Fear of upgrading from vBulletin 3.8 to XenForo

Jon12345

Member
I have a discussion forum with about 1.5M posts using vBulletin 3.8. I've been running it for nearly 20 years now and have thought about the possibility of upgrading the software.

My fears are this:
  • Could it hammer my rankings? <= The biggest concern.
  • Will I lose attachments?
  • How does Google view different forum software?
  • How long does the switching process take?
  • Are the forum post urls identical?
  • Can you create a test site first before you nuke the vBulletin site? i..e so you can confirm all posts look good and work.
I am interested to hear before and after examples to give me an idea of what to expect. Especially helpful would be what happened to traffic after upgrading from your old vbulletin to XenForo board, especially from those who already get a decent amount of traffic.

Thanks!

Jon
 

Slavik

XenForo moderator
Staff member
  • Could it hammer my rankings? <= The biggest concern.
As long as you set up the redirects correctly, then most sites find google prefers how XenForo presents its data.

  • Will I lose attachments?
Nope

  • How does Google view different forum software?
XenForo has a lot of SEO tweaks that older vbulletin versions didnt.

  • How long does the switching process take?
On a forum of your size, depending on how many attachments, and the server specs, id estimate no more than a few hours.

  • Are the forum post urls identical?
No, but the ID's can be maintained 1to1.

  • Can you create a test site first before you nuke the vBulletin site? i..e so you can confirm all posts look good and work.
Yes.
 

klaush

Member
We just did that with Jon (Slavik) from a 14 years old vbulletin 3.8x to XF 2.1! And he did a great job! We have 3 Million posts, 300.000 threads and 125.000 members.

Greetings
Klaus
 
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Jon12345

Member
Hey klaush, thanks for chipping in. Did it take long? Have you noticed any difference in traffic? How long ago was that? How much did it cost? PM if needed!
 

klaush

Member
We just migrated (2 days ago) to XF 2.1 and yes, it lasted nearly 2 days because our project is a photocommunity with a lot of albums and picture. So the main point was to import all the pctures to XF media gallery.

No, we have more traffic than ever because of the modern forum style and the better seo output.

But everything went fine!

Hey klaush, thanks for chipping in. Did it take long? Have you noticed any difference in traffic? How long ago was that?
 

Jon12345

Member
I wonder if it takes Google time to notice the updates and alter the ranking factors accordingly. I think they build in delays so that you can't reverse engineer the algo.

But I could also hypothesise that newer versions of forum software would be treated more favourably by Google. It is good for me to hear other peoples stories as only real-world results tell you the truth.

I have XenForo on another site and I love the user-experience and feel of it. VBulletin 3.8 feels real clunky by comparison.
 

sbj

Well-known member
I don't want to frighten you, but take a look at this thread.

That is the only (kind of) thread I remember where people had complaints about SEO and XF. Other than that over the years I have just seen only positive feedback from people who migrated over. And I think that particular thread is also more about Google and its issues rather than about XF.
 
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HWS

Well-known member
Could it hammer my rankings? <= The biggest concern.
It could, our's did. You never know. The larger your forum, the higher the risk. A forum your size should not suffer too much.
But we don't regret the update. It was time to get rid of vB. We can build new rankings.

Will I lose attachments?
No.

How does Google view different forum software?
I think Google sees the content only. We had good rankings with vB till the last day and we will get good rankings with XF. Because of our content.

How long does the switching process take?
A forum your size should be converted in a few hours.

Are the forum post urls identical?
Yes, if you setup proper redirects. Old URLs will work and automatically be redirected to the new URLs.

Can you create a test site first before you nuke the vBulletin site? i..e so you can confirm all posts look good and work.
Yes, I absolutely recommended to try the switch with a test site before going live.
 
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