Moving ProBoards Movable Type to WordPress

ProBoards has recently started shutting down long time advantage play forums. Most of these forums discuss various methods of playing casino table games. None of the forums support or endorse cheating. Many of the forums have operated on ProBoards for years without any terms of service notices. For some unexplained reason this policy has now changed.

My advice to one well known forum that may be facing ProBoards eviction was to move their contents to WordPress. The main page of their website is powered by Movable Type. I’ve never seen any problems arise from using the WordPress importer with Movable Type backups. So the move from Movable Type to WordPress should go smoothly. The only issue I can see is moving ProBoards into WordPress. There are plenty of forum plugins for WP. Simple:Press is the one I think I would use. But I wouldn’t have any idea of how to import the ProBoards backup.

A quick look at various online forums and search engines offers no help. Setting up the WordPress backend and moving MT content into WordPress is something I can do. I don’t see any technical hurdles that I couldn’t resolve. Designing an overall look that the forum owners would want is where my skill set is lacking. Granted I prefer the basic look myself. The Internet is full of cluttered websites that devalue content.

The choice of WordPress is based on several reasons. With WP the forum owners will have full control of their content. As long as regular backups are made there would never be a time where the owners didn’t have control. Many well known Movable Type websites have made the move to WordPress. WP is updated often and security is taken seriously.

Performance is also a key reason to move to WordPress. With one of the two well known cache plugins you can have a very noticeable improvement in your websites performance. The wide variety of themes and plugins also makes WordPress a desirable platform to run your website or forum. Overall there are many different options for future growth of your website. Most importantly you are not relying upon someone else. I’ve seen to many situations like the one above. Where something changes and a site has to quickly move it’s contents from a closed source provider. Normally you end up finding out how hard it is to move that content somewhere else. Although that provider no longer wants your business they make it very hard to easily leave.

I’m still not a fan of having to use code to change title or design options. I personally feel something as simple as changing how the title is arranged should be done from within the Admin Dashboard – just a simple option. But overall once I got past some hurdles WordPress has served me well. I think an open source option would serve those who are being displaced from ProBoards.

Granted many forum owners don’t want to hassle with installing their own updates. Honesty after a small learning curve running the basics of WordPress shouldn’t be that hard for anyone. Especially if you have had someone setup the backend for you. Then again if you have someone who is competent and trustworthy to keep things up to date – you should consider giving them that responsibility.

Over the years open source has matured to the level of being usable for your average Internet user. Almost everything I run on my computer is open source. A few years back I wouldn’t have considered this to be an option. Control of my machine and content has always been important to me. Almost all closed source options want to control your data and make it as hard as possible to leave their service with your content intact. This is the benefit of finding an open source solution that doesn’t hold your business or website hostage.

Another key factor of using open source is you are normally allowed to discuss what you want when you want without a service provider playing censor. Moving from one closed source forum host to another does nothing to resolve the problem of being censored. You are always at the mercy of that forum providers terms of service. They can change their policies at any time making your life miserable in the process. No one wants to move an entire website on short notice.

Currently the popular forum I mentioned above is playing a game of Russian Roulette with ProBoards. They have made changes to how forum content is handled. But aren’t truly secure in knowing if that will meet ProBoards TOS to stop them from closing the site. Personally I think a more proactive approach would make sense. Meaning review your options and get the content moved to a new provider ASAP. As long as you have your own hosting this move is just a matter of having the proper backups and finding someone technically capable of doing the work.

I have done a bunch of searching and can’t find any information on moving a ProBoards forum to WordPress. You would think someone would have done it by now and written about the experience. Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

Web hosting Cloud services Domain registration Webdesign

GoDaddy sent me a WordPress security notice

Dice-Setting Crapsability written by Charles Westcott

Keep in mind some of the helpful links below are in relation to older builds of both WordPress & Movable Type. I’m thinking the process has been much improved since then. To the point of being much simpler.

Importing from Movable Type to WordPress

WordPress › Support » Movable Type to WordPress

Features | Simple:Press

Free WordPress Themes

WordPress Plugins

ProBoards Support

W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugins

WP Super Cache « WordPress Plugins

Goodbye Movable Type, Hello WordPress

Penmachine: Replacing Blogger: Movable Type vs. WordPress

Moving from movable type to WordPress

Six Apart Introduces Movable Type 5. “Borrows” WordPress Dashboard Design

Movable Type to WordPress: A migration slightly less painful than the Trail of Tears

Always be cautious when using any type of script. Code could be malicious or cause undesired results.

SQL script to migrate from Movable Type to WordPress

Any chance of a ProBoards importer?

Again keep in mind the article below discusses older versions of both products. Much has changed since then. I still feel the topic is worth reading.

Switching from Movable Type to WordPress

WordPress vs Movable Type

Who here is stuck using Proboards due to no export option for Proboards?

Moving from proboards is it worth it

ProBoards – Wikipedia

ProBoards Support – Export the current mysql database?

Proboards/Invisionfree/ActiveBoards converters

proboards to mybb

ProBoards Support – Database

ProBoards Support – exporting/backupping forum contents

ProBoards Support – Exporting threads

ProBoards Support – Export board data

ProBoards Support – Export from one Forum to another

ProBoards Support – Code Database

ProBoards Support – exporting board to new server

ProBoards Support – Exporting the Database

VideoEgg Will Acquire Six Apart And Rename Itself SAY Media

Six Apart Acquired by VideoEgg

Update 9/22/2010

The forum I mentioned at the beginning of this article has now been given 2 weeks notice to shutdown. ProBoards stated in their notice to the forum that using a bot or other automated method of backing up website is against terms of service ( TOS ). Of course ProBoards has given the forum owners no method of backing up their work so it can be moved to a new host.

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