Thinking about making the SMF > xenForo leap

I run a forum of reasonable size - 30,000 members and 700,000 posts ( on SMF 2.0.9

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.
Yeah, I read through the import guidelines - was sort of hoping to customize the look of the site with some data in it, but can live without that. I'd probably do a full import into a vanilla install first, just to make sure it works and things look right from a content perspective. Then I'll move on and customize an empty install, back that up, and try importing again.

I haven't gotten a clear understanding if SMF attachments are retained - I'd expect they would be given how important they are to a forum.

So it's $140 for the license/first 12 months update/support and then $40 a year ongoing for the basic license support, more if I also purchase xenForo add-ons.

xenForo demos don't support imports, and aren't the latest version which includes SMF import capability regardless. I don't think they'd want me trying to import 700,000 posts into a demo forum.


Well-known member
The demo should be the lastest version. Attachments are imported. See the Pre-Sales FAQ in my signature for what is imported.
Appreciate all the input - playing around with the colors etc. in the demo, and using my existing header logo URL all work nicely.

I looked, and perhaps missed it, but is there any notion on when 1.4.4 is coming, given the potential for a more comprehensive SMF import? I'm thinking about making the switch over the holidays at the end of the month when I have a bit of extra time and can afford the site to be down for a few hours (or days).
Sorry - another question. I run a Simple Portal front page on my site, and use it to also place ads in different sections of my site. While it seems SP is available for XenForo, is there an alternative or built-in functionality to achieve similar results?

I'm looking for a front landing page setup where I can embed some custom 'blocks' to use Simple Portal vernacular for things like a live chat window that integrates the XenForo user names, recent posts, recent image uploads etc. And I also need an add-on to place advertising in different locations on the site.

In the add-ons, I don't see a section for ad management.

I do see a nice eBay link parser, which would be great as I run with Viglink now, and most of the affiliate link revenue comes from eBay. I have my own eBay partner network ID and would love to stop giving Viglink and/or Skimlink 25% of my revenue.


Well-known member
There is no time frame for 1.4.4, and I do not believe there is an expansion of the importer coming, just bug fixes.

There are add-ons that provide home pages, but the default software is what you get.

There is a suite of ad templates that allow you to place ads throughout your installation.


XenForo developer
Staff member
In terms of the updated SMF importer (bug fixes), we can send that out if you need the fixes as it's self contained. (Though logically, only to a customer.) If you purchase XF, submit a ticket afterwards and we can send the latest SMF importer over. If you run into any issues, that would also allow them to be addressed for 1.4.4 rather than having to wait until 1.4.5, for example.
I'm an existing customer, any chance I could get that "fixed" SMF.php to test it out? I've currently run into some problems with the importer. I'm trying to fix the errors myself but it could be nice to get "approved" fixes from the XF developers.

//NOTE: My thread.
I'm an existing customer, any chance I could get that "fixed" SMF.php to test it out? I've currently run into some problems with the importer. I'm trying to fix the errors myself but it could be nice to get "approved" fixes from the XF developers.
Maybe you shouls try submitting a ticket? I'm 120% they will tell you to do that :p