How to archive a XenForo forum to make it read-only

How to archive a XenForo forum to make it read-only

Sim

Well-known member
Sim submitted a new resource:

How to archive a XenForo forum to make it read-only - Detailed instructions on how to archive and optimise a site that is no longer active

I took over administration of the Somersoft forums in 2002 and ran the site on behalf of the owners until 2015 when we decided to archive the site and make it read-only. The community moved to a new site which I built on XF 1.x - PropertyChat.

Originally launched on vBulletin v2.2, Somersoft was still running vB v3.8 when it was archived in 2015. The archived site was migrated to XF 1.x in 2016...
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frm

Well-known member
Wouldn't it be better to just scrape and archive the public view of the site after UI modifications?

I'm unsure if this would allow you to retain a license for another purpose, but would look into that.

If you're gonna permanently archive something, it doesn't seem necessary to run a licence to keep it "active" with static pages served with URL rewrites.

Haven't looked into licensing issues of this but seems a waste of a license that could be used for a 2nd forum.
 

Sim

Well-known member
Wouldn't it be better to just scrape and archive the public view of the site after UI modifications?

I'm unsure if this would allow you to retain a license for another purpose, but would look into that.

If you're gonna permanently archive something, it doesn't seem necessary to run a licence to keep it "active" with static pages served with URL rewrites.

Haven't looked into licensing issues of this but seems a waste of a license that could be used for a 2nd forum.
I haven't explicitly covered the option of creating a static version of the site in the tutorial - but I did explain indirectly why you might not want to do this: we have had to edit the content on numerous occasions after archiving the site, due to privacy or legal reasons. Retaining the ability to log in and modify the content quickly and easily is important to us, which is why we have not considered going down the static path.

We also have 1.3 million posts across 100,000 threads. The huge number of static pages you'd need to generate would make the exercise rather non-trivial and you'd also potentially break existing some links within the content.

Given that licenses for XenForo are extremely cheap I don't see the point in trying to reinvent the wheel by serving a static site just to avoid paying for a license when you've already got a perfectly good CMS already there called XenForo which does everything you need.

Put it this way: I currently host Somersoft (plus several other smaller XenForo sites) on a 4GB Linode which costs me US$25 per month + a separate ElasticSearch server which costs $7 per month. Annual cost is around US$384 for the hosting. A XenForo license costs $40 per year to maintain - which is a very small additional cost.
 
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Chromaniac

Well-known member
XenForo is USD 55 per year now right? :D Anyhow. Good guide. I wonder if it would also be useful to put the site on CloudFlare and enable full site caching using Page Rules. Though one would need to disable it temporary (or go Pro) for allowing selected users to login to make required changes. This should help reduce the load on the server hosting the archive site. Would also likely prevent hacking attempts.
 

frm

Well-known member
Thanks for the tip, @Sim. This would make a lot more sense on a sizeable forum than on something small.
 
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