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I’m a pretty standard guy by all accounts. Out of frustration I started an online gallery back in 2007 with about 20 historical images of the area I live in. Soon I upgraded the html album to Coppermine and the album grew. I wanted to grow a community so I bridged phpBB with Coppermine and then later SMF with NKPortal. Boy that was a great set of scripts. But growth was being restricted by Coppermine and the administrators were becoming hostile towards their community so it was about time to jump ship. By this time I had about 10k images and several hundred members.
I wanted to show the seriousness of my intentions so I went ahead and brought Photopost Pro and migrated away from Coppermine. The bridge with SMF was poor and it was causing issues so in 2009 I upgraded to Vbulletin 3 and migrated to VBGalley for a tight integration. This was a great move and we were happy.
Unfortunately Photopost became more and more difficult to get fixes and help from. The gallery was targeted regularly by spammers and hackers to the point that the gallery was no longer functional. Despite an upgrade to VB4 CMS it was soon taking its toll on the community and members started to leave. The site was slow and altogether antique like.
Having by now over 30K images in VBGallery was apparent to me that I was stuck. There was almost no way to migrate the albums to a platform that was suitable for our needs. And so the community collapsed! Late in 2015 a fresh spark of hope glimmered from the distance in the form of Xenforo and notably the media gallery.
After weeks of work on the old VBGallery to clean it of spam and hacks, repairing albums and restructuring pictures and comments we were able to import our beloved albums in to our new Xenforo website.
I’m delighted with the forum and gallery and despite becoming a victim of past platforms we now have the courage and, thanks to Xenforo, the tools to rebuild our community and become that number 1 site again.