Has anyone actually migrated from SMF to Discourse, successfully?

Has anyone accomplished this?

How did your users took the change? Do they like it more now?

Is still not possible to migrate polls? My forum (SMF 2.0.12) has nearly 5K users and 100K posts and I am really interesting in migrating the whole thing to Discourse because of its very modern interface (SMF development is unfortunately very slow) My forum has several polls so not migrating them is not an option.

I don’t mind about private messages and plan to allow users to access the old forum if they want to access them.

Any advise from those who actually migrated? Can you share your history?



Unfortunately as a general rule our migrators do not migrate polls, though I wish they did.

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thanks for the quick answer. so what happens exactly when a topic like this is migrated?

The poll will not come across, just the text.

Usually the polls are considered “nice to have” and optional in imports.

I’ve not used the SMF importer, but like @codinghorror says, you’ll get just what’s in the messages. I can’t tell for sure whether SMF has the Poll discussion in the Polls table, in which those messages won’t be imported at all, or whether the poll is just tacked on the to top of the first post and the rest of the discussion is stored the same way that all the rest of the discussions are and just the poll will be lost.

The phpbb3 importer imports polls, so if someone wanted to add poll importing to the SMF importer (or re-write it using the phpbb3 framework), there is some code available that would help. If you want the polls imported, you can either talk to the folks at discourse.org about their enterprise hosting or post in #marketplace.


if the phpbb importer has this feature, I would go migrate from smf to phpbb and then to Discourse, probably.

but before doing that, are there any successful stories of migration from phpbb/smf to Discourse?

by the way, why I am not getting email notifications from replies to this topic?

An interesting solution that I would not have thought of. Of course, that assumes that polls get imported when you got from smf to phpbb!

smf > phpbb migration includes all, as far as I remember.

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My migration from SMF to Discourse was flawless (thanks to @RGJ ), and I managed to reactivate a lot of users with some manual emailing campaigns. Users have adjusted fine after some initial hesitation.
Can’t really say if activity is higher now. I think the old school forum style of SMF and co tends to make users click around a lot and “browse”, while Discourse just lets you peek in, check what’s new, and leave… but that’s fine too. I think overall it was a great decision and I am happy that no major things broke or were lost (personal messages did not get migrated but they weren’t really lost and I am told it was an oversight that could’ve been corrected, however only one out of a few hundred users even requested them restored).


Would it be too much of a bother to list the specific steps you performed to migrate from SMF to Discourse flawlessly? :confused:

What do you mean by personal messages “weren’t really lost?” Whose oversight? Do you know what you could’ve done differently to correct it?


I’ve done phpbb to Discourse for a handful of forums now and it’s flawless.


Well they aren’t lost as they are technically still in the SMF MySQL backup. It was a step during the import that was missed by DH, and immediately detected, but since no more than one or two users complained, I decided that we’d leave it at that. It wouldn’t have been a problem to import the messages, as @RGJ can confirm.

So my recommendation would be to definitely do a dry run and test everything out. Otherwise I have to say the migration was flawless. I can totally recommend letting the folks at DH handle it, for example. I am happy I turned my back on SMF…

I think when you’re online at discourse, it doesn’t send you notifications via email. I’m not sure though.