Is migrating from phpBB to Discourse a good idea

I’m sure there were thousands of threads like that here but every situation is different and has some specific requirements and circumstances.

Basically, i’m a running a phpBB3 forum with ~700k views and ~18k visitors per month (overall: 1083421 posts and 12284 registered users). We were allways trying to reduce server costs because that community is kind of donation-based and we don’t have much money to spend on it.

We all know that phpBB is really oldschool sh*t and lately, it started to buffet us. It has no API, no responsive stuff and looks/works horrible. I’m currently looking for some alternative and basically, almost all community scripts are similar to phpBB - they SUCK! The only exception is Discourse which i love.

However, i’m concerned about server costs so the question is - is there any comparison of discourse vs. phpBB server costs? Will running such active forum on discourse be more expensive and will require more powerfull server ?

Our current phpBB forum is running on a VPS so, the most obvious difference in price between shared hosting account and VPS is ticked.

Thanks in advance for any tips and help.

Hard to say, but if you’re looking for absolute rock bottom pricing, I’m pretty sure Discourse won’t be quite that right now. I don’t think Discourse can hope to compete with phpBB in the “as close to zero server costs as possible” arena.

Something like the $20/month Digital Ocean plan (2GB, 2 cpu, 40 GB disk) would probably work fine for that amount of load though.

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Don’t get me wrong - it’s not like “Hey, phpBB is too expensive for us, we need to find something cheaper”. We just want to install any better script (which is Discourse for instance) which will cost us the same amount of money or not-too-much more. That’s all :smile:

Anyway, thank you for the info, i’ll take a look at the digital ocean thing you’ve mentioned. Any further views are welcome !

As our forum migration tools get better we plan to open source them, so a phpBB import should be possible with the tools we provide.

We just don’t have enough imports under our belt right yet to share the import tools, they are not complete.

By the way, are you working on an import tool for Simple Machines 2 or do I have to roll my own? :wink:

We do plan to open source our import tools, right now we’re trying to get a number of imports under our belt so the tool is robust. If you are interested in a business class hosting contract for a year minimum, we can import you yes :wink:


What I was aiming at was a hint as to whether your tools will include an SMF2 importer once you’ve decided to open-source them…

I don’t think I could afford a contract. It’d be a bit overkill anyways, considering the forum I’m looking to migrate to Discourse has about a dozen users and less messages per day. :wink:

We don’t have an SMF2 importer yet, because we haven’t had to do an import from SMF2 yet… We have a few import scripts now. If you’re up for it, you can try writing a similar script for SMF2. The hard part is writing the SQL queries to fetch the data in a format that can be imported into Discourse.

We have a phpBB script now.

Yeah, I’ve been writing – which is to say: am far from being finished writing – an SMF2 importer for the past few weeks during my free time. But I’m sure I’m both overengineering it and being too sloppy. :laughing:


Be sure to use our import script framework. :slight_smile:

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