Been up and running for nearly 8 years, on SMF the whole time. I've got a few packages running, including a Gallery (which I'm not overly concerned about as it's not used much), SimplePortal etc.
Anyhow - I'll likely wait for 1.4.4 and a more stable SMF import feature, but while I wait, I want to plan ahead.
My understanding is I'd install xenForo, use the importer to suck the info out of my SMF database (would be on the same Linode VPS) and then see what's what.
Once I'm confident, I then do it 'for real' cutting over to xenForo after a full import.
Here's my fundamental question. I'd like to install xenForo, import the data, and begin making it look/feel the way I want. Knowing I will want to import fresh data once I'm ready for the cutover, can I use my modified xenForo forum with my look/feel, advertising etc. all up and running and do a fresh import?
I understand I can maintain the thread ID's etc. so current links won't break, but only if I do a fresh import into an empty xenForo forum.
It's a little daunting to make this leap after 8 years, but I have moved the site from GoDaddy to HostGator to Linode, so I'm comfortable doing that sort of move / fresh install. It also doesn't help that I have to spend $140 or whatever to even try this out.