In many cases you could want to install the phpBB SEO premod on a pre-existing phpBB install (eg keep the db, user, posts et all). This is always doable, but there are many cases.
Let's start with the the simplest case :
- phpBB vanilla (no modification what so ever) to phpBB SEO premod same version
Here we'll assume that we are talking about the latest version (for both phpBB and the premod) since there would be no point to do it on an outdated version (we'll talk about updating phpBB and go to the premod later).
In this case, it's very easy, all you would have to do would eb the following :
- Upload all files from the root/ directory of the premod package to where your phpBB is installed, EXCEPT config.php and install/*.*
- At this point, your forum should work exactly the same as before.
- Go to example.com/phpBB/phpbb_seo/phpbb_seo_install.php while logged in as admin and founder, and just go through the install procedure. This will activate the phpBB SEO ACP module which will handle the settings.
- If you also want to use GYM sitemaps & RSS, go to example.com/phpBB/gym_sitemaps/gym_install.php while logged in as admin and founder, and just go through the install procedure. This will add the GYM sitemap ACP module in the phpBB SEO ACP category and will install the mod's db table.
- Now you can proceed with setting up all the options of the mods in acp, and generate your personalized .htaccess.
- phpBB vanilla (no modification what so ever) to phpBB SEO premod not same version
Here we'll assume that we would be going from an outdated phpBB3 install to the latest premod.
This case is in fact as easy as the previous. You would only need to additionally upload install/database_update.php and visit example.com/install/database_update.php right after (eg in point 1) above). Once done, delete install/*.* and continue as for the above case (a))
It is possible that you also need to fully clear phpBB's cache once done. To do so, go ACP and clear phpBB's cache from the main page, then, go to the style tab, and refresh all your themes, template, and why not, image packs of all your installed styles.
All right, simple hey, but how to do it when your phpBB forum has mods or additional styles ?
- For styles, it's quite simple, all you'll need to do will be to apply the template code changes required by the mods included in the premod. This also apply to the case where you would want to keep your customized prosilver or subsilver2, since modding them would probably be easier than modding the premod's ones.
The complete code changes are listed in the contrib/prosilver_subsilver2_code_changes.txt file of the premod package.
There is also a support thread here : Prosilver / subsilver2 code changes
with in addition, code changes set to update from previous premod versions)
In general, it's easy to adapt the code change to other styles since they are usually either based on prosilver or subsilver2, and respective code changes usually fits well.
Of course, this is a bit more difficult if you are as well updating your forum. In such case, the easier would most likely be to first update the style and then mod it.
- If you don't have too many (other than the phpBB SEO ones since they will be already installed in the premod's files), the simplest (and safest) would most likely be to reinstall them on the premod.
Otherwise, you can go for a more frontal approach : massive merging. Many software can be used to do so, winmerge (free) and beyondcompare (not free but great) being my favourites.
Both can compare directories, so you could compare your phpBB directory to the root/ one from the premod's package.
The idea would be to merge all the mod's code into the premod's files except the phpBB SEO mod's code. It's rather easy to find out about the phpBB SEO code since it's always surrounded by comments in the php files, but it may no be as simple with unidentified code, especially if your phpBB is not up to date (in such case, the difference could come form mods and phpBB update).
But if you know a bit about php or if you where wise enough to properly identify all the code you added to your phpBB, then it's in the end easy.
That's actually how I update phpBB SEO because with a bit of experience, it's even really fast to do it like this, and it's a good occasion to recheck all files now and then.
- No need to add that you MUST do a full backup (files + db) before you even start to think about doing this. Not that it is risky but rather that we human can't be trusted to do all perfect upon the first try and that there is never too many backups !
- I strongly encourage you to first try all this on a local/test server. Especially if you are not in the first two cases.
Typo wrote a good tutorial about this : How to set up a local server using xampp
- If you did this, your phpBB was most likely already partially indexed with the regular urls. In order to keep the bit of SERPs you had, you MUST activate the zero duplicate mod (in acp) and set its post redirection to at least "guests".
You also MUST NOT implement the robots.txt right now, but rather wait at least two month (it's really a minimum) before you do it, as explained in the install file.