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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

    
Just got vBulletin
what are the musts?
smallcompany

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 4:32 pm on Sep 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just got the full vBulletin package with blog and other CMS options. I installed it and I'm going through the CP.

I wonder about two things:

1. Immediate setting changes
2. Plug ins

Thanks

 

Future

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 5:44 pm on Sep 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

You can get more help/information about vbulletin on its official forum or vbulletin dot org

Hawkgirl

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 12:23 am on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hmm. Depending on how familiar you are with the software, I'd say a big "must" is to play with it for at least a few days until you're familiar with the user functionality and mod/admin functionality.

Initially, I'd leave everything at the default settings and then start turning things on and off to see how they change your forums. Some people like all of the bells and whistles, while other people like it as simple as possible.

Put some analytics on it so you can track what is being looked at.

Do you have the forums only or the full CMS suite? If you've got the CMS suite, a good investment of your time is to figure out how you want to structure your content before you start plugging it in. It is a hassle to go back and make changes to sections and categories - take it from someone who had switched the content architecture around three times. Hassle.

Visit vBulletin.org - lots of great mods and plugins. There are some great anti-spammer registration plugins - you'll want to get one of those ASAP.

And then it's going to depend on what you want to do with your forum. If it's a gaming site, there are tons of add-ons for gamerz. If it is a music site, there are ways to add media streaming. It's all based on what your target is.

Future

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 11:35 am on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hawkgirl,
This is a an excellent information you have posted above, breif details about what a person should begin with regardless of the forum script.

Can you kindy shred some more light on important words you have marked above.
What exactly should i do about following:

Put some analytics on it so you can track what is being looked at.

If you can link me to articles for novices, why they should using analytcis or check there logs and how this can be beneficial.

a good investment of your time is to figure out how you want to structure your content before you start plugging it in.

Please give little more details about this.

rogerd

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 2:33 pm on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd stick Google Analytics in right away (assuming you aren't paranoid). Free and lots of detailed info.

As far as structuring your content, it's no different than any other site. Before you start creating pages, you need to determine the best structure, e.g., content silos built around keywords, content organized by user interests, etc.

It's always best to imagine what your site will look like a year or two down the road and create the architecture for your content accordingly.

If you plan to use an SEO product like vBSEO, you might as well install that from the start. You CAN install it later, though, and still get the benefits without breaking inbound links.

smallcompany

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 8:13 pm on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks.

Do you have the forums only or the full CMS suite?

Full CMS suite. I turned blog and CMS OFF so forum is only ON for now. Waiting for the first user to register. I guess all are scared when they see 0 posts.

I'd stick Google Analytics in right away (assuming you aren't paranoid)

Ha, ha. You saw me in your crystal ball, didn't you?
Recently I kicked out GA from all of my sites. I'm still not sure what to use instead. Sometimes I think I should just go back and use it again.

I did install vBSEO.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 9:50 pm on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

There's several crazy Duplicate Content issues in vBulletin, especially around the previous/next links, and multiple ways to view threads and posts.

smallcompany

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 2:48 am on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Duplicate Content

I have no idea if this resolves any of that but it does relate to duplicate content:

[vbseo.com...]

The post is from 2007 and one would think it would get even better over the time.
Now, is it? I have no clue as this is all new to me.

Thanks for prompting as now I know what to look for among other things.

bouncybunny

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 6:09 am on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't know if it's still the default, but VB used to come with the ridiculous 'feature' of having the quick reply box 'disabled' until the logged in user clicked on a link/button to enable it for each post.

I believe there was an obscure 'logic' in there somewhere, but this was the first thing I dealt with when setting up a new forum.

andyll

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 10:05 pm on Sep 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

vbStopForumSpam - it checks new registrations ip & email against a database of known spammers.

The difference is amazing.

Elsmarc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 12:28 am on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't know if it's still the default, but VB used to come with the ridiculous 'feature' of having the quick reply box 'disabled' until the logged in user clicked on a link/button to enable it for each post.

I believe there was an obscure 'logic' in there somewhere, but this was the first thing I dealt with when setting up a new forum.
History Lesson:

The Quick Reply needing to have a box checked on a post is a 'hang over' from the threaded BBS days. vB (at least up to 3.8) would allow the old style threaded view (if you turned it on in the Admincp). Forcing a user to check the 'Quick Reply' box on a specific post ensured the reply was linked to a specific post.

We old folks (Just call me Gramps ;) ) remember the days of threaded BBS software of the 1990's (such as the WebBBS script by Darryl C. Burgdorf). In fact, we *really* old people remember the threaded BBSs you had to access via telephone line modem (pre-public internet) in the 1980's such as Wildcat and BBS-PC. In fact, I ran BBS-PC on an Amiga, and served as a Cincinnati, OH fidonet node, from about 1986 to 1990... And working in the defense industry I was on the internet (ARPANET {DARPAnet in the defense industry}) before it "went public". It has been an interesting trip.

Few people use a threaded BBS these days, but they're still around here and there.

So - That's the 'logic' it came from. It may be 'obscure' to you, but not so very long ago in human years (as opposed to 'internet years') it wasn't ridiculous - Threaded view was how BBS software was written. Those of us with 300 and 1200 baud modems in the closet remember the start of the ember which has become the internet, and the evolution of the software many of us use today. These days the "Quote" option is quite similar in function (at least in vB where it links back to the quoted post) - It allows one to follow a 'trail', so to speak.

As to vB 4 - I still run 3.8 (no interest in vB 4 in part because my forums are very heavily modded and customized) on my forums so I don't know if they deep sixed that or not. I still have threaded mode turned on if a user should want to use that view (it can be interesting), and I have it set so they have to check the box in a post to use the 'Quick Reply'. That's the way I set vB up in 2001 (after changing over from what was UltimateBBS, and Darryl C. Burgdorf's WebBBS before that) and have never changed it.

If I was starting from scratch today I would make sure threaded mode was turned off as it is additional database storage and processing, not to mention it is old technology for all intents and purposes.

Edit Note: Now that I think of it, the software this forum runs on sorta reminds me of UltimateBBS... ;)

bouncybunny

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 1:30 am on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the history lesson Elsmarc. I knew there had to be reason.

So - That's the 'logic' it came from. It may be 'obscure' to you, but not so very long ago in human years (as opposed to 'internet years') it wasn't ridiculous


Sure. But to still (at least up to the vB 3.x version I last used) have this as a default for new forums is bonkers. To me, it's a sign of a technology approach wining over a usability design approach. Just because us techies can explain the logic behind a feature, doesn't mean it's useful. The first time I came across this, I just kept clicking on the box trying to make a post and thought that I must not have been logged in properly. And I've been a geek for years. ;)

Most of the forums I used to run were for non-techies. I used to have a 5-10 point "How to...", section which included things such screenshots of the posting box and the submit button, with instructions such as "type your message in here and then click on the..."

Patronising? Not at all. Patronising would be to assume that my user base has a background in software engineering and user interfaces. My forums were used people who could barely switch their computers on, who complained that they didn't know what a 'Control Panel' was.

How many forums actually have this kind of thing? My view on the problems with most forum software is that they spend more time adding 'features' (and CMSs for that matter), which only a small percentage of users will ever use, than they do on making the thing easy to use.

Apple's iPods are certainly not the most feature packed MP3 players on the market. But they are the easiest to use. Love them or not, this is the predominant reason for their success (yes, yes and the marketing).

First thing I do with any forum software is to disable most of its 'features'. I then re-enable them one by one, depending on the intended user base. Then I change the terminology for most of the links and buttons.

Works for me. YMMV of course...

cien

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 9:41 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Smallcompany have you checked Xenforo out made by vbulletin developers. I think most vbulletiners will end up migrating to them. Even though vbulletin forum software is very powerful, reliable and with a lot of features, I would choose Xenforo if I needed a new forum. I just learned about Xenforo recently so don't know how reliable their board is at this moment but it's made by Vbulletin developers which I'd trust with my eyes closed. I have no doubt Xenforo will be the #1 forum solution soon. The vbulletin forum is just getting a bad rep and now this forum software developed by the best of their developers will put the final nail in their coffin. I think Vbseo and Vbulletin will die out fast after these news. There is a cult behind these developers. I'm one of their followers. :-)

bill

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 5:15 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Xenforo is still in beta though, and they're being sued by Internet Brands [webmasterworld.com]. The future there is not certain despite the many fans they have garnered. They might be an option sometime in the future, but not in 2010.

Also, Xenforo doesn't have the Blogs and CMS that vB4 has built in. This will prevent many from migrating from current working vB installs.

smallcompany

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 6:52 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Xenforo

cien, thanks for suggestion.

As I said, I got it (already). And I have another site where I will try their rival - IPB.
I like when I can email support and get an answer.
And as Bill underlined, I got the suite which I plan on using. Right now I use forum only and watch how views on few posts are growing, but not many posters are coming forward.

Hawkgirl

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4203309 posted 8:55 pm on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think most vbulletiners will end up migrating to them.


No way. Why would I migrate from a software I'm totally invested in, with history and customer support, tons of plugins and hacks, and something I'm familiar with ...

... to migrate to something that looks so similar as to seemingly provide no advantage, is untested, and is seen as enough in violation of the developers' DNCs to warrant a lawsuit by IB ...

no thanks!

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