Back in 2010 when I first set up, I was a naive newbie and did a bunch of customization to the board theme and boxed myself into a corner on any easy path to upgrade within phpbb. Also, I'm really not happy with newer versions of phpbb (for example the way they arbitrarily screwed around with email notifications -- turning them off and now relying on the user to log in and look at a menu bar to see if he has pending notifications...WTF).
Anyway, I'm convinced I need to move to XF after doing research including reading threads here and the migration guide, etc. I have some lingering questions however:
1. Does the (complicated) permissions masking, user groups, etc. all migrate cleanly from phpbb 3.0.x to XF? For example if I created a custom user group in phpbb with some permissions turned "off" and some set as "never" and some set as "on" -- will that all carry forward to XF or will I have to step through all my intentions with the existing permissions structure and try to manually configure again in XF?
2. Do user passwords migrate or will users have to set their password after migration?
3. Is there a concept of "newly registered user" -> "moderation queue", in XF? In my current phpbb setup, when a brand new user registers his first post is held in a moderation queue until approved by a board moderator. Once approved, the user is automatically upgraded to "normal member" and subsequent posts are no longer held for moderation. Can this same process be easily implemented, in XF?
4. Having been burned by my .css, .js and .php adventures in making my own theme in phpbb, my game plan is to keep XF as vanilla out-of-the-box as possible. All I need to do however is put my own header, footer and content wrapper in place so the board will at least look integrated with the rest of the site. I'm assuming the base theme for XF is fully mobile-ready and will give an awesome user experience on a mobile device without me having to drop in an alternate theme, or "mobile_detect.php", or create my own responsive .css file?
5. Today my site is organized like this:
www.foosite.com/store/ (shopping system)
www.foosite.com/content/ (wordpress CMS)
I did not mess with any "pretty url" or other rewriting of the native phpbb URL emitter. So, will it be easy for me to put XF at the /forums/ directory and make the migration happen? I'm assuming I might have to use some simple .htacess redirect post-migration to keep Google (and user bookmarks) from going haywire?
6. I use phpStorm to do all my code management, development, etc. In phpStorm I have the default file permissions set to 644 and folder permissions to 755. Will XF tolerate this? I read somewhere that XF wants some files to be group-writable, but I don't understand that because we usually don't worry about this since the PHP processor can always write to the (same server) localhost filesystem -- did I misunderstand something and we really do need to have permissions set higher for XF folders/files?
7. Any other 'gotchas' or issues I should know about when going from phpbb to XF? Anything that just doesn't work right after migration? I did read the list of items that do migrate over, I guess I'm wondering what might be missing that doesn't migrate over.
Sorry for the length, and thanks in advance for any insight. I really want to do this but I don't want to make a fatal mistake, either.