Switching from PHPFOX to Social Engine

Ok I think I have this in the right place. :)

First I have not been happy with PHPFOX for awhile so I looked at moving to Social Engine last year. But in life things happen I just didn't have the free time and I wasn't sure about the tech support. But with being back a couple weeks I see lots of changes Ray & Data! So I decided to make the change.

I was in a hurry and made one HUGE mistake and Social Engine Importer CLEARLY says what you need. I just didn't pay attention when reading what I needed to do! lol

First and most important both sites need to be on the SAME SERVER. (I created a new server and that is a no go)
But Ric. Z at http://www.phpfoxsolutions.com/ is a god sent! Anything you mess up he will help you fix!

Create a sub-folder /web/your-phpfox-site/public_html/your-new-site/ ( I just used /web/my-phpfox-site/public_html/socail_engine/)
Then upload the install files if it is being installed in a sub-folder you may need to edit your htaccess file. The install instruction video will tell you just what to edit. Very easy to do takes about two minutes!

Once you're all installed start installing your plugins "Manage Packages & Plugins" If you are using SEAO - PHPfox Importer for SocialEngine it will ask for the site & registration key. Every plugin (from SEAO not sure about other addons/pluggins from others) will ask for that information so have it ready. I made a text file with all the info so I could just copy & paste.

You will need to add a few things if you have google-tube (youtube) videos that need to be imported. Again super simple just get and add a google API key. Many people will already have one and yep SE KB help files will show where & how to get the key!

If you have subscription plans and use paypal again you need to add the paypal API key. Yep perfect & easy instructions on how to do it are there. "Manage Payment Gateways Browse and manage payment gateways. More info: See KB article." The KB articles are great!
And you will need to set-up your subscription plans again AFTER the import.

Once you start the import anything you did prior to the import will be over written.

Ok some info and screen shots of the AdminCP

When you first log into the Admin Control Panel you see this
Social Engine AdminCP

Then under the menus :)
Social Engine Menu Manage

Social Engine Menu Settings

Plugins (You can see the SEAO - PHPfox Importer at the bottom)
Social Engine Menu Plugins

Social Engine Menu Layout

Social Engine Menu Ads

Social Engine Menu Billing

Social Engine Menu Stats

Ok on to some fun stuff! Under "Layout" "Layout Editor" you can drag & drop anything you need! Under "Editing" the drop down menu will let you select any page. (remember do this after the import)
Social Engine Layout Editor

Themes I really love this about Social Engine! Menu-Layout-Theme-Editor. It's super simple to create a clone of any of the 36 themes you get
and just start tweaking it! The one I'm playing with I have changed all the px to em and box, page, layout sizes from px's to percentages. And you always have the Revert option if things go wrong lol. Or what I do - edit a line, check the site (in a new tab) if all is good on the next thing. If it's all messed up haha go back to the edit page right click select undo and save the page again.
Social Engine Theme Editor

Then did I mention all the themes you have to play with? :) :)
Social Engine Themes 1

Social Engine Themes 2

Social Engine Themes 3

Social Engine Themes 4

If anyone has any questions I will try to help.


  • I am still with fox and have not looked at alternatives for many years but have done so recently and must say there are a lot of very good alternatives out there from free and pay for plugins to once of payment at $250 with lifetime upgrades.

    So IMHO to remain relative and maintain a growing market share innovation and upgrades of core as well as plugins is essential. Far too many scripts and third party plug in devs make something and then sit back and rake in a regular income but if scripts including plug ins apps are not regularly tweaked a scrip/plugin soon becomes stale.

    Some social networks which are very effective have adopted the wordpress business model and are growing exponentially as well as dynamically.

    As we all know programming and innovation is a living thing. Scripts need to be the same. So ultimately revenue should and is based on number of users and cost of upgrades. free or nominal but with a large base. 4000 users at $10 dollars is $40 000 pa per plugin for upgrade every year. Some scripts have 200 000 plus users so the math looks very good.

  • I have a few Wordpress sites one of the reasons I did not like PHPFOX V4 basically Wordpress with no free stuff! LOL The theme's, addons, plugins I'm using on those sites have yearly costs. I buy the developer packages. Plus you can use them on unlimited sites! Just add your API key and you're good to go! Then you get all the stuff they make or anything new they make that year. I don't mind the yearly thing as long as it's not a CRAZY price!

    My favorite plugin is Divi by Elegant Themes it's $89 per year or lifetime for $249 for 87+ themes, 12+ plugins (they are always adding more) and I use them on 15 websites! That's only $5.93 per year per site. None of those sites are mine for personal use I do them for other people. And nobody mines paying $6.00 per year for a custom theme. :)

  • I have a wordpress theme as a business directory and paid a once off for the theme and get updates. There are so many individuals and companies supplying wordpress stuff.

  • edited December 2016

    Our BryZar supports all scripts. Ric (TemplateMechanic) offers themes for everything too. In regards to a social network, because we support all scripts, I tried many of them.

    For a small site, buddypress or peepso are ok as long as you don't need something robust.

    I will not try social*** the macagoraga script, ever and will not recommend that one.

    I found oxwall had issues so decided not to use it for a site we will be making.

    We all know about pf, it is not on the list of options for the social network we want to make.

    Right now, for us, we will use SE for our site we'll be making. We need something that can handle the amount of content and users that should be on it. The freebies out there are nice and good for some things (such as my author site) but we just can't trust that they'll handle a robust sn. Even though SE can be heavier, Ric has optimized servers for it (as he does for each script Cazaratech/phpfoxsolutions offers hosting for). Plus, I know that SE has some great improvements coming down the line.

  • I agree 100% data66 I think free sites are find if the site has visitors even high numbers. But if it's a user site with people logging in and using the site, posting, uploading... you need something that can handle it. Maybe Wordpress can do it on the right server I know PHPfoxsolutions is also hosting Wordpress. I told a couple of my people they should move their sites over there for better performance.

    I also like Drupal :) a little harder to use than Wordpress but it seems faster. I think buddypress works best as a plugin in Wordpress. And I'm really liking this Vanilla forum. :)

  • Yes Drupal is good for some things too. We are considering it for our main ScriptTechs when we get the Projects area done.

    Try Peepso for Wordpress as it's the competition to Buddypress. Same boat though, for smaller and less dynamic sites.

  • Since we're kind of talking about alternatives, I have to say that I've been using Joomla for many years for several client sites and once you get the hang of it, it's pretty good, especially for a free script. It does have a pretty big learning curve, though. It's seems like there are too many hoops just to get an article online. The hoops are large and easy to jump through, but still there seems to be too many of them.


    Ric doesn't do Wordpress themes does he? I'm thinking of launching a small, local, photoblog using Wordpress, but I can't find a theme I like -- free or paid.

  • Ric has many WP clients as far as I know. Check with him about themes.

  • I will! Thanks!

    There's nothing on his website so maybe he just does custom, which would probably be even better.

  • edited December 2016

    Ok ran into a hiccup last year on the beta site the PHPfox Importer for SocialEngine from SocialEngineAddons worked fine. But now it's a no go :( no matter what address I put in
    "home/your-servername/web/your-site-name/public_html/" I get this error "Specified path is not a version 3 installation" You do have a choice of Version 3 or Version 4. My old site is version 3.8.0-b1 so I guess something in the site or plugin must have changed. And at this point I may be doing the manual transfer. :(

    These are your choices
    PHPfox Version
    V3[Example: /httpdocs]
    V4[Example: /httpdocs/PF.Base]

    So I wouldn't jump on using that plugin unless they have a fix. And there is no way to contact them (once your 60 days are up), no forum just sign-up and pay minimum of $19 per month so you can tell them their plugin doesn't work. Or pay them $10 to do it for you!

    Remember what I said about Ric. Z at http://www.phpfoxsolutions.com/ sometimes you need to wait for a reply. But they never make you pay to ask a question.

  • edited December 2016

    I guess with the lack of anyway to contact them I will be paying the $10 to do the transfer! I have NEVER paid a dime to have anything done for me on any of my websites. :( Most likely I will NOT be talking good about them (twitter FLAME) LOL

    I would much rather give $30 to Ric who helps all the time!
    Hmm I'm asking Ric if he can do it! :)

  • Wait. I've tested this with v4 but not v3 so I can do that later today if you need. Ric or BZ can help you.

  • I will upgrade to 3.9 and give it a try. :)

  • Ok I just tested with 3.9 and it all worked other than the things it won't import. If it doesn't work for you again, either send Ric a ticket or send us one in BryZar and let us know the path you used for the import, etc.

  • edited December 2016

    Well after trying 50 times I finally got the last file to upload file/.gitignore for some reason it just would not upload that file! Now I get this a blank white page on the install/index.php page "Unable to write to temporary folder: /tmp/" I knew there was a reason I never updated to 3.9 LOL
    It's been a long two days and I have lots of work in a few hours. Then tonight is my busiest night of the month. Contacting poor Ric to see if it's some server permission. :(

    Yep the update in SE from 4.89 to 4.12 took all of about 45 seconds! Upload, upgrade, enter FTP password, OK, finished!

  • Talking with Ric (I really don't want to install SE again)
    I was on two different servers that was a no go. (destroyed one)
    added the original .com to the old server where my nightmare PF site is installed.
    So I have both on the SAME SERVER but this is how they are setup:
    home/username/web/old.my-site.com/public_html (PF)
    home/username/web/my-site.com/public_html (SE)

    Does SE need to be in a sub-folder of the PF site? How is yours setup?

  • It can be how you have it. Mine are on local. One in a 390 subfolder and the other in se2 subfolder. It worked fine for me.
    tmp folder issue normally isn't a problem on his servers for your upgrade issue. I am sure he'll get that sorted.

  • Oh I see your ticket. We'll take care of the upgrade for you.

  • edited December 2016

    :) Well it's about 20 hours past my bedtime so I signed up at https://bryzar.zendesk.com wasn't sure which one to use and my brain is fading. So I did the upgrade and submitted a ticket with all the info. FTP, site admin, PF user, lic & key. Hope I did that right. :)

    GN I will check back in a few hours getting old when I get close to the 40 hour mark without sleep I get punchy!

  • edited December 2016

    Thanks for the bail out :) nope still not importing. Same error LOL
    "Specified path is not a version 3 installation"

  • Just an update :) Social Engine MUST be installed in a sub folder of the PHPFOX site. For the importer to work.

    There was a problem with "Likes" on pages that was making it stop at 44%. But it does have an advanced option and you can choose what to import. So I said no to Page likes and it went smooth as ice! And far as I can see so far everything made it from PHPFOX to Social Engine.

    One main glitch not a problem on my site but it could be bad. It takes all the photo's from all the private message and puts them in photo albums called "Message Albums" that every member can see. My site is small with mainly my customers on it so all the pictures are screen shots. And most were from me with things circled saying "CLICK HERE". LOL

    There are so many differences between the two and I'm really liking Social Engine! So many more things to break! LOL You have complete control of the layout, colors, themes... much love for SE so far!

Sign In or Register to comment.