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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 - 76 through 100 (of 191 total)
  • Hello guys, thank you Adam for all the work you put into this converter! I really can’t wait for the updated version! Now I would like to ask all of you one maybe stupid question but is it somehow possible to convert the author’s of the posts without creating an entry in the wp_users database? My problem is that I have converted my whole site (I was previously using blog:CMS and punbb forum) into WordPress and now I decided that I will ask all my free users to create a new account for WP (to have fresh password, etc.) but I obviously can’t do this until I delete all the users that have been created by the converter. Yet once I delete them, their posts get deleted as well. I also tried to convert the forum without the users but the problem is that the forum then gets converted without the authors of the posts :(. So I am in a dead end here… I would basically need to keep forum’s authors (only name is sufficient) without creating an entry in the wp_users database (so that my users may register for WP using the same e-mail). Thank you very much for your help/advice/suggestions. All the best from Misha

    Justin Tadlock


    Some feedback:

    The first test run didn’t convert the forums from bbPress 1.x. So, the topics and replies didn’t have a forum.

    I tried a second test run and the forums were converted. I stopped the process at this point.

    I’m going to give it a third test run to see if it’ll work.




    Turns out I messed up and did not upload the latest vs. of the converter. Give me a minute and I’ll get everything straightened out.

    Sorry about that, my fault entirely

    Justin Tadlock


    Sounds good. I haven’t started my third test yet.

    My plan is to convert the Theme Hybrid forums over in the near future. There’s something like 100K+ posts on there, so I’m running this locally to see how it goes.



    Got your twitter message but could not reply back. Need to send you private links. New vs. is much improved.

    I’ve done a site with 300k posts, and I know Adam has one with over a million so 100k should be just fine.

    New update is available now version 1.2. Please test it out. I will have phpbb3 tested and updated real soon. Sorry again for the delays guys. Getting married on the 27th of December so been slammed with wedding stuff.


    Fixed Cleaning slow down.

    Much Faster importing now if mysql table editing is available.

    Fixed duplicate first post/reply on topics

    Fixed Issue with Different charset from UTF-8

    Added more info messages

    Adam, congratulations on your upcoming wedding and marriage!

    Many thanks for continuing to help us all here with your work on the phpBB converter. Your post is so tantalising to me and I’m sure others as well, and I’m just wondering when “updated real soon” might be…! ;)

    I’m also interested to hear your reply, as well as anointed’s, to MishaOLS’s question on converting another forum’s users to bbpress without also converting to WP’s database of users. I’m not exactly sure why I might also want that for my own forum (now and in the future), but I’m interested to hear your views on this anyway :)




    Not really possible as it goes completely against the way that WordPress works. Not having an author assigned to a topic would leave it helplessly orphaned.

    Even if it were somehow possible, would take some serious magic from Adam, I am certain this would be a paid project. You can always fill out the contact form for a bid over on bbconverter, but as I said, it’s so edge case that I’m not certain it would happen.

    Justin Tadlock


    Feedback on version 1.2:

    I moved my database from my live site to my computer so that I could test this out. All of the forums, topics, posts, and tags transferred just fine. The three issues I ran into are:

    1) Topics don’t get assigned a forum.

    2) Replies don’t get assigned a forum.

    3) Replies don’t get assigned a topic.

    From what I can tell, this is because the plugin is using _bbc_* as the post meta keys when it should be using _bbp_*. Also, the author IP meta key has an additional underscore in its prefix: __bbc_author_ip.



    Thanks for the info, will get right on it.

    Hey Justin the IP stuff is old I tested _bbp_author_ip which is the meta for storing for bbpress. But it doesn’t work. That code you see is error on my part for got to push that edit live but it is tested on my end. So I need to look into it further.

    Also make sure to run all the bbpress counters. After the conversion is done it has a link to do so. If you do not do so it will not link up all the forums/topics/posts you are saying is an issue with assigning. So make sure to run counters and should have 0 issues.

    Hello Adam, congratulations to you wedding! I really appreciate that you work in the converter even thought you have so much other stuff to do! Wow!

    I have upgraded the converter just now and tried twice to convert the standalone bbpress 1.0 forum. But I had a problem – all the posts were converted as topics instead of posts :(. Do you have any clue why is that and how can I fix it? I had no such problem with the previous version of bbconverter (there I had the problem with the duplicate first post/reply on topics).

    Regarding the wp_users, I just tried to delete the e-mail addresses in the database and convert the users without the e-mail address. I hope that in this way the authors of the posts will be shown but at the same time my users might register again to my new site using their e-mail address. Hope it will work…:) thank you very much for your help! All the best from Misha

    are you on latest bbpress 1x? My tests are working so may need another set of sample data to test to see what is going on. Also check to see if you have a table called bbconverter_translator

    Hello Adam, well, to be honest, I don’t remember, I have done the first conversion like two months ago. Now I have just used the tables from the database. But it should be the standalone version 1.1. And yes, I do have the bbconverter_translator table. Do you want me to send you my tables? ;) thank you very much for your work and time!

    Can you send it to me I will run test on it.

    I received it and ran some tests the issue is: “I have firstly migrated the punbb to bbpress 1.1 so all the tables reflect that migration”. Well the data in the table is wrong compared to a fresh bbpress and posts in it. The “post_position” column is always 1 on your site this is not accurate and causing part of your issues. I see “topic_poster” and “topic_last_poster” all 0 as well.

    If you can send me your punbb database I can make a conversion file for it and will solve everything.

    Anyone who is doing a two step process this to that to this please refrain from using my script and ask for the direct conversion file. Everything I have tested is fresh copies of each forum platform without ever being converted into and I haven’t been able to get any issues.

    Right now I have requests for phpbb3 and punbb. I need databases for these if you want to help speed up the process. I just need to test the phpbb3 and I can go live with it so if anyone has test data would be appreciated.



    I just sent a phpBB3 DB. It was originally phpBB2 and migrated to official way.

    Thank you so much I received it from both of you so I have databases so please don’t send anymore. I should be able to work on these tomorrow and will give an update.

    Version 1.3 Released:

    phpBB3 now supported

    punBB is started and should be early next week.

    Woohoo! Thank you, Adam! I’m going to now convert my phpBB3 forum to bbpress2.

    I’ll report back on how it went.

    Thanks again, Adam :)

    Aechus Tea


    Is there a schematic for the bbpress forum/post/userlog/etc databases? I have a custom forum with a lot of posts that I’d like to import into bbpress but I’m going to be doing it myself. Is the code in your importer script clear enough so that I could do something?

    It would be cool if there was a simple universal xml file one could create with all the data for bbpress and import it that way.


    I would check out the “Example.php” file for info on how to create a converter. It is pretty self explanatory to any developer. We made it extremely easy to create conversion files. All you have to do is create the mapping and the system does everything else for you.

    Version 1.3 Released:

    phpBB3 now supported

    punBB is started and should be early next week.


    Not sure why nor do I care at this stage, just converted 30,000 posts, 6,000 topics & 2,000 users from phpbb to bbPress.

    I haven’t looked at users (or any db tables) just some posts and links are getting converted funkily:

    Edit: Removed examples as formatting makes the issue extremely unclear

    bbConverter FAQ/Known Issues 1.3 phpbb – bbpress

    – Post URL’s (**From post above this post)

    The URL’s from phpbb I thought were not getting migrated correctly when in fact they are, it is just that phpbb in its table lists the URL’s rather oddly. When looking at URL’s in the raw tables of phpbb they are in the following format:

    <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""><!-- m --></a>

    Need to strip the <!– m –> & ‘ class=”postlink”‘ before conversion either with bbconverter or firstly converting the links in phpbb before conversion

    – Poster IP Address is not migrated.

    see this post.

    – Images and Attachments (and smilies) are not migrated.

    see this post.

    – Existing Users

    If a username already exists in wp_users the imported user will be named imported_username eg. If ‘john’ already exists will import as ‘imported_john’

    – User Post Counts are not imported

    When viewing /wp-admin/users.php each user post count is ‘0’

    Ideally adding support to bbPress Core /wp-admin/tools.php?page=bbp-recount would fix that.

    (I couldn’t find where WP/BBP is keeping the total post count for a user though it is stored in phpbb_users user_posts)

    – Ophaned/Deleted User Posts:

    If the user has been deleted from phpbb when bbConverter runs these posts will be imported into bbPress as userid ‘1’ (i.e. ‘Admin’)

    – Time Zone

    Ensure you have your WP install is set to the same Time Zone as phpbb to get correct post times

    – User Profile data AIM & YahooIM fields are migrated by Jabber is not

    add the following code for ‘jabber’ to ‘/** User Section **********’ of phpbb.php script below aim/yim

    <br />
    // User jabber.<br />
    $this->field_map[] = array(<br />
    'from_tablename' => 'users', 'from_fieldname' => 'user_jabber',<br />
    'to_type' => 'user', 'to_fieldname' => 'jabber'<br />
    );<br />

    – ‘Quotes’

    I haven’t fully looked into how quote behavior works just yet, needless to say a workaround of sorts needs to be found for this.

    – Additional User Profile fields

    Ideally would like to import phpbb_users user_from (phpbb User Localtion) field to wp_usermeta description (Thus eg. Melbourne, Australia is added to the WP user BIO). Unless of course there is a funky way to import ‘User Location'(user_from), ‘Signatures'(user_sig), ‘occupation'(user_occ) & ‘interests'(user_interests) all together into WP Bio?

    – User Stuff not migrated (No big deal IMHO)

    User Subscribed Post, Favorite, Bookmarks, Private Messages, Rank

    (I dont see much of that as a very big issue in my case, users can just start this stuff from scratch)

    And that’s about all I have for now… Any ideas or other workarounds would all be well received and again thanks guys for this plugin and hope that now phpbb is there I can help contribute something back.



    Just understand very hard to be able to parse everything with all the different formats for every forum. I use a standard off the shelf parser class which doesn’t catch everything. The parser will need to be expanded or edited to cover all cases I need help on this. Need the community to help maintain that. Add it once and it is added for everyone. Right now priority is PunBB then I can take a look at parser updates.

Viewing 25 replies - 76 through 100 (of 191 total)
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