Hello All ... we want to migrate our sites current forum (proprietary built) to a newer, more modern (feature rich) platform. I've been looking around at the available options and have narrowed it down to vBulletin, Vanilla or Phorum (unless you have another suggestion ?). I hope someone here can give me some feedback on their experiences either migrating to a new forum or working deeply with one.
The current forum we have has approx 2.2 million threads in it and is contained in a MySQL database. Data Migration is obviously the first issue, is one of the major Forum vendors better or worse in this regard ?
The software needs to be able to be clustered and cached to ensure availability and performance.
We want it to be PHP based and store it's data in MySQL.
The code needs to be open to allow us to highly customise the software both to strip out a lot of stuff and be able to integrate our sites features. A lot of the forums I've looked at have a lot of duplicate features to our main site, in particular member management, profiles etc. I realise we'll have to do a good bit of development in removing these and tieing it all back to the main site so we want to find a platform that makes this kind of integration as easy as possible.
Finally I guess if 'future proofing' the forum (as best as possible) given the above. Which platform will allow us to customise it but also allow us to keep instep with upgrades. Which forum software has the best track record for bringing online new features in a timely manner ? etc. etc.
I know it's a big question but if anyone here has any experience in some or all of the above I'd be very grateful.
I've used vbulletin for 10 years and I'm happy with it. I like that there is a fairly active community over at vbulletin.org if you need to add other features. I think their #1 competitor is probably Invision, so check it out if you haven't yet. As for the data migration question, it's probably best asked on the respective support/community forums of each vendor. That said, if you're using a proprietary forum right now, it will likely be equally hard with any forum. Also, if you customize the code a lot, you're not going to be able to easily upgrade no matter which forum you choose. I'm guessing that using the forum software's member profiles/management will probably be the easiest and then tie your main site to that. Maybe someone else can reply with more info, but I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts since you didn't have any replies yet.
vbulletin is very nice software, try it!
I use vbulletin it is really powerful.
What about IPB. I've been member of couple of IPB communities. All other features are good but the thing I love most is the profile page of IPB. The new skin is also great. I recommend.
No doubt V bulletin is the power full forum software but if you are looking for free forums you can also choose from punbb or phpbb there are good too.