vBulletin 4x to XenForo experiences?


I am a long time user of vBulletin (since Dec. 2003) - vB 3 was the best - vB 4 was a real pain to get used to - but I have been using vB 4 since around 2008.

It's a massive board with posts predating vB (1998 - 2003 was imported from another board software which is no longer in use - but that is another topic), and it's a highly modified board (many template customizations - plugins etc.), with decent traffic.

My issue: the forum is not the only part of the website - we have 100,000s pages of static HTML that we recently converted to Word Press. We wanted to create a bridge so that members could not only participate in the forum, but comment on news articles and reviews (Wordpress), without having to open a secondary account. vB 4 is getting ready to poop out - forcing us to upgrade to vB 5 - which my gut feeling says is a very bad idea. We have not upgraded and are looking at options.

I have played around with the XenForo backend, and it looks and feels good. And there is a WordPress bridge available, and there are some other functions (like mass PMing folks) that can't be done in vB 5.

My biggest fear is alienating members, some of whom have been members since the early 2000s, with a forum that does not have the same look and feel. So it's imperative to me that if I do make the switch, that the templates and styles can have the same look/feel.

My questions: are there others who have imported their sites to XenForo and kept many of the same styles from vB? How was the reaction of the membership? Good? Bad?

An SEO question:- we use the vBDragonByte SEO product that converts the URLs to website/forums/forum-name/threadIDnumber-thread-title.html Can this be done with XF? We need to maintain the same URL structure that we already have.

Any comments would be truly appreciated. Thanks in advance. :)


XenForo moderator
Staff member
The URL structure won't remain the same - XF has a different structure.

You can implement redirection scripts to forward traffic from the old URLs to the new.


Thanks! One other thing: plugins. I had a number of plugins that did not survive the upgrade from vB3 to vB4. Would it be reasonable to guess that those plugins could be developed for the current version of Xenforo?


Well that's great news. So what you are saying is that any plugins that worked for vB 3.x can be modified/developed to work with Xenforo. Correct?


Well-known member
Well that's great news. So what you are saying is that any plugins that worked for vB 3.x can be modified/developed to work with Xenforo. Correct?
Well they would have to be completely recoded as vB and XF coding base is completely different, but yes a competent developer should be able to do it.


Hi Guys,

I am working with Bryan, and I was wondering how easy or what support there is for importing a very large vB4 database. Basically this is the game changer for us, if we can successfully import this then I am sure we would be looking at this as a serious option.


What about the look and feel? We have highly customized styles (images, fonts, colors, etc). Does this import well, or does one have to start from scratch like vB3 to vB4 ?(that was a nightmare).


Hi Guys,
I am working with Bryan too and I have some Questions about SEO I am sure you could help us:
  1. Meta Titles & descriptions could be Customized in XF?
  2. Is there a Autolink replacement functionality in the core or we need to buy an add-on?
  3. About Google Tag Manager with XF, is there any add-on to manage it or we could add it directly in the XF?
  4. about 301 redirects... has XF an area admin to manage 301 redirects, or could you recommend some add-on to manage them?
  5. Is there a xml Sitemap advanced generator ( ability to split xml files, custom areas to include in the sitemap, etc...)?
  6. Is there a External link Manager ( to manage 'nofollow', permisions to add external links, etc..)?
  7. Is there a canonical Rel option for the Threads?
  8. About the URL structure:
    1. What is the max Pages per thread?
    2. Can we manage /folder/subfolders/ to simulate forum/ subareas/ (Vbulletin Current Structure)?
Many Thanks in Advance