DiscourseHosting migration service for your existing forum


(Michael - DiscourseHosting.com) #1

In the last few months, we’ve been working on making a number of conversions go smoothly.

We are proud to offer the following conversions as an addition to our DiscourseHosting.com hosting service:

  • phpBB to Discourse
  • Vanilla to Discourse
  • vBulletin to Discourse
  • XenForo to Discourse
  • SMF to Discourse
  • Invision Power Board (IPB) to Discourse
  • self-hosted or elsewhere hosted Discourse to our hosting
  • Bitnami to our hosting

Although the conversion process is pretty smooth, it’s best to contact us using our contact form to explore the possibilities.

In order to get a quote for the conversion, please supply the URL of the forum and the number of posts and users. We do require a hosting commitment of at least one year.

If your forum is not included in the list above, let us know and we will investigate the possibilities as well.


Improving import and export support
Importing bbPress into Discourse
(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #2

Here’s hoping bbPress will be added to the list :slight_smile:

So, you’re keeping this behind closed doors as part of your business offering then it seems? Nothing unethical about that, you gotta be competitive, but in my humble opinion I don’t think it’s the right move.

I don’t believe you’d lose customers by open sourcing it. On the contrary, I think you’d win more people over, because:

  • This would easily be a very popular, hence visible project. Making it an effective funnel towards your service.
  • By being the core devs behind this you’d be positioning yourselves as the “Discourse conversion experts”.
  • More contributors would mean more converters and less time spend on upkeep.
  • I’d wager the majority of forums would have certain “extras” they’d need help converting over anyhow, which you could always charge a premium for. (post ratings, user rep, special shortcodes & custom syntax, unique smileys…)
  • And hey, you’d be paying it forward :wink:

(Michael - DiscourseHosting.com) #3

We are absolutely going to open source these converters (actually: framework and config files with queries), but at this moment the code is too immature and badly documented. Our idea is to get some more conversions first so we can polish the queries and document the code as we go along. Expect it to go public in a few months.

Our strategy is to open source everything we build in addition to our core service, we have done that with the AdSense plugin as well.

One major lesson that we have learned in the past months is that we need a ‘real’ forum in order to make a good converter for it. So if you have a bbPress forum for us to convert, we’ll be happy to write a converter and add it to the list. For any well known forum system that we can add this way, we won’t ask for a hosting commitment in return.


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #4

That’s great news, thank you :slight_smile: And just to be clear, I’m trying to convince the people at work to go with you guys, but for my own hobby project we’d like to host it ourselves.

I’ve got a fairly large bbPress forum (30k users, 200k posts), at your disposal. Do you want an export/db dump to play around with?


(Frore) #5

Are you looking into a xenforo converter currently?


(Michael - DiscourseHosting.com) #6

@erlend_sh Absolutely. I sent you a PM!

@Frore this is honestly the first time I’ve heard of Xenforo. We can look into it, but since I do not regard this as a well-known forum system, the hosting commitment does apply.


(Konrad Borowski) #7

It’s actually quite popular from what I saw - I actually saw it used a lot, especially on new forums (or forums that were hacked, and new forum system was considered). It’s rather new (first release was in 2011), but it’s already quite popular. According to Usage Statistics and Market Share of XenForo for Websites, January 2018, it appears to be four times less popular then phpBB, but unlike phpBB, it’s paid. And it appears to be way more popular than Vanilla Forums.


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #8

Yeah, XenForo seems to have quite the following already, much thanks to being the spiritual successor of vBulletin.

That being said, because XenForo is so new, it means most communities using it will be quite happy with the status quo. The ones who want to convert might not be speaking for the majority, so post-conversion life could turn out exceedingly difficult. Worth keeping in mind.


(Jeff Atwood) #10

That’s great – we can help too as we are discussing a handful of existing forum conversions also. So rather than duplicate work on building forum import tools, we should open source early.

Community conversions are hard, very hard, for a zillion different technical and sociological reasons. Having a solid converter to bring across old forum content is a win for everyone that now or ever chooses Discourse, it makes a fundamentally challenging scenario a bit easier.


(Ben T) #11

I actually have a xenforo license that could be donated to the conversion cause; if needed. It’s been unused for quite a while.


(Frore) #12

Indeed, it is made by the same guys who did Vbulletin 3.x.

There are a good number of larger communities using it now, I know Sony is using it for a lot of their community forums, as well as IGN. Here is a decent list of the growing number of sites making use of XenForo:

I guess a workaround would be converting a community to one of your supported boards, and then converting again. Now sure how clean that would come across, though.


(Jeff Atwood) #13

I agree, XenForo is pretty good – the issue is that it is so new it implies the communities recently transitioned in a big way, it is unlikely they would do so again so soon for Discourse.


(Ioann) #14

Depends on Discourse-team offer :wink:


(jorgtron) #15

@michaeld: Would you be interested in testing the importer on another forum? (since I can’t seem to make it work on my own) :wink:

It has about 2k members and 55k posts :smiley:


(Michael - DiscourseHosting.com) #16

At this moment we’re fully booked. It will be April before we can start taking new migrations or continue our work on publishing the importer. Also, migration is only free of charge if you migrate to our service. I’m sorry but time is currently the most precious thing for us, so there’s no more ‘testing’ gigs.


(jorgtron) #17

I completely understand. As a discoursehosting customer, would I get access to the code or is customization only done through the admin panel of discourse?


(Michael - DiscourseHosting.com) #18

The latter. We can only take our responsibility of making sure updates go smoothly and your forum has a good uptime when we are the only one managing the code.


(Hrishikesh Thakre) #19

With all due respect, I think if possible, there was already a proposal from @codinghorror to make it open sources and community contributes to make it concrete.

You decided otherwise, so I think it is a pure commercial decision. And i respect it.
But wrong excuse of if only one manages the code then it is good and stable.


(Michael - DiscourseHosting.com) #20

Oh, I’m sorry, I thought @jorgtron was talking about the Discourse code when you host with us, and by managing I meant making modifications to the source code of the forum. Which is a no-no if you host with us.

The importer code will be made open source eventually yes, but there will be no customization through the admin panel of Discourse in this context, it’s a separate tool. If you get hosting with us, then we will run the importer and make sure your forum gets imported, you cannot sit behind the wheel yourself.


(Simon Sarris) #21

We’d love to migrate to you. Could you convert from Web Wiz to discourse?