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