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XF 1.1 Best way to install with minimal downtime?

Discussion in 'Installation, Upgrade, and Import Support' started by RobParker, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    After testing XF for the last year we're planning on moving from VB this week and I thought some opinions on the best way to do it would be useful.

    We currently have VB installed at domain.co.uk/forums with vbadvanced at domain.co.uk.
    We'll be installing XF at domain.co.uk.

    How I plan to do it at the minute is just to tar and move everything at domain.co.uk to a sub domain (vb.domain.co.uk) and then install XF.

    However this will lead to quite a bit if downtime as all the style edits will need making and then the import can take something like 10 hours.

    Would it be easier to get XF installed in a sub domain, get it ready and then move it across to it's final domain afterwards? Are there any problems doing it that way?
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    That's how I did it.
    Although I did it all on localhost, then uploaded it to the server and did the import.

    There's a short guide here: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/importing-guidelines.25325/
  3. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    This applies to you:


    I would install XF in a subdirectory, then move it to the root when ready. You don't even need a subdomain.
  4. Rob

    Rob Well-Known Member

    The best way is to start with a blank xenforo - do not import anything until you have the set up looking as you want and configured / modded up to your needs.
    Here is what I did....

    1. Install xenforo anywhere (I used a local WAMP) server.
    2. Configure all the xenforo options
    3. Style xenforo
    4. Install mods and configure
    5. Back up database
    6. I did a test import of data and installed kier's redirection scripts. I wrote several dozen custom .htaccess rewrite rules to ensure old urls were transferring to new urls properly.
    7. Next, I examined all my Auto Media Embedded links and used kier's post replacements add on to make replacements - I made a note of all the regexp's and replacements so I can run these live.
    8. Once happy with redirections and that post content issues could be resolved I then reverted the database to the one taken in step 5 above.
    9. Next, install kier's redirection mod and the post replacement mod (should only need to import the mod addon xml as the files should be in place)
    10. I then checked all default usergroup permissions and set up my word censor, question/answer stuff etc.
    11. Once the system was fully configured as much as possible I then took another back up of the database.
    Next, I took a backup my vbulletin files and then emptied the directory where xenforo would live. I uploaded all the files from my test installation and imported the database taken at step 11 above.
    Then I followed these steps:-
    • Import all vbulletin data
    • Change URL's if nessesary in .htaccess to reflect new URL's
    • Run the post replacements I made a note of in step 7
    • Check permissions on any imported custom usergroups
    • Check node permissions
    • Open the website
    Throughout the time my website was offline I created a holding page with a countdown timer - all users except me (my ip address) were redirected to the holding page whilst I worked on the upgrade. All in all I was down for around 14 hours.
    This is just a basic account of how I handled my upgrade but it should work for most sites who want to switch.
    Pereira likes this.
  5. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    That's very useful, thanks.

    Can I ask why you didn't import the vbulletin data into your test installation and save yourself the 10+ hours of importing? Was there a reason for that?

    Would you mind sharing your countdown page/redirect script?
  6. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    Oh and I should have said this is VB 3.7, not VB4.
  7. Rob

    Rob Well-Known Member

    That doesnt work in practice with a busy board. Whilst you are importing on your test installation and configuring, etc... people will be making new posts.

    The above method allows your board to stay open as long as possible and have the least downtime with no post/thread loss.

    It was 3.8 that I upgraded from but the same process is solid wether coming from 3.7, 3.8 4.0, phpbb or whatever.

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