Have you ever tried to start something knowing full well that any mistake you commit may result to irreversible damage?
Yesterday, I did exactly that.
I migrated one of my personal sites from one hosting to another, with zero previous knowledge of how to do it, relying on the little knowledge I have of how the cPanel works, and fully aware that one single letter I add or delete from the code will break my site and be gone forever.
I have my partner and dear friend, Jennyfer Tan, known to most people as The Techie Mom, who does all migration and technical stuff for me. But with the influx of hacking and phishing alerts we’ve been getting on our hosted sites, I’ve been spending a lot of time on the cPanel. And while there, I got to thinking, why not try something I’ve never done before?
Let me just say here that I’ve been managing WordPress websites for years, and I have built all my personal and business sites by myself, so as far as the WordPress dashboard is concerned, I’m a pro.
Site migration is a totally different story.
Backing Up and Exporting
Sunday is usually a slow day for me. I do most of my side hustles over the weekend. And while I was waiting for feedback on the salon website I’m setting up, I decided to try migrating one of my WordPress sites from where it is now to the new hosting that I have recently purchased for this blog. This has been part of my plan of getting all my ducks in a row. All my sites under one hosting account.
Backing up the site was completed without any problem. Same thing with the export. I was feeling really good with myself!
Creating the new database and installing WordPress
Next thing I did was add the domain to the hosting. This is also another process that I have perfected over the years, since I do offer web hosting. So adding the domain to host, installing WordPress and pointing the domain to the server is easy peasy. But this process of migration is a bit tricky. The site I was going to migrate is live. So I need to create a temporary URL within the hosting so I can migrate the site there, test if it’s working, before I point the domain to the new server. This way, the site will remain live where it is while I’m migrating.
And if I ever mess it up, the site will still be intact where it is.
The tricky part is that… while I am used to creating a temporary URL for about-to-be migrated sites, I could not find a way to do that with this new hosting. So I went ahead and installed WordPress to the subdomain.
And kept my fingers crossed that I would be able to figure out later how to switch that URL to the actual site address.
Uploading the exported files to the new server
The upload, just like the export, went without any problem at all.
Then it was time to test the link.
As expected, the URL that was showing was the exact WordPress Address URL. That is not what we want to see. What we want is the Site Address URL, so I went to WP dashboard > Settings > General, and changed the site address URL to just the domain URL, not the subdomain.
That worked, but something’s not right with the site. When I try to display the site using just the domain, some weird characters were appearing instead of symbols. Like the dropdown arrows on the main menu were appearing as numbers, and the icons of my social media links were appearing as weird squares.
Okay, so this is the part where I’m actually kicking myself for not taking some screenshots so I could show what I’m talking about. But I didn’t actually plan of blogging about the experience, so there.
The hunt for the correct code
I’m not a techie person, and codes and I have never been formally introduced.
But I do have a good head on my shoulders, so I did what any thinking person should do.
I found exactly what I need from this site. But the solution given made me pause a bit.
The code has to be added to the .htaccess file.
And do you know that the .htaccess file is a hidden file? It is hidden for a reason. The reason being so that nobody who has no business touching it will touch it.
And being non-techie qualifies me as a person who has no business touching it.
But I am determined! I can do this! So I unhid the file and clicked on edit.
Breathe in… breathe out…
Pasted the code at the end of the script, and here is the migrated site now. If you click on the photo you can actually go and visit the site.
There are still a number of pages in draft mode. I have been working on this site on and off in the past years. This site is what I use for all my affiliate activities. There are a few Amazon pages not shown on the menu, coz they are for customers’ private shopping.
I’m calling it that because my goal is to make it a platform where WAHM-preneurs can meet and support each other. I have a few businesses already listed. And I’d like to encourage you, to list your business, be it a product or a service, here. Listing is free. Just your business name, a short description of what your business is about, and a link to your site or social media profile.
Banner ads on the sidebar, footer, and within blog posts are also welcome for a minimal fee. Just to fund the site’s maintenance. Please message me for details.
I also welcome guest posts just like the article already featured, How to Make Mango Puree. That article was written by a friend from an advocacy group I’m a part of. I welcome articles that will also inspire others to start something.
Start Where You Are, Use What You Have, Do What You Can
Wherever you are, whatever you have, whatever you do, you have the power to start something.
DISCLAIMER: While I do encourage anything DIY, technical stuff is something that I would personally leave to the experts. Especially if the site is more that 500MB. 🙂
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