vBulletin 4 Review

(February 9, 2010 00:36)
Last Version 4.1.1 (December 26, 2010). Released under Proprietary License.
Resources Website vBulletin 4 Website Download Download...
Company Jelsoft Enterprises Limited.
Price $195 for Forum, $285 for Publishing Suite.
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vBulletin is one of the most famous solution for providing a forum software to communities. The latest major 4.0 version was released in the end of the year 2009, and was a great opportunity to revamp and organize the vBulletin software suite. As you may know, vBulletin company does not only edit the forum software of the same name, but also additional tools for publishing content on Internet, like a CMS and a Community Blog software.

These two tools could of course be used with the vBulletin Forum, in a fully integrated way, and these software can be a perfect base for administrating and configuring an entire website with the same software solution.

vBulletin, which is, historically, a forum software provider, still provides two packages, one containing the forum only, the other the complete software suite, as following:

vBulletin 4.0 Forum Logo vBulletin 4.0 Publishing Suite Logo

vBulletin 4.0 Forum

Provides the forum software only.

vBulletin 4.0 Publishing Suite

Contains forum, CMS and community blog software.

Using the vBulletin 4.0 Publishing Suite, you will have the full stack to manage your website (using the CMS or/and the Blog softwares), and if you already use another tool (Drupal, Wordpress, Dotclear,...), then you will only need the vBulletin forum software.

Let's see in details what going on with this major evolution.

Review Updates:

  • February 7, 2011: Features updates.
  • February 10, 2010: First Review.

vBulletin 4 is recommended for Huge Community.

(and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

Server & Client Requirements

Server Requirements
Programming Language
Required Architecture and Versions.
  • PHP 4
  • PHP 5
Web Servers
How the forum is delivered to users.
  • Apache 1.3
  • Apache 2.0/2.2
  • Microsoft IIS
  • Lighttpd
How Forum Data are Stored.
  • MySQL
Operating Systems
Systems Supporting this Software.
  • GNU/LinuxGNU/Linux
  • BSD UnixBSD Unix
  • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
  • Apple Mac OSApple Mac OS
Browser & Client Requirements
Compatible Browsers
List of Compatible Browsers.
Mozilla FirefoxMozilla FirefoxInternet ExplorerInternet Explorer
Google ChromeGoogle ChromeOperaOpera
Apple SafariApple SafariKonquerorKonqueror
Mozilla SeaMonkeyMozilla SeaMonkey
Required Plugins/Technologies
Additional or Basic Requirements from Client Side.
Javascript, AJAX.
Languages supported by vBulletin 4.
Supported Languages:
Portuguese (Brazilian) Chinese (Simplified)
German Danish
French Greek
Italian Dutch
Portuguese Romanian
Swedish English (British)
English (American) Chinese (Traditional)

vBulletin provides a localization features that could virtually make it work in any languages... if you translate it.

Translations packages are of course also available at the official vBulletin forum.

vBulletin 4 Screenshot

From this side, vBulletin only had new AJAX calls to improve the usability of the forum, so you will just require a modern browser (or Internet Explorer 6 - sorry, it could not be included within the term "modern").

Compatibility with Smartphones
Compatible SmartPhones
Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
  • AndroidAndroid
  • iPhoneiPhone
  • BlackBerryBlackBerry
  • Windows Phone 7Windows Phone 7
  • Symbian Phones <em>(Nokia)</em>Symbian Phones (Nokia)
  • HP WebOS <em>(ex-Palm)</em>HP WebOS (ex-Palm)
Application Distribution / Type
How it is distributed / App Store Availability
  • Android Market
  • Apple Store
  • Nokia Ovi Store
  • BlackBerry App World
vBulletin Mobile - Forums
vBulletin Mobile - Forums:

List of Forums

vBulletin Mobile - Homepage
vBulletin Mobile - Homepage:

Home of vBulletin Forum

  • vBulletin has a dedicated iPhone application, available at the App Store iPhone vBulletin Application
  • Most of other smartphones operating systems are supported with the famous Tapatalk
  • Finally, vBulletin also provides a specific Mobile Style, which is compatible with most smartphones excepting WP7 and Symbian based phones.

Forum Threads & Posts

Forum Threads / Topics
Forum Style Flat/Threaded Forum Organization
  • Forum Categories
  • URL Redirection Forum
  • Sub Sections
  • Trashcan Forum
  • Tags
Thread Icons Yes Topic Tags Yes
Hot Topics Yes Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics Yes Sticky Threads Yes
Related Threads Yes Detect Duplicate Threads Yes
Announcements Yes
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • Preview Button
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • Plain
  • HTML
  • BBCode
Spell Checker
Checks typos on posts and topics.
Image Attachment
How Images can be Attached and Displayed in Message Posts.
  • Upload via Advanced Attachments. Images can be placed in the flow of message text.
  • Use BBCode or HTML. Need to type the URL of an already hosted image.
Embedded Videos
Videos and Media Websites Supported in Message Posts.
  • YouTube
Posting Features
Quick Reply Box Yes Smileys Yes
Attachments Yes Syntax Highlighting Plugin
Message Rating
Yes Message Quoting Yes

vBulletin 4 - Topic List

The forum topic are really well furnished in terms of features. You can rely on the duplicated thread detection tool, that is good when you have an high traffic and that the same questions often occur in your forum.

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation Yes
Private Messages
Users Can Communicate using an Internal Messaging System.
Instant Messaging
Discuss with Visitors and Members in a Chat Window.
Topic, Member Birthdays, Events are available from the perspective of a calendar.
Online Users List
Connected User List (Often Found in the Forum Footer).
Members List
Search and Consult the List of Members.
Technical Features
Bundled Software
Additional Software Available with the Forum.
  • Website Home Page
  • CMS
  • Blog
  • Bug Tracker
  • Projet Manager
  • Pictures Album Manager
RSS/Atom Syndication
Posts and Threads Exported to Feeds Aggregators Syndicate.
Friendly URLs
URLs are clear and contain information about the topic (title, message,...). Highly recommended for SEO purposes.
Post by Email
Post Directly From your Email Box.
Remote Control
Remote Control from External Software/Websites.
Cache System
Cache pages to optimize bandwidth and load times.
Template Engine
It is easier to theme a forum using a known template engine (more docs & examples,...).
  • Custom Template Engine

vBulletin features are still really huge and have an incredibly large scope. All of them are not mandatory and could be disabled, but vBulletin has clearly simplify the job of webmasters, that won't have to look for additional plugins and modules to fulfill their needs. Some examples are Thread prefixing, User Infractions, User Profile Fields,...

About additional softwares, please note that the CMS and Blog would only be included in the vBulletin Publishing Suite.

The inline editing, quick reply with AJAX and other new features are really useful and give the feeling of a faster website with more interactivity.

RSS feeds are totally customizable, and adding them into Google Reader will make users be able to buzz on forum topics of your website. XML Sitemap are also supported, so controlling the access from search engine robots have never been so easy with vBulletin.

User Profiles & Options

Some details about vBulletin 4 features regarding members.
Member Options & Features
Bookmark Threads
User Profiles Keep a List of Followed Posts and Topics.
Email Notifications
Receive Emails When New Messages are Posted in Followed Threads.
Export private messages
Private Messages can be Downloaded by Users.
Payment Subscriptions
Paying Membership Subscription.
User Profiles
User Profile
User Information and Settings.
Pictures of Members, Useful to Easily Identify their Posts.
Signatures Added at the Bottom of Each Message.
Tags and Labels Identifying the Members, based on specific criteria (Total Posts Count, Credits, Moderation Level...)

Webmasters with an high traffic rate on their forum will be really happy to discover that monetizing their website is now really easy with the two modules called Advertising Module and Paid Subscriptions Management.

The Advertising Module helps adding advertisement on the forum, while the Paid Subscriptions Management asks the users to pay something to gain access to the community.

Such features are extremely rare and that's great that they are by default included in the vBulletin Forum Package.

Moderation & Users Management

Moderation & Threads Management
Pre-Moderation In pre-moderation, every post needs to be validated by a moderator before being published.
Post-Moderation The moderation is done afterwards, if an administrator notices a problem or if a member reports something wrong. Each message is therefore directly published.
Reactive Moderation By reporting any problems, members are reactive against moderation problems. Moderators' main objective is to regularly check user reports, without having to follow each threads.
Distributed Moderation By organizing the forum around moderators, who are usually power and experienced users, moderation is self-powered and only depends on the community.
Moderator per section Yes
Global Moderator Yes
Move Threads
Move Threads from Topics
Shadow Topics
When a thread is moved, the previous position is kept in order to inform users of this modification.
Close/Lock Threads
Close/Lock Problematic Threads
Users Management
User Groups
Organize and define groups of users, and apply different actions and settings on them.
Common Groups: Guests, Members, Moderators, Administrators,...
User Registration
  • Free Registration
  • Registration needs Approval
  • User Account created by Administrator
  • Confirmation sent by email for validation
Limit Features For New Users
Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
Guest Posting Yes
Multiple Administrators Yes
Send Warnings to Users
Inform users by email or PM that they infringe the board rules, and could be excluded for such behavior.
Forum/Section Restricted Access
ACL could be use to determine if a user or a group of users can access (in read only, post message) to some sections and topics.
User Banishment Yes

Administration & Support

The Administration Page is probably the most complicated part of vBulletin, because, as we saw it previously, it is really complete, and so, of course, could be complex to understand.

But vBulletin is a piece of software you discover part by part, really slowly and carefully. This is normal with such forum softwares that are so complete that some users won't never use more that the 5% of standard features. It could be compared, for example, to a Linux distribution, that looks simple from the user perspective, but that is, in fact, really complex and could provide many features (even more than what you can expect, actually).

This is one of the reason that makes vBulletin so used in big communities environment: many advanced features for large environments.

We are however disappointed that the revamp of the default Forum Theme has not been applied to the Administration Interface, that still suffers from its old-fashion look. Maybe this should come in a new release.

Database Management
Backup Database
Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
Prune Database
Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
Restore Database
Restore a backup of your database if the previous install crashed.
Administration Tools
Statistics about posts count, users, traffic...
Yes Error/Notice Log Viewer
Forum Logs could be consulted.
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
Yes Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
Installation & Upgrading
Installation Method
How this forum software could be installed.
Installation Wizard
Upgrading Method
How this forum software could be upgraded.
Upgrade Wizard
Updates Notifications
The Admin Panel informs you when a new version is released.
Forum Migration
Convert an existing forum to vBulletin 4.

The official tool used for vBulletin migration is called Impex, and supports several competitors, including:

  • phpBB
  • MyBB
  • Invision PowerBoard
  • SMF 2.0RC4
  • Infopop's Ultimate Bulletin Board
  • UBBThreads
  • OpenTopic
  • Ezboard
  • Ikonboard

If you want to know more about Impex, I suggest you to have a look at the Official Impex vBulletin Forum.

Security & Spam Protection

Security & Spam Protection
Captcha protects your forum against spam bots.
e.g., Syndicate
Complexity: [++[ Normal
Abnormal Behavior Detection
Detect users or request strange behaviors, and try to process proactive actions.
Words Filtering
Offensing Words are automatically replaced.
User Blacklist
Prevent specific user accounts to register (based on email address, name,...) and disable potentially harmful members.
IP Blocking
Prevent access to spam robots and other scripts that could attempt DDOS or Brute Force attacks on your forum.

Vulnerabilities Advisories Criticality

Secunia Criticality

Secunia Advisories severity affecting vBulletin 4.

Vulnerabilities Impact

Secunia Impact

Secunia Advisories impact affecting vBulletin 4.

Customization & Social Networks

Add new features to your forum installation.
Installation: [++[ Normal
Modify the style of your forum easily.
Custom BBCodes Yes Smiley Packs Yes
Thread Icons
Yes Additional User Profile Fields
Ask more about your members with custom fields.
Integration with Applications, Social Networks, Intranet...
Social Networks
Users can share information from their social network account...
CMS / Blog Bridges
Integration with existing Web publishing tools.
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • WordPress
User Accounts Integration
Do users be able to log in with their corporate, Google, Facebook,... accounts?
Content Aggregation
Forum allows to integrate news and content from other website, using an aggregation protocol (RSS, RDF, Atom,...).

vBulletin provides by default many bundled softwares (Pictures Manager, Blog, CMS, Bug Tracker,...), which tends us to qualify vBulletin as a all-in-one solution. This is particularly perfect for people that don't want to administrate and manage their software installation regularly. Everything could be simply done using the Administration Interface.

The really well known features, like the template editor, the scheduled tasks manager, the localization tools are always available and makes the webmaster's life easier by never having to modify a line of PHP to customize a vBulletin installation. Neither theming nor disabling some features will require you to understand a single line of source code.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
XHTML 1.0 Transitional
Click to see if it respects HTML norms.
CSS Stylesheets
CSS 2.
Click to see if it respects CSS norms.
Accessibility (WAI)
Web Accessibility ensures that the forum is usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.
Conformance to AA level.
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does vBulletin 4 correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?

The W3C norms are respected, and the old layout based on HTML <table> is finally gone. Great news for themers!

Recommended Books

Unique Features

Key points and major differences that make vBulletin 4 unique:

As previously, vBulletin 4.0 provides many additional features, that it is the only one to provide:
  • FAQ Management
  • Pictures Album Manager
  • Advertising Configuration Module
  • Paying Subscription Management
  • XML Sitemap Management
  • Powerful integration between Forum, Blog and CMS (with "Promote to Article" and "Blog this Post" links, for instance).
  • Similar Threads, that provides an estimation of threads that could match to the same topic of the current thread.
  • Blog and CMS softwares only in Publishing Suite.

Final Words


vBulletin is definitely an amazing piece of software. As a forum user, it will be for sure a great experience, while administrators will find a very large scope of available features we do expect in forum software. And it's even nicer to find that all these features are nicely integrated with each others, on a very good base.

The new additional package, called Publishing Suite, that embeds a Blog and a CMS softwares, will perfectly suit community managers who look for a complete solution for maintaining and architecturing their websites. The style and appearance have not been forgotten, because vBulletin bring a totally new theme that's look really more modern and clear. Note that their website has already been migrated to a new layout, that will help users making their choice.

We however regret the fact that an upgrade from a 3.8 license to a 4.0 one will need an additional amount of money and that some communities weren't expecting such decision from the company that develop their forum solution. Of course, the migration will work nicely and without any warnings, but you will have to pay for this process...

For people that are wondering if, even if this is not free, they should migrate to the next release, we would probably answer: Yes, for many reasons: security, maintainability, new features,... But if it won't never be your priority, remember that the vBulletin 3.8 support will end a day, and that this kind of situation could be dangerous. For those people, we recommend to try new open source alternatives, that won't never asking you for paying something, but that, however, could disappear if nobody supports them... The classic Hard Choice...

To conclude, vBulletin 4.0 is a really good and improved version of this really famous forum software, but we are just a little bit disappointed by the prices (especially when you compare it to free/open source solution).

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Comments (43)

I think vBulletin is a very

I think vBulletin is a very nice product indeed and I am surprised that there is such a large discrepancy between its "official" score on this site (10/10) and the "Users Rating" (3/10 at the time of writing)...

Marcel Feenstra

lastnico's picture

Yes, this is surprising... I

Yes, this is surprising... I agree that vBulletin is a really powerful software and actually, the only way to increase its users rating is simply to Rate vBulletin Wink

FSR Admin - Vote for 2012.


I do not recommend this

I do not recommend this vBulletin software to anyone. There are no refunds if you use this software and are not happy with it. Consider this forum software like buying underwear - no returns. vBulletin's policy on returns is not to the benefit of the consumer.

I strongly recommend open-source forum software - applications with choice. The experience in dealing with vBulletin has revealed to me that commercial forum software is not the way to go.


vBulletin used to be great

vBulletin used to be great software mainly because the developers offered great support. It was worth $180 to buy the package because they would help you, answer questions in their forums, and basically stand behind their product. Alas, with their success, they outgrew their ability to support the software. Now topics in their support forum, even simple queries, go unanswered. It's a wasteland there. What a shame.


I agree with the above. The

I agree with the above. The "moderators" responsible for the "tech support" ( well now you have to pay extra for that ) have developed an attitude of pasting pre-made comments to have the poster jump through hoops of obvious answers (eg.."is your computer on?", "did you turn on your monitor"?

The lack of honest support now is amazing for something of this cost. Blame it on the company that bought them and now have ruined a formerly great product. I'd been using VBulletin since 2.X, I let me license expire at 3.8.7 because I hate this company now so much I will never give them another dime of my money. Lousy company, lousy support. They should fire all the smug moderators that hang out there and scratch their asses and do nothing while the people who pay their paychecks struggle with the lousy software.


This is an old post, but I

This is an old post, but I can completely relate to you, but would not include all moderators and support people. I think you made a very good point when you used the word "smug" and like too many 1st line support people, they do tend to cut and paste answers as if the goal was NOT to help the user, but to see how fast they can send back an answer, regardless of the validity of that answer. One support person in particular that I have found to be a totally worthless pompous ass is Zachary Woods, but not all of the support people are like him, sending back answers that make you winder if he even read your request. I have also browsed the forum, which is supposed to be a support forum and watched other pompous ass moderators tell VB users, that it is only for discussion. Discussion my ass! Customer's want answers so they can run their business. Not sit around and chat about issues because they have nothing better to do. Oh and one more joke about this company. Don't bother trying to feedback to a manager via business@vbulletin.com. Here is the response I got back from trying that.

Permanent Failure: 550_5.7.1_Unable_to_deliver_to_


Wow... I am sad to hear this.

Wow... I am sad to hear this. I was thinking of investing in VB, but now I am not so sure. The thing that first attracted me was the SEO aspects. It seems nearly every internet search I do, a VBulletin forum is usually on page 1.

Is there another forum system with similar SEO functionalities anyone can recommend?


Very disappointed with

Very disappointed with version 4, the company seems to not care about customers and the customers are finding this out the hard way with prices having doubled, free services now costing money and product releases having serious security issues. It's no surprise that an average of 5 people leave their team per year.


Shame, I have yet to find a

Shame, I have yet to find a forum system that can match the SEO functionality I have found with VB. Can anyone recommend a system?


I wouldn't recommend this

I wouldn't recommend this software to anyone specially after 'ib' bought it. it has been around 20 months (more than a year and half) since vb4 released and it still buggy with over 1200 confirmed bug/over 2800 bug in total. the company that owns vb doesn't have a clue how to develop a bugfree software or how communicate with its customers. they are fllwing what it called agile develpment which proved its failure. not to mention the the price of this software which is not fair and vb doesn't worth that much of money in its current stat. keeping moving this way i'll give it two years to be in the bottom list of paid forum software. i also think in a year or two there will be a free forum that is much better than vb. vb bosses do not listen to their customers and they don't care about what they want and they only want to get money as soon as possible as much as possible and let customers go to hell, even if they say they're not, it is that way.
my guess vb is in the end of its life


Do not use vBulletin 4! It

Do not use vBulletin 4! It does not work, the staff are complete idiots, support is almost useless and the software is extremely buggy with many features not working properly, or changed and made very complicated!

Use something else, don't give your money to this company.


How much faith can you put in

How much faith can you put in a "review" like this. It's a straight out advertisement! Might go some way to explain the discrepancy between 3/10 from users and 10/10 review.


That is quite a discrepancy.

That is quite a discrepancy. People sure seem to hate VB! It's too bad, I was hoping to put it on my Green Home site...


The software itself is good.

The software itself is good. One of the best. But I don't recommend you to buy it. I don't even recommend you any paid software, and that's because there are free ones that are better. SMF, MyBB and PhpBB are all free and very good.


I wonder how many of the

I wonder how many of the people commenting here have actually used vB4 and are making comments based on their experiences. I've used vB since v3, so I've used both for my business, and the price is a bargain. If you are serious about your site and using vBulletin, $195 (or less as it was) is nothing. A drop in the bucket. Sure, free bb software may be easy to install and use, but so is vB, and you run risks with free bb software, in terms of support, documentation, developer turnover, and overall dedication to the software lifecycle and future direction, depending on who's involved.

There is heavy, clear documentation on how to use vB, unlike many forum software packages. The support on the forums is great, too. My perception for why people are upset with the support is that there are so many inane questions asked. Customers seem to expect the support crew at vB to help customize their vBulletin installation on a regular basis. Come on, folks. Do some Google searches if you want to do some advanced customization of the stylesheets or PHP. Better yet, hire a seasoned developer. Point is, the more you want to customize your site functionality, the more you need to get your hands dirty. In any case, vBulletin's feature set has so many built-in customization options that it's not even laughable.

My experience with vB has been that you get a company who is interested in keeping it up to date and patched more frequently than free bb software because they *do* have a monetary interest in making sure things work well. Significant early v4 bugs have been worked through. Keep in mind no software will ever be bug free, and most bugs are often minor functional or performance issues that 98% of users will never notice anyway. If you have a small user base on a hobby subject and you don't care about losing your data (unless you spend time getting your hands dirty manually backing it up, which you should be), fine. Go ahead and use them. But free bulletin board software has lost its value for me in my business. I need something I can rely on. vB does it for me.


I have to agree with everyone

I have to agree with everyone else here. Nice that things worked out for you, but I still have-not been able to even get this crap up and running. I expect some bugs, but lets get real. The software should at least install and if it does not, support could certainly be much better. It seems like they either cannot read English, or glance over so quickly that they fail to answer logically. I was told to use the control panel after clearly telling them the software did not come up, but gave a syntax error. Think about it. A syntax error? really? On the install?


I mean, seriously. Of the

I mean, seriously. Of the 1329 issues, a vast number of them are improvement requests. If vB is guilty of anything, it's mixing improvement requests with bugs, which should not have been done. People are asking for changes to icons, for crying out loud.



If you are starting a new

If you are starting a new community, vbulletin is a great option, of course you won't get the best support, but the software itselt is good. Also, vbulletin has been around for a while and it isn't hard to find a coder to add new features if you need them.

The great thing about vbulletin 4, is it's SEO features. Friendly urls, page description, and even a sitemap generator.

If you are thinking of MOVING your existing community to vbulletin, I recommend you re-think this decision. If your community is thriving and nothing is broke, why bother with other software? I have to admit that I made the worst decision by moving from SMF to vBulletin 4. Threads size increased and pages loaded much slower, resulting in my site losing traffic from major search engines.

So yeah, new community = vbulletin.
existing community, try something else.


Can not log into the admin

Can not log into the admin area of vBULLETIN 4.0 demo.I can for Supermodo and user.

Same problem with vBULLETIN 3.8


I can not post using my

I can not post using my username sunsettommy.

lastnico's picture

Hi, Have you tried to reset


Have you tried to reset your password?

FSR Admin - Vote for 2012.


I tried the reset your

I tried the reset your password,but never get any e-mail.Therefore I can not fix it.

Please delete my username.


This software is rubbish,

This software is rubbish, really bad, I'm a systems engineer and I can do better forum than this. Look my site is better.





why u say same in every

why u say same in every coment?


You list compatibility with

You list compatibility with mobile devices. Um, I don't think so? The mobil theme is still not done as of 4.1.5... lacks a login screen and crashes all the time.

So far this is what I'd expect from a big POS proprietary pckage like this. I wish my cowrkers had half a clue, we'd be using an OSS system.


I used vb but I think vb4 is

I used vb but I think vb4 is to much expensive


I have been using vBulletin 4

I have been using vBulletin 4 CMS since its beginning and honestly will not recommend it to anyone. It was initially sold in a state that was so full of bugs the CMS was nearly useless for those that did not want to dive into the code. Many of those initial bugs are still problems today. Support has been anywhere from horrendous to adequate. I even witnessed some of vBulletin's staff being extremely rude in response to a customers question.

The forum aspect of the package is pretty good but the CMS and article publishing is appalling.

If you are really tech savvy and want to modify the code to make it work then give it a try. It is not user friendly by any means for someone looking to purchase a product that will suit their needs out of the box.


In my opinion and that of

In my opinion and that of many others using their software, vBulletin is now a train wreck. After Jelsoft (vBulletin's company) was sold to a big corporation, Internet Brands (NASDAQ: INET), the founders left. With the founders, vBulletin's leadership and vision left. With vBulletin's leadership and vision gone, the team of top software engineers left soon after. Without vision, without leadership, and without a good team, vBulletin is now nothing more than a cash cow beholden to shareholders.

To those that disagree, look up the history of vBulletin. Also look up vBulletin's customer feedback forum. Oh, wait! They hide that from the public so others can't see what customers really think.


I personally don't like.

I personally don't like. However thanks for this article.


I am a new customer of

I am a new customer of Vbulletin and can tell you that they are not what the many reviews say, the support system is really poor and you do not find many modifications available, nothing is supported anymore, i wish i would have done my research before investing in this software. I wish the support pages would be open to non customers and could read the many complaints and unanswered questions.
If you install vbulletin, forget about customizations unless you are willing to pay or do them yourself, i am sorry to say that vbulletin does not stand to the standards of what they advertise. The documentation and support forums are a joke, is like everything is standing back from 5 to 10 years ago.


I agree with you on the poor

I agree with you on the poor support, but you, nor anyone else should expect to get free customizations. So lets be fair to VB and complain where they deserve to be complained about, but leave out the things that are unrealistic. They only tend to reduce the impact of legitimate complaints.


I have been using vb for 7

I have been using vb for 7 years on my sites and have been a vbulletin advocate for a long time. My big board is still on vbulletin 3, as vb4 has 800 bugs and a large number of design flaws. vbulletin 4 has nothing of value over vb3. My developers advise against upgrading due to the bad coding quality.

The above review is not consistent with my experience and the experience of many other webmasters. Especially not since in 2010 there were over 2100 bugs discovered in vbulletin. 2100!

vbulletin4 was supposed to be an incremental rewrite. They started the rewrite, but aborted it. Leaving vbulletin with code thats neither here nor there. Some call this spaghetti code. vbulletin has been fixing thousands of individual bugs and now there still are 800 left.

vbulletin development between 2009 and and 2011 has practically stood still. While vbulletin was the best around 2005, vbulletin is simply not a modern platform anymore. I do hope that vb will catch up.

The blog is still the same as when it was released in 2008 and the 'CMS' can not do anything but manage articles and have some widgets. In a very poor way, with a mass of queries, missing functionality, massive design flaws and SEO suicide included. This is not an exaggeration.

I am considering to move my sites from vbulletin to other paid platforms. (XenForo & IPB)


Such a disappointment for me

Such a disappointment for me Sad


I've been using vbulletin for

I've been using vbulletin for over 4 years and currently have 7 sites. I spent some time researching fourms choice and vbulletin came out top for me.

The one downside is that the move to version 4 is little pricey in comparison.


If not VBoard, what else?? I

If not VBoard, what else?? I chat a lot on Harmony Central forums and find that VBoard is awesome. Now I am thinking of starting my own forum site but don't want the headaches mentioned above. What do I do? I really like the quote feature/look of VB and the fact that it has a video link button, so that ppl can post/watch YouTube videos right from your post. What other software has this?


Mybb allows you to do that.

Mybb allows you to do that.


This forum software is very

This forum software is very very very awesome but its very hard to control it like edit the headers footers body's etc..... but its still awesome but why in bloody hell its that expensive i mean $195 is BULLSHIT, why i spouse to buy it if i already download one 4 fre meahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


When I bought vBulletin many

When I bought vBulletin many years ago, they didn't compete with their customers. Internet Brands is the company that owns vBulletin now and competes with customers. vBulletin 4 never delivered what was promised and now the company created the terrible vBulletin 5 software. Customers are really angry about upgrading because the company wants money but doesn't want to deliver what it promised. The vBulletin 5 software sucks. vBulletin 4 is already old software and not developed any more. This company sucks. They cannot be trusted. I bought the software for years. Don't believe the ads. Don't believe the videos. It's a bunch of marketing lies and you only discover it after you buy it. Stay far away from vBulletin.


vBulletin 4 is powerful but

vBulletin 4 is powerful but …
Many many good functions - offen a full time job for the administrator.
But the user interface ist still written in a clumsy old fashioned programmers language.
Modern social network services never would use this wooden wording and sentence construction.
Why the hell is nobody in this company able to write in a faultless manner?

Check this small screenshot and count the faults:

vBulletin's English

And don't tell me that this text cannot be programmed in a correct way.


this is were I lost it!


I read the review and the

I read the review and the review gave me the impression like VB is very much suitable for my needs. However, after going though the comments I think I should do more research to spend money on a forum software. CMS and Blog with forum is a cool idea but if there is no proper support, I think it is not a wise decision to spend my money.


can u support vb 3.8.7 ?

can u support vb 3.8.7 ?

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