Wanting to move from phpbb to bbPress?

Have you found yourself wondering if you could move your forum from phpBB over to bbPress?

While technically I have proven it is possible, it is not optimal. My original thinking for moving my phpBB forum to bbPress was to increase the integration into my WordPress site and to improve the participation of my users. And really, I just wanted to see if I could do it.

So I set out this morning to migrate my forum with 1200+ users and found a plug-in that claimed to help with that, which it did, sort of. The plug-in is called BBconverter and although it did not list phpBB as a compatible forum, I did find an option once installed that allow me to do the migration. The plug-in migrated my users, forums, and posts although it did jumble up a few of the usernames and posts and I did some strange things with my users. There was also no migration of the BBCode. Part of my user problem might have been that I have a Mailchimp synchronization plug-in running. For each of my forum users, the BBconverter tool created a new temporary user for them so Mailchimp tried to subscribe them to my mailchimp list. It then tried to remove the temporary account which then unsubscribed them from Mailchimp and during the process was using a bogus email address so I started getting bounces and about 1,000 messages letting me know that someone left the list.

Once that was under control and the process finished, which took a while, I began to try to lock down the forum. I immediately found posts that were being added no longer than a couple of minutes after my forum had been up and running. These posts were being added by users that had registered on the site longer than a month ago and were obviously sitting there drooling in hopes of me trying to install bbPress some day. I thought I had installed anti-spam plug-ins, created security requirements, and created moderation settings, email notification settings, etc., but all I got were new posts showing up every 20 minutes on my forum from the spammers.

Once I was able to play around with bbPress I soon realized that phpBB was a much more robust solution. Just the simple fact that bbPress doesn’t come with a search tool should be a deal breaker for 99% of the WordPress users out there. My theme happened to have a search widget which I activated but found that I needed a new bbPress search plug-in to allow the WordPress search form to work with bbPress posts.

After getting the search issue was resolved I continued further to try and tighten up my forum and noticed that more posts have been made by spammers. It was starting to get a little bit depressing.

After about four hours of playing with it I really started to miss phpBB so I am now beginning the process of uninstalling bbPress, and I am realizing that it is not as easy to uninstall as I had hoped.

To make a long story short, don’t use bbPress in place of phpBB, it is not a comparable system yet.