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The data import function can be used to import content from older versions of the WoltLab forum software or from third-party forum systems.


This article is intended for customers who run the software independently on their own server or web hosting.

Supported Systems#

A detailed list of the supported source software including the supported types of content can be found in the “Supported Source” page.


When migrating from another software version or forum software, you usually want the new forum to be accessible via the same URL as the old forum. The following procedure is recommended for this.

  • Copy the old forum into a new subdirectory (for example backup) or rename the existing folder accordingly.
  • Upload the 3 installation files of WoltLab Suite into the directory where the forum should be accessible.

Example 1: Until now, your forum was accessed directly from your domain, for example So log in to your webspace via FTP and create a folder backup. Now move all files and folders of your old forum from the main directory into this folder. Afterwards install WoltLab Suite directly into your main directory again.

Example 2: Until now your forum was accessible via e.g. So log in to your webspace via FTP and rename the folder forum to e.g. backup. Now create a new folder forum and install WoltLab Suite there.

This procedure has the advantage that you do not have to redirect your domain or make path adjustments in WoltLab Suite later.


During the installation of WoltLab Suite, in the step optional packages, select the package named WoltLab Suite Core: Importer to make the data import function available. Alternatively you can install the package later via package management.

Cleaning Up#

During the migration, the system tries to copy the IDs of imported contents so that data can still be accessed via existing URLs. The prerequisite for this is that the IDs of the imported contents are not already in use. If there are already contents with the same IDs in the new installation, the affected imported contents will be assigned new IDs. Before starting the data import, all data that already exists in the new installation (e.g. forums, threads or posts) should be removed.

Creating a Backup#

It is recommended to create a backup right before starting the migration process. Using a backup allows to easily restore the initial state in case of an unexpected abort of the import without having to clean up the installation or to reconfigure after reinstallation.

Performing the Migration#

After successful installation you will find the data import function in the admin panel under Management → Maintenance → Data import.

Database Access: The access data to the old database must be entered here. If you are not sure about the table prefix, you can always check it in phpMyAdmin. Usually every webhoster provides phpMyAdmin in his customer area.

Path to Installation: The absolute server path to the source forum must be entered here. By default the path to the home directory of the domain is given here. If you followed our example from above, you only need to add /backup to the path.

Depending on the size of your old forum, the data import may take some time. Please do not close or refresh the browser window during the whole runtime. For large forums it is recommended to use the import via command line.

After a successful data import, the data must be rebuild. To do this, call up Management → Maintenance → Rebuild Data in the admin panel and perform all actions in sequence.