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Zetaboards Migration Options

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:20 pm
by attackfrog
Given the death of Zetaboards by absorption into Tapatalk, we need to decide what we're going to do next. I've done some research on what we can do, and since there are pros and cons for each choice I don't think there's a clear, obvious answer. I'm happy to make all of this happen (to the extent of my abilities) but I don't think it should be up to me what we go with. Look through what I've got and share your opinions so we can collectively make a decision on this before the switch is forced on us.



<big>Tapatalk</big>
The default choice if we do nothing. It has a free version with ads and paid versions (&#036;5/10 per month) which remove the ads and Tapatalk branding.
Features: https://www.tapatalk.com/tapatalk_groups
Pros: All of our content (in theory) will be ported over by Zetaboards. It's free.
Cons: It's got a "mobile first" interface, ads, and there are no tools to scrape our content off of it if we wanted to move later (as far as I know.)


<big>Self-hosted Options:</big>
This one is not free, but we'd have control over our database, no ads, no forced moves, no locked features, etc. There's lots of different hosting services to choose from, and &#036;5 per month is probably about as low as we can go there (more expensive hosting wouldn't be all that useful anyway since our community is pretty small.) For all of these we'd be able to have our own domain name as well (I'd be happy to pay for that part.) We'd need to figure out how to pay the monthly hosting fee, though.
There are a bunch of free, open-source software options to choose from:

phpBB
The most popular one, I think. Old-school forum style, like we have now, with skins to choose from.
Features: https://www.phpbb.com/about/features/
Pros: Still actively maintained and supported. Fully featured and customizable.
Cons: It may be possible to bring over our content, but it will be tricky for me to pull off if so.

Simple Machines Forum
Another popular option which is quite similar (at least superficially) to phpBB. Has skins, customization, etc.
Features: https://www.simplemachines.org/about/smf/features.php
Pros: I was able to move over a lot of our data into this format for my https://attackfrog.com/arc test. (The City Limits section didn't get scraped, for some reason, but it may be possible to get that too if I can figure out how the script works and fix it.)
Cons: Not as actively maintained and supported as phpBB, I think.

Discourse
A much more modern and fully featured forum option. It's popular and has a lot of cool stuff. The website says it costs &#036;100 per month, but if you set it up yourself it's only &#036;5 per month.
Features: https://payments.discourse.org/features
Pros: Tons of cool features, looks cool. Has mobile access as well.
Cons: We won't be able to migrate any of our content into it. Its interface is pretty different from Zetaboards so that will take some getting used to.

Flarum
Another modern option. This one also has free hosting at https://www.freeflarum.com with ads.
Features: https://flarum.org/features/
Pros: Same as for Discourse
Cons: Same as for Discourse.


<big>Free Hosting options:</big>
There's also a bunch of free hosting options out there, with ads, just like Zetaboards has been. They pretty much all have their own software. None of them (unless I missed something) are going to be able to import our data. They all also could suffer from the same fate as Zetaboards at some point in the future. We wouldn't have our own domain name (we don't now either though.)

Free Flarum
It's Flarum, above, with some ads. They're going to start offering a paid ad-free plan sometime later this year.

Jcink
Lots of features, classic forum style. I'm not sure if you can change the theme.
Features: https://jcink.com/index.php?p=features

Proboards
Classic forum style, apparently has lots of customization. Ads.
Features: https://proboards.com/free-forum-features

...and more&#33; There's a ton of these things.

Then there's some other options as well: going to Reddit, or joining with GTM. I don't think those are good options, but they're options.

So what do you think?

Zetaboards Migration Options

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:32 pm
by attackfrog
Looks like it's phpBB&#33; I'll try to get that going when I've got a bit of a break from classwork. We also need to decide how we're going to pay for this.

Zetaboards Migration Options

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:59 am
by The_Angry_Goat
how much will it cost you, and do you have paypal?

Zetaboards Migration Options

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:52 pm
by attackfrog
It looks like the best deal is &#036;4/mo for the "introductory period" of 2-3 years, if you pay for that much up front. It's then &#036;8/mo after that. A domain name (.com at least) is a little over &#036;10/year. Most hosting offers come with a free domain name, but it's only free for the first year, and then more expensive than other places after that. I'm thinking the domain name part can be my contribution, and I'll chip in for the rest too if needed. I have PayPal and Venmo.

Migrating is going to be a pain, but it might work if I can import things into a SMF forum like I did before, and then into the phpBB one from there.

What domain name should we use?

Zetaboards Migration Options

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:39 am
by Trihunter
www.advancedrobotcombat.com isn't taken. We could use that, perhaps?

Re: Zetaboards Migration Options

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:55 pm
by Cha0sFerret

Re: Zetaboards Migration Options

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:10 am
by Madman
That was a nice, easy decision. Mostly liking this new board so far.

Re: Zetaboards Migration Options

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:21 am
by That Kode Guy
Looking good so far.