It is advised that all the planning for choosing a good phpBB hosting is done well, so that it is not required to migrate to a new server once the site is online. However, in some situations, it is unavoidable. Here, the steps to transfer a phpBB site from the older server to the new one have been described.
It is assumed that you have access to both the servers. The server in which your site is already hosted is referred to as cur_server and the server to which you plan to migrate, is referred to as new_server.
It is basically a ‘Backup and Restore’ procedure but carried out on two different servers.
Before starting the process, one should disable the forum to avoid unnecessary complications during the backup process. To do so, login to the Administration Control Panel (subsequently referred as ACP). In the General tab, choose Server Settings. In the page that appears, make sure that Force Server URL Settings is set to No.
Backing Up the current phpBB site
It has two steps:
Backing up the phpBB files
- Connect to cur_server using an FTP program.
- Find the phpBB main directory and copy all of its contents to your local computer.
- Make sure that the files are copied in ‘Binary’ mode.
Backing up the phpBB database
- In the ACP, go to Maintenance tab.
- Find the option – Backup from the left-hand panel
- In the right-hand page, choose the following options
- Backup Type: ‘Full’
- File type: ‘gzip’ If unavailable, choose ‘text’
- Action: ‘download’
- Table select: ‘Select All’
- Click on the Submit button. A download window will appear, download and save the .gzip file.
Restoring the site on the New Server
- Step 1: Connect to the new_server using an FTP program and browse to phpBB root folder on the server (it is assumed that phpBB is already installed in new_server)
- Step 2: Copy all the files which you had downloaded from the cur_server to this folder.
- Step 3: After this, browse to the store folder. This is where phpBB stores its backup files.
- Step 4: Copy the .gzip file to this folder
Restoring the Database
To restore database:
- Login to ACP on new_server
- Go to Maintenance tab and Select the Restore option
- In the Select File field choose the file which you have just placed in the store folder.
And you are done! If everything has worked successfully you can go to General tab and enable the forum by choosing Yes in the Force Server URL Settings as was done in the beginning of the process.