I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

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A_O_C
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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by A_O_C » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:23 pm

the local news station was running phpbb2 (with the default settings except for a style). 100+ spam registrations a day. when i approached them and showed a PR person about the features and security of phpbb3, she was really impressed and said she would mention this to her general manager. i even showed her some example phpbb3 forums (mine included) and made it a point to point out that phpbb3 (at the time) hasnt had the CAPTCHA broken, and that there are MODs you can install to help protect your forum in-case it ever is. sad to say, they are now paying for vbull. :cry:

oh well, they will learn their lesson. :roll: ;)

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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by .Joel » Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:50 pm

I sometimes find it hard to distinguish between people who enjoy plottering around with forum software as a hobby and people who use forum software as merely a tool to get a job done.

I am of the latter, and phpBB2 was never up to the standard of vBulletin, and the growth of Invision Board during the phpBB2 stage showed just how quickly a commercial piece of software could develop. For me vBulletin has been the right tool for the job, until now. I feel vBulletin is not developing in the direction in the direction that suits my website, it is becoming the wrong tool for the job. So now i'm back here playing with phpBB3, as it is seemingly increasing to become the right tool for the job.

People with active websites that serve an audience or a purpose choose the right tool for them, not because they are ill-minded, or uninformed. In most cases these people know their own needs better then you do and choose the right tool to cater for those needs.

Just because phpBB3 works for you, doesn't mean it works for everyone.

Keep an open mind, criticising others for their choice in forum software that clearly suits their purpose makes you no better then them, it just shows your immaturity and inability to live with someone else's informed decision. They don't loose sleep over what you think about their choice, why do you?

Regards,

.Joel

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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by Erik Frèrejean » Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:14 pm

Nice said .Joel, that is something to get through by a couple of guys I know who have the so called "Open source if everything mentality".
But if you ask me, this is the kind of discussion you shouldn't be having on this board. If you want to compare open a topic @vB with the title: I ever wonder, why to use a free forum pack other than this?, you'll just kind of the same reactions just because you ask it to the people who have chosen to use the package. They aren't going to say that the package doesn't suit them ;).

(And no I'm no vB guy ;))

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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by tagalong » Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:15 pm

I have two websites, one has a phpbb3 message board, the other will soon have a vB message board.

I looked at dozens of different softwares before going with vB. There were a couple of specific needs for that site and phpbb doesn't do what I need and there aren't MODs that do it yet either. vB with two plugins will do what I need for that site.

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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by Ishimaru Chiaki » Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:37 am

.Joel wrote:I sometimes find it hard to distinguish between people who enjoy plottering around with forum software as a hobby and people who use forum software as merely a tool to get a job done.

I am of the latter, and phpBB2 was never up to the standard of vBulletin, and the growth of Invision Board during the phpBB2 stage showed just how quickly a commercial piece of software could develop. For me vBulletin has been the right tool for the job, until now. I feel vBulletin is not developing in the direction in the direction that suits my website, it is becoming the wrong tool for the job. So now i'm back here playing with phpBB3, as it is seemingly increasing to become the right tool for the job.

People with active websites that serve an audience or a purpose choose the right tool for them, not because they are ill-minded, or uninformed. In most cases these people know their own needs better then you do and choose the right tool to cater for those needs.

Just because phpBB3 works for you, doesn't mean it works for everyone.

Keep an open mind, criticising others for their choice in forum software that clearly suits their purpose makes you no better then them, it just shows your immaturity and inability to live with someone else's informed decision. They don't loose sleep over what you think about their choice, why do you?

Regards,

.Joel

I totally agree. There is a lot of factors that can influence the choice of a forum platform.

On my side, here's my story : the first forum where I registered was first an ikonboard (a Perl-coded board) who migrated to phpBB2 later. Then I registered to another board who was a phpBB2 as well and one day, I had an idea of forum project (the idea never actually worked because of rookie mistakes), so I asked the admin about running a phpBB forum, but since I had so few computing knowledge, he suggested me a free forum host (Forumotion) who looks like phpBB. So I created my first board (who doesn't exist anymore) with FM and learned about administration and I had my loads of rookie mistakes. And as I was seeing other people making styles, I began to learn the basics, but it's only when I began using GIMP (and following tutorials) that I began to make decent styles and then, I improved my level (so much that I started making self-serve styles) and began to learn some CSS basics (to customize a bit), then some HTML (to correct mistakes), but I really learned these languages when I read the French newbies paradise's XHTML/CSS tutorials when I began to build my GFX website that I finally decided to start on a forumotion (I couldn't find a free FTP host that fitted my needs, and the HTML module had just come up) and so, it turned into a GFX forum with a website. The tutorials helped me a lot. Then one day, the French FM went into a big internal crisis and since almost al mods were leaving, I decided to leave, knowing that it wont be the same once alone with only rookies and paid staff members. Then I decided to move my board to a independant FTP host (this meant sacrifying my database) and this time, I looked in the FTP hosts list someone made on the French NP and I had less problem finding a free host who fits my needs. From the day I decided to move my board, I began to learn the basics of PHP and to test a phpBB2 on my computer.

I chose this platform because its layout was the nearest from FM's phpBB2 version layout, and adapting my style was easier than I expected and I modded the forum and had to secure it against bots, then I adapted my other FM styles. Then when I began to think about a new version of my website, phpBB3's final version was already out. I was thinking about this, but I had a very hard time getting used to phpBB3's ACP (especially permissions), and two of my friends had trouble with phpBB3 as well. So I looked at another open source platform I heard about and decided to test it and found out that it fitted more my needs, as I found it simple to use, to CSS skin and to use its sessions for the website, it's valid xhtml 1.0 strict and it got a lot of features, and it didn't matters to me that its current version is 0.8.x. My board is now under this platform since April and its captcha hasn't been broken yet. I'm still on the free FTP host I chosen and it has a good service (it's more community-oriented than commercial-oriented)
I already made 2 self-serve skins for the platform I use while I still hasn't finished my first and only self-serve phpBB3 style (IE6/IE7/Opera compatibility issue regarding PNG folder icons on a gradient background). I doesn't master prosilver yet.

I stayed in the open source side since I know that when an open source solution suits your needs, you don't need to spend bucks for a paid one. I understand this fact since I'm using Firefox and VLC for 4 years, and GIMP for 2 years and half, and I won't change back to their proprietary equivalents (is this word correct ?).

That's my experience.

There is a lot of factors that must be taken into consideration to explain the choices :
- The boards system you were used with as a user before you start your first board
- Ignorance or "a priori" (I don't know if you know this expression) about open source and paid softwares
- The kind of website you run (for a personal or associative website, I don't see the need of a paid software unless it's for a special feature who's not present in open source platforms)
- The platform you're the most at ease with
- The needed features

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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by RMcGirr83 » Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:47 pm

Jim_UK wrote:(Karl holds record at 0 minutes)
Yeah but Karl is an enigma (I actually think he isn't a "real" person but some sort of bot that is in the code). :lol:

On topic, I have never used a paid BB product. I'm having too much fun trying to wreck the code of this free one. Also, I don't think it may be a case of laziness as to why someone may purchase a BB product. I do think they do so for the secure feeling they get for "paid support". Like they feel they are going to get a quicker answer or whatever. Interestingly enough, I have run across a few topics/posts on here where the OP expects support similar to what you would expect from a paid for product. Needless to say, I tend to shy away from those "requests".

What really gets my goat, is that some people that make mods, and post on here that the mod is in development, choose to offer those mods for a fee or "donation". Uhmmm, if it wasn't for this open source piece of software, you wouldn't have anything to offer to anyone so why not just give back a little. I understand everyone has to eat, etc., but to make a mod and then, basically, demand payment for that mod seems to go against the whole mantra of what Open Source is. I guess the meaning of "Open Source" means different things to different people...but if you want the mod then I guess you would pay for it. :shrug:

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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by dsavi » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:59 am

I use phpBB because I don't understand why I'd use a paid forum "solution". I can look through the source code, learn from it, modify it, distribute it... If it doesn't fit your needs, change it so that it does. If you don't know PHP, and who doesn't these days, look for a mod. If there isn't a mod, you can live without it.

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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by Caedmon » Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:26 pm

Please leave the phpBB is better/worse than X out of this topic. We don't want this devolving into a us vs them, and it's against the board rules.

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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by 3Di » Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:55 pm

RMcGirr83 wrote:What really gets my goat, is that some people that make mods, and post on here that the mod is in development, choose to offer those mods for a fee or "donation".

Uhmmm, if it wasn't for this open source piece of software, you wouldn't have anything to offer to anyone so why not just give back a little.

I understand everyone has to eat, etc., but to make a mod and then, basically, demand payment for that mod seems to go against the whole mantra of what Open Source is.
Yes, totally agreed. :ugeek:
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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by Linda Carter » Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:17 pm

phpBB = Free. People often think that free things are cheap, thus, they must be bad. :roll:

Paid scripts = are Expensive. Two weeks ago I was reading one or two threads in another board and people were arguing the financial crisis should force them to lower their prices. They didn't care.

A paid script (project/software, whatever you might think of) = Others will always think it's better, more professional, and more than that - the money invested will be returned with real assistance. BS. IE was paid and Firefox was always better. There are other free solutions better than paid ones, but it's hard to compete with something that is already being used by millions of people, even if it's bad. 8-)

Many don't care about reading a simple readme and click three buttons in order to install a program, so they prefer to pay someone to teach them or even to do these jobs. Even when the answer is screaming at them. :roll:

phpBB = Filled with volunteers. People who don't own you anything, and have their own agenda. Most of them, even if are willing to help anyway they can on this project, don't care about what the majority of people believe it's better to suit their needs (in other words, don't care if the paid software can do things better, and always lack ambition, are shortsighted). :ugeek:

That doesn't mean we will find all the answers and everything we need purchasing a paid license. Some features that I didn't think were considered are already here, so it all depends of gathering the right minds and people, willing to invest on this software and everything it can offer. The land is already settled.

A perfect analogy to describe phpBB: :mrgreen:

The Ugly Duckling
A mother duck hatches her eggs, and while most of her ducklings are normal, only one is grey, too large, and too clumsy to fit in among the others. Though she tries to accept him, the entire barnyard realizes that he simply does not belong and after a period of harassment he leaves to fend for himself. He is sheltered by an old woman in her poor cottage, but her cat and her hen will not accept him and he is forced to set off once again on his own. He wanders for the entire summer and fall, for no one will take him in, and he nearly freezes to death in an icy pond. Though he is rescued by a human, he cannot live in captivity, and he returns to the wild.

By the end of winter, he is still ugly. He comes to a pond in a park or garden, where astonishingly beautiful white swans are swimming. He is drawn to their beauty, though he has no reason to think that they will treat him better than anyone else has. To his surprise, the beautiful creatures welcome and accept him; gazing at his reflection, he sees that he too is a swan. The children declare that he is the most beautiful swan of them all, yet he is not proud, for a good heart is never proud. Because of all that he suffered he now appreciates his happiness so much more.
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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by Daniel Exe » Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:59 pm

Some would be surprised how often people judge a product by appearances, even in the forum software world. I've seen several cases where people have purchased licenses for IPB or vB simply because of how they "look and feel", judging aesthetics to be important enough to dish out the extra couple hundred dollars. Were they unaware of the styles available on phpBB.com? Nope. They simply preferred the interface of the other forum software, and it was deemed that the interface was of great importance. And to a point, I can understand this mentality. I've always liked the look of IPB, tbh, but as a designer and coder myself, I would never chose a software based on looks - I know that if I don't like something I can simply change it. But maybe this means that style designers needs to try something new? Venture away from basing their styles on subSilver2 or proSilver, and create some completely new, great styles, with original interfaces. I know I've never been that adventurous when it comes to styling phpBB3, but perhaps now's the time to give it a try?
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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by arod-1 » Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:28 am

Jim_UK wrote:That of course begs the question does it not?
Is the support for the commercial product ant better than for this one that is user manned?
It may well be that the support is all expert but what about the time factor?
I have seen solutions to the problem on here timed at exactly the same as the support question (Karl holds record at 0 minutes)
What sort of time frame for support of commercial product?

Jim
IMO, you are looking at the problem from the wrong end.
you are looking at a "best case scenario", and, (again, IMO) one should look at worst case scenario.
the worst case, for phpbb support time frame is "never".
for a paid support, there usually is some kind of guaranteed time frame.
Having many, or even most questions answered in less than 5 minutes is little consolation for the poor schmuck whose question was never answered, and some are willing to pay money so they'll never be at that situation.

As to the original question:
it is naive to assume that phpbb is as good or better than some other software in each and every aspect.
at the moment, it seems that performance is one of the weak spots for phpbb, and complexity of performing simple management tasks is another.
and no guaranteed support is, of course, a huge issue for commercial sites.

just my 2c.

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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by Daniel Exe » Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:39 am

But even so, with paid forum hosting, just cause you paid for the software doesn't mean you'll get the answer you need for any support topics. I mean, sure, you'll get an answer most of the time, but you aren't guaranteed a fix or solution. (as is the case anywhere) However, I like to bring up the quality of phpBB's support. They're a bunch of volunteers doing it because they love the community, the software, etc. It's a hobby, and as a result, I find most replies and support to be extremely helpful - something that isn't always frequent with paid support staff who "do it cause it's their job".
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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by Linda Carter » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:36 pm

Daniel Exe wrote:But even so, with paid forum hosting, just cause you paid for the software doesn't mean you'll get the answer you need for any support topics.
I will extend your question: do you really get what you are looking for after paying for the full license of any BB software? I mean, it's nice and cool to see them out there, but you (we) need to do more extensive tests using all features that are being offered (you can't test the board with those MODs).

And beyond that, how can you be sure if your board will not have problems in the future? Are there any solid reviews or users relating those issues or they are just being covered among those boards?

phpBB is great but some things are not available/there isn't much interest in developing them. On the other hand, it's just stupid paying a large sum of money for something you can't get any refund later, if you don't like the results. :arrow:
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Re: I ever wonder, why to use a paid forum pack other than this?

Post by mrPH1L » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:50 pm

Paid forums have just as big a voluntary community as phpbb does and on top of that, paid forums have guaranteed support. I have had experience with SMF, vB, IPB, and phpbb and I have always liked IPB. It suits the needs of my site. The most important thing for me I would say is the fact that the IPB community has the perfect addons for my site, whereas with phpbb it can be a little bit more difficult to find what I want.

You guys have mention that some people judge forums by their looks, which may be true, but I thought the stock IPB skin when I bought it looked horrid. I make my own skins though, so it's not a problem. Now, they have made improvements, but the only thing that I really care that they have improved upon is the ease of skinning.

Companies like IPB are paid to do what they do. They're delivering a product for people that are serious enough about their website that they are willing to pay. A lot of people on here seem to think that because users are willing to pay, somehow they are stupid. If you're dealing with a commercial forum or large forum, the last thing administrators want to be doing is mess around with mods and stuff to try and suite their needs. If something comes out of the box just the way they want it, why not pay for it?

I'm not trying to knock on phpbb. Like I said, I've used it, and it's nice to have a free alternative, but it's not for everyone. I make enough money off of my site that the cost to keep my forum license is minimal. I have no problem paying the fee, knowing that I can rely on professional and voluntary support with a product that does exactly what I need it to do on my site.

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