This is a core function in Burning Board 3, which was released 2008. IPB should not use a global error message when someone doesn't have permission to access a site. Instead IPB should tell why someone has no permission (banned, suspended, moderated etc.) including with an optional reason.
Ha, I'm in the same situation as the OP. I too purchased a XenForo license because of all the hype, but I am really missing essential features there that I can get even with free software. Since vB is rubbish I am playing with the thought of moving to IPB, but I need to sell my license first and in order to do that I need to own the license at least 120 days, so I have to wait. My decision however is not final. It depends whether or not the upcoming version will fill the feature gap.
At the moment the strongest contra IPB points are the SEO issues and the slowness of this software. I have visited many many IPB sites and they all are not as fast as XenForo, WBB or MyBB. Performance is very important to me. Fast forum scripts prove that it can really be fun to participate in communities. And the community should always be the most important part of a forum software.
That being said I will try to answer some questions of the OP:
#1: I am an active member of an IPB board which uses the Portal. It works similar to XenPorta.
#2: On the IPB board I am an active member you can do that. Dunno if this is a custom modification or an add-on.
#3: You refer to this enhanced Like add-on for XF? I was also looking if this is available for IPB, but couldn't find anything.
#5: AFAIK this is an XF exclusive feature at this time. You can always check the IPB demo and see what it can do.
I'm sorry that this post is completely off-topic, but I really need to ask something after I visited the site of the OP.
@Steven UK Are you using IP.Content on your site? I ask because this looks basically exactly like my Joomla site and I was thinking to move it to IP.Content, but wasn't sure if IP.Content could do what Joomla can do. Also I noticed that your site is very fast compared to almost any IPB site I visited. Did you do something special to make your site run that fast?
That was a good explanation. I think I got it now. Two more question, though.
1) Can IP.Chat be used as a shoutbox? (Without avatars and obviously only accessible on user's request).
2) If I buy a 6 months IPB license and a 1 year 20 users IP.Chat license, can I use IP.Chat after 6 months have expired without renewing my IPB license?
I always thought that IP.Chat was an for what's it's worth overpriced chat add-on that runs on your own server, and with multiple available alternatives without any user restrictions. I'm not sure why I thought that, but after reading the description from the product site again I realized that it's not your overall chat add-on, but a hosting service.
I have thought about this since and came to the conclusion that IP.Chat is pretty awesome. If it's true that it runs on IPS' servers it would mean that even people with a shared hosting plan can offer their users a chat. $20 per year for 20 users is pretty affordable.
Putting this aside, I fail to see how IP.Chat can work how it's advertised. I mean IP.Chat claims to use the own database of users and admins can maintain the chat like it was hosted on their own server. But how is this possible? When the chat is hosted on a foreign server how can this server have access to the database? Doesn't it have to query the local database all the time?
Sadly I wasn't able to find such an add-on on the marketplace. It surprises me because IPB has much more add-ons than XenForo. I consider it a must-have add-on because according to multiple reports it brings a lot of fun in a community. And isn't at the end of the day the most important part to let your community have fun with your forum software? Well, I hope such an add-on will be added someday to the IPB marketplace :smile:
I am currently evaluating what forum software I should get. I'll either get IPB or XenForo. XenForo has an awesome post rating add-on that seems not only to increase traffic, but to bring a lot of fun in a community: http://xenforo.com/community/resources/post-ratings-taking-likes-to-the-next-level.410/
While IPB has an amazing feature set I wasn't able to find a similar add-on. Now my question is, does anyone know if such an add-on for IPB exist?