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Introducing bbConverter – Convert your current forums for use with bbPress 2x

  • Anointed


    Thanks to AWJunkie we are proud to announce the official release of bbConverter, the only tool you will ever need to convert your current forums for use with bbPress 2x.

    Currently supported platforms:

    1. bbPress 1x

    2. Vbulletin 3x – 4x

    3. Invision Power Board

    Future platform support already in progress:

    1. PHPbb 3x

    2. Xenforo

    Platforms being considered

    1. myBB



    1. Upload the bbConverter folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory

    2. Activate bbConverter through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress

    3. Go into your WordPress admin under ‘Settings’ and choose ‘Converter’


    5. Choose the platform you want to convert from and fill in the database information. Click start

    6. Once the conversion has completed, visit the WordPress Admin ‘Tools’ section and click ‘Recount’

    7. Do NOT deactivate the plugin once it is finished as it is needed for user password management.


    Important Note:

    It is important to understand that this script is going to be modifying your wordpress database in order to bring over your forums/topics/replies/tags/ and users from your old forum setup. This means we are directly modifying your database which means backup is paramount.

    Ok, now that is out of the way, let’s get to the plugin itself.

    Each Forum sofware, whether bbPress 1x, vbulletin, or Invision Powerboard, has its own configuration file. For example vbulletin calls the file config.php

    This is the file which contains your database connection information and you need to save this information in order to fill out the plugin start screen.

    Required options:

    1. Platform you are converting from – dropdown

    2. Database server — usually localhost

    3. Database port — (example: vbulletin uses 3306)

    4. Database Username

    5. Database Password

    6. Database Name

    7. Database Table Prefix — If you installed your forum software using a prefix enter it here. ( example: vbulletin default uses vb_ ) If there is no prefix, then leave it blank.

    8. Rows Limit — This represents the number of database rows the plugin will convert during a single cycle. I would start this number at 50 or below at first. Keep in mind that forum conversion takes a huge load on the server mysql so if you are on a shared host, you may want to notify your host before running the script.

    If you are on a dedicated server with shell access, then I would suggest opening up a terminal window and monitoring the resources. You can change the ‘Rows Limit’ at any time while the script is running. I have gone as high as 2500 instead of 50 on my servers. ( don’t click stop/start as it is not needed to change the limits )

    9. Delay time — Suggested to use 1. This is the number of seconds that the server waits between the conversion cycles. It gives your server a second to catch its breath.

    Other Options:

    1. Clean — If something actually goes wrong, then you can choose to clean the database. This will effectively remove all the imported data and allow you to start the conversion over.

    2. Restart — Restart allows you to pick up where the script left off should you have the need to stop and start the process. Example is when your browser or computer window closes during the conversion process. If you close the browser during conversion for any reason, then the conversion stops.

    3. Users — You have the option of choosing not to import your users. If you are using bbPress 1x and have the forums linked to your WordPress install already, then you do not need to import users. Do not check the box. Otherwise you do want to import your users.

    Once Import is complete:

    1. Recount — Once everything is finished, then go to the wp-admin/tools and choose recount. This is going to present you with a screen full of checkboxes. Check every box and click submit. This is going to line up all the topic/replies/user posts counts etc.

    2. Keep bbConverter plugin active after conversion.

    bbConverter has a special script which will allow your users to maintain their old forum username and password. In a nutshell, when a user signs in for the first time after the forums convert, the script will check their old password, validate it, and then use the WordPress system to generate the identical password for the user in the appropriate place. This means that you need to keep bbConverter active until every single user has logged into the forums in order to maintain password management. This is not at all resource intensive, and you won’t even notice the plugin running in the background.

    That’s it your finished.



Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 191 total)

  • John James Jacoby


    For what it’s worth, I’ve seen this in action and it’s pretty awesome.

    Please provide feedback and future features and platforms. I will be happy to assist anyone.



    Wow, looks awesome! I need to do a conversion in buddypress from the old group forums to standalone BBpress 2.0.

    Is the procedure the same as converting BBpress 1.0?

    Would love to see an upgrader built into buddypress 1.5!




    gonna have to ask JJ about that one as I don’t use buddypress yet. I am positive that it is possible, just need a little direction from him on the db structure.

    *That is the totally cool part about this plugin in that it can extend to convert virtually any forum software.



    Awesome, will see what JJ says. This would be invaluable if it could be built into buddypress. I know a lot of clients who want to move away from the group forums in buddypress and just use sitewide BBpress 2.0 forums instead!

    Great job!



    any ETA on the PHPbb 3x option, and would you add punBB to the consideration list?





    to help test this, I’ve moved my punBB forum over, and for the most part things work. However there is one major issue.

    I’ve done the conversion by going from:

    punbb > phpbb2 > phpbb3 > bbpress1 (standalone) > this converter > bbpress2

    at the bbpress1 stage, I checked the data, forums, users etc and all looked good.

    after conversion, when going through the ADMIN page/REPLIES, you see that each reply is linked to:

    ‘top level forum container’ (Mismatch)

    and each thead that I look at, has an empty post at the start (i guess because of this issue?).

    Topics are allocated correctly as they should be though.

    My forum is setup as so:

    – Top Level Forum Container

    – forum 1

    – forum 2

    – forum 3

    Any ideas how to fix this issue?




    I tried this plugin – it didn’t work for me.



    haha. i think you need to give some more details, if you hope for any help :)



    OK, I solved my mismatch problem by simply removing the top level forum category.

    However, the blank posts still occur.

    I’ve tracked it down to:

    – at the BBpress1 stage, while the POSTs show the correct author, the actual TOPIC shows “Anonymous” for every entry.

    – there is a duplicate entry in the DB, one which is the topic title, and then the actual contents.

    things look fine with phpbb3, so I guess the error was with the “phpbb3-to-bbpress1-converter_v2″….

    not your converter.

    Anyhow, thanks for your great work!!! I just need to get my data in a state where it can be pulled in. Thanks.



    I can’t give details right now… I’m restoring my DB. Basically it appeared to convert the users appropriately but whene it got to converting the forums, topics and replies, the tool failed throwing an error message (which I didn’t jot down because of the need to immediately restore the db).

    That’s as far as I am.



    ED: I’ve sent a message to AWJunkies about the mismatched topic/replies. I hope to have a solution for you quickly. Thank you for such a detailed report. It will go a long way to troubleshooting any possible issues.

    Varsitysmack: Any information you can provide will help a lot. If you can get the error that was kicked out then we can jump in and see what is happening.



    ED: Just talked to AWJunkies and he said this can happen when running multiple converters strung together.

    From your post it looks like you need a way to go from punbb?

    (guessing you are only going from punbb -> phpbb in order to get a roundabout way to bbpress)

    We are going to add punbb and phpbb3 to the list of importers.



    Hi Anointed, thanks for that. I really need to get my punBB moved to something else ASAP, and was hoping the bbpress might be the one.

    Indeed, I just went from punbb > phpbb etc, as there is no direct conversion. It does seems that along the way, little things break – which in the end screw up the final conversion step.

    Looking forward to a new release of your tool :)



    I remember seeing mention of conversion from vanilla somewhere but now I do not see it on the list above. Was that dropped?

    Also, what happens to urls from search engines after someone convert from another forum? Is there automatic match and redirect?




    We can add vanilla forums to the list.

    As to url’s, no, the converter has nothing to do with url’s. It simply gets your data into the format that WordPress expects to see. Now because it is WordPress, you are able to write your own custom permalink redirects in order to match your old system. Of course a lot is going to depend upon what your old system was like. If the old forums had pretty permalinks, then it is much easier to match with custom rules.

    Hoping this tool will be worth importing and keeping. Thanks for sharing this info.



    Fantastic, will start testing right away. A couple questions & suggestions right off the bat:

    – Some very simple step-by-step tutorials for the different kinds of set-ups would go a long way. I’m assuming bbPress 1.x also includes BuddyPress, but it’d be nice to know if there’s any kind of distinction where the conversion is concerned.

    – In the bbConverter settings you ask for a Table Prefix. Which one do you want, the WordPress prefix (commonly wp_ ) or the forum prefix (e.g. bb_ , wp_bb_ , etc.)?

    – In the case of a BuddyPress forum migration, do we really need to keep bbConverter activated for passwords? They should all be compatible already.

    Steven Hodson


    @Erlend it is asking for your bbPress table prefix – typically bb_

    Just checked this plugin out to upgrade from bbPress 1.x and found two minor (but very relevant) problems.

    1) The date of all posts was set to the current date. All posts were ‘less than a minute ago’.

    2) German Umlauts were broken. Looks like a utf8-latin1 encoding problem. This might be due to my bb tables being utf8 while my wp tables are latin1. I knew this would bite me some time.

    The same bug appears btw. in the official importer – although the official tool sometimes sets the topic to an emtpy string then.

    just wanted to say that this converter worked much better than the included one. The included one didn’t really do anything, it just sat there and looked silly.



    any eta for phpbb or punbb? thanks!

    No eta at the moment sorry trying to see why a few people are getting mismatched thread stuff. I have ran more and more tests and never happens for me. Tried 10 different boards of all sizes even one that has 2 million posts and no issues. It would be nice if someone provided me some login info or server info to test locally this is not public www. Just to see if I am getting same issue as you do.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me at:

    Skype: AWJunkies

    AIM: AWJunkies

    Yahoo: AWJunkies




    When we tried to do some testing with bbConverter we ran into memory issues. We’re running on a dedicated server so there’s a good chance the problem lies on our end.

    Seeing as you’ve successfully converted a 2-million-posts forum without issues, I’d be very interested in knowing more about any server settings that might have been pertinent to your success.

    A basic runthrough of best practice server setup relevant to a major forum conversion would be great. Things like php-limit, caching, Apache modules and so forth. Not looking for anything in depth, just some DOs and DON’Ts.

    Well for starters what do you have the process rows at?

    Also can you provide server details and your current limits. It may be easier to do that as I have test environment that I can mirror yours and test. It would go a lot faster that way. So php limits and mysql limits and server details. Also site stats and platform.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 191 total)
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