(continued from previous entry)
The migration-and-remigration process started with me backing up 1. Any person who works a lot with computers learns sooner or later – usually later, and all too often the hard way – is that before trying anything new and potentially risky you back up whatever you wouldn’t want to lose if things go sideways. What with the staggering amount I don’t know the chances of sideways motion seemed exponentially increased so backing up first appeared an even better idea than usual. (Because actually you need to back up all the time, whether or not you’re trying something new. That’s a future entry though.)
I’ve been using UpdraftPlus (UDP) for site backup awhile now; I say using because although the plugin’s installed I hadn’t done a restore from it. Never had to; it copies to a remote location – my Amazon S3 on some sites I administer, my Dropbox account on others – and that’s been that. I didn’t think I’d need UDP once the backup was done as my coach had recommended a plugin named Duplicator for the migration, but when I found UDP also offered a migration function in its pro version I decided to go the whole way with that instead. So I upgraded from the free version and while I was at it sprung for the developer license so I could use it on however many sites I wanted: $125 for the first year, only the second WP-related purchase I’ve made to date.
Then I set up site 2. It’s a new one, a WP sandbox entirely for mocking up stand-alone sites on its own sub-domain – I already have a multisite sandbox but one of the things I didn’t understand about UDP before I bought the license is it only works for apples-to-apples migrations, multi-site to multi-site and stand-alone to stand-alone and never cross the streams blah blah. So much for quick fixes.
For the sake of experience I used the hosting service’s one-click WP install on 2. That took a long time (made even longer by me totally mucking up the MySQL 5 database setup – I’ve done little to no new-site setup the last couple years and apparently I’ve forgotten most of the little I knew to begin with) and as a result I got a lot of add-ons and plug-ins I don’t even know what are, not to mention way too many appeals from the hosting service to have me pay them to let them take care of everything. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again.
Once site 2 was up I uploaded the UDP zip there (with UDP migration must be done from the to location). Or tried to: file upload size is limited by the hosting service and because of either the one-click install or my limited knowledge or both I soon found couldn’t upload hacked htaccess or php.ini files that would increase it. So I ended up doing it the old-fashioned way: FTP upload, although that involved a longer delay while I stumbled around setting that up. (More stuff forgotten with disuse. Argh.) By the time I got the FTP in order and UDP where it should be the day was effectively over.
Next day – my attempted bright and early start hit an immediate snag when I went to restore/migrate the backup from 1 to 2 and realized I had no idea how to retrieve the files from Amazon S3 and no patience to take the time to learn, so I diverted the backup to my Dropbox and performed it again. Then I did the restore/migrate and finally, finally, something worked without a hitch.
So with 2 now perfect I zapped 1, re-installed WP as multi-site, and started the export/import process. (Not migration. No stream-crossing, remember.) First up was downloading the Uploads folder from the new 2, a folder of course containing the media library from 2, then FTPing it up to 1. Easily done, as was exporting posts/pages etc. from 2 using WordPress Exporter (with the “include download/upload file attachments” option checked) and then importing it to 2 using same. Finally, crossing my fingers and hoping it worked.
It mostly did. I estimate c. 90% of the media links now work as expected while the other 10% I’ll have to restore manually. Since this is no more than 15 links that’ll be more annoying than time-consuming. Still annoying though.
So that’s a good part of my week so far. I suspect I could have taken shortcuts at several places had I known them. I know I could have cut the time down if I’d had a little more practice, and more recently. The only even-partial salve to my pride is that during the process I reached out for help but once – to UDP support, with a question that long before I got a reply to I had found the answer on my own. Or maybe that’s not something to be proud of at all. Figuring things out for yourself when you don’t necessarily have to isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Once I truly learn that perhaps I’ll stop thinking of myself as a professional tenderfoot.