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Multiple Sites: Forum duplication options?

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by jefferisp7, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. jefferisp7

    jefferisp7 New Member

    Hi folks, our business is expanding... all vBulletin 4 right now, but as we consider new sites, we are anticipating adding many sites, and xF might be our future. Assuming we are buying a license for each site (either one at a time or with discounts), is there a way to copy the structure of an existing xF forum including permissions, and the like to a new site, but modified for the new domain/url?

    I see the images of your importing features from other programs, and they look very robust. The problem we have had is that setting up new forums, including forum structures, permissions, plugin settings, etc. Is very, very time consuming, and vBulletin offers no easy way for site duplication to start a new sister site. We are wondering if xF has a way to duplicate itself, or import from itself to a new domain entity?

    TIA,
    Jeff
     
  2. Liam W

    Liam W Well-Known Member

    The XF to XF import system could be used to copy usergroups and forums, but I'm not sure about other things.
     
  3. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    One way would be to set up the basic structure, permissions, options, settings, etc. and then take a backup/dump of the database.

    You can then import that to any future installations.
     
  4. jefferisp7

    jefferisp7 New Member

    But can you set up a basic structure in xF without keyed to a domain name / url? We tried that with vBulletin, but because you have to develop it with an existing domain name, the domain name is hard coded and encrypted into the database. So when you try to import or start a new site, it won't let go of the old information. You can't access the admin, e.g., because when you try, it takes you to the admin of the previous site. Not the new one. I.e., you have myCars.com as your current vB site. You import that structure (only) into yourCars.com, but when you log into admin, the db takes you to the backend of myCars.com
     
  5. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Yes.

    The domain is more or less independent to the database.
    The only relevant setting is the Board URL in the ACP, which is primarily used for links in emails.
     
  6. Claudio

    Claudio Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure you forgot to change some parameters due we've changed domain names/url on vB boards many times without any problem.
     
  7. Ridemonkey

    Ridemonkey Well-Known Member

    You were doing something wrong in VB. You do have to change the URL in the control panel but it's definitely not hard coded into the database - and certainly not encrypted. Why the hell would they encrypt the domain name in the database? That doesn't even make sense.
     
  8. NixFifty

    NixFifty Well-Known Member

    He's misunderstood. They're not encrypted, they're serialized in the datastore. You can't change vBulletin options from the database as they won't take effect until the datastore is rebuilt (which occurs when you save options from the ACP). The solution would've been to manually go through the datastore and find the serialized board url amongst other values and change it from there so it'd take effect immediately. On XenForo however, this issue doesn't exist.
     
  9. Ridemonkey

    Ridemonkey Well-Known Member

    This is only to update the automatic links, though. If you just manually go to domain.com/admincp (and again go there once you authenticate, since the auto-forward link will be broken), you will be able to navigate the admin CP and change the URL in the settings like you're supposed to.
     
  10. pegasus

    pegasus Well-Known Member

    @Ridemonkey If you had the setting for the cookie domain so that it only created cookies at www.mycars.com rather than leaving it blank (think cookieless subdomains), then the cookie would be set for the old domain whenever you tried to login to yourcars.com, and you would be forever unable to access the admin CP of the new domain. I worked around this issue many times by just hard coding my desired values of cookiedomain, cookiepath, and bburl directly into includes/init.php
     
  11. jefferisp7

    jefferisp7 New Member

    In other words, you have to know where to look for the serialzed data, etc. We asked vB multiple times for help in fixing an imported site (for which we were paying a license) and got no direction as to where and how to look in the database to make those changes. I don't believe we ever set a cookies domain, but I'll ask my partner.

    BTW, I don't think we can manually log in to the new site without it taking us to the old site, so when I tried to get to the admin cp of the new site, it would kick back to the old admin every time.
     
  12. Claudio

    Claudio Well-Known Member

    Well...you chose the hard way. What we always do in that case is take a backup of the forum, change the URL and take another backup. Then we restore the previous one and use the 2nd one in the new site...

    Another solution is restore a backup of the original website in the new one (with a different IP) and point windows host file to that IP. Then you will have to open the new site and just change the URL in the AdminCP.

    So simple as that Jeff, I think you didn't have the right person to help you with your needs, vBulletin staff isn't going to explain you all these steps because it might be time-consuming for people that never did it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  13. jefferisp7

    jefferisp7 New Member

    Hi Claudio, just so I understand. Backup, change the URL of the vBForum in the Admin area, make another backup. Then change the URL back to the current domain name.

    Or... backup the original site in the new one, BUT we are on apache Unix and the DNS registery is on Godaddy. So when we point the IP to the new URL/Domain name, and we open the admin cp, it will automatically kick back to the old site because the url in the admin is still the old site....
     
  14. Claudio

    Claudio Well-Known Member

    If you are modifying Windows host file you are "telling" Windows "ey.. if I enter domain X find it on IP X"..you don't make changes to the real domain IP. The real domain will be still pointing to the old IP. The trick is that Windows will "believe" you are browsing the site in the old URL but what you are doing is changing the URL in the new IP or new database.
     

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