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Moving to Vanilla

A forum that I manage is dying all sorts of technical deaths because it is a very old version of phpBB, and I'm looking at migrating it to Vanilla- I've been reading through documentation, and I'm pretty sure I've got a handle on it, but I wanted some clarifications/input-

1) When I migrate from phpbb, that'll bring everything over? Users & passwords, group settings, posts, etc? What will need redone once we're in Vanilla? How much getting into the code and back end will need done?

2) Is admin-only registration (that is, no user reg, an admin has to add you and sort you into your group) native, or does it need a plug in? Does such exist?

3) Global notifications. I see that there's a setting for admins and moderators, and it can be turned on for users in the back end, but that's a Bad Idea- and I know it's a Bad Idea, but it isn't something I've been able to talk the forum owners out of (the existing forum has them. It's a small, low-activity forum, so we got it to work) Is there anything similar, like a emailed digest list of new posts/topics? Something that tells users there's conversation happening without them having to turn on individual bookmarks/following?

4) Any highly recommended tutorials/sites about customizing the appearance/theme? Keeping the general appearance of the site will be important.


  • vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP

    You should try the paid version of Vanilla based in your questions. The free open source version has bugs and requires some developer capacity ...

  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... MVP
    edited May 2016


    Welcome to the community.

    Personally, unless your forum is a business, I would strongly disagree with Vrijvlinder's comment.

    To answer your questions (though I've never done this with mybb!)

    1. Yes, all users, passwords, threads, avatars are copied over. It's impossible to know how much 'back end' stuff you would need to do until you see what it looks like. Most changes to the look of your forum can be achieved via CSS.

    2. Native via the Dashboard

    3. You can turn on global notifications for users and see if it has a high impact on your server. If not, all good.

    4. Lots of really good information about customisation is available, but not always as centrally located as might be ideal. Start with the tutorials section of the site, especially FAQs.

    Installing a test version of Vanilla is very quick and straightforward.

    Within a half an hour you could set one up, import your current forum, and be getting an idea of how much work would be needed to make it look how you want.

    I'd say have a go.

  • R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    @whu606 said:
    To answer your questions (though I've never done this with mybb!)

    Wrong discussion: this one is about phpBB ;)

  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... MVP

    Right discussion, wrong acronym!

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    @vrijvlinder said:
    The free open source version has bugs and requires some developer capacity ...

    Hey! :( All software has bugs. It's how you do at managing them. A non-developer should be able to use it just fine, but yeah you need a little technical know-how to run any website.

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    The Porter 2.2 will move this for you from mybb:

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

  • K17K17 Français / French Paris, France ✭✭✭
    edited May 2016

    @hgtonight his forums is phpBB, not MyBB.
    Latest Vanilla porter (2.2) for phpBB 3.x and 2.x

  • Thanks everyone, this is really helpful info. I'll start poking at a test install and see what I come up with. :)

  • I also wanted to convert a forum to vanilla via phpbb, but this old request has not been answered for months: https://vanillaforums.org/discussion/comment/237618/
    So I'm now using phpbb instead.

    It is a little sad, because for another forum I have now to decide if I can use vanilla with this "minimal" support or if I should go directly to phpbb?

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    @enriquez Someone filed it on the actual issue tracker and got an immediate reply that may work for you: https://github.com/vanilla/porter/issues/109

    I added a comment pointing to the discussion you've highlighted. We simply didn't see it.

  • Dr_SommerDr_Sommer Dr. of tender Programing ;) ✭✭
    edited June 2016

    If you want to see a porting result, here is mine... :pleased:


    From PhpBB3 to Vanilla

    look into older posts, not everything is 100%,,, but then I used an older porter, so... :surprised::lol:

  • jobbatamjobbatam Batam New

    Hi @Dr_Sommer what emoticon you are used in there? I like that... :proud:

  • Dr_SommerDr_Sommer Dr. of tender Programing ;) ✭✭

    I made my own emoji set and included it with the "Emoji Sets" plugin... :pleased:
    You can find all the green smilies here:

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