When you start with your free forum software, you already have to keep in mind that you could move to Vbulletin, Xenforo someday if your forum starts to be profitable.
Be prepared to use redirections:
All your old pages will require pointing to new pages URLs in the new forum software. This will require redirection directives. It is easy because there are plenty of tutorials to add the right directives in HTACCESS to automatically redirect the URL of your old forums and threads to the new ones.Here is an example of a tutorial from phpBB 3 to Woltlab forum.
However, you can face a major problem. That’s when a webmaster has decided to install an SEO friendly plugin on phpBB, myBB or SMF. In this case, I haven’t found any resources about redirections. On the other hand, if you decide not to install an SEO friendly URL plugin, The move to a paid internet forum will be easy BUT from an SEO point of view your URLs will look like viewforum.php?f=81&sid=e4df2e7020549513557dbc8ea76420d3 rather than something like /forum-SEO-discussions/ (SEO friendly)
It is going to be really difficult. It is feasible but the mapping may not always work. It is possible to find a SEO software and mass extract the
That’s why the best solution would be to avoid installing a SEO friendly plugin if you install an opensource forum like phpBB.
Be prepared for exporting your old forum:
In a paid forum software, you can find import modules that allow you to import forums. This module usually
This issue explains why it is better to start with a paid forum software rather than a free forum software. Don’t forget that all the paid forum applications come SEO features out of the box. For instance, the SEO friendly URLs is a default feature of Vbulletin, Woltlab, Xenforo.
- Install phpBB, SMF or MyBB. Don’t install SEO friendly plugins. and check if you will able to import it into a paid forum software like XenForo, Vbulletin or Woltlab.
- Create a second directory and upload the paid forum software to it.
- Import the content of your old forum to the new forum using the importer provided by the paid forum software.
- Create redirection directives from the old page URLs of the old forums to the new page URLs of the new forums.
- Delete the content from the old forums but keep the htaccess config file in place.