“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Or so the saying goes. I like that philosophy, but in conflicts with my inate desire to push the envelope. And so two of my websites running vBulletin are due for an update. GetGamer.com and BigBlueBall.com are both currently running vBulletin 3.06 — and it’s time to upgrade to 3.5.
For anything but a plain-vanilla installation of vBulletin, the upgrade process is a PITA. The myriad of template modifications on both sites need to be reverted and reintegrated. Every add-on needs to be reinstalled… assuming a compatible upgrade is even available.
vBulletin 3.5 integrates a few nice enhancements for members, such as AJAX-enabled quick replies and Skype integration. But the real benefit comes on the management and administration side. Moderating is much easier with the new AJAX enhancements, and future upgrades will theoretically be easier with the new plug-in system.
The good news is that vBulletin 3.5 does work. I’ve got test copies of both forums currently running. Next step is to complete all the template modifications, then test the required add-ons and switch everything over. If all goes well, GetGamer should be up-and-running on vBulletin 3.5 this weekend, and BigBlueBall next weekend.