I’ve spent the entire weekend (from Friday afternoon through to Sunday evening with only a little bit of sleep along the way) upgrading the Somersoft Property Investment Forums to vBulletin v3.0 Release Candidate 4.
I was going to wait until the full release of v3.0, but given that there are many sites out there running vB3 without any problems, and most of those are far larger and busier than our site – I figured it might not be worth waiting that long for those last couple of bugs to be squashed.
The main thing that prompted me to move early was that my wife was heading back to Adelaide for the weekend for her cousins wedding, which left me an entire weekend with no repsonsibilities (other than instructions that were left to complete a little bit of clothes washing and to clean the bathroom *sigh*).
Since I knew it was going to be a huge task to migrate from v2.3.x to v3.0 – which also necessitated the migration of the photo galleries as well including an upgrade from v4.0 to v4.6.7 of PhotoPost PHP Pro – I figured that this weekend was a great opportunity to get the hard work done, and future upgrades to v3.x would be relatively minor in comparison once I got this done.
Another thing which fell into place was a new pricing scheme at Quadra Hosting which made it cheaper than our current providers, and thus easy to convince the owner of the forums to move the site over to them. I much prefer Quadra because of their great control panel which gives me a heap of control over the site – and having SSH support just makes things like backups so much easier to manage. It also helps that I know the owner of Quadra quite well, and he is very helpful when it comes to solving technical difficulties that I come across from time to time.
The move went well, although I did run into a few problems when I tried to get tricky with renaming table names with new prefixes before the upgrade. Tip for vBulletin upgraders – rename the tables AFTER you do the upgrade… the upgrade won’t work otherwise since parts of the upgrade process assume no table prefixes.
Naturally upgrading the gallery to the latest version without already telling it I am now using vB3 was a problem. A bit of database hacking and things were back on track. Had a few problems with cookies, but as always, it’s just a matter of getting the combinations of settings just right. Tip for cookie problems – clear out the cookies regularly – make sure you get ALL of them, including any that use IP addresses for the host you are talking to. Also in vB, clear out the session information from the databse corresponding to your IP address to make sure it’s not caching anything.
All up, it’s been a pretty successful move so far – most people are able to access the new forum now and many people have complimented me on how much they like the new software and how happy they are with the work I’ve done. Some praise is always nice and makes the effort worthwhile.
I’d better go make some backups now, just in case !