How do I make the switch and take the new site live?


Well-known member
I have a site that is currently running on a vB 3.8.x platform. I would like to convert it to XenForo.

I will also be making A LOT of changes. While making these changes I want it to be running on the server under a password protected temporary domain.

Current site:
Temp. site:
Final site:

The new site will probably take six months to a year to build. I'm thinking:

Install XenForo
Password protect main directory
Import forum from vB to XF
Build site
Reimport latest forum info to new site
Prepare to take new site live

I have some ideas on how to do this yet never attempted to do it myself. The question I have is how to take the new site live. The new site will be hosted on the same server that it's currently hosted on, but will be built on another.

Thoughts? Suggestions?


XenForo moderator
Staff member
Doing 2 imports will result in duplicated data so ideally you only want to do it once.

My approach is as follows:
Build the site (locally) and get it all configured exactly how I want.
Take a backup of the database and do a test import to see how everything works.
Restore the backed up database so the imported data is removed.
Upload the files to the server in a new /community directory.
Create the database on the server and import the database from the local install.
Close the old and new forums.
Import the live site data.
Do any tidying up and setting up as necessary.
Open the new forum.
Update the root .htaccess to point to the new forum index/home page.
Delete the old forum directory and database.

If you're not sure how to create a local install, I wrote a guide here:

You can of course do the same thing on a live server, I just find it easier to work locally as there is no FTPing, etc. and it's a lot quicker.


Well-known member
I just converted my site from a live site running IPB to xF. While converting I also merged a second site I was running with IPB at the same time.

My live site was living in the /forums directory
My other live site was living in the /chrisitanityforums directory

I wanted my xF site to live in the /community directory

So, what I did was use .htaccess to restrict access by my ip.address to the root directory and the /community directory while I was installing, and working on the site. Everyone was able to view and use the /forums directory and only I was able to see/use the /community directory.

I then had a step by step check off list for me to make sure I covered my bases. These steps won't all apply to you, but you might get ideas of what is needed for your conversion. I also used vB Impex to import my site, I basicly went from IPB > vB > xF so you won't need those steps either. You will just need to sit down and think out what you need to do and put them down on paper since you're dealing with a live site to make sure you're comfortable and don't miss anything. At least that is how I do it. :)

Close A Walk in Faith
Close Christianityforums
Backup AWiF database
Backup CF database
Import AWiF into vB
Import CF into vB
Run clean up scripts
Check vB to make sure everything imported and it good to go.
Import vB into xF
Set Admins
Set Mods
Set permissions on private forums
Hide CF forums until I get them sorted/ordered
Check site with test member account
set .htaccess for /forums to redirect to /community
set .htaccess for /christianityforums to redirect to /community
remove ip restrictive .htaccess page from root

This may seem like over kill and it probably is.. :) but I go with the better safe method.