How to Migrate a phpBB Forum to WordPress and bbPress

How to Migrate a phpBB Forum to WordPress and bbPress

Need to migrate a whole bunch of users and forum topics from phpBB to WordPress? Not a problem! bbPress has over 200,000 downloads and is one of the most popular ways to implement a forum on your WordPress site.

If you’re coming over from phpBB, then migrating to WordPress + bbPress will deliver the same powerful forum experience that you’re used to, as well as complete flexibility in theming.

Continue reading, or jump ahead using these links:

Migrate forum posts and users with the help of ForumConverter

The ForumConverter plugin was written to take your phpBB installation and migrate all of the data to the bbPress plugin. It handles all of the little details that made your forum community unique.

NOTE: This plugin is outdated, and we’ll offer another solution at the end of this article if you don’t want to risk using ForumConverter.

Features of the ForumConverter:

  • Reproducing the same forum tree structure for bbPress
  • Reproducing forum posts using the same user, timestamps, sticky flag
  • Allowing converted users to sign on using their existing phpBB password.
  • Converting between BBCode or native bbPress HTML markup
  • Supporting inline attachment conversion and whole topic/reply attachment conversion.
  • Migrating of instant messenger info, global moderator membership, and emails.
  • Password-protected forums migration using the same phpBB password

The plugin has an admin page where you can easily enter the settings from your source forum and set your destination forum.

How to Use the ForumConverter plugin:

This is a plugin that is very powerful, but you’ll need to be careful with it. Part of the process includes destructive conversion to your existing WordPress/bbPress installation. This means that it deletes existing bbPress 2.0 posts, replies, and post meta and possibly users if it encounters an already existing WordPress user.

Step 1: Make a Complete Backup.
Just in case you don’t like how the conversion turns out or some data gets erased, you need to have a backup.

Step 2: Test the Conversion in a local development environment.
This step is highly recommended so that you know what you’re getting into and to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Step 3: Upgrade to the latest versions of both phpBB and the bbPress plugin.
Before you can take advantage of the ForumConverter plugin you must be running phpBB version 3.0.9 and bbPress 2.0 Beta 3.

Step 4: Install and Activate the ForumConverter plugin.
Configure the settings information for the source forum and then start the conversion. Refer to the plugin’s FAQ page if something is unclear. At the end of the process, you will delete the source forum username/password.

At this point you may be wondering whether or not you can safely deactivate the plugin when the process is complete. If you are using password-protected forums or phpBB password features, you should not deactivate the ForumConverter. It needs to be active in order to ensure that phpBB password protected forums and phpBB login passwords work properly.

If you have a phpBB forum and you’re considering moving it over to WordPress, now is a great time. This plugin will help you to keep all of your data and users intact without inconveniencing your community. Download the ForumConverter plugin for free from the WordPress plugin repository.

phpBB to bbPress with CMS2CMS

As we touched on earlier in this article, ForumConverter is not currently updated. So, if you’d like another solution, may we suggest CMS2CMS.

CMS2CMS offers a service that can migrate all content and data, while your current forum stays available for users.

They have a Demo Migration and a free trial to check out. Plus, there’s a handy phpBB to bbPress Migration Price tool to use.

This will estimate your price once you input the fields.

Image of migration estimator.
Just complete the fields and it will deliver an estimate!

More information can be found on their website.

It’s Great to Migrate

Whether using ForumConverter or CMS2CMS, it’s great to be able to migrate a forum if needed. Thankfully, WordPress has a couple of tools to do so.

Have you used any of the methods mentioned in this article? Let us know in the comments!
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Sarah Gooding
Sarah Gooding Sarah enjoys staying on top of the latest WordPress and BuddyPress news. Get in touch with Sarah on Twitter @pollyplummer.