Update 08/06 16:30 ET: And we're done, the new forums are live.

Taking a break from our usual technology news, we have a bit of site news to discuss this evening.

For the past couple of months we have been preparing a much-needed forums upgrade behind the scenes, one that will upgrade our circa 2009 vBulletin based forums with a newer platform based on XenForo. Among other improvements, this allows us to offer full HTTPS encryption for all connections (and better backend security), better spam control, and like the main AnandTech site itself, a single responsive design that adjusts to both desktops and mobile devices (but fear not, we’re also continuing Taptalk support).

With the bulk of the behind the scenes work having wrapped up, we’re finally ready to complete the upgrade and transfer everything over to the new forums. To do this we’ll be taking the AnandTech forums offline this Friday at 6pm ET (22:00 UTC). This will allow us to minimize the disruption and allow the bulk of the transfer to take place overnight, with the new forums set to come online on Saturday.

The full announcement from Purch’s community team is posted below. Further information can be found in the respective threads linked below, and, of course, our comment system will not be impacted by this change.

Greetings AnandTech members!

In the interest of substantially improving the user experience and security for all members in our community, we’re migrating the forum software from vBulletin to XenForo.  We’re undertaking this important move for a number of reasons:

  • Security is improved greatly in the new platform, and we’re also rolling out SSL as an additional security measure

  • Development in XenForo is more active and is based on a modern framework

  • The learning curve for our users is tiny, as XenForo was built by the previous developers of vBulletin

  • Extra built-in features like spam prevention that are stricter and more effective

  • Easier and more intuitive platform for both new and veteran users

  • The add-on ecosystem for new features and functionality is larger

  • Significant increase in site speed and load times

  • Responsive design that scales with resolution and mobile-friendly interface

We’ll be taking the forum offline for a number of hours over this coming weekend to complete the migration.  Upon return from the downtime, all of your content and profile information will be present, and you’ll be able to login as normal.  

Our goal with this transition is to provide a stable base platform, so we’ve endeavored to keep any major, customized changes apart from the platform to a minimum.  The theme itself is simpler and cleaner to allow members to acclimate.  We’re holding off on any massive thematic or extraneous feature changes (keeping them to a small number), and going as vanilla as possible to make the move a smooth one, as switching to a new platform is a major undertaking and we’re resolved to keep your content safe above all else.

We know that jumping platforms can be disruptive to your routine; familiarity and comfort of habits are as important in online communities as they are in real life.  We are making this change to safeguard the continued growth of AnandTech, with both eyes towards a very bright future for the community.  During the transition, please bear with us patiently as we work diligently to bring the forum over to the new platform.

To read over some of the big changes and how they might affect you, check out our handy guide to transitioning from vBulletin to XenForo here:
Guide to the New AnandTech Community

If you encounter a bug with the new platform, please let us know in this thread:
AnandTech XenForo Feedback

Thank you for your attention, and we’ll see you on the forums!

Warm Regards,
Joe Pishgar
Director of Community, AnandTech

 

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  • Ryan Smith - Friday, August 5, 2016 - link

    The theme is admittedly not our first priority for rolling out the new forums. But I will poke the devs once the roll-out is done and see if we can get a dark theme going. Reply
  • Crono - Saturday, August 6, 2016 - link

    Thank you for the prompt response! Reply
  • Fallen Kell - Friday, August 5, 2016 - link

    I love how the "Guide to the New AnandTech Community" is on the forums that are now not accessible.... Would have been much better to have them here on a page that could be reached while the forums are down..... Reply
  • John Connor - Friday, August 5, 2016 - link

    Well, it's about time. Would have loved to see phpBB used instead, but seen as how the Devs of vbulletin created XenForo, I can see why the choice of XenForo, epecially with migration which might be a PITA with phpBB despite their convertor. HTTPS is a nice touch. Especially when anyone and everyone can use HTTPS for free with LetsEncrypt. All it requires is a few commands in shell and you have a nice free Cert that auto renews every three months. For even better SPAM protection have a look at CIDRAM over at github. Worth a look anyway. Reply
  • TastesLikeChicken - Friday, August 5, 2016 - link

    This gets a thumbs up from me. I remember the switch from FuseTalk to vB and how some hated it. F the tech luddites. It's time to move on. I don't expect it to be perfect right away, but I do expect it to be close to perfect eventually. Hope you guys knock it out of the park. gl. Reply
  • Aikouka - Saturday, August 6, 2016 - link

    Hm... probably the best thing for me is that a bit of Google searching shows that keyboard shortcuts for things like text formatting works on XenForo in Chrome. That was probably one of the bigger annoyances when I swapped from Firefox to Chrome as it's a lot easier to just hit CTRL+B rather than to encase the text with . ...and don't even get me started on manually doing lists! Reply
  • bigboxes - Saturday, August 6, 2016 - link

    Wasn't too happy at first. Loved the classic look of vBulletin. It's a lot easier to read than the new XenForo. However, I already made the transition on another unrelated site from vBulletin to XenForo and it has a lot going for it. If it helps improve security then I am all for that. Had some hackers take down our vBulletin website back in 2014. Miss that place. Anyways, I'm sure you'll get the bugs worked out and then AT should be better than ever. Reply
  • nfriedly - Saturday, August 6, 2016 - link

    I'm reading this on my phone, and just realized that anandtech.com doesn't appear to link to the forums anywhere in the mobile view. Might be worth changing now that you have a mobile-friendly forum. Reply
  • ET - Sunday, August 7, 2016 - link

    I just searched the forums for 'bristol ridge'. Got 4 results with the titles:

    Best wine for $30-40?
    Where can I buy this CD?
    BIG LIST - Xbox Deals (last update: 2/4 AM)
    Free Fax numbers for those who miss Efax...

    If I search for 'raven ridge' (which is in a title on the first page of the CPU forum), I get:

    XBox or Gamecube?
    What are some must haves for Xbox?

    This is beyond ridiculous.
    Reply
  • dsraa - Monday, August 8, 2016 - link

    Great, now can we upgrade the comment sections as well? I think this was more needed than the forums.

    Honestly, I would like a cross platform system that worked off of disqus, or something similar, and that we can edit our comments, AND AND get notifications for new ones, and replies to our own comments.

    That should work like it does on many other websites, but no, not here.
    Reply

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