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Migrating from one bbpress installation to another

  • Here’s the scenario, and I’ll try to be as specific and detailed as possible.

    There are two different WP installations:

    • The first (let’s call it just holds a bbpress forum install with thousands of members and posts.
    • The second (let’s call it is an existing WP blog with thousands of existing posts&pages.

    We want to create a fresh bbpress install on and want to import all of’s bbpressdata. We’re getting rid of the site after migration.

    I am not a database guy however, and I have no idea how to export and import the forum posts as well as the users. I fear overwriting the existing posts, pages and users of

    Is it as simple as importing tables from wordpress onto Will that overwrite what’s already there?

    Appreciate any advice πŸ™‚

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • I’m in the “Import Forum” section of bbpress plugin – there’s no option to select for bbPress 2 (only bbPress 1). Or am I going about this the wrong way?

    I’ll be making various test imports in the using wordpress’ import/export in the meantime to see how far I can get merging these 2 sites.



    I have the same exact question.

    Jason, what we’ve found so far, this plugin —

    It does the job exceedingly well. HOWEVER, our forum is so big the plugin cannot finish importing data. We use WP Engine for hosting, and they have a “Limit Script Execution” script that cancels any active script after 60 seconds. So we only have 60 seconds for the script to run.

    Now 60 seconds gets us about 20% successful import percentage of Forum Topics, Replies and User Accounts. Then we get a 502 Bad Gateway page.

    If it weren’t for the script timeout, this project would be done with. So for that, I am splitting up my export .csv file into 10 chunks. The original file is 25,000 lines or so. I’ll split them into 2k-2.5k chunks and import them one after another.

    Going to get around to that part either tonight or early next week. Jason, if you try it out please let me know how it goes πŸ™‚

    Was able to successfully import topics and replies using the plugin mentioned above. Had to split up the CSV’s into 20 smaller chunks. (I used MS-Notepad for this, as Excel was inserting some weird formatting and causing errors.)

    However, it seems that 80% of the users are missing. Original Forum has 2,200 users. After import, I have only around 450.

    Will continue to attempt to work with this plugin as well as posting my progress here for people who may be searching with this same issue (while hoping for someone who has accomplished this tremendous feat to come around πŸ˜‰ ).

    Okay just realized that it’s only showing 450 users because it ONLY creates a user IF they posted or replied to a topic. Looks like 80% of the users never posted, so they didn’t get their account created.

    This doesn’t explain why it’s showing the WP-Admin as the author for a majority of posts in the forum though (even though they are verified users in the system).

    Next step I’ll be taking is finding a WordPress user export/import tool. Importing the users FIRST, and THEN importing the forums. Let’s see if that makes a difference.

    Exciting news!

    The forum was imported successfully to a test development site.

    I used the plugin “Export Users 2 CSV” by Yoast ( ) to import users.

    Then I used a modified version of Import Users by DagonDesign ( ) to import the users.

    Important Note: When importing users with this plugin it WILL send notification emails to the Admin and the User. I ALMOST pressed “go” on importing 2,200 users — but then I decided to check the plugin code just in case; sure enough there’s this line of code wp_new_user_notification($user_id, $password); you should delete or comment out.

    Yes, the users will have to re-create their passwords. We will instruct them how to do that on the new forum. That’s perhaps the only drawback of this method. But since out of the 2,200 users there are perhaps only 100 current active users, it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

    I did have to write a custom PHP script to help this user export/import process, because the import and export plugins do not match in formatting. You can either do this custom in CSV or make a simple PHP script (took me 10 minutes) to take data from the export CSV and reformat it to meet the delimiters and the stricture of the import CSV. I can help people with this, just ask.

    This user import/export had to be a separate process because using bbPress Export and Import by PippinsPlugins ( ) did not properly attribute users to posts if it had to create the user. (It attributed the admin to most of the posts.)

    After the users were imported, I imported my 20 CSV files (~2,000 rows each file) and after much scrutiny in examination, I find that all users have been properly attributed to posts.

    Now all that’s left is performing this process again onto the live site, the fresh bbpress install. (Remember, always back up your site and database before you do this stuff.)

    Halo Diehard


    I too am trying to import an existing bbPress into another WordPress site, and as a note I must say that the reason I have to do this is because the bbPress importer does not play well with my server (or I SHOULD say my server does not play well!) and I get a similar result you speak of, @specialtactic, where the majority of the posts are attributed to the admin. This has been verified as not being a bbPress importer issue, but a server issue, as I was able to use the importer successfully on my local test server.

    Now that I know I can import onto my local, I need to be able to import that local bbPress (converted from the phpBB3) into my live WordPress site, but alas I haven’t had the time to try and wrap my brain around how to accomplish it and so have been waiting for an importer to be written.

    Just wanted to clarify for you that it’s possible that the PippinsPlugins is not at fault, if you were attempting to use it in similar circumstances to my own.

    Well perhaps I was being silly to begin with – the bbPress import/export tool didn’t seem to list bbPress 2.x on their options. There is a slim chance I did a lot more work than I needed to. However, at the end of the day, the hard work is complete. Over 8,000 threads + replies imported, as well as over 2,200 users. All users properly associated with topics.

    The key step was importing users as a separate process — do it BEFORE you import forum threads+replies! When I relied on Pippin’s plugin to do this, it associated the users to admin. It was very messy. Using an existing plugin (make sure you tweak the import plugin to *NOT NOT NOT* send WP notification!) I was able to do this process very fast.

    I used the plugin β€œExport Users 2 CSV” by Yoast ( ) to import users.

    Then I used a modified version of Import Users by DagonDesign ( ) to import the users.

    Again, you will need to instruct your users to fill out the Lost Password form, as these plugins do not preserve MD5+salt.

    Bolder Elements


    Anybody tried this recently? I got my hopes up when I saw this post, however when I try to export using the plugin suggested, I receive these error messages:

    All I wanted to do was move from one install to another πŸ™

    Stephen Edgar


    I have just created a ticket on Trac to add a bbPress 2.x to bbPress 2.x importer.

    I have no idea why I had never thought of, or had mentioned or requested previously to include this. It should be pretty quick and easy to do also.



    I installed bbPress Import Export
    but for the life of me I can’t see where to run this in the Dashboard!

    Hello palmdoc. It’s been quite some time since I finalized the project (as mentioned in the original post), so I don’t remember exactly where that config item was located. However, you should check out, in no particular order: Appearances, Settings, Tools, Plugins, Users. In the dashboard.

    Reply here if you can’t find it, and I’ll install the plugin to see if I can recall where it’s located.

    I wish you the best of luck!



    Hi Jason. I checked them all, still can’t see an option for bbPress forum import/export.




    in that specific plugin it imports forums one at a time.

    the settings are in whatever forum you are trying to export/import

    i think how you would do it is setup your forums again on your new site

    then export each forum one at a time from your old site

    then import your old forum data to the new forums , one at a time.

    i tried the plugin and it seems to not work 100% as i was missing some topics during the import.

    im not 100% sure though , but i think you could just export/import your bbPress installation using

    the default WordPress export tool , and the WordPress importer plugin.



    My issue is was I couldn’t find where to click to Export each forum.

    Thanks – I found in in Dashboard/Forums.
    Then click on each Forum and it is on the right hand side.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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