Xenforo: New Forum Software and Huge Change

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
Xenforo

We tend not to change much at TheHelper.net. If you read the Looks of the Site through the years thread you will see we have had pretty much the same design and forums for most of the sites real active history.

We made a major change to that recently. We used to use VBulletin and that software was revolutionary when it came out. When we switched to Vbulletin in 2004 I was all into it. Not into the server stuff but the VBulletin forum customization stuff. I customized the crap out that forum :)

We recently made the switch to a new forum software called Xenforo. It is from the same people who developed VBulletin but split off and started there own company. VBulletin was bought out by douche bags and after a bunch douchy lawsuits Xenforo was born.

We made the switch because some of the Admins were really into Xenforo. So we switched. But in the time between switch the Admins left to another site and we had a site split. So now we are sitting here with Xenforo and nobody who knows anything about it.

That is about to change. I am going to get us the latest Xenforo stuff and I am on a Crash Xenforo Course. I should have done this in the beginning when I knew we were switching but Procrastination has always been my worst enemy.

Currently there are a bunch of bugs with site. The News Portal is down and many of the sidebar links are broken. We are going to fix all that but it might take a month. I have to dive into the Xenforo forums to ask a bunch of questions and I understand they are pretty cool. We are licensed so there should not be a problem....

Anybody out there want to help?

To be continued....
 

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
Update on this - it looks like sometime in earlier October we should have most everything fixed. Crossing Fingers. Until then we are going to limp along like this. I should be able to at least get the broken links on the sidebar fixed before then. I will probably redo the sidebar a bit when that happens. We have already made sidebar changes nobody mentioned noticing when we deleted the MVP Projects section :)
 

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
Update on this - it looks like sometime in earlier October we should have most everything fixed. Crossing Fingers. Until then we are going to limp along like this. I should be able to at least get the broken links on the sidebar fixed before then. I will probably redo the sidebar a bit when that happens. We have already made sidebar changes nobody mentioned noticing when we deleted the MVP Projects section :)
Speaking of Xenforos crash course, have you ever decided on writing up a tutorial/guide series to go along with your Xenforos study, so that other TH members may benefit/contribute to your Xenforos maintenances?
 

PurgeandFire

zxcvmkgdfg
When I first heard about the switch, I thought it was a bold change. I still consider it a bold change. But I was kind of surprised how well I adapted to it (pleasantly surprised). Good luck on figuring out Xenforo, I'm sure it has a lot of features just waiting to be unleashed. Hopefully the home page will be back soon.

Out of curiosity, did you guys know when you made the switch that rep would be replaced with likes? How did you react? I personally always liked those green bars (after all, I think I was voted biggest rep addict a few years back). But I know that in general, a lot of users (not TH users) oppose the facebook-esque 'like' system. Not that I don't like the system, it is good IMO (especially for lurking, so you can upvote a post without posting). I'm just curious as to what the admins thought of it.
 

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
Out of curiosity, did you guys know when you made the switch that rep would be replaced with likes? How did you react? I personally always liked those green bars (after all, I think I was voted biggest rep addict a few years back). But I know that in general, a lot of users (not TH users) oppose the facebook-esque 'like' system. Not that I don't like the system, it is good IMO (especially for lurking, so you can upvote a post without posting). I'm just curious as to what the admins thought of it.
After the switch, when I realized there's no way we're going to see another of those green and red bars anymore, I was equally happy and sad. Happy that the reputation system (something I held a grudge and honor from it, due to my past) is gone, and sad that I'm going to miss out on reputation messages, like "Hey! I got 10 points!"

I am one of those people who opposes the like system, but after getting used to it, I started to notice a trend. People started to "like" a post only when they see the post has potential, has depth, has a funny moment, or when they see what others like about the post. I think that's a good system, and probably taught me how Facebook's "like" is all about.

This is coming from a minor staff member, so I'm also curious as to what admins think about this.
 

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
I miss rep too. Likes with comments would do the exactly the same thing though minus the rep bar, which can be make a return .... I imagine it would not be hard for a Xenforo add-in to mimic the rep bar.
 

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
Can we get vBulletin tutorials in the meantime (if you have the free time)? :)
 

monoVertex

I'm back!
If you still need help, I could lend a hand in my spare time. I have web development experience and I could help customizing both front-end and back-end, if needed.
 

Accname

2D-Graphics enthusiast
The rep bar was pretty awesome. In the WEHZ it separated the man from the boys. Or rather, the guys which were less likely to ever get a girlfriend from the guys who were unlikely to ever get a girlfriend.
Was a pretty nice feeling to show up there with a big green bar under your name. I dont remember anymore how much I had but I know I had a lot of rep and I got it in the form of +1, +2 or +5 reps from minor members, not huge +50, +100 or +250 packs from events.
 

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
Rep got converted to Likes when we switched. However many rep points you had are Likes now.

I agree about the Rep bar too. I really liked that about VBulletin and miss it.
 

Accname

2D-Graphics enthusiast
It wasnt converted 1 to 1.
You got 1 like for each time somebody gave you rep. But sometimes people gave you 2, 3, 4 or 5 rep, or in the case of admins and contests even 25, 50 or 100.
 

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
Critical change point for the site. Might even have served as the death knell for a different site.....
 

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
I am keeping Xenforo :) The huge loss from the Xenforo upgrade from VBulletin was losing the reputation system and the comments. The comments were not public but your comments were your history and when that got wiped it cut alot of the regulars off. The reputation comments in VBulletin were like another Messaging system sometimes used like a chat.
 

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
When we switched to Xenforo we lost all the reputation comments which was a huge archive of private member information that was not public. It was a huge loss. It was a good move by the Xenforo guys to leave that stuff behind though, as it would have been too much vbulletin. Xenforo is a serious contender in the forum software arena and in the long run this was a good idea as they are so close to the Vbulletin guys and a lawsuit away from losing it all. They are doing it right.

The VBulletin Reputation system is still the best, imho.
 

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
When we switched to Xenforo we lost all the reputation comments which was a huge archive of private member information that was not public. It was a huge loss. It was a good move by the Xenforo guys to leave that stuff behind though, as it would have been too much vbulletin. Xenforo is a serious contender in the forum software arena and in the long run this was a good idea as they are so close to the Vbulletin guys and a lawsuit away from losing it all. They are doing it right.

The VBulletin Reputation system is still the best, imho.
So, if you want reputation, how about considering a different approach. In game design, we were told players need rewards and achievements to keep them engaged in gameplay. The same can be said for this forum, by having a different type of reward system (reputation is one of many) we can use. And if given the opportunity to implement a new reward system, will it work?
 

The Helper

Necromancy Power over 9000
Staff member
I think the Achievements in Xenforo were supposed to replicate that. At this point though, we would have to get more active members before we could test what would be good for that. The profile post stuff is good I have been trying to promote that but still I totally do not agree with the reputation system is on the outs thing - that was and imho would still be the BOMB!
 
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  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Hmm, about the Headline News, I noticed threads are being moved into the subforum (Health News, Environmental News, etc.). When that happens, the TH Forum Home page loses the articles, and instead would show old articles posted 1 or 2 weeks ago.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    What do we do with the Home page?
  • Ghan Ghan:
    I added those forums to the filter for that widget.
    +1
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Oh nice. They're back. Thanks.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Now I think it makes more sense for me to put news in their own subforums, without worry.
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Awesome Ghan thanks! I was purposely not moving the first 15 news articles in Headline news to the different subforums but I guess I don't have to do that now?
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Question: Is there a way to remove thread redirects? It creates a copy of the moved thread and takes up space, and I am leaning towards wanting to remove them in the Headline News. But if they have an expiration date, I guess I'm fine with it.
  • The Helper The Helper:
    If you move a thread please leave a permanent redirect. You can delete any redirects after 6 months. The redirects are left to help Search Engines find the moved content.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    What if you move the permanent redirect, not the thread?
  • The Helper The Helper:
    I think that works but I have not messed with it. You can delete redirects though if you have to that will not delete the original thread
  • The Helper The Helper:
    if a redirect ends up in the same forum as the post it goes to though I think the redirect drops or fails or something but they are not bugged out and when you are working on an indirect the original post is safe.
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Happy Early Friday :)
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    Happy Friday :)
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Fun Friday for me
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Happy Fun Friday to all.
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    Happy Sunday everyone!!!
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  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    I found out you can't delete nor hide redirect links to existing threads. It will just stay there. I have no choice now but to start moving thread redirects to News Archive.
  • The Helper The Helper:
    That is not the way that it works for me I can delete redirects you just have to hit refresh sometimes big deletes will take a while as long as moves\
  • The Helper The Helper:
    You don't have to do that you can just leave stuff there in headline news for up to a year it was already down to like 8 months there is no rush.

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