Frequently Asked Questions about forum migrations

MySiteGuy

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Q. Is my forum shut down during the migration?
A.
During a portion of the migration process, the old forums must have registrations and postings turned off. This is so there is a "frozen" state on the old forums that will be consistent with the new forums.

Q. How long is my forum turned off during the migration?
A.
That's like asking how long a piece of string is! On a serious note, there's no way we can give a firm time span because of different forum sizes, web server speeds, database speeds, free RAM on the system, and so on. As a general rule, smaller forums under 1 million posts can expect about an hour, while larger forums vary a great deal and could span from an hour to the bulk of a business day.

Q. Before switching on the new forum, can I review it?
A.
Yes. There are two options for this:
  1. We turn your live forum off during the review for however how long it takes to exchange emails and approve the new forums.
  2. You can purchase a two-phase forum migration: We import the old forums and then turn them back on. The new forums (non-public) can be worked on for theme changes, review, etc., and once you're happy with it, we do an incremental import of new posts, topics, conversations/private-messages, attachments, and users. We quote the cost for this on a case-by-case basis.
Q. I don't have Xenforo/Invision/Woltlab, can you purchase it for me as part of the migration?
A.
No. These companies have restrictions on initial license transfers, which makes this impractical..

Q. I need several paid add-ons installed on the new forums as part of the migration. Do you handle this?
A.
Yes. There is a fee to install and set up the addons, depending on the number of addons needed. Most addon installs are a flat fee, but complex addons may be charged hourly.. If you need data from addons in your old forum migrated to a similar addon in the new forum, we charge custom import fees. We will discuss any fees with you prior to project approval.

Q. Can you move our site to a new server as part of the migration?
A.
Yes, we can do this as an additional paid service. We do the move as a separate step either before or after the migration and do not schedule both at the same time.

Q. We host our attachment files on Amazon AWS, S3 or another remote hosting service. Can you still migrate our forums?
A.
Yes or no, depending on how you have it setup. We price this on a case-by-case basis, depending on storage method.

Q. We host our forums on Amazon AWS, can we give you access to our AWS account and you set up the needed SFTP and SSH logins?
A.
Usually easier if you set this up, but we can do it for you for a fee (contact us for details).

Q. Does forum migration include moving our ads from Google Adsense or another ad service to the new forums?
A.
No. Ads require manual copying from your original forum to the new forum. We quote these on a case-by-case basis since the type, placements and number of ads vary.

Q. I've seen mention of pricing for a "vanilla" migration. What is this?
A.
A vanilla migration is where we import your existing forums to the new forum software but do not handle third party addon data, theme setup, or ad setup. It does not include installing your new forum software. It must be a standard web hosting service using CPanel, Cyber Panel, or similar control panel, or SSH. There are additional charges if your hosting uses Nginx, WebAs, DirectAdmin, Plesk Control panel or Microsoft Windows. This service is for those who wish to keep costs low and feel comfortable setting up a theme, ads and third-party addons themselves.

Q. When can you schedule my forum migration?
A.
Depending on current workload, our first available date can run from 3 days to 3 weeks. Occasionally, after forum software has a big feature update, we might schedule 4 weeks out. If it's a staged migration with a second incremental migration on a "go live" date, we'll typically need 3 days advance notice for the go live day.

Q. Can you schedule my migration for a Friday?
A.
Yes, if it is a "vanilla" import under 1 million posts. Otherwise, no. There are many stages in a custom migration which can vary the time to complete them depending on the server's environment. We work hard, and deserve downtime with friends and families, and want to avoid situations where a project conflicts with staff's off hours.

Q. My forum isn't a vanilla/small forum? Can you make an exception, I really need it done on a Friday.
A.
Yes, for an additional fee which depends on the size of your project.

Q. Can you schedule my migration for a Saturday or Sunday?
A.
No.

Q. There's something extra I needed to be done I didn't mention at the beginning of the project. Can you do it as part of the project?
A.
Yes, This increases the project scope, and therefore pushes the delivery date further out, so there are additional charges.

Q. I don't like the way the new software implements a certain feature, can you change it as part of the migration?
A.
It depends on what it is you want changed. Our hourly rate applies to this work.

Q. I have a rush migration job, can you handle that?
A.
We handle this on a case-by-case basis, and the cost of the migration will be double our normal rates.

Q. Do I need to be available during the migration?
A.
We strongly recommend you are reachable the day of the migration. Because of many variables and hosting environments, we might need to ask questions. If the migration is delayed because of unanswered questions, we will reschedule it for another date, and at our discretion, charge extra for any increases this causes to total project time.

Q. Does my source forum need to be the latest version?
A.
It depends on the source forum. Our service price pages are here: https://driven2services.com/forum/threads/service-prices.35/ these list the version numbers we handle for each source forum. If your forum version number is below the listed version number, we would need to do a two-staged migration. The first stage would import your existing forum into a new version, then importing this into the new forum software. Incremental imports are not available for two-stage migrations,

Q. Do I pay you in advance?
A.
We require a 50% payment before the migration for any migration project over $500. After completion, we invoice the remaining 50% payable via PayPal, Stripe (credit and debit card) or Venmo.. We can make other arrangements if your corporate payment policy requires it. Invoice payments are due upon receipt of the invoice.
 
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A note about user group and forum section permissions:

When importing from one platform to another, sometimes the user group and forum section permissions map differently. This is not the fault of the import process, rather it's the different forum software packages handle permissions differently.

We ask that you check user group and forum section permissions after the migration to validate them and make any changes needed. This is beyond something we handle since we do not know what you want your users to access and what privileges you want them to have. Typically, this means logging in as a regular user and making sure it doesn't have access to hidden staff forums, and other privileges more advanced user groups have access to.
 
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