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vBulletin vs. IP.Board - Which is Better?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by ianeberle, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. #1
    I recently decided that I want to start a forum, so I went ahead and bought the domain AquaticForums.net and now I'm ready to begin. I was originally looking into IP.Board, but after looking at what it's going to cost, I'm not sure. Not only is the software itself expensive, but you have to renew it every so many months to keep getting support and updates. And you have to renew everything - so if you get IP.Board, IP.Content, and IP.Nexus, you have to pay a renewal fee for each product. This gets very expensive. Furthermore, a lot of the "add ons" I think they're called cost money and also have these renewal fees.

    Basically, I don't want my forum to be a bottomless money pit.

    The other software I was looking at is vBulletin. I know that many forums run on this software and it was practically the industry standard until vBulletin 5 came out. I've seen a lot of people complaining about vBulletin 5, but I do understand that the product isn't actually finished yet. I would most likely install vBulletin 4.2 or whatever that version number is until version 5 was stable. I also liked that a CMS came with vBulletin for no extra charge. Is the CMS any good? And would I be able to use it as my homepage? I'm pretty sure that's what they do at AquariumAdvice.com.

    Basically I want to know the following things:

    1. Which forum gives you more value for the amount of money put in (short term and long term)?
    2. Which has the most amount of features (such as putting people in custom groups, processing payments, etc)?
    3. Which has better SEO?
    4. Which will be better optimized for mobile (the actual website, not Forum Runner or Tapatalk)?
    SEMrush
    Anything else I missed? I appreciate all opinions!
     
    ianeberle, Dec 11, 2012 IP
    SEMrush
  2. r3dt@rget

    r3dt@rget Well-Known Member

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    #2
    If your forum is just starting out, and you want value, what beats free? There are many platforms out there that cost nothing and are just as versatile and feature-packed as vBulletin or IPB. MyBB, phpBB, SMF, Vanilla, etc. All these platforms support addons for CMS's, custom groups, and anything else you can think of. They all have mobile versions or themes. All have addons that improve SEO. And best of all, they are free! If you don't like it, you can switch and lose no money. Plus, if your community grows out of free platforms you can always transfer to vBulletin or IPB easily. By that time you will know what exactly your community needs out of the software and you can make a better decision.

    Bottom line, save your money and get a free forum platform to start out with. No sense in spending money on something you can get for free.
     
    r3dt@rget, Dec 11, 2012 IP
  3. Austech

    Austech Member

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    #3
    Most forums fail. Start with a free solution that can be converted later like My BB or PHPBB. If you succeed, upgrade later (I would recommend VBulletin 4). If you fail, nothing lost. Free solutions have some very professional looking skins available,
     
    Austech, Dec 11, 2012 IP
    Brandon Sheley likes this.
  4. ianeberle

    ianeberle Member

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    #4
    I have tried phpBB and SMF and I personally don't like them. There's just something more powerful about vBulletin and IPB. I want to start my community on a paid software. If it fails (which I'm hoping it won't), I'll just sell the forum license here and at most I'll lose $100. That's like if you want to get into racing, you can't start by buying a Ford Focus and hoping to win to upgrade later... Start with the Ferrari and if you fail, you can always sell it later.

    I like vBulletin because it has had years of support and acceptance, but IPB looks flashy and nice, but more expensive. This is why I made this thread - I'm having a hard time deciding.
     
    ianeberle, Dec 11, 2012 IP
  5. r3dt@rget

    r3dt@rget Well-Known Member

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    #5
    Let me correct you here. If you want to start racing you start with slower, cheaper platforms. No one is going to jump into a Ferrari in their first season. As your skills improve you move up to better cars and classes. If you are dead set on spending money, I would pick vBulletin. If you are worried about vB 5, you can always purchase vB 4 which is stable and exceptional. The theme work you do decides how flashy and sleek your site is. You can change anything with the look of the forum so don't make your decision on the default themes of the software. And remember, your forum software isn't going to make or break your forum. It's the amount of work you put into it and no software, paid or free, will change that.
     
    r3dt@rget, Dec 11, 2012 IP
  6. HostRush

    HostRush Active Member

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    #6
    You're going to have to put some time in it.

    Both IPB and vBulletin are good. It seems vBulletin is more popular, but doesn't mean IPB isn't good.

    One thing I've noticed is that IPB has a cleaner look and feel.
     
    HostRush, Dec 21, 2012 IP
  7. Lazybuttons

    Lazybuttons Active Member

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    #7
    That's complete nonsense. Someone can take it slow if they wish with whatever forum software if they want to. Trial and error.
     
    Lazybuttons, Jan 22, 2013 IP
  8. Mick2012

    Mick2012 Active Member

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    #8
    I would go for vBulletin if I were you. I would recommend using vB4 rather than 5 because there aren't very many mods for it as yet unless you weren't planning on installing any mods.

    Anyways, good luck!
     
    Mick2012, Jan 22, 2013 IP
  9. r3dt@rget

    r3dt@rget Well-Known Member

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    #9
    I guess you need to read my post again. I said they SHOULD start out with the basics and they can always upgrade. There should be no question about this if it's a brand new community. Start with free software in order to minimize your initial risk and you can always upgrade later as your community needs. If you start out with expensive software what if your community fails? The bells and whistles of vB or IPB do not make a community grow, and I feel like many new forum owners feel that they need the best forum software to make it. That is not the case, it takes lots of hard work and dedication which is not provided with the software.
     
    r3dt@rget, Jan 22, 2013 IP
  10. Lazybuttons

    Lazybuttons Active Member

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    #10
    I read your post. It is nonsense.
     
    Lazybuttons, Jan 22, 2013 IP
  11. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley Illustrious Member

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    #11
    I would also go this route unless you just have money to burn.
    You can always import the databases into vb or ipb pretty easily at a later date if you outgrow a free alternative.
     
    Brandon Sheley, Jan 22, 2013 IP
  12. abusschaert

    abusschaert Active Member

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    #12
    I agree with r3dt@rget, its not nonsense. Would it be nonsense for someone to start using wordpress before drupal?


    On top of all that. You need to look at it from a business POV. starting out with little to no overhead is ALOT better and less of a risk. Not to mention the return would be quicker.

    Sometimes yes you need to start with paid products. But when using free products wherever possible, you have the ability to customize freely and experiment with the features.

    Lastly, the platform a website or in this case a forum is built on doesn't mean a think... as long as everything you need is there.


    "trial and error = bad business strategy"
     
    abusschaert, Jan 22, 2013 IP
  13. r3dt@rget

    r3dt@rget Well-Known Member

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    #13
    Ok then so your post is nonsense as well? We are making the same point. We agree on the issue. I really don't know what your problem is about this.
     
    r3dt@rget, Jan 22, 2013 IP
  14. petertdavis

    petertdavis Notable Member

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    #14
    I would strongly recommend against starting a new forum on the vBulletin platform. If you're going to go with a paid forum software and want to limit the amount of money you put in up front, then use IPB's hosted service. You'll pay just ten bucks a month. This will save you money especially if you're planning on using several addons that go with IPB, such as their IP.Content, IP.Blog and IP.Gallery. Once you get into all of those, the renewal fees alone are more than the ten bucks a month you pay with the hosted service. Once your community outgrows the ten buck a month service you can reconsider whether to buy the license outright and host it yourself. If you'd rather stick with free software, and don't like phpBB and SMF (I don't like those two either), look at Vanilla and myBB.
     
    petertdavis, Jan 23, 2013 IP
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  15. pupul

    pupul Notable Member

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    #15
    Go for VB4 or MyBB.
     
    pupul, Jan 23, 2013 IP
  16. hellreturn

    hellreturn Greenhorn

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    #16
    I would suggest to go with IPB over vB and Xenforo over IPB. IP.Nexus is horrible as a store to be honest. To use IP.Content u need HTML and CSS coding background or you will have tough time to create a website using IP.Content. On top, the URL structure of IP.Content is not that good and you will end up modifying FURL's according to your needs.
     
    hellreturn, Jan 24, 2013 IP
  17. Winagain

    Winagain Well-Known Member

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    #17
    I didn't know about the hosted option from IPB. That is a really good option if you are starting.
     
    Winagain, Jan 24, 2013 IP
  18. humtuma

    humtuma Notable Member

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    #18
    Vbulletin resources are less as compared to IP board. IP board website can not run on many hosting ( webhosting companies not supported IP board ) companies like interserver,ifastnet etc So i will prefer vbulletin.


    Because you can not run your website in many web hosting company.IP board requires too many resources. As well you can not edit the website. And you are not going to pay 10$/month for 10 user and 700mb. I don't think , you will buy this. Buy VPS and run the website i.e best, if you want.


    In SEO, doesn't matter. Content is king. Where Vbulletin is great.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
    humtuma, Feb 19, 2013 IP
  19. Rocket Dock

    Rocket Dock Member

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    #19
    IPB looks clearner and have better features but costly..
     
    Rocket Dock, Feb 20, 2013 IP
  20. MrJohn

    MrJohn Active Member

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    #20
    I would agree with those that said use a free forum software first. That way you can test out the market without having to invest much more than a domain name and hosting. Once your community has grown and you see that their is potential in your niche, then make the jump to a paid software.

    Once you are ready to choose either IPB or VBulletin, take the time to play with the demo's that they have and see which one you prefer. Both of them are great choices, just comes down to preference on your end.
     
    MrJohn, Feb 24, 2013 IP