Transferring phpBB to a New Web Hosting Account

If you need to transfer a phpBB website to a new hosting account, either at a new web host or another account at the same web host, the process usually isn’t too hard. But there are things that can go wrong, so below we go through the important things to do as you are working to accomplish that in way that leads to a smooth transfer.

Test Before You Switch

When doing a transfer like this, the best advice is to do a test of the transfer before you make the final switch over. That way, if any problems come up, you can work on resolving them without having to rush the process.

Transfer the Files

You will need to transfer the files from the old hosting account to the new one. That is usually most easily done using FTP or SFTP to copy the files from the old hosting account to a computer and then copying them from there to the new hosting. That also provides you with a backup of the files.

Transfer the Database

You will need to copy the database from the old hosting account to the new hosting. That is usually done through phpMyAdmin, to export a copy of the database from the old hosting account, and using it to import that copy of the database to a database on the new hosting. Though there may be other options depending on the hosting setup. You will need to create a database on the new server to import the existing database.

Update The Configuration File

Once you have copied the files and the database, you will need to update the phpBB configuration file, /config.php, in the new hosting to have the credentials for the new database.

Plan for a Switch Over

After you have tested out everything and confirmed that it works, plan for a time to switch over to the new hosting. You will need to allocate time for recopying the database and if the files have changed, the files as well. You also need to allocate for the time it will take for the website’s domain name to point to the new web hosting.

You will also want to make sure that access at the old hosting is blocked, so no more changes are being made once you start the final transfer process.

Redo The Transfer and Point The Website’s Domain to New Hosting

Once you have made a final transfer of the database and possibly the files, you need to update the records for the website’s domain name to point to the new server.

Getting Help

If you need help with phpBB, we offer support and we offer a service specifically to handle transfers like this.

Outdated Software Running on Websites of WordPress and Other Web Software

When the makers of web software talk about security they always emphasize the importance of keeping software updated. One of the developers of WordPress said it this way “The only thing that I can promise will keep your blog secure today and in the future is upgrading.” Keeping software updated is good advice, but isn’t advice that the software makers, including WordPress, always follow themselves.

We recently mentioned a pretty egregious example of this from OpenX. Their blog, where they recently said it is critical to keep software up to date, is running a version of WordPress that is over three years out of date. Also, the main portion of their website appears to be running a version of Drupal that is over a year out of date.

MediaWiki, the software the powers the Wikipedia, is run on portions of many web software websites so we decided that it would be a good choice to see if software makers are keeping other people’s software running on their website up to date. There are several ways to check what version of MediaWiki is running and the easiest way to check for outdated MediaWiki installations is to use our Meta Generator Version Check web browser extension, available for Firefox and Chrome. The extension will show a warning icon when a web page has a meta generator tag from an outdated version of web software.

For those not familiar with MediaWiki they currently provide security updates for the two most recent releases 1.17.x and 1.18.x. The most recent version of those releases 1.17.2 and 1.18.1, both of which were released on January 11. We update our web browser extension a month after a new version is released, so until then it will check for MediaiWiki versions below 1.17.1.

Before mentioning the websites running outdated versions it is worth noting that one website we checked was actually up to date. TYPO3’s TYPO3Wiki is running 1.18.1.


WordPress MediaWiki Version

The WordPress Codex is the most out of date as it is running 1.15.5, which is two supported releases out of date. Support for 1.15.x ended in December of 2010.

Zen Cart

Zen Cart MediaWiki Version

The Zen Cart Wiki is one supported release out of date and running a version, 1.16.2, that that is three minor updates out of date. Support for 1.16.x ended in late November of last year.


Joomla MediaWiki Version

Joomla! Documentation is one supported release out of date and running a version, 1.16.4, that that is one minor update out of date.


phpBB MediaWiki Version

The phpBB Development Wiki is at least running the most recent version of 1.16.x, 1.16.5, but that release is no longer supported.


Moodle MediaWiki Version

MoodleDocs is at least running a supported release, 1.17.x, but the version, 1.17.0, is two minor updates out of date.