Updates involve moving your forum from one micro version of phpBB to another, such as 3.2.0 to 3.2.x. Updates include bug and security fixes and sometimes minor changes to the functionality of phpBB. Updates are usually straightforward. However, lately it’s been necessary to make incremental updates. 

phpBB 3.3 introduces a much more simple update process: you upload a single file and the update should happen automatically for you. However, if you made any custom changes to the default prosilver style, these will get overwritten. So either you will have to note these changes and reapply them, or have me do it for you professionally.

Updates update only the base software and the default prosilver style. Often a client wants more than this updated. They might want their style updated too, if there is a new version, or their extensions to the latest version. As part of an update, I will check your style and extensions to see if there are newer versions and give you the opportunity to have me update these too. These are extra charges, since they amount to extra work.

Before doing any update, you should backup any tables that will change during the update. I do this as part of my service, but you can see what tables are changed on my Do I Need to Update? page.

The process

As with upgrades, I use a systematic, failsafe approach:

  1. We verify your requirements. Generally you don’t want anything to change, so your style must look and behave the same with the update and all extensions must continue to work. I give you an estimate of the cost for the work. Generally you use my secure form to provide the credentials I need.
  2. I back up both your files and your database before starting any work, so you can always recover to where you were before the update. Before doing this I disable your board.
  3. I remove the old software and install the new software, taking care not to remove any data folders and files (files, images and store folders, along with your config.php file). I am also careful not to remove any special programs you write, error log files, favicons, etc.
  4. I upload the new software (except for the files, images and store folders, and your config.php file)
  5. I set all files and folders to the correct permissions, if needed. Certain folders must be world-writeable.
  6. I run the database update program. Here’s where errors can occur, but usually don’t. On shared hosting and sometimes on other types of hosting timeouts may occur as you “slip over” some ill-defined resource limitation imposed by your web host. I will try to run the update program again but if the problem persists I may have to move your files and database to my machine, convert it there, then upload the converted database. If this happens I do a screenshot to document the error. There is a surcharge for this effort, which is considerable. See my pricing summary.
  7. I replicate your style changes. If your style has not been updated, no work may be necessary here. To replicate your style changes I simply compare the reference style you use with my backup of your style and reapply any changes.
  8. I update and reenable any extensions
  9. I give the board a check up to make sure all basic functionality is working correctly then ask you to review it
  10. I fix any remaining issues you find
  11. Upon completion to your satisfaction, you pay me.

How to get started

I recommend sending me a service inquiry if you want me to give you an estimate.

If you administer a phpBB board, you should find my book Mastering phpBB Administration invaluable. Learn lots of tips, tricks and secrets I learned from serving over 400 clients. Paper and Kindle versions available.