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Seamless User Experience Between Wordpress and Xenforo?

coder

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Hi, after watching your videos a few times and reading everything I could about XFtoWP, I finally purchased and setup XenForo on a WP site thanks to your add-on :)

There are several forum solutions for Wordpress, but some are slow with outdated designs and most forums users are more familiar with XF or VB. But wanting the main WP site and forum to be seamless to the users posed a potential problem. Which is where this add-on comes in?

At the pre-purchase stage, it seemed that the add-on would make it possible for users to: Create a new account from either the XF side or WP, and have that account work on both installs simultaneously and automatically; Login to one side would auto login to the other; Seamlessly be able to click from the WP site to the forum while being logged in to both; Comment on a WP post, then reply to a XF thread, all under the same username and login instance; Logout from one side would logout entirely from the site.

But after triple checking the setup and testing for hours, it appears that it's not as seamless as it seemed like it would be: Users are not automatically being logged in from one to the other (they have to login twice, that is confusing for users). They are not being logged out from one to the other (also confusing). New user accounts are not being created equally on both sides.

Is there something wrong or did I get overly excited and allow my specific needs to get intertwined with what the add-on can actually accomplish?

After all of this time and money spent, it looks like the best solution for a large Wordpress site/userbase to stick to a WP based forum :(
 

Alex

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Hi coder, thanks for buying XFtoWP! Not all of the things you've mentioned below have been claimed to be possible at this time with the plugin:

At the pre-purchase stage, it seemed that the add-on would make it possible for users to: Create a new account from either the XF side or WP, and have that account work on both installs simultaneously and automatically; Login to one side would auto login to the other; Seamlessly be able to click from the WP site to the forum while being logged in to both; Comment on a WP post, then reply to a XF thread, all under the same username and login instance; Logout from one side would logout entirely from the site.

XFtoWP currently works best with user registration done from the WP site, and logging in from WP will also log them into your XF site. Also, thread comments are populated from forum replies and the comments from WP doesn't yet cross-post to XF, though that is a feature on our roadmap. We are also currently developing a tool that allows you to mass import users from the XF DB into WP so all users can have a connection already made. From there we will be releasing enhancements like the comments cross-post and other requested features from the forums here.

After all of this time and money spent, it looks like the best solution for a large Wordpress site/userbase to stick to a WP based forum :(
I don't think this has to necessarily be the case if you can set up login/register from WP and offer simple documentation on how accounts works. The goal of XFtoWP as it continues development is to become more seamless, but with manual user verify and the current features you can create a cross-site integration that works albeit not 100% seamless.
 
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coder

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Hi, thank you for putting your effort into this add-on. It is developers like you who make the internet what it is for all of us to use and enjoy.

It can't be denied how important marketing is for a product or business (MD!), it's what drives sales and sales drive development... but you may find it worth your while to clear up any ambiguities in the marketing of this add-on. The things mentioned above may not be claimed to be possible, but if a customer was driven to make a purchase thinking those were possibilities, then the idea is there one way or another. Clearing up these points before a payment is sent will take away a few sales, but it will save you time in dealing with forum threads like this and having to explain to unsatisfied customers that they misunderstood the add-on's current capabilities.

Recommended: Add a list of things this add-on does not currently do. Also, as a new user, the + New Action section is confusing, it would be nice if there was a list of all available actions in the documentation.

I don't think this has to necessarily be the case if you can set up login/register from WP and offer simple documentation on how accounts works.
Maybe you can provide a sample of suggested simple documentation for XFtoWP users to copy/paste. Such documentation could also clear up any misunderstandings about the capabilities pre-purchase.

XFtoWP currently works best with user registration done from the WP site, and logging in from WP will also log them into your XF site.
Can confirm that this is working! New accounts created on WP (WP has such an tedious user onboarding experience) also automatically creates the same account on XF and automatically logs the user into the forum upon initial sign-in. Where the process drops the ball is in logging out. Log out of XF does not log out of WP. Try explaining to a non-technical userbase that they will need to logout of two locations lol. Is this in the future?

Quick Review:
I think XFtoWP currently best serves WooCommerce sites that sell products requiring after sales support. For this purpose, the add-on would work perfectly as advertised: The customer buys the product (a digital good like a theme or plugin) then upon purchase, their account automatically turns into a forum account with access to product support threads. The original login is not really important since they are probably not going to log back into the WP or WC side of things unless they want to complete another purchase. The forum is where you want them and this process handles routing them there and giving them member permissions after the purchase.

For community sites, adding an external forum like XF to an existing WP userbase is too buggy. I'm not talking about things like sharing post comments as forum thread replies. This is actually not as useful as all the WP forum plugin developers (Simple:press,etc) think it is, except for a support forum situation as mentioned above where a changelog blog post can crossover to a forum support thread. I'm talking about the basics.

For example, if you have a large WP site with extensive ongoing discussions in post comment sections, but also want to create a forum for user generated discussion where they have one single username and login credentials for both, there are still too many gaps in the process that potentially cause confusion or make the site look janky. This isn't the fault of XFtoWP, this is common with just about any software bridge solution.

The need: Users want the ability to start and reply to forum discussions, and comment on blog posts with the same username... all while creating one account and logging in and out once each direction, and seeing post comments and forum replies in one place.
 
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Alex

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Hi, thank you for putting your effort into this add-on. It is developers like you who make the internet what it is for all of us to use and enjoy.
Thank you, I grew up with forums and blogs and think discussion and community is at the heart of the internet. I want to keep that fun alive with every product I make.

Your feedback here is very valuable and much appreciated. The more people who invest in this product the faster we can develop it, and much of what you have suggested here is on our roadmap.

We are currently redesigning the MD and XFtoWP websites to be more clear and include better documentation, and we are here to answer any questions and roadblocks you run into the meantime.

Where the process drops the ball is in logging out. Log out of XF does not log out of WP. Try explaining to a non-technical userbase that they will need to logout of two locations lol. Is this in the future?
We are limited by what is built into the XFAPI, and fortunately it does a lot—but I don't recall a logout route available for us to use. I'll double check and look around the XF forums for any discussion about this.


For community sites, adding an external forum like XF to an existing WP userbase is too buggy. I'm not talking about things like sharing post comments as forum thread replies. This is actually not as useful as all the WP forum plugin developers (Simple:press,etc) think it is, except for a support forum situation as mentioned above where a changelog blog post can crossover to a forum support thread. I'm talking about the basics.
I think buggy is too harsh of a word, you can word it that "to get access to support, register a forum account here and verify that account in your members area." Its not a common workflow, but is suitable and does work. We are working to make it more seamless as mentioned and add more UI helpers to further ensure accounts are being verified if they weren't created together at registration.


For example, if you have a large WP site with extensive ongoing discussions in post comment sections, but also want to create a forum for user generated discussion where they have one single username and login credentials for both, there are still too many gaps in the process that potentially cause confusion or make the site look janky. This isn't the fault of XFtoWP, this is common with just about any software bridge solution.
This is something I am very keen to solve, by being as aggressive as registering users on post comment submission.

Thanks again for your feedback and I encourage you to post as much as you are comfortable. The benefit of a small company like us with a small user base is we can work with you to shape the plugin closer to how you want to use it, and much of your feedback is underway in some shape or form.
 
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cejay

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For community sites, adding an external forum like XF to an existing WP userbase is too buggy. I'm not talking about things like sharing post comments as forum thread replies. This is actually not as useful as all the WP forum plugin developers

I agree that, in general, adding an external Forum Base (such as XF) to an existing WP base is too "cumbersome" for the developer and users. And I agree that sharing post comments as forum threads isn't very useful either.

We just want to mesh our systems around one user base. I see things on the horizon as far as meshing the users.

But navigating this forum to find anwers is nearly impossible for me. I guess I didn't grow up on forums. I think I posted twice... but maybe it was only once. I can't find answers to them anyway, but this post is always at the top so I've read it several times and it seemed like a good spot for a nudge.
 
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