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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

    
vBulletin vs Invision
Does Invision measure up?
Beagle




msg:1559646
 5:03 am on Nov 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've read a lot of positive statements here about vBulletin. Does anyone have experience with Invision or, even better, with both? The costs seem to be in the same ballpark. I'm asking because my webhost is big on Invision and has made it very easy to incorporate it into a site. It also has some nice add-ons.

Any opinions? This would be my first time using a non-free BB, and my tech knowledge is lower than most people here, if that makes a difference (a reason I'd consider going with one my host is familiar with, other things being equal).

 

rogerd




msg:1559647
 6:42 pm on Nov 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Invision has had some favorable comments here. If you have a list of must-have features for your forum, be sure that the software packages you are looking at offer the features, either built-in (preferable) or as hacks.

If Invision fits your needs, and if your host has lots of experience supporting it, then I'd give it a try.

bradley phil




msg:1559648
 4:18 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have lots of experience with Invision and generally give it a thumbs-up, but I'm looking to get more experience with vBulletin before i start saying which is uncategorically the better of the two. Both are pretty bloated and in drastic need of SEO, for example not using anchor text (URL variables instead, like &getlastpost) which means you end up with loads of Supplemental results in Google. Other forum softwares like UseBB have no trouble with this, why should the big boys?

Beagle




msg:1559649
 9:00 pm on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the comments, rogerd and bradley phil.

chopin2256




msg:1559650
 8:06 pm on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have no experience with VBulletin.

I at first was going to go with VBulletin, but it costs more money than Invision Board, and it seemed a little more bloated and resource intensive. I soon realized that Invision Board is just as good, fairly fast, and doesn't seem to bog down my server (although I only have an average of 20 simultaneous users on at a time).

I know that both pieces of software have a mod that can convert the non friendly urls to html friendly. I think the mod in invision may be better, because it also captures the name of the post in the URL, instead of just a number. For example, instead of 50.html, you get key-phrase-f50.html.

But of course that is up to the modder, not the program. Regarding mods, Invision has plenty of awesome mods, including stores, auctions, groups, contests, adsense, music management (perfect for me), the friendly url mod, a flash chat mod (to see how many users are talking in flash chat), portals, blogs and much more. Furthermore, the forum that contains these mods is very active.

At one point, VBulletin may have been better than invision board, but I think Invision Board has caught up, and is now equal and cheaper, with a great many users who contribute. I also have to say that the new version of invision that just came out is super fun, and the quick edit feature rocks.

Also, the beauty of VBulletin being in the slight lead is that Invision is trying very hard to catch up and surpass VBulletin with higher quality software. This forces both companies to program better software. So you can feel safe if you do go with Invision Board, since it needs to differentiate itself from VBulletin somehow.

Beagle




msg:1559651
 12:36 am on Nov 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sounds good, chopin. Being able to integrate blogs and galleries were features that sounded especially good to me. I hadn't looked at the forum before, but popped over after reading your post -- Yes, very active! And people even ask stupid questions, so I didn't feel completely out of place :/ Thanks.

smokingkills




msg:1559652
 8:28 am on Dec 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been using vB for about 6 months. I decided a few weeks ago after a lot of thought to move to IPB. Certainly not something most would do.

Don't get me wrong, they are both wonderful scripts, but I realy wanted the blog module and there's a skin I realy want and it's only available for IPB.

I think Invision are working more on the user experience, while Jelsoft are more concerned with the admin side of things. I love all the configuration options available in vB, and I do miss some of them. There's no such thing as too many options in my book, as long as performance isn't severly affected. People claim the backend of IPB is better designed and more intuitive, but I would have to disagree. I find parts of it more confusing than the vB backend.

It's definately simpler to skin a vB board as there are a lot less classes to edit and its easier to understand what to edit.

Theres a new site just for Invision licencees at www.ipsbeyond.com and it looks very promising. Theres a fantastic wiki module in development and it will be released publicly when its stable. It should be great for managing articles.
vB has an awsome article mod available from a third party for very cheap too by the vbgeek.

If I didn't need the blog feature I probably would have remained with vB. But I realy had enough with the slow pace of development at Jelsoft. I want a CMS and Blog that I can integrate with my forum and i'm not going to wait for it. Invision are working on a CMS too. And I guess thats another reason I switched because I feel Invision are begining to take the lead and theres a forseeable and bright future ahead of them.

rogerd




msg:1559653
 6:03 pm on Dec 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, sk, or at least welcome to posting. :)

Is the Invision blog setup designed for a single blog updated by one author, or is it a give-each-member-a-blog kind of thing?

smokingkills




msg:1559654
 4:35 am on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the welcome rogerd :) Any member can create their own blog and name it as they wish. For example you can set it up so the url is like www.forum.com/blog/rogerd or www.forum.com/forum/blog/rogerd . I have mine set up like the first option, there isn't any documentation to do this but's its very easy - you just move the "blog" folder the web-root and change the setting to point to the new folder :)

Try starting one at forums.invisionpower.com so you can see whats its like for yourself.

It's a hard choice between the two (vb and ipb) and it only depends weather you want to to have an official company supported blog and gallery components for IPB or all the cool settings and easy skinning avalable for vB. oh and vB also has a lot of good hacks, even a journal component for your members, but its not official and nowhere near as well built as the IPB blog feature :)

rogerd




msg:1559655
 3:42 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

For what it's worth, a vBB developer commented that they were going to release a user blog feature to show off 3.5's "hook" system for making modifications easy without having to hack the code. I haven't seen anything official on this yet, though, and various user inquiries seem to have been met with silence.

Beagle




msg:1559656
 6:29 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

One thing I saw mentioned on the IPB board re the blog feature was that a member could either start a blog on your site, or could link to an existing blog in such a way that it becomes accessible within the forum feature. A lot of my members have blogs elsewhere already, so it would be attractive (to me, and I think to them) to be able to do this. I don't know what the advantage would be over simply linking to the blog in the normal way, though. Just having things more "tied together"? Possibly making it easier for members to navigate to different blogs without losing their way back to your site?

rogerd




msg:1559657
 6:53 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

It isn't clear what the benefit of a link to a remote blog is... perhaps it's shown in a frame? Or just a member convenience if many members have local blogs but some have remote ones?

smokingkills




msg:1559658
 4:46 am on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I haven't used the external blog feature or seen it in action just yet. I assumed it was just a link to an external blog.

About the vB blog using the hooks - yeh I heard about that, but if they wan't to create this component just to show off few things, I doubt it would be as good or serious as the IPB component. And if its released for free who knows if it will even be supported.

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