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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Benefits Of Switching To vBulletin

    Hello,

    I've ran my SMF forum since October of 2005. It's been a long, slow, but steady growth and now I'm up to 9,000 posts and nearly 350 members. I noticed in my hosting logs that I've gotten next to 0 traffic to my forum from search engines even though my articles and blogs are bringing in about 20K uniques per month.

    I'm heavily considering a switch to vBulletin from SMF. I've been pleased with SMF overall, but if I'm not ranking, I've got to switch. (I'm not 100% sure that SMF is the problem, but it sure seams that way).

    Anyway, I don't mean to make this a thread about SMF. I'm more interested in how the switchover of your active community from X forum to vBulletin went.

    Are you glad you switched to vBulletin? Do you regret it? Anything I'm not considering?

    Thanks,
    Brandon Drury
    Home Recording Forum -
    Make 60% Commission Pushing my new mega system
    Killer Home Recording

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru dojo's Avatar
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    Well, to answer some of the questions: I switched from phpBB.

    I lost some members on the way, but also got many new in the forums. So it was a good balance overall. It did triple my traffic from that moment and it seems like some search bots are always on my forums. That might increase traffic a lot too.

    Overall it's a good thing. I was on a heavily modded phpBB, so I didn't quite cry to get VB, but it's a webmaster forum and people were a bit "snobish". I did have 1 member say that he;ll stay more on the forums now that i use VB .. well .. Don't love the script that much, but it seems to have boosted my traffic, member and post count after installing it.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Don't love the script that much, but it seems to have boosted my traffic, member and post count after installing it.
    Well that says it all!!

    I got to thinking today that I can make an extra $0.50 a day off of Adsense from extra traffic or whatever, I'll pay for vBulletin this year. If I can actually rank in the way that my blogs and articles do, it'll pay for itself in a month or two.

    Thanks for your quick reply! I'm making the jump tomorrow morning!

    Brandon
    Home Recording Forum -
    Make 60% Commission Pushing my new mega system
    Killer Home Recording

  4. #4
    Necromancer
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    I moved from an old script called WebBBS to phpbb but within a month I knew I had made a mistake. Eventually I moved to vB which meant two moves in less than a year. Even under these circumstances it was the best thing I ever did. I strongly recommend vB.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast thefatboy's Avatar
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    ive done 4 moves and the site is only 3 months old.... phpbb to smf to enigma2 portal (still smf), to smf again...

    and im thinking that the way im growing, i need to get vb

  6. #6
    Necromancer
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    vB is the last move you'll ever make

  7. #7
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    One benefit that's not obvious, but is very valuable, is the support you get from the vBulletin team. I have rarely experienced such good support from any company as I get from them. They're very patient, and put in an extraordinary effort to make their customers happy.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict dionsiseire's Avatar
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    And the best thing is, a lot of the time you wont need their help as vbulletin is such a great piece of software

    Quote Originally Posted by petertdavis
    One benefit that's not obvious, but is very valuable, is the support you get from the vBulletin team. I have rarely experienced such good support from any company as I get from them. They're very patient, and put in an extraordinary effort to make their customers happy.

  9. #9
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dionsiseire
    And the best thing is, a lot of the time you wont need their help as vbulletin is such a great piece of software
    Heh, yea, but then I've been using it for several years and I still seem to come up with some doozies every now and again.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    one module for vb which is great in terms of SEO:
    www.vbseo.com

    It generates urls like heaven...

  11. #11
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    There seams to be a debate about how well vbseo works.

    Of course, I've heard people say that it's not "safe" to buy links, too.

    Does VBseo really work well for ranking or are the wuessies just spreading their usual (and unsubstantiated) fears through the forums?

    Brandon
    Home Recording Forum -
    Make 60% Commission Pushing my new mega system
    Killer Home Recording

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member
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    I don't think that VBseo does a lot to improve your search engine positions. And if you want to make your vBulletin forum urls keyword rich, there is a free mod available on vbulletin.org for vB 3.6.0 (Gold).

    Well.. as far as the benefits are concerned, fortunately I find almost every type of vBulletin mod available on vBulletin.org for free. (almost all the time). Even on their offical support forum, the support team responds pretty quickly.
    Last edited by r937; Sep 12, 2006 at 02:58.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave owen
    vB is the last move you'll ever make
    Not necessarily Dave, moved from vB to Invision Kia Ora btw.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Zealot Olney's Avatar
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    I moved my forum from SMF to vb.
    I too couldn't get a lot of pages indexed using SMF.
    I hope they fixed this with the new version but the SEF option didn't seem SEF at all.
    I was making an international move at the time my forum went up so members actually donated the cost & enough for the vbSEO. I'm really greatful for them for that. I didn't want to half do the forum.

    I've done other SEO work but in one year I'm out the sandbox in Google & ranking well for terms.
    IDN Domains The future of Domaining.

  15. #15
    Necromancer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzino
    Not necessarily Dave, moved from vB to Invision Kia Ora btw.
    Kia Ora Enzino. I hope no-one takes me too literally. I personally can't see anything about vB that would make anyone want to move away but I guess it won't suit absolutely everyone. I think it's fair to say that not many people move away from vB once they get there. Unlike some other forums where it's relatively common to see people asking "How to convert from xxxx to vB?".

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I use vB for all of my forums. One I acquired a number of months back had IPB. Switched that to vB after a short while and it worked out quite well for that site & community.
    For HTML Help visit: HTML Help Central
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    If you're a GEEK then go where geeks go....

  17. #17
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I don't mean to take away anything from SMF. Some of my forums are still SMF and will probably stay that way. However, they have a few issues. Many people are not ranking well with their script. If that isn't important and you don't need to change the look of the forum in a hurry, you will be in business.

    vBulletin just seams like they've thought of just about everything. The RSS Injector thing is perfect for a site like mine with lots of articles and blogs in addition to the forum. It just feels better posting when all my research says that I may even get a little traffic to the individual threads.

    The support thing is a BIG deal! Again, it's a piece of mind knowing that there is someone getting paid to answer my questions. Most of the time the answer has already been asked / answered before me. Piece of mind is worth something!

    I will start every serious forum with vBulletin from now on!

    Brandon
    Home Recording Forum -
    Make 60% Commission Pushing my new mega system
    Killer Home Recording

  18. #18
    SitePoint Guru
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    I have 7 sites using vB. You couldn't pay me to use anything else.
    TheWeighWeWere.com - Weight Loss Success Stories from A to Z!

    oops, I did it again...re-relaunced July '07

  19. #19
    SitePoint Addict Fanhost Owner's Avatar
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    vb all the way. Not to mention the number of mods and add ons. I have heard very good things about vbseo by the way.

    Only thing i will say about VB is that it seems to be more of a server drain then other message boards.
    FanHost! It is now for sale!!! Check out the auctions!
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  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot kiviniar's Avatar
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    Well if you have th bucks.... VB all the way..

    I am myself using SMF on one of my forums and no complaints till now... also a SE friendly URL mod has come up for SMF and planning to use it to see if my no of indexes increases...


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