Upgrading To XenForo From vBulletin 3.8

#1
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
#2
As a happy person who upgraded from vBulletin 4 to Xenforo 1.x > 2.0:
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#3
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.
 
#5
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
#6
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.
 
#7
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
#10
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?
 
#11
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?
 
#12
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
#13
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.
 
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