first, there is no need to get a new server for any of this. you have probably wasted your money on that.
if you insist on doing a test run then you can either do it on your normal site with backups or install the server software on your computer to do it that way.
however, none of that is needed.
you always make backups before starting any thing like this.
you have to make those backups to do it the way you are talking about anyway.
once you have a database and file backup safely on your computer, you can do the upgrade on your live board with no real danger.
even if it all goes crazy and dies a horrible death, you are only a few clicks away from a complete recovery.
so, here is the proper procedure to upgrade from 3.0 to 3.1:
Upgrading from phpbb 3.0.x to phpbb 3.1.x
- Your server must be running at least PHP 5.3.3 and less than PHP 7
- Most MODs for 3.0.x are incompatible with 3.1.x and their functionality will be removed in the update process.
- Styles for 3.0.x cannot be installed or used on 3.1.x.
- Backup up your board's files and database
- Download the Support Toolkit. Install it and run the database cleaner to remove all old MODs from the database.
- Deactivate all styles except for prosilver
- Ensure that the activated spambot countermeasure is one of the standard phpBB plugins (Simple image, GD image, GD 3D image, Q&A, reCaptacha).
- Set British English as the only language pack
- Delete all of your phpBB 3.0.x files EXCEPT for the following:
- Upload the contents of the phpBB3 directory from the uncompressed 3.1.x Full Package (EXCEPT for
config.php) into your forum's directory (Note: you don't want to overwrite your original
- Browse to
yourdomain.com/yourphpbb/install/database_update.php and keep clicking the continue button until it says it is finished. This will take a long time on a large board, maybe hours. Dont give up.
- Delete the folder named
- Hold one foot in the air and spin around in a circle three times saying "I am a phpbb guru".