).


    I actually have some pretty interesting ideas of things I want to build now that the migration is done and I'm done rebuilding functionality we had on old site... now I can start working on completely *new* functionality. :)
    digitalpoint, Mar 2, 2013 IP
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  16. ViperBlood

    ViperBlood Active Member

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    #16
    i only disappointed over i can't create any new thread in BuyandSell section.No new seller or buyer is there.At least you've to allow old member or Active members to create new threads.
    ViperBlood, Mar 3, 2013 IP
  17. karthimx

    karthimx Notable Member

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    #17
    According to me I feel hard to find where all the stuffs for 10 days and once I know everything, its been real fun and easy going.
    karthimx, Mar 3, 2013 IP
  18. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley Prominent Member

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    #18
    nice work, thanks for the info :)
    Brandon Sheley, Mar 5, 2013 IP
  19. zinghana

    zinghana Well-Known Member

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    #19
    Congrats Shawn !!

    And thank you for sharing your findings.. I did expect to see a rather large drop while the new url's where updated but from the data above it looks like you have come out of this extremely well. I am sure just you posting this info will increase XF sales once people read this thread.

    Site is looking awesome !! functioning really well.. Much ore user friendly and while you had VB running off it's head / really well optimized you can certainly notice the overall speed difference and way less lag.. Hope you are proud of your work, I know your a perfectionist but you should give yourself a pat on the back !!

    Regards, Darren
    zinghana, Mar 5, 2013 IP
  20. dutchbb

    dutchbb Member

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    #20
    "Average Server Response Time: -24.77%
    Average Page Download Time: -53.83%"

    This should be + instead of - right?

    Thanks for the review. What did you do to redirect old URLs and did you use Google sitemaps?
    dutchbb, Mar 8, 2013 IP