Upgrading any major software platform should be carefully thought through beforehand; for many of you, vBulletin is the heart of your site. Here are some things to consider when upgrading:
1. Do you rely heavily on the Calendar feature? If so, these will not be included in vBulletin 5 at initial launch but are planned to be added soon after. If you rely on these areas of functionality then don’t upgrade at this time - unless you’re happy that these will not be available to you and your users in the short term.
2 ***UPGRADES FROM vB4 ONLY*** The vBulletin CMS will not feature in vBulletin 5 until a future vBulletin 5 Connect version is released. If you rely on the CMS on your site then you should hold off until 5.1 is released and upgrade at that time.
3. Have you installed any plugins or products? If so, the first thing you’ll need to decide is - “Is this critical to my site?” If the answer is yes, you will first need to check that a vB5 compatible version of the modification is available, either at www.vbulletin.org or via the author’s own site.
If the answer is no, then you need take no action as vBulletin 5’s new API system means that any existing plugins and products won’t work - however after you upgrade, it would be good practice to make sure you remove any files required by these.
4. vBulletin 5’s template code has been rewritten from scratch so existing themes/styles from vB4 will not work with it. As with plugins and products, if you’re looking to retain a similar look and feel to your site or simply don’t wish to use the default style after upgrading, you will need to do one of three things:
- Contact the style designer to see if they’ve already created a vB5 compatible version of the style
- Download and install a new vB5 compatible style from www.vbulletin.org or another supplier or
- Create a test installation of vB5 and create your own unique style from scratch
6. Do you use a custom .htaccess file on your site? As vBulletin 5 comes with URL Rewrites as standard, it includes an .htaccess by default. Uploading the files for the upgrade will see your custom .htaccess file overwritten losing any custom code that you had within the file (URL Rewrites, specific filetype caching). Make sure you have a backup of your .htaccess file before proceeding with the upgrade then you can look to merge the contents of your custom file and the vBulletin 5 default file after upgrading.