Simple Machines Forum (SMF) is one of the most used PHP forum’s avaible. I like it very much because it’s very easy to integrate with your web site. The SMF API is very easy to use and gives you a good way to use the forum session on the whole website.
Last year SMF finally officially upgraded to version 2.0 with some nice new features and a better framework. The upgrade procedure is in fact not very different from upgrades between minor version and the few issues that can present you are easy to resolve.
Before starting it could be useful to check your MODs writing down which one you are currently using because later you have to reinstall them all.
First of all go to Simple Machines Forum’s download section and grab the large upgrade package. If you have a non english installation I suggest you to download even the last language package. Pay attention to download the right version between the standard and the utf-8 package.
Next step is to extract all files from the packages and upload them to the server in the right position. Now access the upgrade.php script in your forum’s main folder.
If the upgrade script notices something wrong it will suggest you to run the settings repair utility. You can find it in SMF’s Tools section. If the wrong think is a missing script.js (The upgrade script cannot find script.js or it is out of date. Make sure your theme paths are correct. You can download a setting checker tool from the Simple Machines Website) in your theme folder then your theme is not compatible with SMF 2.0. Simply ignore the notice and proceed, the forum will switch to the default theme.
Now you’re ready to run the upgrade. It’s a good idea to make a backup of your database, the upgrade script will do it for you if you want, just check the option. Another good idea is to set the forum in maintenance mode, this way you will avoid data inconsistency.
The upgrade process will work by it’s own way. Once finished you have to cleanup your installation from upgrade files and you’re done with upgrading and you can start to customize your forum by reinstalling the MODs and choosing a new theme.