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XF 1.4 Help with import strategy


Looking to move a biggish board to XF and we have completed an install and some styling and an import. Due to the size of the board and extra functionality we wanted on there we needed to import to be able to style as well as possible, install plugins, tweak settings etc. I am sure there are very few out there who could style and get all functionality in without some data in there to work off.

Our problem now is how do we go about doing an import of the data once we are ready to go live?

Is there any way to delete all content leaving the styling, plugins and tweaks we have made so that we can do a fresh import?

Or do we put a new installation in place and have to re-do all the changes we have made before importing?

Are the tables we can simply truncate to leave us our nicely styled and set up system or is there an easier way around this scenario?

Cheers, had read that already - but that say set it all up before hand. But in the real world I don't see how you can get all the styling and plugins and configuration done before some kind of import. We don't have a clean install with all the styling in, we have an install that has content in and my question was what is the best way to clear that out to do a fresh import now that we are happy with the layout. Like I said, anyone with a decent sized and aged site won't be able to simply install plugins and style it up without some content in there to ensure it all works. Not in my experience anyway.


XenForo developer
Staff member
Well one option would be to do the setup, make a note of your add-ons and options, export the style and then do a fresh install and restore your "known" configuration before doing the import.

You can try deleting the content. Basically, anything that will be touched by the import needs to be returned to the original state. No threads and posts, no attachments, no nodes, standard user groups, only user ID 1, etc. The expectation is that the import is done with a fresh install so attempting to manually delete things may not be feasible or only feasible in specific situations.

(Note these are moot points if you're not maintaining IDs.)
Hi, I'm facing a similar issue. I've been styling and customizing an earlier Xenforo conversion in "beta" state, while the "live" site still gets lots of action.

Once I'm done with the new look and feel, and all addons installed, templates, phrases and settings modified to a final product, we will have to close down the "live" forum so no more content will be added.

Then we'll do a new conversion of our old "live" PhpBB2 board to PhpBB3. Then convert that PhpBB3 to Xenforo. Then what happens with all the changes done over 3 weeks? Is there a way to SAVE & RESTORE?

Are these from 2011 -
Importing guidelines

still valid for 2015? In our case, we'd like to import the content from the "live" to the "beta" (via conversion to PhpBB3) without ruining /losing all the work done to this point. We would like to limit the time the forum will be shut down for the import.




XenForo moderator
Staff member
The thread is still valid.

It explains how to revert to a clean customised backup prior to doing the final import.
Thanks Brogan, I'm trying to wrap my mind around the notion of importing content without damaging the structure. I'm not sure I fully understand.

There are a few moving parts:

- PhpBB board (software)

- PhpBB board dynamic content

- Database back-up prior to moving

- Xenforo board (software)

- Xenforo board dummy content

- Database backup from PhpBB to import into Xenforo board, overwriting the dummy content.

In this case:

"Revert," means going back to something - what should revert to what? It's not clear.

"Clean customized backup" - of what exactly?

"Final import" - that part is clear.

Thank you!