We migrate to Discourse: Test our new forum!

Hey guys, we aim to migrate our forum to the Discourse forum software.

An initial migration has been done already with all posts until yesterday. Everyone is invited to try it out: https://dietpi.com/forum/

Important note: You need to reset your password.
Since Discourse uses a newer, safer password hashing algorithm, hence the old hashes from phpBB are not understood anymore. I hope this does not cause too much inconvenience :wink:.

Please share your feedback, check if everything is working fine.

Works fine for me and it is much better forum :slight_smile:

Also has some nice GutHub integration features. The much better search is also a great benefit, aside of the modern design and quicker Markdown syntax, if course.

multi line test
And 20 characters

We are nearly ready to perform the final switch to our new Discourse forum platform. Initial migration has been done and everything has been setup. Starting now, we will do delta updates from phpbb to Discourse only, to keep Discourse updates.

Therefore you are ALL invited to join us on Discourse and start using it from now on. We will keep running phpbb for the next couple of days in parallel to Discourse. Latest on upcoming weekend, phpbb will be switched into archive mode.

I hope there won’t be discrepancies between the two forums. Maybe it would make more sense to schedule the transition at a certain date/time, when phpbb will be locked and the final delta will be transferred to the discourse?

It is not an issue to side load phpbb into Discourse, it is not going to overwrite existing posts. However we will not keep the period of running in parallel to long.

First we thought about archiving the old forum first, but actually there is no reason to do so as stated by Joulinar.

I believe it is from the migration, but URLs to posts on the old forum are not redirecting to the post on the new forum. I found it by trying to click on an old post from a Google search result and getting redirected to the home page. This will have drastic SEO impacts and will also just in general cause headaches for anyone clicking an old link.

It looks like the topic IDs are different on the new forum so I’m not sure if there is an easy way to link to redirect. The only thing I can think of would be to somehow map old IDs to new IDs in a database and then have a script redirect to the new URL.

I’m happy to help out in this area if needed!

Sadly no chance to do something about it as the forum/topic/post IDs are different. Sitemaps have been updated already but it will take a while until search engines have removed all old URLs. Ah I can actually try to remove them manually :thinking:.

EDIT: URLs removed where possible: Bing and Yandex deny the removal since the URLs are “too important”… as if I wouldn’t know best what is “important” or valid and what not…:angry:. Indexing denied via robots header, that should speed up things.

yeah that’s how the official migration script was working. As well the URL on Discourse is quite different compare to phpBB. On Discourse the URL contains the full topic title, while on phpBB it was ID’s only.

The text part of the URL can be omitted (get’s correctly redirected automatically), but the IDs are a deal breaker :frowning_face:.

Right, the IDs would be all that is necessary, but with them being different it makes it difficult.

The robots headers / sitemap / etc… will definitely speed things up and make search engines realize that the URLs don’t exist anymore but the whole dietpi.com domain will take a huge SEO hit because of it unless Google can link the old posts to the new posts through a 301 redirect. The new URLs won’t be showing up in place of the old ones on Google.

I suppose the SEO for the dietpi.com domain isn’t hugely important since everything is open source and it’s not a business, but for me I would want to make sure that they have a 301 redirect if at all possible.

Given two databases and a script it wouldn’t be impossible to create a database linking old IDs to new IDs, at least for the higher ranking threads, but whether it’s worth the effort or not is a different question.

It would be over 8000 redirects. We were actually thinking about this, but I’m not aware of an efficient redirect mapping with Apache2 or on Cloudflare level and it would have taken quite a while for us to dig into the way how the Discourse import script stored the mapping in PostgreSQL for writing a script :sweat_smile:.

Before the redirect was implemented, nastily the crawlers ran into 50x errors whole browsers/curl got a single 200 page showing that the forum is disabled.

Finally indeed DietPi is not a business and the forum pages are interesting to find info/solutions on individual issues/questions but not that much affect how much users find and download DietPi. So I think we live with the impact and I’m interested to watch search engine hits after this change. Finally I think Discourse itself does a better job in SEO and allowing also random visitors to better search/find relevant content, than phpBB even that we used some SEO extensions with it :slightly_smiling_face:.

But many thanks for making this a topic. I think not all open source projects or even businesses know about SEO on general, it’s impact on visitors and potential users/customers :+1:.

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Small update. Today I did a Google search on some issues/key words and first 6-7 results points correctly to the new Discourse forum and not to the old phpBB one.

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