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Step by Step: Create a test forum based on a 'snapshot' of your live one

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  • Step by Step: Create a test forum based on a 'snapshot' of your live one

    Edit: If you're looking for a guide on how to move your site to a new server go here:
    How to move your site to a new server


    -----------------

    This is a how to on creating a test forum based on a 'snapshot' of your existing one, including all it's current hacks, mods, styles and templates (basically an exact copy of your existing forum!). It's already detailed in the vB manual - but I have made it into an easy to follow step by step.

    This is very useful if you will be using the 'testing forum' for any hacks or mods that you will want to move to your 'live' forum at some stage.

    SSH required?: Yes
    FTP required?: Yes
    Mysql Database required?: Yes


    #-------------
    # STEP ONE:
    #-------------


    In your vB Admin Control Panel (ACP)

    vBulletin Options > Turn Your vBulletin On and Off

    > Forum Active

    > Click on: NO

    > Reason For Turning Forum Off

    Enter a reason such as:


    HTML Code:
    <p>Hi All - We're just carrying out a back-up.</p>
    <p>The forum will be offline for around 10 minutes or so - will be as fast as we can!. Sorry for any inconvenience. </p>
    > click on SAVE


    #------------
    # STEP TWO:
    #------------


    In your vB Admin Control Panel (ACP)

    vBulletin Options > Cookies and HTTP Header Options > Path to Save Cookies

    Make a note of the existing setting (for example mine is set to: /myforums/ )

    Then change the setting to:

    /

    > click on SAVE


    #------------
    # STEP THREE:
    #------------


    Log in to your server via SSH

    Type the following:

    mysqldump --opt -u databaseuser -p databasename > /path/to/backupname.sql

    Replace databaseuser with the Username for that database
    Replace databasename with the Database Name
    Replace /path/to/backupname.sql with the path that you wish to save your back up to (and make a note of it).

    You will be asked for a password. Type it in and press Enter. Your database will be backed up.
    (Incidently this is also a good way to make backups of your database - always remb to turn the forums of first tho)



    #------------
    # STEP FOUR:
    #------------


    In your vB Admin Control Panel (ACP)

    vBulletin Options > Cookies and HTTP Header Options > Path to Save Cookies

    Revert back to what your original setting was: (mine was: /myforums/ )


    #-------------
    # STEP FIVE:
    #-------------


    In your vB Admin Control Panel (ACP)

    vBulletin Options > Turn Your vBulletin On and Off

    > Forum Active

    > Click on: YES

    > click on SAVE


    #-------------
    # STEP SIX:
    #-------------


    > FTP to your site and copy all your files from your current fourms directory/folder to your PC.

    > Once copied rename that folder on your PC to: testvb
    (the test forum will be located at www.yoursite.com/testvb)

    HINT: make sure your ftp program is set to copy 'hidden' files such as .htacces (if you have any)


    #-------------
    # STEP SEVEN:
    #-------------


    Create a new mysql database - when done come back and follow the next step.


    #-------------
    # STEP EIGHT:
    #-------------


    Log in to your server via SSH

    Type the following:

    mysql -u databaseuser -p databasename < /path/to/backupname.sql

    Replace databaseuser with the NEW User that you just created in STEP SEVEN
    Replace databasename with NEW Database Name you just created in STEP SEVEN
    Replace /path/to/backupname.sql with the path that was previously saved to as in STEP THREE.

    You will be asked for a password. Type in the NEW password as created in STEP SEVEN and press Enter. Your snapshot will then be saved.


    #-------------
    # STEP NINE:
    #-------------


    Ok in the files you FTP'd in STEP SIX go to and open:

    > Includes > config.php

    > Then enter the details you used in STEP SEVEN, ie the:

    database name
    database user
    password

    > Save and exit file


    #-------------
    # STEP TEN:
    #-------------


    > FTP back to your site and copy the folder you renamed to testvb, along with all its contents (from STEP SIX) into your root directory. WARNING: if you have not renamed this folder, it will overwrite your existing files!

    HINT: make sure your ftp program is set to copy 'hidden' files such as .htacces (if you have any)
    HINT: You can alternatively copy the files using your ftp client from one directory to another, meaning you can bypass STEP SIX but not all servers/ftp programs allows this.


    #-------------
    # STEP ELEVEN:
    #-------------


    OK almost done!

    > go to your NEW forum, so:

    www.yoursite.com/your-test-forum-name ('your-test-forum-name' as specified in STEP SIX)

    > In vB Admin Control Panel (ACP)

    > vBulletin Options > Cookies and HTTP Header Options > Path to Save Cookies

    change to:

    /testvb/

    > click on SAVE

    #-------------
    # DONE:
    #-------------


    Update:

    If you are putting the test forum onto another domain you need to go to:

    ACP > vBulletin Options > Site Name / Url / Contact details

    And then change the url to the new url under Forum URL and Homepage URL
    Last edited by Razasharp; Tue 28th Jul '09, 6:42pm.
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