More progress on BimmerMania.com phpBB3 conversion!

While sitting on my butt at home (after another surgery) I’ve been converting my BimmerMania.com website from phpBB 2.0.23 to phpBB 3.x. The actual forum was fairly straight forward and simple to convert! That took about 15-20 minutes before that part was complete. That is counting the time that I wasted searching for guides, tips and tricks on the conversion so I wouldn’t piss off any members of the site by messing up anything. 😀

Well, I made the new design live and the board is enabled! I’m still tweaking several pages, but I decided to make go a head and make it live simply because the boards are pretty active and I didn’t want to manually copy new posts from the old forum which was live (phpBB2) to the new one (phpBB3). That would have been too much work! Oh and copying over new members and matching their posts.

The conversion is simple, but it’s a one time deal, you can’t sync several times to update posts and members as far as I know. If I could have just synchronized all of the posts and members later then I would have completed the entire conversion behind the scenes and released it all at once. Oh well.

Anyhoo, the fun and long part of the conversion if two fold:

  1. Recreating all of the custom pages, such as the downloads section, takes some time to perfect. I have a good habit of trying to validate all of my pages (the entire site), so it takes a bit longer per page than just making the content show up. 😉 (Btw: WordPress has a nasty habit of mixing lists and <p>’s like crazy. I’m still trying to work out some of those validation errors. 🙁 Can’t blame anyone but myself..and the javascript back-end to the visual editor, lol.)
  2. Tweaking the theme to look awesome, clean, slick, relevant -> Zen. This is one of the most important aspects of web design in order to get a crowd to use the site. I mean, who wants to use a website that looks like it was designed back in the text only days of the world wide web? Even if it worked perfect and never made or caused any mistakes..the interface has to be appealing!

Well, I’m now about half way done recreating the downloads section of the site. The only remaining portions after this are the contact page (it’s there, but none functional at the moment) and a garage. There are apparently no garages made as of yet for phpBB 3.x, so it looks like I may need to port the car garage that I used in phpBB 2.x over. This could take some time. 🙁

Oh well, back to work!

UPDATE (2008-05-23):
Well, BimmerMania.com is pretty much completely converted to phpBB 3.0.1! I’ve held off on a couple of items in my to-do list until I have time to get around to them. They aren’t show-stoppers, so the site is fine without them (just two fairly small tweaks).

The phpBB Garage for phpBB 3.x is coming kind of slow. I’d prefer to use a Garage that’s already been developed, but hey..what are you gonna do when there’s nothing out there already!? If anyone comes across a garage mod then please let me know!

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