Reference: I was once a happy vBulletin customer in the Licensed Customer Feedback forum.
Just thought I would give a bit of a review and offer some insight in my decision to remove vBulletin from my site.
Perhaps you’re a potential future customer and are considering purchasing vBulletin 4 for a new project, I would respectfully suggest that you reconsider. I took over a site in the vBulletin golden era when Jelsoft were the owners and Kier Darby was lead developer, shortly after vBulletin 4 was being promoted. Being new to the forum game and looking at the list of features available I thought I was onto a sure winner and decided to purchase the product.
For well over a year I was happy enough, I had heard a lot of complaints in the hidden “licensed customer” forum but as a lot of the issues didn’t effect me I wasn’t too concerned, a lot of the time I even defended the software. One thing I began to notice though was all the new releases in the 4. series that would introduce a new feature but would then have to be patched and patched/upgraded over the next few point releases to actually be usable. You can imagine you can only upgrade so many times before you get bored and realise that you’re not actually adding anything useful to your site.
Anyway for whatever reason, probably after reading about it on here so much I decided to give XenForo ago, that’s an alternative paid forum product (for the uninitiated). Their whole forum is public, they don’t have a hidden forum for all the customer complaints, they don’t get many complaint at all actually. The difference in development, the entire ethos over there is a complete contrast to what’s happening within vBulletin at the moment. I’m rambling.
Point I’d like to really put across is that being on the inside, seeing the lack of development and vision and the disinterest for anything that would seem logical in terms of the future of the vBulletin product led me to a competitor within 24 months.
If you’re currently trying to decide if you should purchase vBulletin I would personally not recommend it.
PS My comments are strictly for the development and implementation of features and lack of vision in the core product. One excellent plus with the vBulletin team is their support staff and the individual developers themselves, they’re a credit to themselves in spite of the company.