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Install and Upgrade


Note that on our cloud services we install Invision Community for you so this entire section on installing may be skipped.


Applies to self-hosted customers only

Installing Invision Community on your server is very easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Ensure your server meets the system requirements. Download our compatibility checker.
  2. Download the latest version from the client area by selecting Manage Purchases then your purchased license.
  3. Unzip the download and upload the contents to your server in the directory where you want your Community to run.
  4. Simple visit /admin/install in your browser from that directory where you uploaded.

At this point the installer will make sure all your directory permissions are correct and prompt you to correct any issues. You will then be asked for your MySQL database issues and various other information the system may need to proceed.

Your license key can be found on the same page in the client area where you downloaded the software.

Test Install

Your self-hosted license allows you to have one live installation (your actual community) and one test installation. We also allow an unlimited number of installations on "localhost" domains so you can test locally without restriction.

If you are installing on a test install, enter your license key with -TESTINSTALL on the end. If you are installing on localhost (it must be "localhost" specifically, not "" or any other alias), this will not count towards either of your installations, however, if you are installing on any other domain, it will count as your test installation.

This means that if you already have a test installation at a different URL, you will receive an error message that says "A test installation has already been activated for this license key. Your license key entitles you to one test installation only." There are three ways to overcome this:

1. You can delete your current test installation and reinstall at the same URL. For example, if your Test URL (as shown in the client area) is "example.com/test", you can install at example.com/test (meaning of course you'll have to delete whatever is there first) and you will not get the error message.
2. You can install on a localhost installation: localhost installations do not count towards your allowed usages.
3. Test installs are a one time url, so you should use a sub domain of your live site as an example, so in the future if you need to test a new server or setup, you can adjust your DNS to point that sub domain anywhere as needed.

Automatic Upgrade

When you see an upgrade is available you can simple follow the steps in the AdminCP to initiate an automatic upgrade.

Always be sure to read the release notes so you are aware what has changed in the new version.

The basic steps of an automatic upgrade are as follows:

  1. When you see an alert that an upgrade is available click to proceed to upgrade system.
  2. Enter the email and password you use for the client area on our site (where you purchased your service) not your AdminCP login.
  3. The system will then fetch needed files, scan your install for any issues, and redirect you to the upgrade system. From there just follow through the upgrade prompts until it confirms upgrade is complete.

During the upgrade process your Community will show an offline message stating that an upgrade is in progress.

Applies to self-hosted customers only

The automatic upgrade process assumes that it can write files to your local system. If it cannot it may prompt you for FTP/SCP logins to attempt a remote upload of files. Sometimes both of these automated methods may fail for various, technical reasons and you will need to use the manual upgrade process.

Manual Upgrade

Simply login to the client area and download a full package of software, much like you would if doing a fresh install, and unzip the archive to your computer. It will create a folder named "ips_xxxxx" where xxxxx is a random string of characters. Then use an FTP client such as Filezilla and upload the contents of the ips_xxxxx folder (not the folder itself) to your forum main directory, overwriting when prompted and making sure all files transfer without error.

You will then go to your site and /admin/upgrade such as example.com/admin/upgrade and login with your AdminCP credentials. The upgrade system will scan you install to confirm that all files are up to date before proceeding. If it reports any are wrong then be sure you uploaded all files properly. 

In 4.3 and higher, when logging into the upgrader, you will need to use an email address / display name and password using the standard, internal login handler. If you normally use a different method for logging into your community, you can bypass logging into the upgrader by adding this line to constants.php:


4.5 Upgrades and the Marketplace

Starting at version 4.5, we introduced a new Marketplace feature directly into the AdminCP area of your site. When upgrading from a prior version for the first time, you will be required to match up your existing 3rd party applications and plugins to the marketplace items, so that the system knows which marketplace applications  they are for upgrades. 

After upgrading, you will see a notification within your dashboard, that you need to set up the marketplace

image (9).png

Setup notification

Once selected, you will see a list of your applications. Each of these needs to be matched up using the tools provided on the right of each. The system will try to automatically match these where possible, but you must confirm they are correct. Go through each step to do the same for plugins, themes and languages


Onboarding Screen

If you wish to see more about the 4.5 marketplace, you can see this in the following guide

Install Apps and Plugins

You can download third party applications from our Marketplace or other source and install them your community. Just visit Applications or Plugins to do this. You can also upload new versions and upgrade if the author provides updates.

Applies to self-hosted customers only

Adding an Invision Community Application

Does not apply to cloud Community as all apps are automatically installed.

You may decide to add on new Invision Community applications after you initially setup your Community to expand the capabilities. To do this, simply download the full zip from the client area, upload all files, and then go to Applications. At the bottom of that page you will see a list of available but not installed applications. Just click the application you want to install.

Unsupported Legacy upgrades to Invision Community

If you are upgrading from IP.Board or below to Invision Community 4, there are special considerations you should take.


We do not provide support for IP.Board product (3.x downward) product in any way. This guide is provided purely as a knowledgebase article on how you would go about this, should you wish to attempt to do so. If you feel you may require assistance, please take a look at the providers section, where you may find 3rd parties who offer this service. A direct link to this can be found here


IP.Board 3.x

An unmaintained upgrade path from 3.x is available for use directly from invision community using the above mentioned manual upgrade path.

3.x items that are not compatible with 4.x:

  • Skins
  • Skin images
  • Third party hooks
  • Third party applications
  • Languages

All base data, including: members, forums, topics, posts, etc. will remain intact and upgrade to Invision Community

Please ensure that you have a full backup of your database and file system your community prior to upgrading. 

Requirements for Invision Community
You may wish to use our requirements checker to be sure your server supports our software before proceeding.

IMPORTANT: Upgrades to PHP and MySQL that show in the requirements checker must be done prior to upgrade. You need to be aware once you upgrade these, your 3.4 installation will not work. This is because 3.4 is not compatible with the latest versions of PHP and MySQL, and is nothing to worry about. Just continue with uploading the 4.x files, and running the upgrade as normal.

UTF8 Requirements

Invision Community requires UTF8 when upgrading, if your current database is not UTF8, during the first steps of the upgrade process, you will be prompted to run a UTF8 conversion, this is all built into the upgrader and works very well. Once this step is completed, you will be taken back to the upgrade routine.

Checking URL's and storage paths prior to upgrading
It's important to check your urls and upload paths in your admincp on 3.x prior to upgrading, for example if you have more than one url parked on your hosting configuration, the upload paths and urls should only match your current url of the site.

User / Display Names
Usernames and display names have been merged in Invision Community. As the administrator, you may select which to keep during the upgrade process. Please note that this field will be the publicly displayed field for the user. 

Friends / Followers
Instead of friends, Invision Community features followers. A member now has the ability to follow another member without that being automatically reciprocal. You have the option of converting friends to followers.

Question and Answer Forums
Previous versions of the software allowed enabling of "Mark as Solved" on a per-forum basis. Invision Community enhances this functionality by allowing members to ask questions and rate their answers. 

Validating Group
When upgrading to Invision Community, the validating group is merged into the members group with a "Validating Flag" these users will be prompted to validate their account or continue as a guest on the forum until they do so, using the guest group permission set.

IP.content > Pages
Upgrading ip.content to pages will upgrade your ip.content database, and content to the new Pages Application, however all blocks and templates will need to be re-created in IPS4 after the upgrade.


Moderator CP - Deleted Content
If you have any items in the deleted content before upgrading, these items will be removed on upgrading to Invision Community, so in some cases you may have this set to a long period before it's actually deleted, if so, and you need these items, restore them before upgrading. This is not common and in Invision Community when you delete an item, it's deleted instantly, so there is no "removed content" section in the modcp anymore.


 IP Board 2.x

There is no direct upgrade path from 2.x to our latest products. However you may find a 3rd party who can do this. Please take a look at the providers section, where you may find 3rd parties who offer this service. A direct link to this can be found here


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