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XF 1.4 "measure twice, cut once", looking for best possible design for migrating vBulletin big board


Active member

I want to do this right and intend to take my time as well as hire some experienced guys here to help. I would still like to do some preliminary work such as getting the Xenforo boards installed. I will outline my current set up and hopefully someone can advise the best course of action (pre-migration setup). So, currently I have:

-A dedicated server
-1 Big board on one domain (vBulletin 4.x 1.6mil posts, 70k users, etc)
-1 Smaller board on a different domain but same server as the big board

Since board A & B are related in topics I would like to have them joined via Xenforo multi-site

My anticipated setup is:

1 dedicated server , 2 domains & 2 Xenforo licenses
domain A = vBulletin migrated to Xenforo
domain B = vBulletin migrated to Xenforo
domain A & B joined via multisite, but retain their main individuality (styling, etc)

currently both boards reside in a /forums directory in their respective domains.

Here is where things get fuzzy for me. Do I need to install Xenforo on Domain A & Domain B? Or do I install one copy of Xenforo and import both vBulleting domains to it? I feel like I should install 2 copies of Xenforo 1 on each domain but use 1 database? Not sure here. At this stage I am only looking to take the first steps. Lastly with the current sites being in /forums I was considering placing Xenforo in /forum and don't anticipate that being an issue once some solid redirects are setup? Thanks for any tips! I'm majorly looking forward to getting everything on Xenforo :)


Active member
You won't be able to import and redirect multiple sites under the same domain because the thread id's will collide from the two source sites.

You'll need to maintain 2 separate forums if you want old url's to redirect to the new url's.

If you make any serious revenue from Google Adsense you might want to reconsider migrating.

Even with the 301 redirects you'll take a massive RPM hit. It's well documented.

I'm about to abort and go back to vB3 before it's too late because it's not possible to configure XenForo to use my old link structure.

Everyone is helpful here, but the 301 redirects are not a solution that maintains revenue, at least not short term.

It's really tough getting clear info on that point. Some say wait 4-6 weeks. But the damage will be done if it doesn't work out that way.

I have yet to identify anyone who makes most of their money with similar content and was able to survive a migration.

I guess since you want to be prepared, be prepared for this point too since there is more to what you'll need to go through than the technicals of the actual migration.
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Active member
I intend to have two different forums on two different domains but am not sure multisite can join the two, providing a single profile and user login. Site B is not much of a concern and I do not need to maintain any url or original user accounts. Site A is the main forum. I am under the impression 2 Xenforo forums on 2 seperate domains can share via multisite (I could have them on 1 database if needed). Then redirects still go to the old site. I'm sort of in limbo until I can figure all this out. Also, I am not heavily reliant on search engine traffic. Even so, wouldn't the pages eventually be re-indexed over the course of a year or so? It's not an option staying with vBulletin and version 5.x imo is an absolute step backwards, so no way am I going with that. Also vb 4.x is worn out it's welcome with me and is showing it's age. I need a new system that I can migrate to and carry on with for the next 5yrs at least. Thanks


Active member
I hear you and feel your pain. I don't want to take a big hit loosing the mobile search visitors but migrating has it's own pain. Sounds like you have less to worry about.

Anything I post near term is as a 10+ multi-site vB3 & vB4 owner currently making their first big move to XenForo.

I'm trying to participate and learn as much XenForo as fast as I can. I'm not trying to share logins across sites and can't help with that part of it.


XenForo moderator
Staff member
Do I need to install Xenforo on Domain A & Domain B? Or do I install one copy of Xenforo and import both vBulleting domains to it? I feel like I should install 2 copies of Xenforo 1 on each domain but use 1 database? Not sure here.
As your questions seem to be aimed at the multisite add-on, you would be better off asking them on the resource thread or from the developer directly.

XenForo doesn't have native multi-site capability so all we can offer help and advice on is the default installation and redirects, which in this case would either be two entirely separate installations, or one combined installation (single database).