Importing vBulletin 4 CMS Articles into WordPress

For vBulletin 4 owners who utilize the CMS aspect of vBulletin, there are no current converters for migrating vBulletin 4 CMS Articles into WordPress as Posts. If you intend to use WordPress as your primary software platform and you have hundreds if not thousands of vB4 CMS Articles you will definitely want to import all your articles! Losing that many articles from search results and rankings is not an option in the least so today we present you with a vB4 CMS Article to WP Post Converter!

If you’re planning on importing your vBulletin forum please do that first by using our article “Importing Forum Software into WordPress Forum using BBPress” before you import your CMS articles.

Now after you’ve successfully imported your forum, it’s time to import your CMS Articles from vBulletin into WordPress as Posts, this way they show on your WordPress home page. Let’s review the steps, then we’ll also discuss possible plugins you may wish to use.

  • Download the included converter.php and converter_inc.php files from our zip file vb4cmsarticlestowpposts
  • Extract the .zip file, edit the file converter_inc.php file and enter in your vBulletin 4 database details then save the file.
  • Upload the two files into your WordPress root folder.
  • Now simply call the script via URL, i.e. in your browser after your wordpress url add a slash and type in the script name, Example: /converter.php so if your site is example.com, it would be www.example.com/converter.php. IF you installed WordPress in a folder to test the import, then it would be www.example.com/foldername/converter.php.
  • The script will run, you will see data being imported on screen, depending on the number of articles in your vBulleitn CMS it may take more time to run for some than others. Once the script is finished it will stop, give a it a few minutes to ensure its not still processing before you close your browser window.
  • When you believe its finished, check your WordPress dashboard, check the Posts and ensure all were imported.

If you provided the correct database details and uploaded the script properly and followed the instructions above you should now be looking at all your vBulletin CMS Articles within WordPress! Enjoy!

What’s next? Good you asked! Now lets import external images, then attachments as the script does in fact show attachments in the posts but as images coming from your vBulleitn software and since you’ve just imported into WordPress its safe to assume you’re almost ready to remove vBulletin entirely and if you do so before importing external images and attachments then they’ll be removed when you do, ruh-roh!

First you need to install some WordPress plugins:

The two above scripts will import external images and attachments. Why do you need both? Good question, think of it this way, your WordPress is now “itself” meaning that it views itself as the primary software, so any links to external images such as those in your forum will be viewed as external images to WordPress so we need to ensure we import any external images AND attachments no matter how WordPress “views” or interprets them.

After you’ve successfully imported external images and attachments you’re then safe to remove your vBulletin forum (if using the CMS system remove the entire Suite). We do recommend you backup your vBulletin site before removing entirely, backup the files and database and retain a copy in the event you need to reference any data it can be restored and the data easily retrieved.

Credits:

  • This new script was made from the tutorial on Military Media however it would not run properly and had errors when testing so it was adjusted to work properly on WordPress 4.6 and 4.7 respectively.

Read More

Importing Forum Software into WordPress Forum using BBPress

With WordPress powering nearly 25% of the web, it’s safe to say that its popularity coupled with ease-of-use and vast plugin support make it a primary contender and choice of many website owners. For many years other software such and Bulletin Board software reigned supreme more so in the years prior to social media sites such as Facebook were heavily utilized. Those using phpBB, vBulletin, Invision Power Board, and others such as Xenforo had long used WordPress as the home page with the forums being installed into a sub-folder… then adding in a Single Sign On or “bridge” to link the two systems – this could be done easily by developers and avid WordPress enthusiasts however it left simple site owners in the dark!

BBPress (and/or BuddyPress) creates a forum within your WordPress and for those who had previously utilized WordPress as a home page yet depended on other forum software to render your forums to your member base it does a simple and quite elegant job! Below is the process of installing BBPress into WordPress and then importing forum data into it, thereby seemingly transferring your WordPress site into a forum as well!

Preparation

  • Backup your site, both database and files before beginning.

Installation  (Source)

Automatic Plugin Installation

  1. Open your WordPress Admin Dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New.
  2. Under Search, type in bbPress into the search form and click the Search Plugins button to the right, bbPress should be the first result in the returned list.
  3. Click Details for to confirm the author is listed as ‘The bbPress Community‘ and links back to http://bbpress.org
  4. Click Install Now to install the bbPress Plugin.
  5. A popup window will ask you to confirm your wish to install the Plugin.
  6. Click Proceed to continue with the installation. The resulting installation screen will list the installation as successful or note any problems during the install.
  7. If successful, click Activate Plugin to activate bbPress.

Manual Plugin Installation

  1. Download the current version .zip of bbPress and extract the contents to a folder on your PC.
  2. With your FTP program upload the extracted ‘bbpress‘ folder to your ‘/wp-content/plugins/’ folder.
  3. From your WordPress Admin Dashboard and go to Plugins and Activate the bbPress Plugin.

After you’ve successfully installed and activated BBPress, the next step is to import from your alternate forum software.

How to Import

  • Visit WordPress Admin Dashboard > Click on Tools > Click on Forums > Click on the Import Tab

You will see the following screen when doing so:

bbpressimport

As you can see in the screenshot, some additional information is required, this being database details for the alternate forum software, in nearly all cases this can be found in a config.php file from the other software OR listed in the administrator control panel of said alternate software. *Also please note, there is another “Import” link in the menus, the look of this page will greatly differ from the screenshot above and is the wrong location, do not use the import function if it does not resemble the page in the screenshot above as it would be the wrong location and import respectively.

Once you’ve provided all information required from the other software, you can begin your import. Once finished simply follow any additional on-screen prompts and then check your site to see if everything imported properly.

For example:

  • www.example.com/index.php  <– WordPress.
  • www.example.com/forum/index.php  <– Old Forum Software
  • www.example.com/index.php/forums/  <– Is now your new BBPress Forum within WordPress

There are now other things you can do, such as changing URL Hierarchy (how links work and look) to make them more SEO friendly, what plugins do you wish to use? Now is the time to check the plugin directory for WordPress and also the BBPress plugins directory and see what you can use to your benefit!

Now with all changes in place, your new WordPress forum is ready to rock and roll! We do suggest you backup and archive your old forum software for reference purposes.

Read More

Google Pagespeed Insights

Many site owners are familiar with or at least heard of Google Analytics however some are not aware of Google’s Pagespeed Insights! This tool is very useful in helping you improve page loading times (speed per say) and it also checks normal designs along with mobile devices as well.

From Google’s information page regarding PSI:

Page Speed Insights measures the performance of a page for mobile devices and desktop devices. It fetches the url twice, once with a mobile user-agent, and once with a desktop-user agent.

The PageSpeed Score ranges from 0 to 100 points. A higher score is better and a score of 85 or above indicates that the page is performing well. Please note that PageSpeed Insights is being continually improved and so the score will change as we add new rules or improve our analysis.

PageSpeed Insights measures how the page can improve its performance on:

  • time to above-the-fold load: Elapsed time from the moment a user requests a new page and to the moment the above-the-fold content is rendered by the browser.
  • time to full page load: Elapsed time from the moment a user requests a new page to the moment the page is fully rendered by the browser.

However, since the performance of a network connection varies considerably, PageSpeed Insights only considers the network-independent aspects of page performance: the server configuration, the HTML structure of a page, and its use of external resources such as images, JavaScript, and CSS. Implementing the suggestions should improve the relative performance of the page. However, the absolute performance of the page will still be dependent upon a user’s network connection.

  • You can learn more about Pagespeed Insights here.
  • To test your site now, visit the developers tool section of Google then Pagespeed Insights.

 

 

Read More

Google Analytics UI Changes and Improvements

Some site owners have noticed recently that there have been changes to Google Analytics UI (User Interface) and more such as security improvements in regards to browser use, namely that Firefox and similar browsers are not compliant with how the information is displayed securely therefor will not display the analytics content for review.

Let’s review a few of these changes and some useful tips!

  • Automatic alerts will be removed from Google Analytics soon. Custom alerts will not be affected and continue to be visible.
  • The In-Page Analytics report is being removed from Google Analytics soon. However, you can still get in-page analytics by using the official Page Analytics Chrome Extension.

Furthermore the Google Analytics Code itself has undergone another change, let’s compare an old snippet to a newer snippet of code;

Old Version:
<script type=”text/javascript”>

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-12345678-1’]);
_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]);

(function() {
var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();

</script>

New Version:
<script>
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new
Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-12345678-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

</script>

Using the above examples, you need to check your existing Google Analytics Code and compare, if it’s outdated then simply snag the new code from the Analytics Dashboard Admin area which is rather simple so let’s recap that as well:

  • Log into your Google Analytics Account.
  • Click on the ADMIN tab at the top.
  • Click on .js Tracking Info under the Property Settings.
  • Click on Tracking Code and now scroll down, you can view the new code and copy/paste that into your relevant software.
  • Allow upwards of 24hours for the tracking code to begin tracking properly (if no code existed already).

You can view more information on the upcoming changes and improvements here.

Read More

LiteSpeed Cache and Xenforo

Every forum owner wants a lot of posts but high post counts and traffic can bring a large forum to a crawl in peak hours. The falling cost of SSD’s has helped considerably but a good caching scheme is mandatory.

LiteSpeed in conjunction with the admins at XenForo has come up with what looks to be an efficient and well-maintained scheme.
The LiteSpeed Cache Plugin for XenForo (LSCXF) is a PHP-based plugin that communicates with your installation of LiteSpeed Web Server(LSWS) and its built-in page cache, LSCache. LSCache is built directly into LSWS to significantly reduce overhead with greater efficiently than with other PHP-based caches.
The current community version of LSCXF will only cache and serve pages for non-logged-in users. After a user has logged in, their page requests will always hit the backend.
Additional Plugin Features
Automatic page caching greatly improves site performance
Support for HTTP/2 & HTTPS out-of-box

LiteSpeed ForoMTB cache efficiency.

LiteSpeed ForoMTB cache efficiency.

Load comparison Apache vs. LSWS
*Courtesy LiteSpeed Technologies Inc

Server Environment
2x AMD Opteron 6272 CPUs (32 cores)
64GB RAM
2x 1TB drives with RAID 1

Read More

How To Verify That Your Server Meets New PayPal SSL Requirements

Stricter security standards are the norm and PayPal is upgrading the SSL certificates used to secure their sites and API endpoints. The new SSL certificates standards need to be signed using the SHA-256 algorithm and 2048-bit G5 Root Certificate. The changes were originally scheduled to take place by June 17, 2016. However, I believe that date has been extended to mid-October, 2016

Bottom line is that you should immediately verify your SSL Certs as PayPal’s service will discontinue the use of SSL connections that rely on the VeriSign G2 Root Certificate.
Checking to see if your server supports the new standards is easy. Just log-in via SSH and run a single command:

openssl s_client -connect api-3t.sandbox.paypal.com:443 -showcerts | egrep -wi “G5|return”

If your server is compliant, you’ll see something to the extent of the following:

i:/C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=VeriSign Trust Network/OU=(c) 2006 VeriSign, Inc. – For authorized use only/CN=VeriSign Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority – G5
Verify return code: 0 (ok)

In the output, you need to see two specific items mentioned:

A Certification Authority containing “G5”. Note that you may see several CA lines in your output; as long as G5 is included, your server is compliant.
A Verify return code of “0 (ok)”.

If you see both, your gold the server is compliant and no further action is needed. If you do not see these two items, then your server will need to have the G5 certificate bundle installed. Please contact URLJet Support to have it installed
PLEASE NOTE: CentOS 5 is not capable of supporting the new standard. If your server runs CentOS 5, it will need to be upgraded. Please contact the URLJet Support Team for the upgrade.

Read More

How to install Xenforo Add-ons

Installing and upgrading Xenforo Modifications/Add-ons is a fairly straightforward process. Normally installing a Add-on involves:

  • Upload Add-on contents to /library
  • Upload Add-on contents to /JS
  • Import .xml file in the Admin Control Panel.

*Please Note: Not all Add-ons have the same files and some do not have javascript (JS) files to upload – the files required for upload vary per Add-on.

Alternatively there are Add-ons that can do this for you if you’re uncomfortable with installing or upgrading your Add-ons, some of which are:

Other Add-ons are also available in the resources section of the xenforo website, one prime example would be “Proper Theme Installation, Upgrading, and Usage” which is also a very useful Add-on! Always keep your Add-ons up-to-date, it’s very important!

 

Read More

Easily Preview Sites before DNS Propagates

Since sometime close to forever, the way to preview sites prior to pointing DNS, was to modify the hosts file on your PC. If you’re not familiar with the hosts file, it’s a file on your computer that allows you to take advantage of the DNS lookup hierarchy. Modifying it allows you to view a website on a server that hasn’t had the domain name pointed at it yet. It’s a great trick for previewing sites, but it’s not without drawbacks. Mainly, you’ll need to remember to un-modify it. And for some reason, modifying my hosts file doesn’t work for me anymore.

Then we found https://hosts.cx/ and viewing un-launched sites became much easier. Just enter the IP address and the domain name of the domain name of the site and click Get My Testing URL.

hostcx

This takes you to page with a link to your temporary site for viewing. Plus there’s a QR code you can point and click at from your mobile phone to preview the mobile version of your site too. They did their homework!

Read More

Making vBAdvanced CMPS Mobile Friendly – Avoid Google Penalty

Many vBAdvanced Users have come to realize that their CMPS Portal system is not mobile friendly.

Google now penalizes sites for not being mobile friendly as of April 21st, 2015.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

Test Your Site!

You can view information and documentation and also test your site.

If I don’t use vBAdvanced, how do I become Mobile Friendly?

  • AdminCP > Settings > Options > Style & Language Settings > *Scroll to find “Default Style for Old Mobile Browsers” and “Default Style for Modern Mobile Browsers” and set both to the Default Mobile Style.

The “Default Style” should be set to a normal desktop/pc style, if you set this as the Default Mobile Style it can produce a blank white page upon visiting the forum so ensure that you leave the “Default Style” setting alone and only change the settings for “Default Style for Old Mobile Browsers” and “Default Style for Modern Mobile Browsers” respectively.

That one simple change to two settings now has your site shown as Mobile Friendly, test it to be sure!

If I use vBa CMPS – What does vBAdvanced Recommend?

If you use vBAdvanced CMPS Portal System your site will not test as mobile friendly when using the vBulletin default mobile style. vBAdvanced CMPS is known to not be mobile friendly, you can reference that here:
http://www.vbadvanced.com/forum/showthread.php?48266-CMPS-page-is-empy-when-viewing-on-a-mobile-device

Then the work-around is in this thread:
http://www.vbadvanced.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47981
^ Although  this doesn’t always work for everyone.

Instead it was advised to disable the cmps on mobile devices:
http://www.vbadvanced.com/forum/showthread.php?41168-VBA-intergration-problem-wish-I-don-t-know-anymore
^ Reference post #6 in that thread.

However as many site owners know, the CMPS is their home page and/or primary portal system so disabling it on mobile devices is not the way to go, the best thing to do is to have the CMPS working properly in the mobile style so it’s 100% mobile friendly!

How can I make vBAdvanced CMPS Mobile Friendly?

Our staff has successfully done this! Please note the .xml file attached is for vB4.x series only, this fix has only been performed on a vBulletin 4 site and since no default mobile style exist in vBulletin 3 this tutorial does not apply to vBulletin 3 powered sites respectively. Here is a quick guide on how to make your vBulletin vBAdvanced CMPS mobile friendly:

  • Install the Innovative Template Manager (vB4.x Series)
  • > AdminCP > Template Manager > Import / Export Templates > *Now click the top selection to “Import templates from XML file”.
  • *On the right, click the checkbox titled “Default Mobile Style” so the templates are added to the mobile style ONLY.
  • Download the correct template file (right-click and choose to Save As) and save it to your desktop: For vBAdvanced 4.2.1 use this vbulletin-vba-cmps-templates.xml OR For vBAdvanced 4.3.0 use this vbulletin-vba-cmps-templates-430.xml
  • *Click BROWSE and select the file vbulletin-vba-cmps-templates.xml from your desktop.
  • *Click the box “Add Template(s)” to import the missing templates.

Example Import Templates Image:

importtemplates

After you import the templates, check the CMPS using your Default Mobile Style, it should now work properly and test as mobile friendly – Enjoy no penalty and a working CMPS system!

A Screenshot of the templates you need to have in the default mobile style in order for the CMPS to work properly in the mobile style:

vba-cmps-templatelist

Please Note:

  • The templates in the file provided are from vBa CMPS ver4.2.1 OR 4.3.0 ONLY, the most current is vBa CMPS ver4.3.0 as of 10/21/2015. So with that being said, if you run a version between 4.2.1 and 4.3.0 and notice any issues – simply edit your default styles vBA templates and carefully copy the template contents then paste over the same templates in the default mobile style which will ensure all the templates are from the current version you have installed.
    While the CMPS can display on the default mobile style with some adjustments, your widget content can still cause it to not pass the “Mobile Friendly” test i.e. if links are too close together or if using stacked images that are also links – it truly depends on your widget content. Making adjustments to widgets and other issues listed will result in it finally passing.
  • Read More

    Upgrading phpAdsNew OpenX Revive Ad Server

    Revive Ad Server is an excellent free software to help you deliver ads to your website and/or forum with it’s ease-of-use and multiple features including advertising campaigns among other options!

    Over the years it has went through several name changes:

    1. phpAdsNew
    2. OpenX
    3. Revive

    With the latter i.e. Revive being the most current and official version.

    Upgrading OpenX to Revive

    When you upgrade Revive, it’s actually very easy due to how they’ve designed the upgrade script. When you upgrade from OpenX to Revive you should follow the upgrade documentation they provide and you should ensure your server meets all requirements. Using the guide provided by Revive regarding upgrading you will see it consist of:

    1. Uploading fresh files.
    2. Copying then editing a .conf file.
    3. Cloning a database OR exporting then importing the ad tables into a new database.
    4. Running the upgrade script.

    Typically following their guide will result in a successful upgrade of OpenX to Revive, this brings you fully up-to-date regarding Revive software and ensures you’re able to deliver ads more securely.

    Upgrading phpAdsNew to Revive

    Now we can discuss the purpose of this article! The reason we wanted to discuss upgrading phpAdsNew to Revive is the fact that we recently had a client who wanted to upgrade their phpAdsNew to the new version which was currently Revive. Upon following the upgrade instructions on Revive’s site we realized the easy way of upgrading was not an option, there was no .conf file present in the /var/ folder of the old installation in fact there was no /var/ folder at all! So what did we do? Upgrade then tell our client to manually include all their ads over again? No as URLJet prefers to work smarter, not harder so here’s a quick guide on how to upgrade from such an older outdated version to the newest!

    1. Run backups! File and Database!
    2. Upload the new Revive files to a new folder (we used /adserver/ per the documentation as the older ad system was at /ads/ respectively).
    3. Perform a 100% Fresh installation. *Why yes, you won’t have any ads but we’ll sort that later! **Ensure you setup the Admin account with the same username+password as your older system it’s easier this way.
    4. Now create a new campaign (name it whatever, but NOTE: the campaign ID should be 1), advertiser, and manually create one banner (so you can view the table in phpmyadmin to see the structure and more easily).
    5. Once you’ve created a new banner view the structure of the rv_banners table. Now view the structure of the ads_banners table, as you can see some of the columns are missing since you’re seeing an older versions table and comparing to a newer version.
    6. You will need to export the structure from the newer table into the older one. *DO NOT forget to delete the one entry in the new banners table (the demo banner you created earlier to view in the table itself) otherwise duplicate entry error for primary will show when attempting to import the structure into the older table.
    7. In our scenario when importing the structure not everything came through. Now the tricky part but easy since it’s only comparing… open up each table in a new tab so you can easily switch back and forth – what is missing in the older table that you see in the newer table? This is what the difference is and you need to adjust this before the banners functionality in your admin panel for Revive will function properly.
    8. What you’re basically doing is taking an older table and updating it to ensure the structure and all columns match. Once done you should see 40 columns in the Revive rv_banners table (Revive Ad Server version 3.2.2) if you have any additional columns or entries other than the required 40, delete them.
    9. Now you must run a query on the rv_banners table:

    UPDATE `rv_banners`
    SET `campaignid` = 1
    WHERE `campaignid` = ”;

    The above query will then associate all your older banners with the current campaign and upon clicking to view Banners in the Admin panel all will now show ;). The only downfall to all of this is the fact the Name for each banner is currently “Untitled” so you’ll need to manually edit each banner and input a proper name.

    Please Note: Regarding #8 above where it states you should have 40 rows in the table rv_banners; Here is a list of the rows in the rv_banners table and they need to be in this order – an sql query and array bring processed when updating a banner is why they need to be in this order:

    1. bannerid
    2. campaignid
    3. contenttype
    4. pluginversion
    5. storagetype
    6. filename
    7. imageurl
    8. htmltemplate
    9. htmlcache
    10. width
    11. height
    12. weight
    13. seq
    14. target
    15. url
    16. alt
    17. statustext
    18. bannertext
    19. description
    20. adserver
    21. block
    22. capping
    23. session_capping
    24. compiledlimitation
    25. acl_plugins
    26. append
    27. bannertype
    28. alt_filename
    29. alt_imageurl
    30. alt_contenttype
    31. comments
    32. updated
    33. acls_updated
    34. keyword
    35. transparent
    36. parameters
    37. status
    38. ext_bannertype
    39. prepend    text
    40. iframe_friendly

    Please Note: You must setup a new zone and other perquisites, if you do not then the ads have no “Zone” to display in. Furthermore any previously used codes in your websites or templates (if using a CMS or Forum software) will need to be changed and the new invocation codes used once proper zones are created.

    Navigate around the new Revive system and ensure it’s all working as-intended. Don’t forget that you’re now on a much newer version of the software so you’ll still need to setup zones, redo your old <script> and ad codes so the new code is present in any files/templates before they’ll show again, so some manual work is required unfortunately but once completed you should be in the clear for quite some time.

    We hope this helps all of those who ran into issues upgrading from such an older version, please comment if you have any questions or feel free to open a support ticket and we’ll gladly assist.

    Read More