• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Other Moving my VBulletin forum


Active member
I could do with some help moving my vbulletin forum to xenforo.

I have the forum software installed and ready to go.

My forum is here - www.photography-forum.org

I would initially want a skeleton forum so my staff can get used to the new software for a couple of weeks and then once we are happy move over the whole forum.

As I am busy with other things the right person would be used in the future for projects.

Please get back to me with suggestions and ideas of cost.


Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
Sounds like you want to do a "dry run" and then once you've identified things that didn't get imported or worked out any other kinks, you would then perform the full import.

Why don't you just run the built-in importer yourself for the "dry-run"? Then make it clear that any posts made to the XF forum will go away when the final import takes place.


Active member
It says in the xenforo importer doc that if you run the importer twice without clearing the initial one then all posts will be duplicated.

Can you import the forum structure without the posts ?

My problem is my vbulletin forum has certain add ons and hacks that will have to be duplicted on the xenforo forum. We want a skeleton forum to be able to add these hacks and to test them. once the structure is ready we would want to import all the data.

what I dont want to happen is us spend weeks getting the structure right and then be told we need to flush the DB to avoid any duplicate posts. This would then clear the changes we had made ??

Am I right ? Do you understand what Im trying to say, sorry if its vague.

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
I'm in the same boat you are. I had to have a custom conversion done on a DNN forum, we didn't even know how it was going to turn out. It worked, but there are other parts that were not included in the conversion.

So while everyone hashes out what addons we should use and how we are going to duplicate the non-converted items, it becomes a process of trial and error and you would be left with possibly a bunch of code hanging that is not needed because you took a different route with functionality duplication, etc.

What I would do is:
  1. perform an initial conversion on a copy of the live database
  2. disable e-mail notifications (so that your live-site users don't get alerts from the new site)
  3. set up a new category for various forums, thread, etc for discussing how to go about making all of the functionality of the VB site work on the new site
  4. Document your steps along the way so that you can duplicate things for the final conversion and configure things with minimal downtime
  5. Shut down the live site and perform the final conversion to a clean-slate XF install, install your addons, bring in your custom items, configure everything, etc
I suppose that you could bypass the need to rebuild everything. In this case, you would still do 1 & 2 but before you import you would delete all of the lite-site categories from the dry-run site, and then nothing would be duplicated (and you would keep your internal conversion discussions in tact). But the problem is that you might do all your tweaks and modifications, and meanwhile, posts are still being made on the live site and if there are changes made that involve the functionality you need to re-create, those new changes will not import (since you basically had to re-create them manually during the dry run)

I just think it's cleaner to document all the steps you need to take to duplicate lost functionality, then start from a clean slate. That way you database isn't potentially bloated with tables and field full of unused addon content, posts, private messages, etc. But that's me, I'm a clean-slate kind of guy I guess

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
Also, if you do the clean-slate method and want to retain the private discussion on the whole conversion process, then before you do the final conversion what you would do is delete all of the live-site categories from your dry run (which deletes all the thread content too) and save that database (rename it), then when you are done with your live-site import you can just do an XF-to-XF import and bring all those nodes/threads/posts back in.

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
That's basically what I have been doing, except a bit differently. I make a copy of the "clean master" after initial installation, but instead of dropping the table and importing the clean master, I just delete the database and make a copy of the clean master via phpMyAdmin then associate the DB user with that new copy under cPanel. Also, once I set up the "clean master" installation, I go into cPanel file manager and zip the public_html directory and save that, and then if I want to re-do the install I wipe out the public_html directory and then unzip the clean master front end files and double-check to make sure that data and internal_data are world writeable. That way I don't have to worry about searching for and deleting all the addon files.


XenForo moderator
Staff member
Yes, the key thing is to take a backup at the point where you would need to roll back to if you wanted to start over.