Ideas are constantly being drawn as to what can be done with your Vbulletin software to help benefit your website as a whole. Vbulletin is no longer a simple forum software with limited capabilities. The outcome of forums worldwide has changed quite a bit. As a result, the potential of your website is increasing by the day, whether you choose to utilize it or not
Regardless of your website, there are several different ways Vbulletin can be developed to suite your desires. Whether you seek a simple forum community where people who share common interests can chat it up, a revenue generating website which can extend the power of your business (or be the basis of your business), a good content-based website, and much more.. the opportunities are endless. However, know what you want from your Vbulletin website.
And more than that, know that impossible is nothing
Design & Development
A first impression is by far one of the strongest - lasting impressions - there are. This applies to most things in life, including your website!
Know what you want
What kind of crowd are you seeking to attract? What kind of user-interface would a crowd like this like? Are you seeking something simple and to the point
? Something very design-oriented
? Something clean & sleak? Something total web 2.0
Something strongly content-based
with a variety of sections and information
that requires a simply a set of nice/welcoming colors to accompany a content-based
design? Remember that your colors can very well be what makes or breaks the popularity of your website's design to your particular community. Be sure to give thought into the set of colors you choose and determine how it will welcome your members/viewers as a whole
What kind of design are you looking for?
- Pre-made Design: A pre-made design is a template in which is made for the purpose of being sold to multiple customers. The average price of a pre-made design can range between $20-$50. The plus side to a pre-made design is that you know what to expect, as a demo will almost always be available. Pre-made templates have been made to suite the needs of almost every webmaster - as far as design. However, it is often debated that going with a pre-made takes a sense uniqueness away from your website. A pre-made will always be made available to websites other than yours. So the question is, although a premade may suite you as far as the design and layout, does it suite the needs of your site and the design, features, and individuality in which it deserves?
- Custom Design:Custom designs are designs made solely for the purpose of your website. The average price of a custom design can range between $300-$1000+ depending on the extent of the design, changes you'd like to make to the standard structure of Vbulletin, and features you'd like to include via the templates. Custom headers, icons, gradients (images shown behind category titles, headings, etc), buttons, templates (the html which lays out your website), etc. are offered within a custom design. Since you will be working with your designer directly and not purchasing a design already made, it's your website that's being catered to. Be sure to get updates along the way of any custom design to ensure your satisfaction and make revisions as they come in the attempt to not set your self up for disappointment of the final product. This is why i always stress how important it is to know what you want.
A lot of times, the changes that you seek can be done by editing vbulletin's existing templates directly, without the need of php (a more complex programming language which is used as the backend of Vbulletin's structure). Things such as adding buttons on certain pages, changing the table structure of certain sections, adding things to the layout, etc. can all be done via templates. Template modifications are by default much cheaper than php work. However, an exact range of price can't be given as the work can get just as pricey
depending on what modifications you're in search for
Plugins & Products
When dealing with features that require modifying vbulletin's existing features, or features you'd like to add to your website, Plugins & Products
- Plugins: Plugins are sets of code which can be placed in existing plugin locations called "hooks". Plugins are made in order to be able to add your own code within the features your website already has (in between certain files, etc.)
- Products: Products are what support the plugins. The standard product in your software is of course Vbulletin. Although vbulletin doesn't use plugins (since it's the base product and has all it's code directly in the files), plugin locations are given throughout the entire vb structure in order to allow custom code to be integrated. When you add modifications, a lot of times you will see a list of plugins added in your admincp, with the product title shown above them.
The price of products/plugins range depending on whether or not you're receiving custom programming or purchasing an already developed modification. See what will suite you best. If this is going to be an aspect of your site in which you'd like to keep for yourself, custom programming would be needed. It would also be needed of course if the modification you desire just hasn't been coded yet
. Small plugins such as drawing your latest members in a table can cost somewhere within the low-mid $xx range (growing larger as more information, a complex layout, etc. is added). A large variery of plugins or a product for a major addition can cost anywhere from the $xxx-$xxxx range easily.
Arcades, tournament sections, marketplaces, newsletters, content-management systems, etc. are examples of custom scripts in which have been made for Vbulletin. If you are in search of a custom script, expect to pay between mid the mid $xx to high $xxx range for scripts already made, or $xxx-$xxxx range for custom scripts (depending on extensiveness of the modification).
Now that you have all the information you need to further develop your Vbulletin software, I wish you a good luck on your journey to success!