Upgrading To XenForo From vBulletin 3.8

Car_Freak

New member
Hello,

I’m looking to migrate an active vBulletin 3.8 forum with vBSEO (500K+ Posts) to XenForo.

This software seems to be promising and an ideal upgrade from vBulletin.

However, I’ve a few questions which I’d like to be clarified:
  • When is version 2.1 scheduled to release? Will it have major changes?
  • Are SEO features of Xenforo comparable to those offered with vBSEO?
  • Can I also export “Photoplog”, “Thumbs Up” and “Awards” from vBulletin to XenForo?
  • I see a choice of “No” and “Never” in settings. What’s difference between both? (screenshot attached)
  • Is Xenforo missing any major features which are hardcoded into vBulletin 3 (I know thread-rating is one).
  • Since URL structure is different in both softwares. Is there possibility of broken links? How to avoid same?
  • Is Xenforo more server intensive than vBulletin + vBSEO combination? Will we have to upgrade our server?
  • Can someone direct me to version 2.0 counterpart of the following version 1.0 add-ons (if available)?
Thanks
 

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Recep Baltaş

Well-known member
As a happy person who upgraded from vBulletin 4 to Xenforo 1.x > 2.0:
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
When is version 2.1 scheduled to release? Will it have major changes?
The changes won't be as extensive as they were from 1.5 to 2.0 (2.0 was a complete re-write) but there will be new features. There's no scheduled release date, but it is likely to be "this year".

Are SEO features of Xenforo comparable to those offered with vBSEO?
Good SEO is part of XenForo in the core, however, it isn't as customisable as it would be with vBSEO and others, though we're also emphatic that it doesn't need to be, it's already as good as it needs to be. The main problem this poses is redirecting your old URLs to XenForo's URLs. This hasn't been problematic for most people coming over from vBulletin, but there may be some challenges depending on how vBSEO is configured.

Can I also export “Thumbs Up” and “Awards” from vBulletin to XenForo?
I'm certain these kinds of things have been done before, but as they're non-official vBulletin add-ons they're not something we have built-in support for.

Not exactly the "Thumbs Up" mod but here's one way of importing the "Post Thank You" mod to XF:
https://xenforo.com/community/threads/post-thank-you-hack-into-likes.23660/

For "Awards" the closest thing that we have built-in is Trophies. However, the [bd] Medal add-on (XF1 version, XF2 version) certainly supports importing from the YAAS mod (at least the XF1 version does). It may be worth clarifying with the author.

I see a choice of “No” and “Never” in settings. What’s difference between both? (screenshot attached)
"No" is simply meaning that the value of the permission is "not set". In a multi-group scenario, the "No" in one group can be overridden with a "Yes". If the value is set to "Never" then this is always "No" regardless of what other permissions are set - it can't be overridden.

Here's a good introduction to permissions: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/implementing-permissions-across-multiple-user-groups.358/

Is Xenforo missing any major features which are hardcoded into vBulletin 3 (I know thread-rating is one).
Maybe "Albums" but we have a fully featured Gallery add-on to cover that. I can't think of anything specific. Over time we have implemented most things that seemed important for people coming over to XF from vB.

Since URL structure is different in both softwares. Is there possibility of broken links? How to avoid same?
As mentioned above, we do supply redirection scripts but also if you're using vBSEO then that may have allowed you to use a custom or different URL structure. Usually, this isn't insurmountable. When you import you can retain content IDs so that thread 123 in vB will be thread 123 in XF which makes doing redirects, even if you have to do them manually on the server, much easier.

Is Xenforo more server intensive than vBulletin + vBSEO combination? Will we have to upgrade our server?
Some people report that as XF is more interactive and may attract more visitors then you may need more server resources, but this certainly isn't true for everyone. Certainly very much depends on what you're starting with. But it's something you can evaluate once you've made the move.

I can find this one:
Convert Image for XF2

Is it really necessary to limit the number of smilies allowed in posts? I've been part of many forums and the number of smilies used in a post has never seemed to become an issue. Just my opinion, but I'm sure most forums can live without that.

As for AE Detector, I'm not sure if @Xon has any further updates on that.
 

Car_Freak

New member
The changes won't be as extensive as they were from 1.5 to 2.0 (2.0 was a complete re-write) but there will be new features. There's no scheduled release date, but it is likely to be "this year".
Hi @Chris D. Thanks for an elaborated response. Much appreciated.

I’m looking forward to move to XenForo but holding on due to v2.1 release.

Since I’ll be outsourcing a team to do migration for me, I’d like to do it all at once.

I’m not sure how easy it’d be to upgrade to v2.1 from 2.0 without breaking themes / modifications once we've setup?

Is version 2.1 coming in August by any chance? If not, I'll proceed with version 2.0.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
I wouldn't delay your plans for 2.1, necessarily. It's likely not coming in August, no. We do attempt to limit the number of breaking changes even in second point releases so there shouldn't be anything significant that will break existing styles and add-ons.

Even so, once it is finished, there will be a public beta at some point. That'd be a good opportunity for you to give it a try (in a test environment) and see what work is involved. If there are major issues that cause major compatibility headaches then we may be able to make changes to avoid them.
 

markus68

Active member
Hi,
we migrated from VB 3.6 to XF2 a few weeks back (1.5M posts) but the intent was also to use new hardware, so I can't make any recommendations there.
We used some Addons from AndyB (eg. show moderators per forum) and the mentioned Award-system. All in all we lost only minor functionality that we had (but is still missed somehow):
  • Export PM. In VB one could export the private-messages in CSV, XML or email. Users miss this today with the conversations
  • Apply for Group-membership. In our board we have some local-user-groups (local pinball-players) and in VB one could apply to become member of such a group. A "group mod" could allow membership. Today users need to start conversations with admins/mods and admin has to grant group-access. There is a "social-groups" Addon available, but that is expensive and offers a lot of stuff that we would not need.
I created a XF testforum, did run migration-tests a few times and then had my mods do some "acceptance"-testing on features that were missing and actively used. Looked for addons, tested those.

HTH,
-Markus
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
Plenty of people have done vB 3.8 imports without issues so I wouldn't worry too much about the beta label just now. You'll be performing test imports to make sure everything works correctly, right?
 

Car_Freak

New member
You'll be performing test imports to make sure everything works correctly, right?
Yup. That brings me to another question:

Our existing server is configured with PHP 5.2 and MySQL 5.6 in order to handle vBulletin 3.8.

I wonder if XenForo v2.0 can flawlessly function on it for testing purpose since it requires PHP 7.2?

If not, then how will I test before making the final switch?
 

andybond

Active member
Yup. That brings me to another question:

Our existing server is configured with PHP 5.2 and MySQL 5.6 in order to handle vBulletin 3.8.

I wonder if XenForo v2.0 can flawlessly function on it for testing purpose since it requires PHP 7.2?

If not, then how will I test before making the final switch?
Grab your DB from your VB3.8
Install a local webservice ( WAMP works for me )
Ensure its on the correct php/mysql version
Install Xenforo2 on your WAMP setup
Import the 3.8DB to the XF2 instance.

That could work for you.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
Yup. That brings me to another question:

Our existing server is configured with PHP 5.2 and MySQL 5.6 in order to handle vBulletin 3.8.

I wonder if XenForo v2.0 can flawlessly function on it for testing purpose since it requires PHP 7.2?

If not, then how will I test before making the final switch?
It's possible to have a web server that is configured with different PHP versions for different web roots. So something like that would be needed.

XF2 absolutely won't run on PHP 5.2. XF2 doesn't require PHP 7.2, it requires PHP 5.4 as a minimum. So upgrading to PHP 5.4 should be possible without destroying vB3.8 as far as I know.

After that, we would recommend you upgrade to PHP 7.2 eventually because of performance, security and stability.
 

Car_Freak

New member
I like a theme from ******* but a little research led to some of their horror stories in past.

I’m more concerned about the security of our forum and users. It seems I’ll have to get a custom theme designed.

What's the general price range for custom XenForo themes?

I’m surprised that even though XenForo is almost a decade old software, it still has very limited aftermarket themes.

I’m looking for a red and black color theme (with white background). Can someone suggest any options?

I've already checked the following websites (which have very limited pre-made options):
  • Artodia.com
  • PixelExit.com
  • XenFocus.com
  • DohTheme.com
  • ThemeHouse.com
So upgrading to PHP 5.4 should be possible without destroying vB3.8 as far as I know.
Nope. vBulletin 3.8.3 doesn’t support anything beyond PHP 5.2.

Thanks
 

batpool52!

Well-known member
What's the general price range for custom XenForo themes?
That usually depends on the styler you would go with but my guess is starts from $100.

I've already checked the following websites (which have very limited pre-made options):
  • Artodia.com
  • PixelExit.com
  • XenFocus.com
  • DohTheme.com
  • ThemeHouse.com
And all of those provide custom style services. Try messaging each and everyone of them here? I'll list the contacts of each of those sites below
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
I’m looking for a red and black color theme (with white background). Can someone suggest any options?

I've already checked the following websites (which have very limited pre-made options):
  • Artodia.com
  • PixelExit.com
  • XenFocus.com
  • DohTheme.com
  • ThemeHouse.com
If there are any styles from those providers that you like, but simply need different colours, then usually that work is do-able and doesn't usually cost as much as a full custom made style, as far as I know. Certainly, PixelExit (@Steve F @Russ) should be able to help as they have helped me out with similar stuff before. What you have asked for (colours wise) is similar to what I use on my personal site (https://xr-dev.io/). I'm fairly certain ThemeHouse (@Mike Creuzer) can help with basic colour adjustments to existing styles too.

I should probably note that most styles include built-in frameworks and colour palettes that you can change yourself with relative ease using our style properties system.

Nope. vBulletin 3.8.3 doesn’t support anything beyond PHP 5.2.
That is true, but if you can get vBulletin 3.8.10 or above then that is compatible with PHP 7.x.
 

DohTheme

Well-known member
I like a theme from ******* but a little research led to some of their horror stories in past.

I’m more concerned about the security of our forum and users. It seems I’ll have to get a custom theme designed.

What's the general price range for custom XenForo themes?

I’m surprised that even though XenForo is almost a decade old software, it still has very limited aftermarket themes.

I’m looking for a red and black color theme (with white background). Can someone suggest any options?

Thanks
If any of our styles don't meet your requirements you can contact us to make you a custom with your needs
 

Sadiq6210

Active member
  • Is Xenforo missing any major features which are hardcoded into vBulletin 3 (I know thread-rating is one)
In my forum (900K posts), the only feature that many users missed was "user reputation" feature, we lost this feature with all comments as it is not available in XF.
 

Russ

Well-known member
Thank you for the mentions,

@Car_Freak did reach out to us and has our quote. If you don't find a style that meets your needs out of all the providers you listed I'd definitely say you're needing something custom.

My pricing, in general, has gone up over the years but I still feel I'm pretty reasonable. I don't think people realize that you won't get a custom style for $100, if someone does a lot of custom work for $100, will they be here to help you with updates/support questions in 6 months? It's not sustainable to charge that little. I wouldn't be here 5 years later if I charged $100 per custom style.

Car_Freak I mentioned to you before but maybe post in https://xenforo.com/community/forums/custom-service-development-requests.69/ and describe your style needs to get other quotes. You may get folks that will offer to do it for $25 maybe, and I'd just say you get what you pay for.
 

tourmeister

Member
I am migrating from vB 3.8.1 to XF2. I have a clean install of XF2 on my new server. I have copied a backup of the live database to the new server to use for testing the import process. As of right now, I have done NOTHING with the install of XF2. Do I need to do anything, like create forums, usergroups, etc,... or does the import process do all of that for me?
 
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