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Forum migration tool

  • OC2PS


    bbPress needs to face the fact that most people who want a forum, have already had a forum. The *new* market for forums is much smaller than the *installed base* of forums.

    Consequently, most of the people who would want to use bbPress probably are already using another forum script and need help migrating. It is collossal mistake to leave this for community plugins.

    If I have a forum software in a production environment, then one of the major factors influencing my decision regarding migration is whether or not there is a robust, stable, tried and tested and reliable migration path to the target software. This is extremely important for me. In fact, I would suffer a somewhat inferior software willingly rather than move to a better software if there is no clear migration path or there is a high degree of risk in migration.

    It is a mistake on part of bbPress to leave migration to community plugin developers. Even if there were some plugins out there that did the job, it would be much less reassuring to prospective users compared to a migration/import path created by the bbPress team. As it happens there are only 2 import plugins ( and out there and both of them are broken and not supported.

    WordPress does it right in building an importer directly into the core.

    Over the next 18-24 months, I expect to see a mass exodus from phpBB as they rewrite the software from ground up ( If bbPress provide a good migration path, it stands the chance to capture some of fleeing population.


    I think it would be greatly beneficial to the project if the bbPress team build a bbPress importer that supports the top 4 forum software: phpBB, Invision, SMF and vBulletin.

    Such a migration tool, importer or converter will:

    i) import topics and forum hierarchies into bbpress

    including the relations between forums, topics and replies

    and slugs for forums, topics and replies

    ii) generate an .htaccess to place in the old forum directory so that old URLs are 301 redirected to new ones.

    iii) import users including profiles, passwords, signatures and roles

    @jjj You have mentioned at that this is more appropriate for a plugin and that bundling that code in the core of bbPress seems needless for many users that are starting off fresh.

    I believe that this function is too important to be left to the mercy of others. There is a huge trust issue…if I have to entrust my data to someone, I want to make sure that they are reliable, trustworthy, good enough, and understand the software well.

    I take your point about not bundling the function in the core. How about a migration plugin by the bbPress team?

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • The problem with this is that bbPress is maintained by @jjj and a few other contributors. So the time and features have to be prioritized.

    Writing an importer is a *lot* of work. Right off the bat a forum importer is going to be at least twice as much work as, say, a MovableType -> WordPress importer.

    Now you have to take into account how many, ultimately, separate importers you would have to write. Let’s see here… vBulletin, phpBB, Vanilla, punBB, SMF, IPB… and those are just some of the popular ones. So 6 importers *might* cover most off people’s needs.

    Then you have to keep in mind that the importers are constantly breaking because of software updates to the original forums packages. I’d say ever 2-4 months you can expect breakage due to an update.

    Bottom line? You are looking at 6 importers (at least) to cover the popular forum suites, that not only would take a huge time investment to get off the ground, but would have to be constantly maintained and updated so they don’t break or get out of date.

    Is it do-able? Sure. However, if you want @jjj to tackle this don’t expect to ever see another bbPress update or feature again – it’s just a matter of time.

    This is really where contributors need to step in and help out. This would ideally be written and maintained by different contributors.

    John James Jacoby


    Jared is correct. There is a migration plugin already. Also, this is a duplicate post of one from several weeks ago that you posted here and then cross posted to The more time we spend moderating the forums of duplicate content is the less that’s spent writing code.



    Can y’all point me to the migration plugin? I need to move from one site to another and can’t seem to find it… Thanks so much!

    bbPress 2.1x includes the import tool now to import from bbPress Standalone, phpBB, vBulletin & Invision.

    To get started importing forums have a look at this



    Great! thanks for the update netweb.

    I hope Buddypress forums to bbpress plugin is ‘next’ importer in the works 🙂

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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