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interested in vanilla, would like to discuss options and maintenance

edited August 2010 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
Im working on a simple fantasy card game in flash, and I want to add a forum for my community. Im hosting on godaddy, who offers a 1-click install of vanilla 1.1.10.
I want to focus on my project, not my forum. Im looking for security, simplicity and pretty much a plug and play setup. I don't want to worry about upgrades or configuring things a lot, I just want a basic forum while I work on my game. Id like to get the in-game account names to be the forum names, but that's not absolutely needed.

I'd like to know if Vanilla 1 is still viable ?

What is maintaining it like ?

How secure versus spammers hackers and malfeasant users is it ?
Can I IP ban easily ?

How easy is it to setup basic color schemes and a background image and header ?

Can I turn off the sidebar ? Its cool, but Id like to try to get it to be slightly more conventional for forum users if possible.

How hard is it to get add-ons working ? Just upload files to a directory ?

How hard is it to get game usernames to be forum usernames, with a site-wide login ?

My basic site goal is to have a main front page that holds the flash game client, with a few notes and links just below it, and a forum on mysite.com/forum. Yeah, thats pretty much it, I might try to add a shoutbox from the forum just below the game client if that's not too hard. simplicity is very important for me, if its all too complex, Ill modify a PHP forum script from a web tutorial, but I really like a lot of what I see in Vanilla. I am interested in Vanilla 2, but V1 is super simple for me to install and setup, its just one click on my host.

I have looked over the addons and documentation some, I like what I see. I setup a SMF forum before, and played around with it, I have to say, it was really complicated and hard to configure, I just want to use it, not spend a year adjusting settings. I also wrote a forum before, very basic but it was functional, I can go back to fleshing that out if nothing works. At this point, its a toss up between Vanilla, SMF, and my own very limited script.

Is Vanilla likely to cover my forum needs with a one-click install from my hot and a day or so of configuration and add-on setup ?

I dont have much control on my server at the moment, is getting V2 uploaded much trouble, just unzip on my drive and upload the folder ?

Thanks for the help, I think Vanilla is a good choice, but Id like to talk about it before I load up my very basic host with files, Id really like to keep it simple, somehow.

--midnight

Comments

  • MikhaelMikhael New
    edited August 2010
    @midnight; If my experience is of any help, I've installed everything under the sun at one point or other, and find Vanilla 2 to be a dream to set-up. Very simple folder structure and plugin management, and the default install already contains most of what a site needs. The Admin Dashboard is also very easy to use compared to some. On top of that, it looks gorgeous and is simple for visitors and members to navigate. One of my favourite parts is the easy and efficient User Role system, which in some site software is either awkward to use, or just non-existent!
  • edited September 2010
    v 2 lookslike a lot more files than v 1, is it harder to maintain ?
    moreso, is it much different, the ease of setup from godaddy sounds nice, will I be missing much ? is v1 more stable or secure since its older ?
  • RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
    edited September 2010
    what the heck do you mean by "maintain"

    vanilla is easy to set up and use (similar to wordpress) but it doesn't have as many management options as other established software like vbulletin
  • installing patches or uploading new files all the time, needing to constantly check for stuff. I understand Ill need to close threads and ban users that are spamming, is this easy to do ?

    part of what turns me off from say phpBB or SMF, is the sheer number of options and tasks that need set or updated all the time. I just want to give my users a place to talk, not spend all my time checking for updates and altering every little thing.

  • @midnight; Well, with any package there are always updates, and forum software seems more prone to this as things are constantly moving towards more integrated social network features. I find other forum software pretty awful in the same way you do, and like the narrower selection of Admin options but the power they offer. Mark and the team, as well as others creating plugins, tend to steer in the direction of simplicity.

    I don't run forums with many users yet, but have worked hard on many systems to try and get what I want. More than just a forum, I want enhanced user interaction for those who require it, and also the ability to let users flag spam and abuse, which Vanilla provides.

    Sounds to me like you should just install Vanilla 2 and play around for a while to see how it feels. A test drive is better than any amount of conversation.
  • yeah Im about ready to install, I downloaded both versions, V1 and V2. I talked to a few friends, most said they just use phpBB, a couple said that Vanilla looked like a 'comment board', which seems to fit. I know if I do end up using vanilla, I will end up needing to change a lot of html/css to get it how I want it, b ut it does look pretty good. I have to say, after looking through the library folder in V2, my impression of vanilla as being simple and straightforward is shattered, there are a dozen libraries and frameworks involved, many I know nothing about, but I will give it a try.
  • TimTim Operations Vanilla Staff
    @midnight Please make sure you have the very latest version (2.0.6). 2.0.4 has some subtle naming issues that we corrected a few minutes after launching. Sorry for the trouble :)

    Vanilla Forums COO [GitHub, Twitter, About.me]

  • MikhaelMikhael New
    edited September 2010
    @midnight; Whatever system you use, when you go deep cover on it you'll get scared silly - trust me on that. There is no perfect, simple, ultra-reliable "we'll never need to fix bugs in this" software. Vanilla 2 is just a lot nicer to use than others in my experience, both as Admin and user. I'll be doing a lot of playing around with my custom theme soon, as I want to create a social network site with discussions for potential clients, rather than just a forum with some social aspects. Although social networking may not be the major push in Vanilla 2's advertising (what advertising..?) it lends itself naturally to it.
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