Invision Power vs. vBulletin re-visited

It’s been a year and a half since I first left my impressions on the two systems. My original post received a lot of negative responses from both communities. I was called an IPB fanboy at, and I was called a vB lover at IPB’s customer forums. I guess you can’t win :shrug:

Things change.

Over the past year, I have migrated all of my forums over to vBulletin. I’m out of the loop on what’s new at IPB, but a quick browse of their forums tells me nothing new or exciting has happened or been released since I stopped running their software. A couple bug fixes and minor .x release changes. vB has since released their 3.6 series, their project tools, and their blog system. Still pretty much the same system, vB has been pretty minor in terms of new things to the main forum package.

Free softwares are kicking ass. PHPBB3 came out a few months ago in completely table-less CSS driven variety. SMF is also becoming more popular for small sites.

I’m still not happy.

I want features and code quality from a merge of 3 or 4 softwares. None offer me everything I want, but all have a part of what I want.
I want vB’s plugins and products with IPB’s support team and phpbb’s template engine. Is it too much to ask? 😀

There’s been a couple threads at over the past week or so about customers complaining about the lack of communication and upcoming releases. A big gripe has been the template engine and the antiquated table mash up. The response from staff has been minimal at best, and the ones that have replied have simply stated “it’s something we’re considering” in not so many words.


It drives me nuts.

Back on topic, if vB doesn’t do something soon, I might make the move to phpBB. It sounds completely backwards to do so. Most people go from open source to enterprise…. not vice versa.

My rankings are starting to drop some in the SE’s due to my bloated C2C ratio from the forsaken nested tables, and useless inline presentation layer. My average page is roughly 120 KB, before images. 20KB would be easy to accomplish with a better template engine.

Perhaps in a future post, I will compare vB with phpBB3.

I still can’t believe I’m thinking about this…


  1. I haven’t moved or done anything yet. At this point, im waiting patiently for vb 4.0. That will be my last straw with them. They either have to make it, or i’ll be leaving them for new software.

    vBSEO is THE reason i switched to vB in the first place, and it’s the ONLY reason why i’m still on vB. vBSEO rocks. It’s the best thing i ever did to my forums. Quadrupled my income, tripled my traffic.

  2. What makes you think vb4.0 will be so great?? it seems IPB put more effort into there software, and vb have just gotten lazy.

  3. Just dropped $149 on v3.2 – mainly on your reco..

    here’s to a bigger forum! I’ll give it a run-through on my newest one and see what results I get in a couple months before I toss it into my other forums

  4. How do you feel about phpBB in terms of SEO? To my knowledge there isn’t a out of the box solution like Zoints or vbseo for phpBB, and isn;t 3.0 still using session ID’s? You seem to be well versed in terms of coding/technical knowledge, would you be modifying the forum yourself?

  5. @Mike – Good luck bud. hope it all works out for you.

    @Brandon – phpbb in terms of SEO is pretty lacking, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. At this point, i’m sticking with vb, and hoping version 4 makes me very happy.

  6. I can never imagine how anyone could go with anything other than vBulletin for serious forums. Sure if you’re starting out, a free alternative is a safe bet, but after picking up some steam, vBulletin is the only way to go

  7. 3 Years later and I’m having a similar dilema. I was a few clicks from purchasing vBulletin 4, until I discovered IPB, which seems offer the same capabilities at a cheaper price (if you add the mobile apps cost), while offering an ecommerce plugin.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *