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ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Hello all!

Lately, I have been a bit absent from the forum, partially because we've been working behind the scenes on the forum a lot lately.
We have been exploring moving the forums from vBulletin to XenForo, and now have scheduled the start of the migration. The recent site rollback was a catalyst for us to think about this more seriously than we had before.

Currently, we do not have a full go-live date, but when it is going to happen we will absolutely communicate notice.
There will be extensive testing done before go-live, by admins, mods, and seniors.

Why are thinking about this?
vBulletin 4 is old, very old
  • This means we have to use old versions of PHP and MySQL. Old versions equate to slower speeds, less reliability, and more security vulnerabilities.
  • vB4 was originally released 10+ years ago when web development was very different and mobile usability was not important.
  • vB4 is considered "end of life", so it will not get any additional updates.

Why aren't we moving to vBulletin 5?
  • vB5 is a large change from a forum look/feel standpoint.
  • There is less aftermarket development/support for vB5 than for previous versions because most users are going to other software.

Forums traffic from Google has dropped
  • Over the past few months, we have seen traffic from Google fall off in forums (while traffic to the blog has increased).
  • Google traffic is key since we show ads to guests, they are vastly reduced for members. This is what keeps the site alive. Most Google traffic is guests.
  • Google has updated their algorithms several times over the past few years and vBulletin has not kept up with these changes in vB4 or vB5.
  • After some analysis, it looks like forums that perform better in Google search results have all switched to XenForo (Anandtech, Tom's, [H], among many).
  • XenForo has specific features geared towards SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and much better mobile usability (Google now prioritizes mobile over desktop for search results).

What will change with XenForo?
  • The forum should be much faster, more stable, and more secure. Especially on mobile.
  • Hopefully not much. We should be able to maintain just about every feature we support now (ie. Chat, custom user badges, user/group permissions, etc.)
  • Cool new features like being able to @ mention someone in a thread to notify them, alerts/notifications, similar threads to keep users on the site, and more.
  • We are hiring a professional to perform the migration, but there are always some minor bugs or hiccups with any major platform change.
  • Our current theme will be replicated as closely as possible on the desktop site, to minimize growing pains.
  • The mobile site theme will be a huge improvement over what it is now.
  • Old thread links out on the web will auto-redirect to their new URL.
  • Basic forum features (such as posting photos) will be much easier than currently, especially from mobile devices.

Overclockers Mobile App
  • As of today, the Overclockers Mobile App is no longer listed on Google Play or Apple App Store.
  • Users with currently installed copies will still be able to use it as long as we are still live on vBulletin.
  • Once we migrate to XenForo, the Overclockers Mobile App will cease to function.
  • XenForo has functionality which we will be using to replace our previous app. https://xenforo.com/features/app/
  • The improvements to the mobile site, and the previous bullet point, make the existing app a redundant cost and is just one more thing to maintain/break.

Future Improvements
  • XenForo allows a lot of future improvements for us! After the migration, we'll be reviewing and testing many new pieces to improve user engagement and new user retention.
  • One of the main improvements I have my eyes on is a better bridge between our front page (WordPress) and our forum, more to come on that.

I'll continue to monitor this thread and answer any questions, concerns, etc you might have about the migration, we hope we'll be bringing a new and improved site for all of you which we can all enjoy for years to come!

Thanks,
Austin
 

MaddMutt

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
When Is this expected?? I was trying to leave a post about EVGA's x570 "AMD" MB but was told that the forum was closed??
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
It's still upcoming. That thread was posted in the wrong section. You can post there now. :)