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Converting from vBulletin 3.8 to XenForo - What to do Exactly?

Discussion in 'XenForo Questions and Support' started by fattony69, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. fattony69

    fattony69 Well-Known Member

    Alright, this may sound like a stupid thread, but I am just making sure that I covered everything so I do not have to make a "HELP - I SCREWED UP, SAVE MY COMMUNITY" thread. Like almost everyone else, I too am converting my forum to vBulletin 3.8.

    I currently use many modifications (which I am so glad to get rid of), vBSEO for my urls (and whatever else it is supposed to do), have tons of custom BB Codes, links, and moving my community from the main directory into mydomain.com/community directory.

    I would like to know what are the correct steps (in-order) to make sure I have a clean, smooth sailing conversion?

    I have seen redirection scripts by Kier, I have seen something for vBSEO. I have read that I need to use Post Content Find / Replace. I want to make sure that this is all covered.

    Did I miss anything?
  2. James

    James Well-Known Member

    First thing to do is uninstall your mods so your database is relatively clean for install. Then its just, really, a case of running your db through the import process until it sails through smoothly.
  3. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    In addition to the points you have mentioned above, I would also recommend cleaning up your existing database.
    That includes any old/redundant usergroups, deleting spammers/banned accounts, etc.

    There is no mass PM management function in XenForo currently so be aware of this if you have hundreds of PMs.
    I just deleted all of the PMs by emptying the tables.
    I also deleted all signatures and avatars - that makes people start afresh then.

    The biggest problem I had was BB Code.
    I had to run about 150 SQL and regex queries to tidy it all up.

    Ideally you want to do several test imports first to identify any issues before doing your final import.

    The help manual also has a section on importing: http://xenforo.com/help/importing/
    Let me know if you think it needs expanding or more detail.
    Kier and James like this.
  4. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    In addition to the points above, you may want to find a skin, and whatever mods you may need such as xen_ams to show ads (if that is desirable), and of course if template modifications are needed. After weeks of experimenting I wrote a comprehensive 'to do' list for the final transfer, which of course most of it only applies to my site.
  5. fattony69

    fattony69 Well-Known Member

    I read that they don't transfer anyway. I uninstalled most, but some I lost the instructions to many. I believe it isn't an issue as the import only pulls what it needs.

    Cleaning it, how? I understand deleting old/redundant usergroups, but you actually deleted all the spammers/banned accounts? Aren't you worried they will come back?

    No private messages are imported or I am unable to mass private message everyone? As long as I can email everyone, I don't mind this.

    Deleting private messages is going to be huge. What tables do I do to do that?

    Signatures and avatars aren't on the database, but on files. How would suggest I go about that?

    BB Codes scare me as I have many and I know XenForo doesn't have many yet. What is the best plan of action to go about this? How bad was it for you?

    My skin is already created custom by me, modifications are already installed, and used mainly template edits though since I don't want to overload my server again. Thanks for that tip, but I took care of that first and foremost as I believed I couldn't transfer my whole community without that step. If you don't mind me asking, what was some or all of the things on your to-do list?
  6. James

    James Well-Known Member

    Private messages are turned into Private Conversations - so if you have hundreds of PMs they will all turn into a separate conversation once imported.
    Dean likes this.
  7. fattony69

    fattony69 Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...might not be the best idea to convert all them as I have 1366 private messages alone...
    James likes this.
  8. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Not particularly.
    Besides, using the Spam Cleaner in XenForo is fun :D

    Mine was bad as I had a lot of custom code.
    However, I installed King Kovifor's BB Code Manager and was able to reproduce all of it.

    My particular problem was due to importing from phpBB which appends random hex strings to all BB Code tags so you most likely won't have this problem if coming from vB.

    You might want to take a look at this add-on though: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/bbcode-manager.5657/
  9. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    I will send you a message, not sure if my list is particularly relevant to the general xf population, but you can pick out the bits that apply to you.
  10. fattony69

    fattony69 Well-Known Member

    Hmm...I am worried that some people might come back.

    Thanks for it. I must say though, you should definitely post it.
  11. boatswife

    boatswife Active Member

    Make sure your usergroup ID's are the same as XenForo. All my regular members went into the moderating group when I did the test import.
  12. fattony69

    fattony69 Well-Known Member

    How do I change the usergroup ID's?
  13. boatswife

    boatswife Active Member

    There may be an easier way to do this, I'm sure someone will chime in.

    I had just thought that when I close the vb board in preparation, that I would mass move the members into the matching ID usergroup and then do the import.
  14. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    I've no idea why boatswife had a problem, mine came through fine. Nor do I see any reason to keep the usergroup IDs the same. Here are part of my notes:

    When deleting usergroups, be sure no one is in the user group
    When deleting users, be sure they have made no posts first.
    delete all user groups that are not necessary.

    Stock xf has these user groups:
    • Administrative (puts vb Administrators in this group)
    • Moderating (puts vb Moderators in this group)
    • Registered (transfers over, activated accounts)
    • Unregistered / Unconfirmed (same as Unregistered / Not Logged In – 0 users)
    VB Users Awaiting Email Confirmation are brought in as invalid users, and usergroup automatically discarded.
    VB COPPA user group disappears all by itself after the import – no need to worry, user group automatically discarded.

    Banned Users & Super Moderators are brought into xf itself, no point to the usergroups so delete them after import manually. In addition the COPPA user group disappears all by itself after the import – no need to worry about that .
  15. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    As you can see, my notes are a little rough. I suggested that fattony69 go through the notes I sent and after they are polished up from that then we could post a list.

    Don't focus too much on coppa, I do not use that and do not pay too much attention to it.

    I deleted as many usergroups as possible prior to import that I could, then deleted as many usergroups as possible after the import - then set all the permissions at the appropriate time. So the exact user group numbers are not sequential.

    In addition, the user IDs will change if you have ever deleted any users.

    I strongly suggest doing a few test imports to test things out. And to understand that things like 'awaiting email confirmation' is a 'state' within xf as opposed to a user group - that in particular allows for some extremely nice benefits when it comes to certain things.
  16. SchmitzIT

    SchmitzIT Well-Known Member

    Could you shoot it to me as well, please? I'm hoping to have a go some time in the near future, and the more prepared I am, the better :)

    Thanks in advance.
  17. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    Lets see if fattony69 can work through the list and help me edit/polish, then they can be posted for everyone.
  18. boatswife

    boatswife Active Member

    Hopefully this was just me, but I have 92 pages of members listed in the moderating group and I don't have a clue why they were put there. My first thought was to make sure the IDs were the same, but I can see that is not the case. I should do another test import and see what happens.
  19. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you are not yet live with xf, otherwise you would have a lot of moderating going on ;)

    If you want to copy/paste your vb3.8 usergroups into a PC/PM and send it to me I could take a look. I am primarily concerned with usergroup ids so you could delete anything of a personal nature. Just trying to get a vague idea what may be happening.
  20. boatswife

    boatswife Active Member

    It must be something with what I'm doing or how I have my stuff set up. I did a quick import on just the users and it put all of my registered members into the moderating group again. I'm not even in the Admin usergroup, but my other Admin is.

    Let me get my info and I'll send it to you.

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