How to Make your SMF to phpBB Migration as Easy as ABC

Blog,Forum Platforms Reviews,phpBB,SMF

Administering a forum can be a pretty difficult task. When you really get to it, you come to realize that there are many details and peculiarities you need to pay attention to. Therefore it is really important what kind of CMS platform you choose for your forum.

Some of the most popular forum boards are SMF (Simple Machines Forum) and phpBB (php Bulletin Board). Both platforms are professional grade software packages, offering a number of tools to customize your forum to fit your preferences and needs. Let’s take a closer look at them.

If you are a newcomer in administering forums, SMF will be a good choice for you. It is a very advanced, but at the same time an easy to use platform. It has a straightforward installation and a fast setting up process. Another unique feature in SMF is SSI (Server Side Includes). It allows creating a connection between your forum and your website.

phpBB, on the other hand, sometimes may require more programming skills. However, its long history on the market and great numbers of its community members can confirm the numerous benefits of this service. Some of them include:

  • Extensive administration panel and the possibility to customize your bulletin board with ease.
  • The opportunity to make changes in the code with no need to get the permission from phpBB Group.
  • An effective security system, with the possibility to add special anti-spam MODs and some additional security measures, like disabling HTML for regular forum users.

If you are currently running your forum on SMF, you may want to try phpBB and see which one works best for you. Besides, instead of creating a new phpBB forum from scratch you can easily import your existing forum to a new platform with aisite, migration service. aisite allows you to have your entire forum imported fully automatically in only a few quick steps.

Here is a step by step instruction for you

Register an Account

To get started you need to create an account at or login with your Facebook or Google account.

expressionengine to bbpress

Indicate the Details of Your Existing Forum Board

Choose SMF as your Existing forum board type and enter its URL in the provided field. 

smf to vbulletin

Download the Connection Bridge

The connection bridge is needed to allow the interaction between your Existing and New platforms. To proceed with the installation you need to follow these steps:

  • Download the bridge file (‘aisite’ zip) to your computer and extract the folder from the zip file.
  • Connect your SMF  via FTP (for that you have to know your hostname, username, and password).
  • Copy ‘aisite’ folder to the root directories of your SMF websites.

Provide the Details of Your New Forum

Select phpBB as your target discussion board and paste its URL.

P.S. Establish the Connection to your phpBB forum the same way as you did with SMF.

smf to phpbb

Select the Migration Options and Start Free Demo Migration

After verifying the connection to your websites, you will be able to try Free Demo Migration and see the service at work. Choose the entities and extra Migration options such as:

  • migrate users;
  • migrate forum topics and posts;
  • migrate smiley images;
  • migrate forum polls
smf to phpbb

Start your Full Migration

If you are satisfied with the results of your Demo Migration you may proceed to the Full Migration from your SMF to phpBB platform. The Migration process will take up only a few minutes and after it’s over you will be able to enjoy your brand new forum!

smf to phpbb

Note, if you want to make your migration process even easier, you can choose the option of assisted migration service. You can read more about it here.

So are you excited to try your phpBB forum? Start Demo Migration right now and you’ll see how easy it is to move your forum from SMF to phpBB!

Estimate Your Migration Price

I want to migrate:
Please Enter the Number of Forums
Please Enter the Number of Forums Topics
Please Enter the Number of Forums Posts
Please Enter the Number of Pages & Posts
Please Enter the Number of Users
Please Enter the Number of Comments
Please Enter the Number of Taxonomy
Migration Price:

* The price of the full migration may change according to the number of entities

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