phpBB3 => phpBB SEO premod

phpBB SEO Premod for phpBB3 support forum.
This premodded version of phpBB3 includes the three different type of URL rewriting for phpBB3 by phpBB SEO. It comes with several other Search Engine Optimization mods installed.

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Postby arch_stanton » Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:51 am

dcz, what's the best course of action for someone who has a phpbb3 RC4 installation, with the SEO mods installed manually, and needs to upgrade to the latest versions of everything?

The problem is that the pre-mod works best with someone upgrading from 2.0.x to 3.0, it doesn't work as easily with an existing 3.0 board.

This is how I plan to proceed:
* back up everything (doh!)
* use the database update from the "changed files" package to get the database up to 3.0.0 Gold
* delete all the old files, upload the pre-mod files

I think the problem at this point is going to be that the ACP for the extra packages won't be there (I can't remember exactly what happened when I last tried installing the pre-mod on a clone of my live board but I had some problem of this nature and SeO told me I needed to install the extra packages manually into the ACP panel?)

Or would I be better off just installing the vanilla 3.0.0 Gold files and just installing everything manually?

Thanks.
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Postby SeO » Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:25 pm

Actually, it's easier than you think if you want to go for the premod.
The only thing to deal with is the eventual extra mod installed and the style customization.
You'll have to update them manually. About the style, given the huge amount of change since RC4, I'm quite sure doing it again from the last version is not the worst.

This being said, here is how you would do it without any extra mods :

Just download both the premod full package and the changed file only package (last version rc7 to 3.0.0).
Since you already where using one of the phpBB SEO mod rewrite, make sure you enter your setting again in the new phpbb_seo_class.php file, such as the index url, or the static parts of the url, in case of course you modded them.
Then overwrite all your current files with the premod ones except of course config.php and the .htaccess. While doing so, do not delete what's in phpbb_seo/cache/, so you'll keep the configured forum urls and other settings.
Then, upload the install/ dir from the changed file only package and hit yourdomain.com/phpBB3/install/database_update.php to update the db directly to the last version.
Once this is done, if the phpBB SEO mod rewrite acp was already installed with the mod rewrite, then, it's ready for the premod too, if not, you would have to upload the phpbb_seo_install.php file from the contrib/ dir of the package and run it from the phpbb_seo/ dir (yourdomain.com/phpbb_seo/phpbb_seo_install.php) to install it.
Once this is done, go to ACP and configure the new options, the first one to deal with being the mod rewrite type since the premod offers them all at once, juts make sure you keep the same as before : advanced mixed or simple, otherwise you'll need to personalize your .htaccess to get the redirecting done.

You'll as well need to generate and install a new .htaccess for the new profile groups and search user pages rewriting.

Last thing, for the no duplicate included as well, you'll need to run this SQL query :
Code: Select all
ALTER TABLE `phpbb_topics` ADD INDEX ( `topic_last_post_id` );


with the proper table prefix.

I still advise you to read carefully the premod install file and better to test it locally to find out more about all the features and be able to set it up peacefully online.
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Postby arch_stanton » Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:58 pm

Thanks, SeO. Everything is updated now, it all went pretty smoothly. :)

There is just one slight annoyance. One of the forums on my board is called "Glade Festival 2008" and the mod rewrite always displayed it as /glade-festival-2008-f33/

But when I was setting up mod rewrite in the ACP, it didn't like the 2008 being included and keeps rendering the URL as /glade-festival-f33/ instead. Any idea what's going wrong?
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Postby SeO » Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:59 am

Yes, you cannot use numbers at the end of forum URLs, this limitation is here to make sure pagination will work in all cases, since it could use a number at the end of a forum url : forum-url-xx.html where xx would be the start param.

You could add it at the beginning of the forum url instead.
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Postby Stokerpiller » Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:29 pm

Thanks for this guide.
It worked perfect :D
Kind Regards
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ok im confused

Postby seo_lady » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:06 am

currently. i have a new phpbb3 forum and has 10 or less post. Now i wanted to try this phpbb seo premod. I want to clarify something.

1. delete old files (of course after back up) and replace it with mod files. i.e. it should only consist of root & contribute directory?

2. then what do you mean by:
Then, upload the install/ dir from the changed file only package and hit yourdomain.com/phpBB3/install/database_update.php to update the db directly to the last version.


you get the install folder from your old file not the mod?

3. then if everything is set just run:
/myforum/root/install/index.php ?

sorry guys, im really new to mods. i have been reading the documentation or post here but i dont undertstand. Thanks a lot
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Postby dcz » Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:02 pm

1) You need to upload all files in the root/ dir of the premod's package (not the root/ dir itself) in the dir where phpBB is installed, all files but config.php to keep your actual DB.
Once done, your forum shoudl look like before with no changes.

2) This was in the case where you'd have to update phpBB at the same time, when you keep the same version between phpBB and the premod, you only need to run the mod rewrite installer which will add the acp modules.
To do so, upload the phpbb_seo_install.php file from the contrib/ dir of the package and run it from the phpbb_seo/ dir (yourdomain.com/phpbb_seo/phpbb_seo_install.php).

Once this is done, you'll see the phpBB SEO tab in your ACP. You'll only need to run the no dupe query :
Code: Select all
ALTER TABLE `phpbb_topics` ADD INDEX `topic_lpid` ( `topic_last_post_id` ) ;


To end up running a fully installed premod.

Even though your forum had few post before this, you should still consider it as pre existing to the premod, and then do not implement the robots.txt before at least two month will have passed and activate the zero dupe, with post redirection at least set to guests (read the install for more details about this).

++
Useful links :
SEO Forum || SEO Directory || SEO phpBB || Search
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Postby seo_lady » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:25 am

thanks. ok i followed the steps. and i got "Unable to remove files within ./cache/. Please check directory permissions." why?
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Postby dcz » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:18 am

You need to CHMOD the cache/ directory on your ftp, as well as the phpbb_seo/cache and gym_sitemaps/cache (in case you use it).
Use 755 or if not enough 777.

++
Useful links :
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Postby Busterbunny » Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:43 am

This seems like the appropriate place to put this.

I have downloaded the premod, and I see 2 directories. Root and Contrib.

I alreay have phpbb 3.0.0 installed, and would like to replace it with the premod version. I do not have any SEO mod installed. It's installed in -www.whatever.com/forum

How do I proceed? My database is around 2Go, I would not like the new install to delete everything in my database. Do I run the install? Do I copy all the files in the Root directory into -www.whatever.com/forum?

Please help!
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Postby dcz » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:56 am

Well, with a 2go db, you must take some precaution to make sure that everything work perfectly upon the first try, would be a real pain to have to restore it ;)

The good news is that there is no reason why it would not work pretty easily, and that it's rather easy to secure the transition.

But I strongly encourage you to set up a mirror install on a local / test server, not necessarily with all the db imported, but with at least all your online files in use.

Once the code would be working as you wish offline, you should first upload all tested files in a temporary directory, and connect it to the online db (editing config.php).
This way, you'd be able to make sure that everything works as expected on the real server before you shut down the old one. You could, once everything is ok, rename the old forum/ dir to something else and then the temporary one to forum/. This would make it possible to go back to the old forum in no time in case you have trouble.
Note that during all the steps I mentioned, your online DB and forum files would not be touched at all, it's hard to be safer.

Anyway, here the steps for this scenarion :
  1. Set up a local test install of the premod, using a new db (temporary), place it in a sub dir, will be easier for later (localhost/testdir/).
  2. Merge / install any mod, image or theme that you'd have installed on your forum in the premod's code and make sure they work as expected
  3. Think about the url structure you'd want, do not hesitate to try many different settings, it's the time to do it, the idea is to end up with a final choice for the url that you'll be using online;
  4. Generate an .htaccess meant to be used in testdir/, using the "more options" option of the .htaccess generator and then the "alternate location one",
  5. Once all SEO options are set and running, it's time to try to connect the premod to your db. You can do it online as I told you, but you'll have to do a small trick to have the premod connected from another dir than the one configured in the db. In phpbb_seo/phpbb_seo_class.php, add :
    Code: Select all
          $script_path = "/tempdirname";

    after :
    Code: Select all
          $script_path = trim($config['script_path'], '/');

    With this, the premod will be able to run in tempdirname/ while the config tells it to run in forum/. From there, everything should work directly except the .htaccess. You'll have to replace :
    Code: Select all
    RewriteBase /testdir/

    with :
    Code: Select all
    RewriteBase /tempdirname/

    But remember, we did not touch the db yet, so you won't have access to the phpBB SEO acp module. But the settings made locally will still be used, since they are stored in the phpbb_seo/cache/ dir.
  6. When everything works in the online temp dir, it's time to run phpbb_seo/phpbb_seo_install.php, it will just add the phpBB SEO acp module, nothing more. You'll only be able to access it thourgh tempdirname/ since forum/ does not hold the required files, but it won't crash the online forum, only ACP can be affected.
  7. Once done, it's time, if not done already, to set up your forum urls in the phpBB SEO forum url management acp. This is as well something you want to do with care, the idea is to make the good choices before you go online, it's better.
  8. So now you're ready for the big jump !
    You'll just have to remove the added code in phpbb_seo_class.php, edit the .htaccess again to replace tempdirname with forum and you'll be ready to rename forum/ to something else and tempdirname/ to forum/.
    And everything should work nicely directly.

This of course assumes that your phpBB install was up to date and using the same version of phpBB (currently 3.0.4) than our premod. So in your case, it means that it would be a lot safer to first update phpBB, but you can imagine to skip the file edit part and just update the db using install/database_update.php, but this means that you won't be able to have both the old and new script running on the same db on the online server, so it's less safe, especially if you did not trained yourself locally with the actual db.
If you are confident with .patch usage, you can grabb the phpBB .patch package, it includes a phpBB-3.0.0_to_3.0.4.patch to make it easier for your update. Otherwise you'll have to update through each version.
An alternative would be to massively merge your phpBB3.0.0 with the vanilla phpBB3.0.4 one and then run install/database_update.php. Again, it would be safer to do this offline at first, and then, once everything was validated, upload all files online and run install/database_update.php online. And then go for the above step one.

When you'll have migrated this way, you should, if you want to use the no duplicate, run the no dupe query on the online db. It's just adding an index on the topic table :
Code: Select all
ALTER TABLE `phpbb_topics` ADD INDEX `topic_lpid` ( `topic_last_post_id` )

For a faster display (a lot, especially with 2go) of topic links on index.
That would be the most important change made by the premod to the db.
Starting from 3.0.5, this index should be added automatically in acp when activating the no duplicate.

Now SEO wise, since you'd be in the case where you forum previously existed without url rewriting, you'll need to wait at least two month (even more with such a big db) before you implement the robots.txt, and make sure you activate the zero duplicate mod, with in most cases post redirection set to at least "guest".

That'd be the only thing to do to properly redirect all the old urls to the new ones. The redirect will be massive in your case, so that's why you want to cautiously set up your url standard, because this is not the type of thing you want to do every other day. It's though working very smoothly and usually occurs without losing SERPs or SE referrals.

You can of course try the full procedure offline with your actual db before you go online, it would not be a bad thing if you do not feel confident with this, but local testing of the premod implementation is already a good training.

You can of course ask for help concerning any of the steps I listed above, the good thing is that support can be provided before you run into trouble with your online board this way.

As you see, you'll have some work, especially since you did not update phpBB, but it's more a matter of patience than difficult, and yes, IMHO worth it.

++

[EDIT] Updated the no dupe index for 3.0.5, nothing to do for user who have applied this before.
Useful links :
SEO Forum || SEO Directory || SEO phpBB || Search
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Postby Busterbunny » Tue Dec 23, 2008 1:32 pm

I'm not a system architect or a technical guy in general, but what you're proposing looks alot like insurance quality approaches used in system development. I like it :)

All right, I'll start by upgrading from 3.0.0 to 3.0.4., and then start with your procedure. I hadn't thought about trying it locally at first.

Cheers!
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Postby valica » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:29 pm

Hello,

I would like to use the simple SEO MOD for URL rewriting.
I followed the guide here below and I got an error at the point here after. I put my comment in dark blue for better visibility (oops, html is not enabled so sorry, the visibility is not the best).

dcz wrote:1) You need to upload all files in the root/ dir of the premod's package (not the root/ dir itself) in the dir where phpBB is installed, all files but config.php to keep your actual DB.
Once done, your forum shoudl look like before with no changes.

2) This was in the case where you'd have to update phpBB at the same time, when you keep the same version between phpBB and the premod, you only need to run the mod rewrite installer which will add the acp modules.
To do so, upload the phpbb_seo_install.php file from the contrib/ dir of the package and run it from the phpbb_seo/ dir (yourdomain.com/phpbb_seo/phpbb_seo_install.php).


=================================
When executing phpbb_seo/phpbb_seo_install.php I got the following error:

Erreur générale
Language file ./../language/fr/acp/phpbb_seo.php couldn't be opened.

My default language is french and I've checked the phpbb_seo.php file is really in the specified folder.
I don't know where the root path is considered because my phpbb forum is as following:
-www.mysite.fr/forum
/forum is my phpbb root.

What to do in this case?

Kind regards,

valica
===============================================
Once this is done, you'll see the phpBB SEO tab in your ACP. You'll only need to run the no dupe query :
Code: Select all
ALTER TABLE `phpbb_topics` ADD INDEX ( `topic_last_post_id` );


To end up running a fully installed premod.

Even though your forum had few post before this, you should still consider it as pre existing to the premod, and then do not implement the robots.txt before at least two month will have passed and activate the zero dupe, with post redirection at least set to guests (read the install for more details about this).

++
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Postby valica » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:51 pm

Finally I re-downloaded the same file into the same place and it worked!
Now, I see the mod tab in ACP, I executed the SQL command.
I checked one page of my forum but no meta-tag inserted... :)

My site is:
www.superauto.fr/forum

Do you have any hint about what the problem could be?

Kind regards,
valica
 
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Postby valica » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:45 am

So the status is:
- I see the the tab ACP_CAT_PHPBB_SEO in ACP;
- I enabled a lot of things;
- There has no effect on the forum and no error neither.

The forum is here: www.superauto.fr/forum

Can anyone give me an ideea about the possible problem origin?

Kind regards,
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