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phpbb to bbpress converter and best practice?

  • NickUdd



    I have just decided to go for bbpress. I have some questions I hope someone can reply on.

    Today I am on phpbb3 version 3.10 and some kind of unofficial version, phpbb3-seo, not supported by phpbb3 themselves. I made it a vanilla once and it can be done again.

    Since 5 years I am on a custom phpbb portal solution. I am after the CMS functionality. I have almost completed a bridge between phpbb and Drupal, but got cold feets on Drupal. I want to goo with WP!

    I wonder if there is a best practice for importing the db to bbpress? My DB has 90,000 posts and is over 350 MB in size. Will I have to go trough a vanilla? Can I bring with me the anonymous posts from deleted and anonymous users?

    Looking forward to your reply!

    Ps. If anyone want to give me an offer doing this for me I am open ears. I need one version now, and anonther version once the site is developed. We can exchange the DB trough Dropbox.


Viewing 24 replies - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)

  • Robin W


    bbpress has a number of converters, including phpbb

    suggest you create a test site and give it a go. That will tell you if you need to get back to a vanilla version first.

    to convert, just go into dashboard>tools>forums>import forums

    Stephen Edgar is the bbpress converter guru, and if you hit difficulties I’d suggest you post a new thread, and I’m sure he’ll help.



    Thanks a lot Robin, I can give it a shot with more confidence now 🙂



    I successfully imported a 10 year old forum over in last few days. I had no mods on my forum. it went really well with the built in importer.

    the only issue II have is avatars were not imported



    Hi and thanks!

    How big was it?

    Did you manage to fix the avatar issue?

    Can I bring with me the anonymous posts from deleted and anonymous users?

    I have just added support for this to a handful of bbPress’ importers, I hope to finalize some bits for compatibility with all of bbPress importers by the end of the week and release the code for people to test out. 🙂

    Importing Avatars

    This is kind of a complex issue because of PHP timeouts, if we can’t find an avatar via ftp/http how long do we wait, what if the remote avatar no longer exists.

    Has written a Joomla Kunena Forum Attachments converter for the GD bbPress Attachments plugin.

    I’d like to play around one day when I have some time up my sleeve to base an avatar and attachment importer that we could use as a separate plugin to import these into WordPress media library for use with bbPress.

    Kunena converter for bbPress 2.4

    Kunena converter for bbPress 2.4




    I did yet not try. Must energize myself first 🙂

    If you give it a shot let me know how it goes, might be able to help point things in the right direction and/or add some extra bits to the phpBB importer to at least help things along.



    Thanks Stephen, That is encouraging.

    I have a huge db (350 mb and almost 100,000 posts and 6000 members). As I am not a developer myself I am kind of delaying this until I have the power to fail 🙂

    First time its just for testing purposes on my test site



    Hi again Stephen,

    I am importing the database now and its ticking on.

    I am starting the wp/bbpress site from scratch so there is nothing there. This is a test import.

    I have 3 questions:

    1. I checked importing users (3 rd from end on configuration page) as want to import my users as well. Was that correct?
    2. Lets say everything looks good. Can I only import the last few days on top of this then or do I need to start over again? Would like as little downtime as possible when I go live.
    3. Cant figure what the 2nd from last checkbox is for “Start Again”. Is there a guide explaining all this more in detail?


    1. Yes, the vast majority of the time you will want to import your users, the exceptions to this are typically other forum plugins for WordPress where the users already exist as WordPress users.

    2. No. At this stage there is no way to only import changes since your last import, I’d love to add support for this in the future though.

    3. Leave this unchecked, it’s designed to allow you to restart the import from ‘scratch’ by first deleting any previously imported content. The thing is this only partially works and I am actually fixing this as we speak. If you need to delete any imported content to start again use the “Reset Forums” tab and be sure to also delete the imported users.

    You can also click the ‘Help’ link in the top right if the screen that will explain more of these options for additional info.



    Thanks Stephen!!



    Didnt work well… but it completed like it had worked well.

    All posts are mapped to the new sites admin. Looks like no users where imported.

    I cant see any of my old forums (sections). I thought they would end up here

    The only posts I can see ended up under group forums Seems to be the stickytopics I had.

    I did am now about to start to run the repair tool. Should I do all repairs one by one? Or can I skip some, how do I know?



    cant get trough – Recalculate the position of each reply

    everything else is done but this didnt change anything as i can see..

    really didnt get anything useful of the import. can you help?

    Looking at it looks like all your topics were imported but they are not associated with a forum.

    Run each of the repair tools and per the note at the top of the screen:

    Some of these tools create substantial database overhead. Avoid running more than 1 repair job at a time.

    You can actually skip the follwing two repair tools:

    • Recalculate the position of each reply
    • Repair BuddyPress Group Forum relationships



    Thanks. I have done all of the repair except the recalculate one that doesnt finish. No change as from what i can see?



    Hi Nick,

    i am pretty sure that the database structure is a little different on your install. Did a importer for an phpbb clone (CBACK). Many field were slightly different like (userID and user_id … ) guess your importer needs also modification.

    The included importer is very well writen, documented, and never would map all posts to admin user if db fields would match. What i can tell you from a 1:1 import of a hughe 6gb DB ( avatars, user fields, user custom fields, user settings, private messages ). This is a bunch of work to get it running ( if you need all of your data ). If not, easy one, few hours work.




    Thanks Ernstl but it I dont have that skills unfortunately. Will try to outsource it trough freelancer



    I’ve noticed that this topic is a year and change old but it concerns the phpbb importer. My brief review of the fields would seem to indicate that field names have changed and it’s why I have generated the errors below. There is no forum_topics field and the topics in phpbb3 have their own table and are assigned to a forum using topics.forum_id. I don’t know what the phpbb 2 database schema but apparently it is different.

    Nick – were you ever able to get it to work or did you have to outsource the work? It would probably be a good idea for WordPress to let users know as to the compatibility of the converter with the version of phpBB currently able to be converted. Thanks for any insights.

    Imported phpBB, where are the forums?



    Hi all,

    in addition to what everyone wrote, I would like to add something very important: keep the SEO juice.

    if you want to keep all your SERP positions in google you must 301 redirect every topic from your old phpbb forum to the new bbpress topics.

    to do this you just have to:

    (or the template you are using)

    search for:

    // Send vars to template
    ‘FORUM_ID’ => $forum_id,

    and just above this lines add this piece of code:

    $titleac = trim($topic_data[‘topic_title’]);
    $relativeurl = str_replace(‘ ‘,’-‘,$titulo);
    $relativeurl = strtolower($relativeurl);
    header(“HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently”);

    I have little more detail of the bbpress permalink, etc configurations in this article:


    @abiliocaetano, thanks for this, I added it to our codex article here.



    The above code does not work. It is not part of overall_header.html BUT should be part of viewtopic.php. I was able to search all the code files and place the code in right place to make my migration successful.

    However, all user replies were not mapped to users rather imported as anonymous 🙁 … On the other hand, Topics were successfully mapped to right users. Is there any help I can get in mapping those anonymous users back to right users in bbPress?



    Hello everyone.

    I do realize that Nick’s question was topical more than 6 years ago, but still want to share one more way of moving phpBB content over to bbPress. Probably, someone will find it useful.

    I personally always try to avoid manual actions, because there’s a risk to miss something important, moreover, if a forum is scalable.

    That’s why I do suggest going the automated migration route and use forum migration service for that.
    Here’s what I found – Quite naturally, that the migration will need some custom edits, but I do know that the cms2cms tech team can investigate any migration case and do some additional settings.

    According to the video tutorial it really looks quite simple. At least, Free Demo is worth trying, I guess.



    Hello all,

    I have a question i am testing a migration from phpbb to bbpress. but now for a while i get a repeat of step 8, how long does this take? i have about 60 times step 8 now and counting.

    And i do not see any users from the original forum, i still have to do the repair as mentioned above to see if that works.



    Update more than 20 minutes in now and still step 8 again and again.

Viewing 24 replies - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
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