The RPGamer Forums will be closing on May 2, 2021.
Forum software upgrade 2/20-2/21
We will be having some forum maintenance this coming weekend 2/20-2/21 in order upgrade and migrate the forums.
During this maintenance we will be migrating our forum software away from vBulletin. We have been using vBulletin now for many years, but vBulletin 4.x is now a legacy version and is no-longer being maintained and does not support php5.5, which limits our ability to keep our underlying systems up to date. Compounded by the fact that vBulletin is commercial software which would require new licenses to be purchased for 5.x as well as having to go through a data migration from 4.x -> 5.x we came to the conclusion that now is the right time to consider alternatives to vBulletin.
After looking at several options and doing some test evaluations we have decided upon Vanilla Forums (http://vanillaforums.org
) as our forum back-end of choice. We came to this decision based on a number of reasons:
- Open Source. - While Vanilla does offer commercial hosting (http://vanillaforums.com), they make the forum software available as open-source for anybody to host themselves.
- Simple to configure and manage. - vBulletin 4/5 have tried to do and be everything under the sun and has a highly complex admin/configuration interface to match, whereas Vanilla embraces 'KISS'.
- Clean data migration. - All of our existing forum URLs will be able to continue to function after the migration thanks to the way Vanilla's data export/import tool sets things up. Any old links using vBulletin's URL structure will function/redirect to the equivalent Vanilla URL, so no 404 errors from links coming in from outside the forums.
- Proven to handle high volume of users. - Vanilla is the same back-end software used by Penny-Arcade as well as other large companies such as Adobe and Edmunds.
- Fast. - Because Vanilla doesn't try to be everything under the sun, and forgoes the highly granular minutia configuration scheme like vBulletin and its code execution is much faster.
- Expandable through plugins. - There are some features that out the door we may not have, but Vanilla has an extensive repo of plugins available that we can look at and consider adding (http://vanillaforums.org/addons)
The plan is to perform the data migration during the evening of 2/20 and have the forums back up and running overnight, with the weekend to work out any odd kinks we run into.
This space for rent.