Feature Comparison

  • I'm currently using vBulletin, but I am considering other options because of their treacherous upgrade policies.


    Is there a feature comparison, somewhere, where I can look over the features I use in vBulletin and see how they compare with Burning Board and, frankly, Invision Power Board?


    Peace,
    Gene

  • Welcome!

    We are busy building our new website, where you'll find such a comparison table (or kind of that). We have just released WBB 3.1 and were busy with that release, so the website is not ready yet. We expect it to be online later this year. Jelsofts news have taken us by surprise. ;)


    So at this time there is no comparison table, unfortunately. But in most cases users look exactly for those features, which are not mentioned in such a table … :D


    I afraid you'll have to ask for the features you'd like to have in your forum.


    Maybe tomorrow someone posts something more helpful.

    "Viribus Unitis"


    Harald Székely
    Designer


  • Good thought. Let me try a few of the features we use in vBulletin, most of which we depend on:


    • Auto-Title (mod): Enter URL, and the display automatically picks up the title bar.
    • Ad Management (mod): We're able to insert ads in the header, footer, below nav bar, post bit, and between posts. Critical.
    • Embed YouTube and Other Videos (mod): By simply entering URL and/or embed code, the video appears in a rectangular display for playback direct from message window.
    • Global Announcement/News: Check our most popular forum at www.theparacast.com/forum and you'll see how it works. We have separate announcements for Guests and Members. For the latter, vBulletin puts in a code that displays their usernames. We have slightly hacked the header code to confine the announcements strictly to the index page.
    • SEO-friendly URLs and meta tags (mod): Critical for us. Also, is our existing URL structure translatable to yours somehow?
    • Accurate Conversion: We're using vBulletin 3.8, actually. You list 3.7 as a version for translation. Problem? What's captured and what's missed?
    • Warning System: Integrated with the ban capability, the act of giving someone a sufficient number of points automatically bans that member for a fixed period of time -- or permanently.
    • Social Networking: You can provide links to social networks. We just inserted ShareThis code into a customized nav bar item.
    • Donations (mod): Able to receive donations from members who want to help cover our costs.


    This is just a part of what we're looking for. I expected, based on your responses, I'll have more questions. If you know of mods that add some of these functions, please include the URLs, so I can check them out.


    We have three boards, and will probably buy the user licenses gradually. The key is the forum listed above. It's an important adjunct to our online radio show, with a loyal community and we cannot afford to lose critical features or functionality.


    Peace,
    Gene Steinberg

  • Hi!


    It's already late night here, so i can't answere your questions now, but let me mention our free download community called WoltLab-Community (WCom), where you may find many of your requested features as free plugins. Also you can find documentations and help with customizing the forum. You are already registered there, just use the same login as here …


    You should know, that installing plugins is quite different to the way any other forum software does this. You'll love that feature! We've got a package server similar to Linux package distribution, so you can install plugins directly from the ACP without hacking anything! Maybe that is also something worth considering.


    Though it may be impossible to set up our board exactly the way your vBulletin was, most of the features seem to be existing in one or another way for WBB 3 and so i'm pretty sure everything you might get a good solution for your needs. We at WoltLab do not have the time to be up to date with what exists in the download database, that's why i ask you to look for plugins that match your needs. Most of the developers there are Germans, so you may not always find English descriptions …


    You can also test many of the functionalities of WBB 3 by trying out the free version WBBLite 2, which is a feature reduced free version of WBB 3.0. The new version WBBLite 2.1 (wich will be the free version of the newly released WBB 3.1 and contain more features) is not yet ready. Just go to the WoltLab website and look at the WBB section, there you'll find the free download. The WoltLab website is available in English too


    Bye! :)

    "Viribus Unitis"


    Harald Székely
    Designer

  • Thanks for the update. Yes, I saw the download community. Unfortunately, many of the products are not described in English, so I'm rather helpless to figure out what some of those things are.


    On the other hand, if someone can perhaps help me out here, perhaps I could figure out what to look for and in which categories.


    Is there no hope for an English translation, other than saving all the text in Google?


    Peace,
    Gene

  • Just in short:


    There will surely be more help for you tomorrow, it's too late now …


    We encourage the plugin authors to use as many languages as possible since WBB is multi language enabled. But these are free plugins, just as at the Mozilla download communities, so we can't force people to translate everything. Maybe there will be more in the next time …

    "Viribus Unitis"


    Harald Székely
    Designer

  • Just in short:


    There will surely be more help for you tomorrow, it's too late now …


    We encourage the plugin authors to use as many languages as possible since WBB is multi language enabled. But these are free plugins, just as at the Mozilla download communities, so we can't force people to translate everything. Maybe there will be more in the next time …

    Well, maybe with a little guidance, I can hone in on the stuff that provides the features I need that aren't part of the core program.


    Good night.


    My son lives in Spain, so I understand fully. :)


    Peace,
    Gene

  • Hi Gene,


    in addition to what Harald wrote: We are currently offering an addon for free for vbulletin users who switch to us:


    http://www.woltlab.com/news/588_en.php

    Auto-Title (mod): Enter URL, and the display automatically picks up the title bar.

    I haven't heard of a mod that can do this. This works only with internal links in the forum. External links don't have this feature and I don't know an addon in the community.

    Ad Management (mod): We're able to insert ads in the header, footer, below nav bar, post bit, and between posts. Critical.

    There is an admanagement in the community: http://community.woltlab.com/db/index.php?page=Project&projectID=1085
    It contains an English translation.

    Embed YouTube and Other Videos (mod): By simply entering URL and/or embed code, the video appears in a rectangular display for playback direct from message window

    Yes - we offer this as a free plugin.

    Global Announcement/News: Check our most popular forum at www.theparacast.com/forum and you'll see how it works. We have separate announcements for Guests and Members. For the latter, vBulletin puts in a code that displays their usernames. We have slightly hacked the header code to confine the announcements strictly to the index page.

    I think there is a mod in the community. Our announcements are just sticky threads in the forums.

    SEO-friendly URLs and meta tags (mod): Critical for us. Also, is our existing URL structure translatable to yours somehow?

    It's also a free plugin thats included in our software package. I think the URL structure is translatable. If you need our help I suggest you to get the professional license, because the professional support would cover questions like this.

    Accurate Conversion: We're using vBulletin 3.8, actually. You list 3.7 as a version for translation. Problem? What's captured and what's missed?

    That should work. We can only import data thats included in our software. I can give you a list of the data later.

    Warning System: Integrated with the ban capability, the act of giving someone a sufficient number of points automatically bans that member for a fixed period of time -- or permanently.

    There is a warning system in 3.1 that can do this.

    Social Networking: You can provide links to social networks. We just inserted ShareThis code into a customized nav bar item.

    There should be a mod in the community.

    Donations (mod): Able to receive donations from members who want to help cover our costs.

    There is a mod in the community - I am pretty sure. Other than that you can simply change a template and include some html code that does that.

  • Thanks for all the answers.


    I don't know that we want to invest in a pro license, since there are three forums involved, but I'll consider that if we migrate to your product. That's become much more possible, since the other alternative, IPB, seems so drab and depressing. Anyone else notice that?


    In terms of embedding videos, does your plugin handle what's already present in the translated forum? Please let me know the impact.


    Peace,
    Gene

  • Anyone else notice that?

    Here in this pre sales questions forum only the WoltLab team can answere … ;)



    In terms of embedding videos, does your plugin handle what's already present in the translated forum? Please let me know the impact.

    Sorry, what "translated forum" do you mean (did i miss something)? :huh:

    "Viribus Unitis"


    Harald Székely
    Designer

  • Sorry, what "translated forum" do you mean?

    Oh, the forum that was converted. :)


    More to the point, the original forum has hundreds of embedded media links. Will they translate or is this going to require lots of manual labor once we convert to your forum?


    Peace,
    Gene

  • Let me add one thing. If we go for the pro support for one of the forums we are considering converting, would you folks help me translate some or all of our style settings and recreate them, as much as we can, in your board?


    I'm assuming that there are no standard themes around with a layout reminiscent of vBulletin that use this as a background color:

    rgb(168,213,255)


    Peace,
    Gene

  • We give assistance, but we wouldn't create the style for you. We can do the service for you, but then you need to ask by email. We will check your current layout and give you a quotation for our service.

  • We give assistance, but we wouldn't create the style for you. We can do the service for you, but then you need to ask by email. We will check your current layout and give you a quotation for our service.

    It's not so drastic, actually.


    All we have done with www.theparacast.com/forum is take the standard vBulletin theme and:


    • Reduced the width of all elements to 85-90%.
    • Used that custom rgb color scheme for the background.
    • Increase the size of text for the sake of our older visitors.
    • Hacked the header to allow for insertion of a banner ad on the right and provide more "air" around the logo, which also indents from the left.


    There may be a few other things, but these are the fundamentals of what we did, allowing the same "branding" on the other two forums.


    So I'd probably just need some instructions how to take one of your themes and make these minor changes to bring it close to the same look and feel, allowing for the design differences of your forum.


    You see, we don't have a huge budget for playing with forums, and we want to make the conversion as seamless as possible for our regulars. In other words, most of what they do now they should be able to continue to do in a similar looking environment.


    Feel free to respond here or by PM if you have further observations and advice.


    Peace,
    Gene

  • Changing colors/fonts/sizes is pretty easy with the integrated style editor - no matter if you use one of our styles or a third-party one.

  • So I'd probably just need some instructions how to take one of your themes and make these minor changes to bring it close to the same look and feel, allowing for the design differences of your forum.


    You see, we don't have a huge budget for playing with forums, and we want to make the conversion as seamless as possible for our regulars. In other words, most of what they do now they should be able to continue to do in a similar looking environment.

    I told you before, just download the free version and try what is possible alone without any instructions using our style editor, or let your team do it (if there's one). It is the same editor as in WBB 3 and the board is nearly the same, so you can easily test if you can get along with it! You can change nearly everything with it, especially if you're good in CSS. There are two styles included with WBBLite 2, both of them are good for building a new style upon. But the grey WoltLab Basic will be the best for you i think, since it contains no images and thus doesn't hide colors beneath them. And you can also download many styles in the WoltLab-Community (WCom), it's shown there which styles are compatible with WBBlite 2 …


    I just want to get you to play a little with that board so that you can see if it suits you and what is possible. Trying doesn't cost anything. Don't forget it's not the full version! ;)


    Here's the link again:
    http://www.woltlab.com/product…g_board_lite/index_en.php


    You can also try the data import with it, the importers are included with the download. Just choose the vBulletin importer when installing. And here's the link to the
    Installations Guide

    "Viribus Unitis"


    Harald Székely
    Designer

  • Let me amend that: I am actually playing with it right now. I am configuring the forum and checking the accuracy of the import of over 73,000 messages.


    We'll see what we shall see, but right now I'm seeing some text encoding issues. Should I not have used UTF-8?


    Peace,
    Gene

  • Your forum doesn't seem to be really encoded with UTF-8. As far as we know, vBulletin doesn't support UTF-8. It won't support it with the newest version also …


    There must have been some kind of change on your server, which lists your content as UTF-8, while it's definately no UTF-8. We took a quick look over your forum and found it to be ISO-8859-1. English doesn't really need UTF-8, since all characters are contained in ISO-8859-1 …


    Maybe some software update on your server changed the setting to UTF-8, and so it looks as if it were UTF-8.


    To get that right again, you'd probably have to change the encoding of the tables in MySQL to the real encoding (wich seems to be ISO 8859-1).


    If you'd like us to take a look at the test forum, we need a link.

    "Viribus Unitis"


    Harald Székely
    Designer

  • Is it possible to just reimport, or is that a one-time thing?


    In any case, my real goal right now is to look over the style formatting, which looks really neat, and see how close we can come to our current look with what is obviously a feature-limited product. It has to be trial and error, but we've made a little progress.


    I do notice that the embedded videos don't quite convert to anything more than their URLs and titles. Would they display the full playback window in your retail version?


    More to come.


    You can see our test forum at www.theparacast.com/testboard . But remember we are still using the standard forum.


    Peace,
    Gene