Home Forums Website Help & Suggestions What happened to the existing (“old”) forum posts? Reply To: What happened to the existing (“old”) forum posts?


Thanks Marshall. The first step is to be sure you’ve got everything, and it sounds like you do.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s fortunate that your old and new forums have different URLs so they can both coexist. However, that possibility might depend on whether or not your current hosting package will allow either another content management system (phpBB) or raw HTML pages to be installed on your site. If they allow that, then you have viable alternatives to importing or re-integrating the old posts. Those alternatives include reinstalling the site as a phpBB or as static pages.

My first preference (not that I have any clout in the matter) would be to reinstall phpBB at the same URL. It could be active (accepting new posts) or static (all logins and posting disabled). This is my first choice because it is the least disruptive to the rest of the web. There are maybe thousands of links to SHGA forum content on the web. Those links are at Google, Yahoo, hanggliding.org, OzForum, USHawks.org, other hang gliding clubs, and other places that we don’t even know. All of those links are now broken. By restoring the old forum (even as read-only), all of those links will work again.

My second choice would be to build static HTML pages from the database. I’ve just done something similar with the hanggliding.org “Call for Leaders and Founders” topic that started the HGAA and eventually the U.S. Hawks. The restored static pages are here:


That would still result in broken external links because the static pages would use different URLs than the old PHP version. But the mapping might be predictable enough for sites to automate changing of links. You might also be able to use a rewrite rule to fix that on your site (depending on your hosting package).

My third preference would be merging them into the new CMS. I think this will be difficult for a number of reasons. First, the phpBB system allowed nesting of forums within forums. I don’t see any evidence of that in this new forum. The SHGA forum didn’t use deep nesting, but it still might be deeper than the new forum. Second, there may be other features of phpBB forums that don’t mesh easily with the new CMS. While an automated converter might appear to work, you might later find a number of things didn’t survive the merge.

Also, and independent of those choices, I would be happy to host the old forum on either the U.S. Hawks as a subforum (within U.S. Hawks) or as a separate forum. You should probably strip out the PM portion of the database in that case to protect people’s privacy.

Please let me know if I can help.