Do very many forums still run on VB3 ....if you migrated to something else what was your choice?

SteveP

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Jun 16, 2018
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32
I feel like I've painted myself in to a corner.
Love VB3. It works. So I refused to move to VB4 and VB5 didn't entice me any more than VB4, so here I am with 6 VB3 forums.

I tried to move to a new server and came to the realization that I'm in a world of hurt. I could not move since my VB3 stuff would not run on the newer server. Backed down PHP version and still had issues. So, I moved back to my current server and all is hunky dory. But I suspect the longer I wait to move to something more current the harder it will be as most will not be running VB3.

Are there still a lot of forums running VB3? If so what are your plans for the future. If you already moved from VB3 what did you go to?

I'm primarily using the forum feature of VB. Don't care about blogs and photo galleries. I do have a few mods installed such as 'Thanks' and Tapatalk, Vigilink, Cyb Visiters last day etc. Nothing to fancy. I'm just looking to see what can match what I have. Xenfro looks good but is different enough I'm afraid some of my non techie users will have issues with the change What is your experience? Did you lose members when jumping to XF? Thanks for any input.
 

R0binHood

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Nov 23, 2011
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If you want pure forum and you don't have many add ons I'd go XF. There are some very good theme developers that could get it to match your existing site to make the transition smoother if you don't want it to be too jarring of a change. What's the site?
 

SteveP

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Jun 16, 2018
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32
Thanks. The XF sites I am a member of seem so different than VB, I was hoping for another alternative that was in the same price range as XF.

PM me and I'll tell you the sites ...don't want to list them here.
 

sbjsbj

Fan
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Feb 9, 2015
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There are tons of stories and experiences here and on the XF forums about migrating to XF from vB. I can tell you that with one exception all people who migrated said that they wished that they migrated much earlier. All were happy as they can be and all had the same worries about their users not liking XF. But all got immensely good feedback from their users. I wouldn't worry about your users not liking XF, they will.

Just what you should worry about is the migration itself. If you have issues right now and you have bunch of custom stuff going on, that can be a problem for someone unexperienced dealing with a migration. But for that you can hire always guys, there are some recommended ones who take care for you, if you have the money to pay. Other than that there is no reason to stay with vB3 anymore. But your call.
 

Paul M

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Jun 26, 2006
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3,934
My forum currently runs VB3.
Sometime in the next year I will be moving to vB4.
Mainly to get rid of our use of (a very old) textpattern, and use the CMS instead.
Also to use the inbuilt mobile style, and also provide the our style in multiple colours (much easier in VB4).

I will be running 4.2.5+ (my own modified version of 4.2.5).
This will initially be on PHP 7.1, I may consider moving to 7.2 at some point.
 

SteveP

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Jun 16, 2018
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32
Thanks guys. Spent the day on the road thinking more about this and came to the conclusion that I should move forward with migrating to XF. So now I'm looking for recommendations for those who can do the migration for a reasonable price. Hope some are out there. My largest forum has 12,000 members and 3/4 million posts. I saw one migration company that charged by the post. Whoa ...no way I could afford that. LOL Thanks again for your input.
 

bernard

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Sep 10, 2007
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136
I've got 3 forums running vB 3.8 as of this moment. Much like the OP though, necessary upgrades to the server are breaking the sites, so it's time to plan for a migration to a platform that is being supported and keeping up with the latest PHP/MySQL, etc.

I bought a license for XenForo to test a migration - configuration, importing, styling, etc. The importing worked great. Easy. Configuration (user groups, permissions, promotions, etc.) is all pretty straightforward and easy. Redirecting old URLs wasn't too bad either. Styling though... It threw me some curveballs. I'm getting the hang of it now and have managed to create a style that is similar to my vB forum. I'm looking forward to going live on the migration soon and starting all over again with site #2.
 

Steve

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Apr 17, 2009
Messages
3,743
Thanks guys. Spent the day on the road thinking more about this and came to the conclusion that I should move forward with migrating to XF. So now I'm looking for recommendations for those who can do the migration for a reasonable price. Hope some are out there. My largest forum has 12,000 members and 3/4 million posts. I saw one migration company that charged by the post. Whoa ...no way I could afford that. LOL Thanks again for your input.
It is fairly straight forward to do the import, I’d suggest trying to do it yourself on a test instance. But if you’re not comfortable doing it I would contact mysiteguy.
 

pierce

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Apr 10, 2016
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1,166
You can spin up a vps on centos7.

Load centminmod.

Create the user and dB and copy stuff over. God's can be had for $5/month and capable of running 1million posts. You just don't get very much hard disk space for attachments.

I usually create a subdomain like "beta". Which can be moved to the www/non-www.

The biggest moment of happiness with xenforo is that it failed an upgrade. I know it failed. Been there with vb4 restore and restart. Xenforo? Refresh the page and it picked right up where it left off with no fuss.

But everybody has to cut their own path.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,370
is fairly straight forward to do the import, I’d suggest trying to do it yourself on a test instance. But if you’re not comfortable doing it I would contact mysiteguy.

I agree with Steve and I'm sure you'll find a lot of members here will say the same. Try it yourself but mysiteguy would be my first choice if you decide you need to outsource.
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
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Feb 20, 2007
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3,107
Concerning VB 3.x ---- something in the past month or so has changed because suddenly the number of 3.x upgrade requests has skyrocketed, lol. 4.x, have been about the same. I don't know if it's hosts starting to tell long-time clients a server PHP upgrade is imminent or what, but it's been an odd month with that.

If you have a vanilla VB 3.x install (no addons) or the addons you use are something you're not terribly concerned about bringing their data over from, then the XF migration will generally be doable by the average admin familiar with using FTP (or CPanel's file manager). Keep a few things in mind:

1. None of your theme settings carry over. Do a trial run first, develop your new look on the trial run, or install a 3rd party theme on it. Then export that theme, saving it to your computer. Then when you set up a new blank XF install to do the "live" install, import the saved theme back into it.

2. You will need at least as much drive space for Xenforo as your VB install + 10%. If your current VB install is using 1 GB, plus another 500MEG for the database, count on the Xenforo install needing at least (1G + 500MG) * 1.10 = 1.65GB drive space. Personally, I prefer using +20% instead of +10%, I want room to spare.

3. Boards over half a million posts, you definitely need to do a trial import. Server speeds vary, so you want to be able to your users a reasonable estimate of the downtime. The vast majority of hosts I've dealt with have stock mysql settings, which are setup with very small Innodb buffer settings. Due to this, the larger the board is you're going to see the import get progressively slower once it gets to the posts table. Innodb scales well, but not if it's not setup correctly.

4. Do it in a different directory, then move VB to a backup location, then move Xenforo into the location VB was in.

5. Using Xenforo's official importer - double and triple check user group permissions. There are bugs in this part of their code. Even without bugs, there aren't always 1-1 matches of permissions, so check them!

6. In VB someone may be set up with moderator or admin permissions, via being members of admin/moderator groups but not setup in the admin/mod sections of the admincp. In XF, users such as that will find their admin/mod privileges do not work, unless you add them in the moderator or admin sections of the "Groups and Permissions" section.
 

zappaDPJ

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Aug 26, 2010
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7,370
5. Using Xenforo's official importer - double and triple check user group permissions. There are bugs in this part of their code. Even without bugs, there aren't always 1-1 matches of permissions, so check them!

This is something I've also encountered on more than one occasion and with one migration it caused a lot of problems that took an age to work through. Other than that I don't recall any major issues even with larger 1,000,000+ post migrations.
 

CyberJoe

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May 23, 2016
Messages
108
Remember the addons are vastly different between the different forum systems.

If I was in your shoes I would:

  1. Spin up a VPS (I use Linode).
  2. Export the db, copy the files across (maybe only the last attachments so save space for the test).
  3. Get your site up and running on a test url, DISABLE SENDING OF EMAILS.
  4. Once you happy it is working 100%, uninstall and remove all plugins, you will have to find them again for the new system. Get rid of anything not needed, the less plugins in any system the better!
  5. Install the new system in a new directory and get it working.
  6. Start the conversion.
This will then give you a platform to play and test on with your own content, as you still have to spend a bit of time on templates etc. You might want to, or have to do this a few times until you are happy and confident with the process.

Again, disable sending of emails!
 

zappaDPJ

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Aug 26, 2010
Messages
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Sometime in the next year I will be moving to vB4.

I know you are more than capable of keeping a version of vBulletin secure and running until the end of time but did you at any point consider a switch to another platform that isn't effectively EOL?
 

Paul M

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I know you are more than capable of keeping a version of vBulletin secure and running until the end of time but did you at any point consider a switch to another platform that isn't effectively EOL?
Yes, but I see no advantage to the amount of time I would have to spend on it (not to mention dealing with the tons of moaning members) when I can, as you say, just keep my VB running. Im sure that one day we will have to move away, but thats a long way off atm.
 

HallofFamer

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Sep 6, 2010
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Theres no point to upgrade from VB3 to VB4, since the former is better. Just because the version number increments, doesnt indicate that it will be a better product.
 

SteveP

Aspirant
Joined
Jun 16, 2018
Messages
32
Thank you all. Lots of great info / insights.
I am derailed on this project for a couple weeks but I did get the chance to import one of my forums to XF. All went smooth except for the images. None of them were imported even though the path to the images was part of the import setup. Permissions were open. Then I had other server issues and have not been able to attempt another import. Other duties will keep me busy for the next couple weeks but after that I will be attempting imports to a test forum, as was suggested. I will get the process down before I shut down my VB forums to upgrade with the current forum data.

I was told that Xenforo has some of the original VB coders / owners behind it, and that is why it is top of the heap for now. Any truth to that tidbit?
 

zappaDPJ

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Aug 26, 2010
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I was told that Xenforo has some of the original VB coders / owners behind it, and that is why it is top of the heap for now. Any truth to that tidbit?

That's correct. Xenforo was created by largely the same team that created vBulletin 2 and 3. They didn't like the direction Internet Brands (vBulletin's new owner) was taking the software and left to create Xenforo.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
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Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,588
I was told that Xenforo has some of the original VB coders / owners behind it, and that is why it is top of the heap for now. Any truth to that tidbit?
Additionally, vB was mismanaged, IB pushed many impopular changes that werent necessarilly implemented properly and negatively impacted vBS's ability to finance itself and retain its top workers and collaborators. The pricing also deters from sticking with vB, as buying a new Xenforo licence was cheaper than upgrading vB.
 
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