I'm working on a forum right now that has just been upgraded to PhpBB3 (from PhpBB2). I ran into many issues trying to customize it to add a portal, rotating banners, installing and uninstalling MODS, etc. So today I've been looking at alternative solutions.
The database is almost 650MB, there are 10,000+ members, as well as attachments, audio and MIDI files, and the usual images, photos, banners, etc. Moving this big a forum and database is risky, and has to be done right so as not to lose anything. Of course I expect some issues in a conversion, but as long as there's a way to retrieve the info and accessible support, I can feel confident before my employer and see things fixed quickly.
My questions, assuming such a conversion is possible:
1- Which version of the PhpBB upgrade should we use to convert from? We have both 3.0.12 and 3.1.13PL installed on the server. Why? 3.1.3PL didn't have enough MODS or reliable styles developed so we installed a previous version to access more features.
2- Are there experts here who do this kind of installation/conversion for a fee?
3- Will the conversion delete the PhpBB3 forum or will it install Xenforo in another folder (until we know it's ready to roll)?
4- Have people found the transition to Xenforo created a big learning curve for the board managers/admin? If so, how did they address that?
5- How is the PERMISSION system with Xenforo? We'd like to have strict demarcations between admin, moderators, registered and guests users.
6- Is it possible to have a "portal" page with Xenforo, and if so, any time-tested ones you would suggest? I'd like to have the ability to place various content in key locations on the page: Recent Posts, Banners, Online users, etc.
7- Is Xenforo allowing for mobile/responsive?
8- Where can I find a showcase of Xenforo forums that have been customized and don't look like a generic theme?
Sorry for the load of questions! If you know where I can find most of my answers, I'll appreciate any help. But I'm clearly looking to hear from users who have some experience of these things.
Thank you in advance!