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Discussion Starter #1
Hey

As this lovely community continues to grow I need to think about the future of it. Currently the software that I use for Vizsla Forums is SMF which is good and free but lacks some features and also uses a lot of resources so as we grow it could get sluggish.

Now - I have several other forums all with tens of thousands of posts compared to the 500~ posts here. They all run the vBulletin forum software that costs $100/year which is fine as they have advertising revenue that manages to earn roughly the same amount.

I am not out to make a profit on my forums - I just like to make them.

Now, as this forum continues to grow we have two options. Either upgrade to the vBulletin forum script for the Invision Power Board forum script. They are both the two main ones and competitors.

Normally I would choose vBulletin however due to the features here such as the picture gallery it could be better for use to use IPB as it has a picture gallery etc.

The thing is that IPB standard costs $149.99/year and an extra $65/year for the photo gallery add-on which I would like as the one here is well used.

vBulletin would cost $100/year and the add-on would be free but not as good. I believe from experience that IPB would be better for us.

Another option is a hosted IPB copy at $30/month which is less initial cost but then costs $360/year and we still have to pay $65 for the photo gallery add-on.

Due to the fact that Vizsla Forums is small the adverts you see only make a couple of dollars a month and if we switched software I would remove them as they are not worth it.

I was wondering if anyone had any views on this. I doubt anyone has experience in this sort of thing, but if you do then feel free to say anything.

Also, I was wondering what everyones feelings were towards possible donations? Currently I pay $59/month for the server we use but then I also host other sites that cover the cost of that (like my bigger forums).

However to upgrade to IPB would cost $150 + $65 meaning $225 which is quite a lot of money for me to spend. I was wondering what you all thought about donations?

If you think they are ok and would be happy to donate then please send me a Private message here or email to calum.neilson [at] virgin.net and you can donate by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque. (bank transfer only possible if you are in the uk). If you donate then I would be happy to set up a donators list/page once we move to IPB.

I am not asking for anything - just if you want to help us out and speed up the upgrade process then even the smallest amount is helpful.

Also please post your views/feelings.

Calum
 

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I think it might be helpful to give us an idea of what the upgrades are/include. You're clearly a very tech savvy guy, not all of us are so lucky. I think we all love the site and the ability to interact with other vizsla owners, I'd even be willing to put up with some advertising in order to create some revenue so we can upgrade. But making donations takes this to a whole new level.

Can you send us some links to the different types of forums that you mentioned? That way we can decide how far we want to take this thing and decide whether or not a particular upgrade is worth the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am not asking for donations now - but want to know if they are a good idea.

If many members want an upgrade then I can get it done.

I will get some info for you soon.
 

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Hi Calum,

I think you have created a great site. It's the first forum I have ever used. It has amassed alot of information for the person who has a new puppy to deal with. It can be hard to get this sort of information and feed back about just one breed.

There seems to be alot of members but only a few who contribute regularly. It would seem that people probably join when their dog is in the puppy stage and when they are about a year old stop using the forum.

I would have no problem paying a subscription but to keep the site going you may have to work out how to keep enticing new members to join. By the way the performance of the site from my end is fine.
 

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I would agree with madabout v's.the site is great but there seems to be a trend people seem to come and go but never close there account with the site.I would guess thats because it is free.Calum I think you have done a great thing by creating this site.and i would like to thank you.three cheers for calum.hip hip horray... 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the praise. Right now we are only small, but then Vizslas aren't very common.

I am still thinking about the upgrade, but any ideas on how to attract new members or to get old ones to return? I think the problem is that people have a problem or questions so they come, get an answer then leave.
 

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yes that seems to be how it is.yet I do not have to many issues with my dogs.I just love this web site good job to all those who stay!!!
 
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