Let me preface by saying that I've been a vBulletin customer for over 10 years.
vBulletin, at one time, was the pinnacle of forum software. Gradually however, it has completely lost its way among other forum software competitiors. In my opinion, the fall started when it was aquired by Internet Brands a few years ago. Most of the original vBulletin founders and creators left the company, leaving it to careless corporate management and incompetent developers.
That said, the problems started with the incarnation of VB4, which debuted under the new management and developers. It was basically an update of previous software code written by the vBulletin founders. That's when the problems started however, when the new incompetent developers started adding to and mangling the original code. It has gradually became useable forum software, but is still very server resource intensive and bug riddled. Not to mention, no major updates have been made to it in almost a year. Coincidentally, development seemed to cease on VB4 around the time VB5 development came into full force, thus customers using VB4 were left in the dark.
That brings us to the newest vBulletin incarnation, VB5. Needless to say, VB5 is shockingly awful. Seemingly written by coding amateurs, it's buggy, slow as molasses, server intensive and lacks a tremendous amount of features that VB4 offered. Also lately, new versions seem to be rolling out at a snails pace, with little in the way of improvements. It's basically a shell of what vBulletin once was.
To add to the fire, vBulletin employees also seem to have issue in dealing with their paying customers. As one myself, I've personally been treated very condescendingly by the staff/moderators. They seem to have no professional regard for what they say, with little to no common courtesy. Posts in the vBulletin forums that don't praise them or the company seemingly either disappear or are closed by the staff, thus leaving hardly no way to give advice toward improving the software. Also, often very snide remarks are made by staff before a thread closure.
To sum it up, if I were in the market for forum software, I would NOT use vBulletin. There are many great alternatives out there for much cheaper prices, a ton more features and staff who care and aren't flat out rude...
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