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Vb4 and vBseo

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by amforum, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. amforum

    amforum Member

    Hi everyone,

    First post here....we are considering moving from vb4 to Xenforo but like many have vbseo installed and wondering if its possible to keep the same url structure. We have roughly 3.5 million posts and would like to avoid 301's to 200k+ URL's (threads). I know people say just do it and let Google re-index and take the hit but this is our livelihood and really want to avoid the ranking hit from such a large move.

    Also, what are the options for converting the CMS articles? Is there a plugin that allows us to keep the CMS function or an alternative?

    At this point we are fed up with vbulletin, especially with the release of vb5....
  2. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Redirect scripts (applies to vB4 as well):


    Then you need some rewrite rules to map the vBSEO URLs to the redirect scripts:


    As for preserving the old URLs (as opposed to redirecting) that's a nasty thing to do. It should be possible to rewrite XF's URLs into a vBSEO format if you select the option during the import to preserve the source ids. But XF won't use that format for internal links unless you create an addon to modify the link building functions. I do not recommend this. Use redirects instead. Google will update eventually. And based on the experiences of other people on this forum, you can expect a temporary drop in rank after the migration, but it will increase soon after.

  3. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    EDIT: I got ninja'd on the redirection stuff so editing out...

    CMS is a little bit tricky. XenForo has been built on the principle that they want to make it the best forum software it possibly can be before doing what everyone else has done and bloated it with add-ons.

    I do not currently know of a way to keep those articles unless you couple XenForo with something like WordPress or some other CMS solution. You may be able to find an importer that will convert your vB CMS content over to some other CMS and use that.

    WordPress is a popular one. Here's a great example of a site that uses WordPress on the front end (root) and XenForo as the forums (community) http://www.crazyengineers.com/ and http://www.crazyengineers.com/community

    XenForo does have a free add-on called XenPorta (third party) which provides a basic homepage/portal but it is by no means a full CMS solution.
  4. amforum

    amforum Member

    I did read that and while many people did see some increase, a couple have not and still recovering after a long period of time. We get roughly 45,000 daily visits with over 120k pageviews and can't afford to take a hit with Google. Redirecting that many urls and we will get hit (simply by changing the url's of 60,000 plus backlinks). I'm just trying to avoid that at all costs. We have relationships with over 40 companies directly for advertising not to mention various ad networks....we can't afford to have that many pageview/visitor drops or a 3-6 month drop in traffic. Our mortgage payments depend on it..LOL

    We also need a way to incorporate the current CMS articles since we use that as our homepage and content for our newsletter that goes out 3 times a week to 100k+ people...

    So its definitely a monumental change for us since we've used vb for over 10 years but willing to do it if we can preserve as much as possible in url structure. Thats the only thing that is holding us back....fear of Google (I know, it sucks).
  5. amforum

    amforum Member

    Chris, thanks for the CMS options! We are not opposed to using a third party at all....since Vb CMS is awful but we gave it a chance, used it for several years and now stuck with it.
  6. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    One thing I can say is we moved our old site, www.halflife2.net from vBulletin 4 to XenForo. But, at the same time we also changed our domain name and rebranded. So as far as monumental changes go - we did everything.

    Our page rank was obliterated. Our page rank as Halflife2.net was 4. After the switch it went down to 0. But, the good news is, after 2 months it was back up to 4 again. And that's where it is now. So overall we've not lost anything.

    Now if only we could find a decent host we might actually be online sometimes...
    Jake Bunce likes this.
  7. amforum

    amforum Member

    Yeah, domain change is definitely monumental....

    Our domain is 10 years old and well established. I know we can handle the code change (html being served to google) but a url structure change AND code change scares me and my bank account.
  8. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    What about leaving your vB forum online but closed for posting. Then you can direct all new posts to be made on XF.
    Chris D likes this.
  9. amforum

    amforum Member

    Separating them isn't really an option. Would be extremely confusing to members.
  10. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    It's a tricky one for you. No one can guarantee what will happen to your search rank.

    Most people I've read who have made the move and ended up with a better search rank but no one can guarantee that, unfortunately.

    It's a risk, as ever.

    Our experience was a little different due to the circumstances, maybe someone else can comment on their experience :)
  11. amforum

    amforum Member

    Oh I understand Chris....

    Even when you upgrade from vb3 to vb4 there is a large difference in the html being served, and we saw a small hiccup with that and recovered....but doing such a large change along with a complete site wide url structure scares us. If we could keep the url structure we would do it and take that risk...
  12. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Keeping the URL structure sounds like a nightmare from what Jake said.

    I'm not going to recommend that as an option, but if it's possible and you decide to do it then good luck :)

    Back on to CMS:


    These people I've heard of before... they do forum conversions too. I have no idea whether they're recommended or any good ... but they profess to do vB CMS to WordPress conversions.

    If you need a fully functional CMS then WordPress could be a good solution. As you can see it can integrate well with XenForo (http://www.crazyengineers.com)
    amforum likes this.
  13. Parminder Singh Chahal

    Parminder Singh Chahal Active Member

    Did you eventually make the move? Did your traffic go down ?up? How long did it take for things to return back to normal if it ever did?

    Sorry about digging this old thread but I am looking to get some feedback from people who have moved large forums to see how the rankings have been after the move.
  14. 0ptima

    0ptima Well-Known Member

  15. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    The vB4 CMS stores articles as threads in a hidden forum, so they should be imported as such.
    0ptima likes this.

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