Different Forum Software Recommended

Posted by: TromboneAl

Different Forum Software Recommended - 03/14/12 03:56 PM

First, thanks for a great site, and a wonderful forum.

I'm sure that others have mentioned this, but the forum software you use is far less good that other software that is out there.

On other forums, I can quickly and accurately jump to new posts in a thread that I'm interested in. With your software, the best I can do is jump to my latest post, and then scroll down. This is even worse because the threads load very slowly.

In other forums, moving the mouse cursor in the list of posts displays the text in each thread. This lets me find out what the thread is about without opening it.

Editing is also much easier with other software.

An example of superior forum software may be found at:

EarlyRetirement.org/forums

I realize that you may be forced to stay with what you are currently using, but I wanted to make sure you are aware of the alternatives.

- Al
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Different Forum Software Recommended - 05/20/12 07:33 PM

Hi Al,

Thanks for your suggestions. We do sometimes consider other software, but usually end up deciding against it because moving our 1.8+ million posts and all the other content, followed by having to retrain all our members on new software doesn't seem worth it.

If you choose to watch a post (including your own), when you get notice of a new post the link should take you directly to the new posts in the thread.

Otherwise it's a question of how you choose to sort the posts.

This forum software can display the post content when you mouse over with your cursor, we tried it and the majority of our members didn't like it, found it "distracting".
Posted by: lolatu

Re: Different Forum Software Recommended - 12/01/13 12:45 PM

I would second the need to migrate. This forum software has a really dated look, it's hard to locate threads with updates since you last visited, and it doesn't support mobile devices, which is pretty crucial these days.

Don't worry about having to "retrain" all your members. We already use different forum software on other sites, and given that the software you're migrating to will be easier to use and more familiar (UBB Threads is pretty rare these days, probably because it's so out of date), you're actually reducing the burden on new users, and making it easier for existing ones to use. Your user will actually appreciate the upgrade.

You'll want to shop around, but I'd recommend vBulletin as one of the best and most popular forum softwares (example). I've used this on several sites; it has a nice clean look, is quick to load, and has some nice features like auto-subscription to threads you've replied to, then an easily-accessible user control panel to list all the threads with updates.

A quick google reveals that people have been migrating from ubb to vBulletin for over a decade, so it's not like you're treading uncharted ground. vBulletin has something called Impex that can migrate all your posts and users etc automatically. You can get the free trial and attempt this migration yourself without going live, and see how it works. Or hire some outside help from a site like elance - the going rate, with a bunch of customization for advertising, seems to be around 1000 USD. But the new vBulletin 5 drag and drop site builder looks pretty easy to use and since you've already set up this site, I'd guess you're fully capable of customizing it yourself.

Hope this is useful.
Posted by: TromboneAl

Re: Different Forum Software Recommended - 12/19/13 07:52 PM

This forum is really falling behind in usability compared with those using other software. A new problem is that the forum doesn't work well on mobile devices.

As for retraining the current users: Most of them use other forums as well. They will not need retraining. For those who don't, the newer forums work the same way, they just work better.

For example: when you hover over a thread title in this software, a tooltop window appears with the title of the thread. Totally redundant useless information.

When you hover over a thread title in other forums, the text of the entire post appears in the tooltip window.

Very useful, time-saving, and doesn't require any retraining.

This is what's going happen: someone will host a piano forum with good software, a few people will try it out, and all of a sudden all the loyal users will migrate and abandon PianoWorld.