I guess I'll update eventually, when 3.4 is not longer supported, but even then I'll have to think it carefully. Hopefully in the meantime it becomes easier to upgrade, bugs completely ironed out. More case studies from those who have updated, etc. Imagine support for 3.4 continued indefinitely (which we know it won't), I wouldn't upgrade. While I'm yet to fully see the advantages of IPB 4, I find certain things from 3.4 (and even from previous versions kept thanks to third party hooks, etc) very handy, and unfortunately they are gone with version 4. The problem is that when you have built a community with earlier versions of IPB, and some things have become essential part of it, it's hard to say that we don't have them any longer.
Hello, I need a very simple application for IPB 3.4.5 that all it does is redirect to an external url when you click on it. I'd even try to make it myself if I had time but I don't right now. Basically, just like a link. However, I need this as an application instead because I use a theme that only displays icons on the navigation bar for applications (all other links I can put under a type of "More" menu item). I don't even need the icon for this application, as I can do that myself. I only need for the tab to be visible in the navigation bar. Just like these apps in the attached example.
Maybe a tad off-topic but I have a question regarding this. Would such an option slow down the site? Or phrased differently, if we were able just to display the main categories with the parent forums but not the subforums inside, would this help with performance?
And you can have an admin group that is not called anything like that, like we do on my forum. So, I don't mind the Admin batch, as it helps stating the obvious particularly for those who are new to the site and they are not familiar yet with our user groups.
I have an IPS site which is relatively niche-oriented. In the first year of existence we got approx. 9,000 members, in the second one approx. 22.000, and now approaching the third year we'll be around 36,000. For a site with a mainly regional focus (90 something per cent of users live in Australia, which by the way it's not a very populated country) we are not doing badly at all. Are we as easy to use as Facebook or Twitter? Of course not; moreover, we are more difficult to use than the IPS site, because you have to post a Hello message before gaining full access, you cannot see members' profiles, galleries, etc. until you reach 10 posts. There are huge permission differences between some membership groups. I guess all this creates a natural selection between those who stay, learn their way around and love it (we have unique content and at the end of the day our structure is logical), and those who can't be bothered working things out and leave (but even for these we serve as a good resource of info, even if they just remain lurkers).
Those who stay and love it, talk to other people on social media, at work, etc. and many come to us really curious and ready to overcome a bit of difficulty at the beginning, so word of mouth shouldn't be underestimated.
Now, for several reasons discussed by others in this thread, I thought it was time to get another basket and put a few eggs in it too... just in case. So, I built a new site with social media and the Facebook way of interacting in mind. I'm running phpfox software, which on one hand has many features that many would like to see coming from IPS, yet on the other, it doesn't feel nowhere near as robust and thoughtfully created and tested as IPS. It's a bit of a Facebook wannabe software but keeping in mind that we won't have the same infrastructure behind it, which is a realistic approach.
Since theme-wise the new site is similar (yet maybe a tad broader than my IPS site), and there's basically no moderation (very much unlike my IPS site), and all forms of advertising are free (also unlike my IPS site), I thought that all I would need to do was to tell users on my site about it, and the new site would sail along fast. Well, here's what happened; some went, signed up, made a few posts, got bored due to the lack of unique content and left. I also tried to spread the word via other means, but it's an uphill battle when people have Facebook and Twitter for the kind of Gen Y type of interaction. It's around 6 months since I opened it and we just passed the 700 members (we get fresh waves of them only when my IPS site is down because I'm upgrading or something, activity catches up but then gradually lessens as people go back to my IPS site).
So, to make a long story short, it's much harder to battle the Facebook effect when you try to be a like Facebook than when you simply are something completely different to Facebook. Of course this is not say that some IPS functions couldn't be more user-friendly (eg. adding full or medium size photos on posts, etc). But overall, I'm extremely happy with IPS because I know that when it comes to making some forms of content the king, it is to a large extent what I actually need.
I think it's a great tool. I know my members wouldn't like to see it go. Basically it covers a different function to the chatroom, it involves less time, and you don't need to chat with anyone really. It is just for isolated shouts. I'm sorry to see that it has put off two great contributors already.
Now, here's an idea, maybe a silly one, but what about if by default, rather than having a warning about resource-intensive settings, you just don't have the possibility to misconfigure it. I have to admit that I have never adjusted the default settings and never had a problem with it. I also use it on the forum sidebar only (I never liked how it looks on top the forums). Anyway, I hope that someone comes to the rescue, and members learn to be a bit friendlier towards the developers.
It would be good if everyone was forced to choose any of them rather than going forward with the default. That is, disallowing to continue the registration unless you pick one. And that as for anything you have marked as required. I don't know how it works in the end; I have gender set as "required" in my custom fields but I see some go ahead with the wrong choice as they didn't even change that.