Migrate old forum into read-only forum

fist34

Member
I have an old vBulletin 3 forum that has been in read-only mode over a decade. Registration is disabled and users cannot log in to post. It exists purely as an information archive.

With php 7 end-of-life and my web host wisely forcing us to php 8, this forum will no longer work.

So I am thinking of purchasing a xenforo license just to import all the old data. But I want to be sure that it is a simple matter to keep the whole thing in read-only mode, so that only the administrator can log in.

The xenforo demo site doesn't allow importing so I didn't go very far looking there. Just wondering if XF makes sense for this, or if perhaps there is a better way to do this.
 

Sim

Well-known member
I have an old vBulletin 3 forum that has been in read-only mode over a decade. Registration is disabled and users cannot log in to post. It exists purely as an information archive.

With php 7 end-of-life and my web host wisely forcing us to php 8, this forum will no longer work.

So I am thinking of purchasing a xenforo license just to import all the old data. But I want to be sure that it is a simple matter to keep the whole thing in read-only mode, so that only the administrator can log in.

The xenforo demo site doesn't allow importing so I didn't go very far looking there. Just wondering if XF makes sense for this, or if perhaps there is a better way to do this.

I did pretty much the same thing you are looking to do for one of my sites a few years back - converted an archived forum from vBulletin to XF for easier maintenance.

I wrote a tutorial about how I did it and also created a small addon for XF2 which helped with the process.

I'm not sure if you can read this yet - but here is my tutorial: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/how-to-archive-a-xenforo-forum-to-make-it-read-only.7825/
 

fist34

Member
Why not just convert to static html?
Well, I started to do that. But the old vBulletin forum is based on query strings. You can't just scrape it with wget; you have to write scripts or at least a really good htaccess to return the right content.

Thanks everyone for the feedback. In the end, my web host provided me with a better solution -- the subfolder this forum sits in will run php 7 with a wrapper. I had forgot this was an option. So I don't have to change anything.
 

TLDR

Active member
Thanks everyone for the feedback. In the end, my web host provided me with a better solution -- the subfolder this forum sits in will run php 7 with a wrapper. I had forgot this was an option. So I don't have to change anything.
Well that is not a long-term solution.
While I sort of disagree with folks who claim that PHP 7.4 is unsafe because it won't get any security updates any more soon (because loads of distributions still backport security updates for example), at some point you're left alone even then.

Well, I started to do that. But the old vBulletin forum is based on query strings. You can't just scrape it with wget; you have to write scripts or at least a really good htaccess to return the right content.
And.. if you installed a SEO plugin prior to archiving it?
 

fist34

Member
Well that is not a long-term solution.
Agreed, but it is an immediate-term one that solves the problem well enough and for at least several years. If I lose php 7 at some point, I will probably just migrate the forum to XF.

The other down-side to a static forum is that it becomes a lot harder to edit the dynamic content that does exist (links to other pages, etc). I know there are solutions for that (php include files, whatever), but my time is worth a lot more than the $60-ish a year XF will charge me to maintain a license, so.
 
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