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  • Migration of Customized 4.2.2 Forum to Standard 5.2.5?

    Hi - any opinions about the wisdom of upgrading my forum from vB 4.2.2 to 5.2.5?

    ONE OF the main reasons that I want to upgrade is to improve the user experience for users and visitors on mobile devices. I do not want to put the energy into creating an iOS and/or Android app, however - I don't have time.

    I don't think I am allowed to post a link to my forum for people comment on how it would migrate to 5.2.5, but the most important features I need are:

    1) Anti-spam registration
    I have been using the vbstopforumspam add-on in 4.2.2, and I believe I saw that this is now included in vB 5.X. Is that correct?

    2) Ability to insert Ads
    I believe that 5.X allows me to use either Google Adsense and/or HTML ads of my own size and design wherever I want them to appear - is that correct?

    [I currently have ads to the left of my forum, in a 160x600 sidebar - and also up top 728x90. I do not necessarily need the 160x600 left sidebar any longer, but I would like to keep the 728x90 up top ... and I think I do that via a custom Header - is that correct? Can I also have ads appear in the posts themselves? Or what are the options for ad placement? I did read the online manual, and I cannot tell what is available for in-post ads.]

    3) Ability to have a Custom Header at the very top of each page
    I know that vB 5.X allows for custom headers, but I'm not sure if I can put ANYTHING I want up top. My existing 4.2.2 forum is currently a small subset of my overall topsite, and I am migrating the topsite over to a mobile-friendly bootstrap-based collapsable navbar, with dropdowns ... which you can see on my home page, and a growing number of pages on the topsite. Can something like that go into the vB 5.X Custom Header? I can post a link so you can see what I mean, if that is permissible.

    4) Separate Sticky and Normal threads
    I am using an add-on in vB 4.2.2 called Separate Sticky and Normal Threads. It *appears* this functionality is included with vB 5.X - is that correct, or do I still need an add-on?

    5) PM Manager
    I am using PM Management Suite 4 in vB 4.2.2 so that I can view/delete/etc. any of the PMs from anyone. Am I able to do that in vB 5.X, or do I need an add-on for that? This is a nice feature, but is not critical for me to have post-migration.

    6) Test Forum
    I have a password-protected test forum set up on a different domain. I presume I can (legally) use this to prove out a 5.2.5 migration, correct?

    Any input is appreciated - especially if anyone has migrated from 4.X to 5.X ... am curious if the upgrade was easy, or difficult, or anything you can tell me. My forum is not large - Threads 3,276 Posts 57,294 Members 926. Thanks!

  • #2
    Lets go backwards-

    6) Yes
    5) Not possible with built in software, I am not aware of a similar add-on for VB5 but haven't looked,
    4) By default sticky topics get a light yellow background in the topic list but there is no physical separation that I can see.
    3) You are allowed to post a link but from what you're describing I don't think so. There is an editor that allows you to create custom main navigation items and then sub-navigation menu for each main item, but no drop downs from there.
    2) You can create an ad module where you want it (between, above, or below other modules on the page) and in certain special locations like the header, inside the first post on the page and last post on the page. If you use custom ad modules you can choose what screen sizes to display the ads on. You don't want a 900 pixel wide ad on a small screen size or it ruins the responsive design, so you need to make sure your ad sizes match he screen sizes you choose when you create an ad module. VB4 does have an advertising manager the centralizes all your ads in one place, VB5 does not have that type of centralization of ads.
    1) There are anti span options to reduce spammer sign up at registration time though I personally don't use them. I'd rather 10 spammers get in than 1 potential real user get blocked incorrectly. Find users you can trust who can delete spam as quickly as it is posted (you can give them only soft delete permission so they can't do irreversible damage) and your users can help keep your site spam free while being more engaged- but that is just my personal opinion.

    Comment


    • #3
      To add to Joe's comments:

      Ultimately if you have a 'customised' site on vB4, then the first thing to remember is - you will lose ALL those customisations / modifications / styles on upgrade to vB5. vB5 has only a tiny number of third party add-ons compared to vB4, because it doesn't have the same php hook system vB4 uses so modifying it is much harder.

      I don't know exactly how customised / modified your site it but my general advice in such cases is stay on vB4 unless you no longer want the features those customisations bring.

      In terms of mobile, vB4 does have a built in mobile style which you can easily customise. You could with the vB Mobile app. Or use a third party mobile style (I use one by Dartho). Or I believe someone has made a responsive vB4 style now.
      MARK.B | vBULLETIN SUPPORT

      TalkNewsUK - My vBulletin 5.5.2 Demo
      AdminAmmo - My Cloud Demo

      Comment


      • #4
        Guys - thanks for responding. I really appreciate your answers. Here's the main issue remaining, which originates from my question 3):

        3) Ability to have a Custom Header at the very top of each page
        I know that vB 5.X allows for custom headers, but I'm not sure if I can put ANYTHING I want up top. My existing 4.2.2 forum is currently a small subset of my overall topsite, and I am migrating the topsite over to a mobile-friendly bootstrap-based collapsable navbar, with dropdowns ... which you can see on my home page, and a growing number of pages on the topsite. Can something like that go into the vB 5.X Custom Header? I can post a link so you can see what I mean, if that is permissible.


        and Joe's answer (from above):

        3) You are allowed to post a link but from what you're describing I don't think so. There is an editor that allows you to create custom main navigation items and then sub-navigation menu for each main item, but no drop downs from there.

        Here is a link to my home page (www.midlifebachelor.com), and if you look at the very top of the page - you will see in the grey area the header that I'm migrating to every single page of my site (ideally including the forum). It consists of HTML and bootstrap/javascript code. From what Joe states above, it sounds like ***I cannot have this as my header using vB 5.X - is that correct?*** If that is true, then a vB 5 version of my forum would have a different look-and-feel from the rest of my topsite.

        And to Mark's point, I recognize that I will lose all my vB4 customizations if I migrate to vB5. The main reason for migrating to vB 5 would be to give my users a much better mobile experience on my forum (http://www.midlifebachelor.com/forum...e-Dating-Forum) versus what they have today (which is no mobile-friendly experience).

        Any other input you can give me regarding this potential decision to migrate from 4.2.2 to 5.2.5 (now that you can see my site, and my forum) is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

        Comment


        • #5
          In theory...since vB5 uses a similar system of templates to vB4 (though the code in them is entirely different) you can put a custom header like that onto vB5 just as you can on vB4. There's not really any difference, but since vB5 is very heavily reliant on js you need to be sure there's no conflict. You've also got to watch the site builder header that loads for admins.

          MARK.B | vBULLETIN SUPPORT

          TalkNewsUK - My vBulletin 5.5.2 Demo
          AdminAmmo - My Cloud Demo

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mark.B View Post
            In theory...since vB5 uses a similar system of templates to vB4 (though the code in them is entirely different) you can put a custom header like that onto vB5 just as you can on vB4. There's not really any difference, but since vB5 is very heavily reliant on js you need to be sure there's no conflict. You've also got to watch the site builder header that loads for admins.
            Would it be possible to run a quick test to see if my bootstrap header code will work in vB5? I can provide a cut-and-paste of the code, and the appropriate CSS and JS libraries. Seems like a test would be wise prior to me spending the money on a vB 5 upgrade. What do you think?

            Comment


            • #7
              Is this code you can paste into this forum?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Joe D. View Post
                Is this code you can paste into this forum?
                Here is a link to it as a complete HTML page: mobile-friendly header demo

                and the code for it is as follows:

                HTML Code:
                <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
                <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
                <head>
                    <meta charset="utf-8">
                    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">
                    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
                     <title>Untitled Document</title>
                    <link href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/css/bootstrap.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
                    <link href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/css/mlb4.css" rel="stylesheet">
                </head>
                
                <body>
                      <!-- jQuery (necessary for Bootstrap's JavaScript plugins) -->
                     <script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
                      <!-- Include all compiled plugins (below), or include individual files as needed -->
                      <script src="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/js/bootstrap.min.js"></script>
                      <nav class="navbar navbar-default navbar-custom">
                      <div class="container-fluid">
                        <!-- Brand and toggle get grouped for better mobile display -->
                        <div class="navbar-header">
                          <button type="button" class="navbar-toggle collapsed" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#bs-example-navbar-collapse-1">
                            <span class="sr-only">Toggle navigation</span>
                            <span class="icon-bar"></span>
                            <span class="icon-bar"></span>
                            <span class="icon-bar"></span>
                          </button>
                          <a class="navbar-brand" style="margin-left:-15px; margin-top:-8px;" href="../index.html"><img src="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/images/MLB_Header-mobile157.png" class="img-responsive"  height="36" width="157" alt="Midlife Bachelor logo" ></a>
                    </div>
                    <!-- Collect the nav links, forms, and other content for toggling -->
                    <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="bs-example-navbar-collapse-1">
                        <ul class="nav navbar-nav">
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/forums/forumdisplay.php/2-Midlife-Dating-Forum">Dating Forum<span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a></li>
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/article.html">Dating Articles</a></li>
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/askmlb/askmlb.html">ASK Midlife Bachelor</a></li>
                       <li class="dropdown">
                          <a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/datingadvice.html" class="dropdown-toggle" data-toggle="dropdown" role="button" aria-expanded="false">Midlife Dating Advice<span class="caret"></span></a>
                          <ul class="dropdown-menu" role="menu">
                            <li role="presentation"><a role="menuitem" tabindex="-1" href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/datingadvice.html">Intro - Single Again at Midlife</a></li>
                            <li role="presentation" class="divider"></li>
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/overview/overview-intro.html">Intro - Challenges of Being Single</a></li>
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/truths/truths-intro.html">Truths - Women &amp; Dating</a></li>
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/makeover/makeover-intro.html">Midlife Bachelor Makeover</a></li>
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/strategy/strategy-intro.html">Dating Strategies</a></li>
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/equilibrium/equilibrium-intro.html">Reaching Equilibrium</a></li>
                          </ul>
                      </li>  <!-- dropdown -->
                      <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/news.html">News &amp; Contact</a></li>
                      </ul>  <!-- navbar -->
                      <ul class="nav navbar-nav navbar-right">
                        <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/wotm.html">Woman of the Month<span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a></li>
                        <li class="dropdown">
                          <a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/health.html" class="dropdown-toggle" data-toggle="dropdown" role="button" aria-expanded="false">Midlife Health Challenges <span class="caret"></span></a>
                          <ul class="dropdown-menu" role="menu">
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/ed/ed-intro.html">Erectile Dysfunction</a></li>
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/health/prostate1.html">Prostate Exam</a></li>
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/health/endo-sigmo-intro.html">Endoscopy / Sigmoidoscopy</a></li>
                            <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/articles/hemorrhoids-treatment-complications-pain-suffering.html">Hemorrhoids</a></li>
                          </ul>
                        </li>  <!-- dropdown -->
                        <li><a href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/crisis/crisis-intro.html">Your Midlife Crisis<span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a></li>
                      </ul>  <!-- navbar-right -->
                  <form class="navbar-form navbar-right searchstyle" role="search" method="get" action="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/search.html" target="_top">
                    <table>
                      <tr>
                        <td><a href="http://www.google.com/"><img src="http://www.google.com/logos/Logo_25wht.gif" alt="Google" /></a> </td>
                        <td><input type="hidden" name="domains" value="www.midlifebachelor.com" />
                            <label for="sbi" style="display: none">Enter your search terms</label>
                            <input type="text" name="q" size="18" maxlength="125" value="" id="sbi" />
                            <label for="sbb" style="display: none">Submit search form</label>
                            <input type="submit" name="sa" class="searchstyle" value="Search" id="sbb" />
                        </td>
                      </tr>
                      <tr>
                        <td>&nbsp;</td>
                        <td><table>
                          <tr>
                            <td><input type="radio" name="sitesearch" value="" id="ss0" />
                                  <label for="ss0" title="Search the Web" class="searchstyle">web&nbsp;&nbsp;</label></td>
                            <td><input type="radio" name="sitesearch" value="www.midlifebachelor.com" checked="checked" id="ss1" />
                                  <label for="ss1" title="Search www.midlifebachelor.com" class="searchstyle">midlifebachelor.com</label></td>
                          </tr>
                        </table>
                            <input type="hidden" name="client" value="pub-9216958341729438" />
                            <input type="hidden" name="forid" value="1" />
                            <input type="hidden" name="channel" value="5844609364" />
                            <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1" />
                            <input type="hidden" name="oe" value="ISO-8859-1" />
                            <input type="hidden" name="cof" value="GALT:#008000;GL:1;DIV:#336699;VLC:663399;AH:center;BGC:FFFFFF;LBGC:336699;ALC:0000FF;LC:0000FF;T:000000;GFNT:0000FF;GIMP:0000FF;FORID:11" />
                            <input type="hidden" name="hl" value="en" />
                        </td>
                      </tr>
                    </table>
                  </form>
                  <!-- SiteSearch Google -->
                    </div><!-- /.navbar-collapse -->
                    </div><!-- /.container-fluid -->
                    </nav>
                </body>
                </html>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Actually, it seemed to work surprisingly well.

                  Screenshot of small browser window:



                  Large browser screenshot:






                  basically I put these two lines from the <head> tags and put them in the head_include template-

                  Code:
                      <link href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/css/bootstrap.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
                      <link href="http://www.midlifebachelor.com/css/mlb4.css" rel="stylesheet">
                  And then I took everything between the <body> tags (but not the <body> tags themselves) and pasted it at the very top of the header template. It seems to work as you would expect, resizes for responsive mode, links work. If you want to see it in action PM me and I'll give you a username/password to access my test site as a guest user.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Update- in further testing it did mess up "Site Builder" but there is no reason you can't have a style without this modification that only you as an Admin could see or use and use it only when you need to access Site Builder features.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The test you did makes all the difference in the world. I believe I definitely will upgrade - but I think I will need the upgrade assistance $150 option. Can you guys do my test site (pw protected, on a different domain) first? Or do you have to do them both back-to-back? Does it all happen with a day or two after I pay - or what is the timing like? [I will give my users a "heads-up" that the forums will be going through an upgrade process, and won't be available for x amount of time.

                      Oh - and I just PM'ed you for access to your test site.

                      Thanks!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gregory64 View Post
                        The test you did makes all the difference in the world. I believe I definitely will upgrade - but I think I will need the upgrade assistance $150 option. Can you guys do my test site (pw protected, on a different domain) first? Or do you have to do them both back-to-back? Does it all happen with a day or two after I pay - or what is the timing like? [I will give my users a "heads-up" that the forums will be going through an upgrade process, and won't be available for x amount of time.

                        Oh - and I just PM'ed you for access to your test site.

                        Thanks!!!
                        We don't offer a test site for vBCloud imports, if you choose to do it, we import the site. The time is difficult to plan. Even in ideal situations it would be at least several days and if there are problems and we need to wait for answers it can take significantly longer. While there is no fee to import it does require signing up for a longer term than a single month. Please contact sales@vbulletin.com for more details.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Joe D. View Post

                          We don't offer a test site for vBCloud imports, if you choose to do it, we import the site. The time is difficult to plan. Even in ideal situations it would be at least several days and if there are problems and we need to wait for answers it can take significantly longer. While there is no fee to import it does require signing up for a longer term than a single month. Please contact sales@vbulletin.com for more details.
                          I was not planning to use vBCloud to host it. I am currently on hostgator. Remember my forum is only one small part of my overall site - and so it seems logical to host the forum and the topsite on the same provider. When you say when "we need to wait for answers it can take significantly longer" - seems like you could keep the site owner in the loop, and use him to get fast answers from the host ... as no one wants their forum down for more than a day or two, right?

                          So you are saying there is no "average time" or "worstcase time" that a forum might be down - when you are doing the professional upgrade from 4.X to 5.X, using a non-vB host provider like hostgator?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry, I'm not sure where vBCloud came into this. The time for migration does vary, it depends on how many sites are in the queue in front, time of the month (number of techs available for installs) and various other things. I guess the busiest times are right after upgrades are released.

                            Best case would be 24 hours... worst case could be a week to 10 days. More likely somewhere in the middle.

                            Taking into the account the number of posts on your current forum and your current host, if correct account details are supplied to us I would expect the down time to be minimal (several hours to be safe, less if all goes well) but the wait time until the upgrade I can't estimate better than above.

                            Be aware you realize after a professional upgrade you have all your your users, posts, attachments, PMs and other default data but any custom styling, add-ons, and ads are removed. You need to be able to take it from there, whether you want to open your forum with the basic style (or any of our built in themes) and ad-on free is up to you, If you need time to get the site how you want it to look you need to figure in that time after we finish.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am leaning toward doing the upgrade myself, but purchasing your paid support for assistance. My plan is to buy the vB 5 license, then upgrade my test forum - and then tweak the test forum until I have all settings the way I want them (logging them as I make them) before I upgrade the live site.

                              Are there any best practices available for me to look at with respect to upgrading a 4.2.2 forum to 5.2.5? I have seen a few threads here. Below is an exact log of what I have done to prepare my TEST FORUM 4.2.2 PL6 for an upgrade to 5.2.5 - anything missing from my prep????

                              ***********************************************************
                              vB 4.2.2 PL6 to vB 5.2.5 Upgrade Prep (for Test Forum)

                              1) Backup live and test site databases.
                              2) Move copy of live database to test database, and verify operation of test forum.
                              3) Change URLs of links in test forum to test forum domain name
                              Admin CP -> Settings -> Options -> Site Name / URL / Contact Details -> Forum URL
                              4) Change color of test forum admincp to grey; leave live site in blue (so I donít mix them up accidentally)
                              5) Inventory vB 4.2.2 plug-ins on live forum:
                              • PM Mgmt Suite 4.0.0
                              • Forum Runner 4.2.2
                              • Rename Register 1.1.5
                              • Separate Sticky and Normal Threads 4.0.1
                              • SPAMBOT Stopper 1.1.1
                              • vBstopforumspam 0.61
                              6) Verify live and test forums have identical plug-ins.

                              Prepare Test Forum for Migration from 4.2.2 PL6 to vB 5.2.5
                              1) Verify that users can register, given that Rename Register 1.1.5 is still running.
                              1.1) Could not register because reCAPTCHA not functioning on test forum.
                              1.2) Registered test forum domain on Google reCAPTCHA, and configured on test forum with new keys
                              1.3) Successfully registered testuser, and logged in as testuser before deleting testuser.

                              2) Turn off Rename Register 1.1.5, and disable it on the test forum
                              2.1) Admincp -> Setttings -> Options -> Rename register.php by BOP5
                              then leave the New File Name for register.php BLANK to disable the mod.
                              [Prior filename was ***.php]
                              2.2) Change the Standard Phrases from ***.php back to register.php:
                              $vbphrase[activateaccount]
                              $vbphrase[activateaccount_change]
                              Note 3 changes per phrase required.
                              2.3) Save ***.php to register.php, and upload to server on test forum
                              2.4) Verified that testuser can register, and login. Then delete testuser again.
                              2.5) Plugins & Products -> Manage Products then select Uninstall

                              3) Verify the following URLs work:
                              <test forum links here>

                              4) Remove sticky separator plug-in
                              Plugins & Products -> Manage Products then select Uninstall

                              5) Uninstall Read PMs Plugin:
                              1. Delete the "cpnav_rpm.xml" file from your "/includes/xml" folder.
                              2. Delete the "read_pms.php" file from your "/admincp" folder.
                              3. Delete the "read_pms_XXX.php" file from your "/admincp" folder.
                              Where XXX is the language file you are using.
                              4. Plugins & Products -> Manage Products then select Uninstall

                              6) Disable vbStopForum Spam
                              Plugins & Products -> Manage Products then select Disable
                              - should this be UNINSTALLED or just DISABLED (since I believe vB 5 uses this)?

                              7) Uninstall Spambot Stopper
                              Plugins & Products -> Manage Products then select Uninstall

                              8) Uninstall Forum Runner
                              Plugins & Products -> Manage Products then select Uninstall

                              9) Add this line to config.php to disable all mods:
                              define('DISABLE_HOOKS', true);
                              and donít forget to upload the updated config.php to the website.

                              10) Re-verify the following URLs work:
                              <test forum links here>

                              11) Re-verify that testuser can successfully register; then delete testuser account.

                              12) Take note of forum stats BEFORE UPGRADE: Threads 3,275 Posts 57,309 Members 926

                              13) Rename forum directory to vb422forumdirectory before upgrade - is that advisable?

                              >> NOW READY to upgrade test forum from 4.2.2 PL6 to 5.2.5 (or did I miss something that you recommend)?

                              Comment

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