My experience - IPB to xenforo


Well-known member
OK so now I have done my forum conversion and had it running for few days, I though I would post up my experience in converting from IPB over to xenforo.

First of all my feelings before I started. With over 350,000 posts and the most popular forum on siberian huskies there is on the internet I will say I was extremely nervous about moving. On top of this I made the brave decision to move over on a beta version of the invision converter. I was bothered by the features I would lose (as I know many others are) however certain things had been driving me daft on IPB so thought I would take the plunge with my respect for Kier & Mike.

First of all I had to skin my forum to look like the old one somewhat so as to not bother my users too much. xenforo I have to say is the easiest forum to skin BY FAR. I have used vbulletin, phpbb, ibp, smf and probably more in my time, however the way in which it has been implemented deserves a massive amount of complement to the development team here. Bare in mind I am not a designer, I am useless with CSS at times. But managed to get a forum that looks pretty similar to the old one, minus the clunkiness inherited from the IPB platform.

On to my conversion. I decided to move the forum overnight so as not to disturb my members too much, doing a full backup as everyone should and then on with the conversion. To be honest the hardest part of the conversion is having to sit and wait whilst it does its job. It really is quite simple and pretty much what I have seen from most other more established forum types. Not much more to say on the data conversion, it just works.

After conversion and switch on. I have found the odd few users, usually facebook ones who are struggling to log in with their current credentials, which for me is not a big issue as at the end of the day its a case of changing a password for them. This is an area that probably could do with looking at, although its not really caused me a massive amount of issue to the extent Ive not even bothered to report it as of yet.

IPB URL redirects. This is something I had a serious problem setting up and just could not get it to work. There is probably a good reason for it on my server setup, however I am not sure what it was but I'll be honest and say it drove me nuts. That said however I posted up a support ticket and all was sorted within about 24 hours of me posting it up. I'm sure had it been my forum was down etc it would have been quicker. Kier kindly logged onto my ftp and sorted the issue, ensuring I was happy everything was working correctly before he left it. Cant really argue with that :)

Modifications. Ya know I've pretty much lost my gallery, and thats it. Every other tiny area of the forum has either already been there, or I have been able to somewhat replace with modifications from here. Some of these I found I needed to play about with to get them to work in the way I wanted (and I still am) however this is purely down to my personal preference and nothing else. The one massive fear I had of moving over my forum, I've found not to be a massive issue at all. And the way alerts work my users love.

Speed? I do not like to do speed tests between software, because it all feels so artificial. I can make a piece of software APPEAR quicker when it actually isnt, so I dont feel they are a fair test ..... We all know xenforo is faster, people have posted this up. However from my point of view, and from feedback of my members, the forum feels very very quick in comparison to IPB.

Overall view .... There is a lot to be added I am sure. Personally I really really miss custom profile fields for example. But its early days, and for early days I really really cannot help but be impressed.


Formerly Wuebit
There are Gallery options out there just depends on what you want and how much work you want to do :)
That said nice post am sure xenforo will get custom fields soon.


Well-known member
Congrats on your happy conversion Marc! :D

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us :)


Well-known member
Marc thanks for sharing that. I always think real world examples of forum conversions are worth their weight in gold in helping to make an informed decision. The fact you chose to move from IPB at all does say a lot.

I've no doubt your users will like XenForo, as an end user you cannot fault it. I'll be interested to hear a little while down the line how it's all going, especially on the moderation side (ease of sorting out or preventing problems) and also whether you did get over the lack of custom fields. Keep us posted!


Well-known member
Thank you for taking the time to post your conversion experience. I'm sure it will be helpful to potential customers who are looking for user experience.
Congrats on your move over to the bright side. :)


Well-known member
I'm very interested to see the feedback your users provide. It would have been nice to see speed analysis through the new Google Analytics code or the Google Webmaster Tools.


Well-known member
Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your experience with us. I am sure potential customers will find it helpful is assessing a potential move to XenForo.

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
Some testimonials with links to the sites would be reasonable.

Xenforo should also post hard core data about things like speed. Buy a vB licence and put them head to head on the same server. I'm sure xenforo would outperform.

I think the idea that xenforo doesn't need VBSEO to be search engine friendly might be a part of xenforo's marketing. I'm not sure KAM can or want to make such claims though.

Xenforo should bring forth the power of thousands of coders by embracing them to work with Xenforo. vBulletin did not do this, no forum has. An effective implementation would elevate xenforo to another level ... well beyond that of other forums ... and the next Stage would be to compete with Wordpress for market share :)


Well-known member
Would it be possible for you to share Google webmaster results of before conversion and after 1 month?
Unfortunatly I dont have it set up so wont be able to do a comparison of them. I do find this interesting though, even though at the moment I am constantly ftping something, or doing sql conversions on some custom things etc, here are my average cpu and memory figures.

Before xenforo

After xenforo


Well-known member
Great story thanks for sharing with us!

I see you manage to get the 5 thumbnails showing on the top of your forum the same way IP.Gallery does. Which add-on do you use for that?


Well-known member
Great story thanks for sharing with us!

I see you manage to get the 5 thumbnails showing on the top of your forum the same way IP.Gallery does. Which add-on do you use for that?
I used this which actually brings in random attached photos from the forum as a whole, however I limited it to a single forum which is used for people sharing their photos, and also ensured it brings back the latest images rather than random ones. Would be happy to provide you with the changed file to save you the hassle if needed.