vBulletin Memories

May 12, 2022

Nearly 2 decades ago, vBulletin used to be the best forum software around. Until they were bought by Internet Brands in 2007, whose only interest is money. 

In the following 3 to 4 years, Internet Brands drove vBulletin to the ground. They lost their employees, and their new releases were all absolute shit. Even today, vBulletin 5 is one hell of a stinker. Stay away from it. 

Then around 2011, everybody moved their forums to XenForo and never looked back. vBulletin was becoming a thing of the past. 

For some reason, something made me think of vBulletin today, so I decided to take a look at their official forum and their modding community, vB.org. Oh boy, the years haven't been kind to them. These sites are basically dead now. 

vBulletin.com has 5 active topics today: 

Now, vBulletin.org, their modding community. has 3 today: 

These 2 sites would have hundreds, if not thousands of posts every day, back when vBulletin 3 was in its prime. A decade after the fall, they're barely hanging in there, a shell of what they used to be. 

The vBulletin.org website is in and of itself, an online relic of a bygone era. Still rocking vBulleting 3 like we're still in the 2000s. 

Time sure flies! 

Here's a screenshot of Paranormalis, running on good old vB3 in 2007. Notice how narrow the site is, to accommodate the low-res monitors we had back in those days. 

I remember the "Today's Posts" button, as well as the "What's Going On?" section at the bottom. vB3 is the first forum software I've used as a member and as an admin. It'll always feel special to me. 
Here's one of Paranormalis, this time on vB4 in 2010. vB4 was pretty bland, but kind of okay at release.  It got so worse as they updated it over time. 

One of its big selling points was its Publishing Suite. Now, you didn't have just a forum anymore. You had a pretty good article management system and Blog section. The forum remained the core component and everything was well integrated, overall. 

Well, too bad it was slow and unreliable. Despite the new additions, it felt inferior to vB3. 

Alright, that's all I got for today. 

See you next time! 

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