This is the 4th post in the series for shifting websites from one server to another. The earlier posts in this series were as follows:
- Shift website hosting – part 1 (static site)
- Shift website hosting – part 2 (leftover emails)
- Shift website hosting – part 3 (1) (dynamic sites, CMS)
In this part, I ennumerate the steps for transferring a forum and a WordPress blog from one hosting provider to another. In earlier posts, I have written the steps in details. However in this post, unless necessary, I have not mentioned the details because they remain almost same.
First lets talk about a forum.
- Disable posting by changing use permissions or shut down the forum. In phpBB and vBulletin, there is an option to disable the forum. Use that option. I will personally prefer the first option so that visitors can at least read the forums and may also click on advertisements. 😉 But many times, it is easier to simply shut it down. Shutting down a forum or forum posting for transfer is a pretty drastic step! But there is no other alternative if you don’t want to lose contents.
- Transfer core code files (e.g. .php, .htm, .css, .js, .jpg, etc.) from the old hosting account to the new one.
- Backup the database and transfer it. If it is a MySQL database, start phpMyAdmin and use the export feature. Save the .sql file which can be imported in the new hosting account (again using phpMyAdmin). However, in cPanel based hostings, there are other ways of backing up database as well. More about it will come in other posts.
- Login to the admin panel using the new host’s IP address and enable posting/forum.
- Update DNS of domain name. As soon as the DNS propogation is complete, visitors will start seeing the active forum on new site.
Intially some visitors will see the old forum and some will see the new one. Whoever goes to the old forum, will see a disabled forum. So put an appropriate message. This happens because ISPs have their own cache. As already mentioned in earlier posts, how soon do they refresh their cache depends on TTL (Time To Live). Usually it takes 48-72 hours for DNS propogation to complete.
Now lets talk about a WordPress Blog. But why only a WordPress blog? There are two reasons:
- WordPress is one of the most widely used and most popular blog application. Most people with their own domain/hosting use WordPress.
- That is the only blog application that I have ever used. However, most blogging applications use its core source files and a database (mailnly MySQL). So these steps will more or less remain the same for any blogging application.
A blogging application (now onwards I will say “WP“) is more or like a CMS (Content Management System) with only once exception. In a site that uses a CMS, user input/comments do not form an integral part of contents. But in a blog, comments are given quite a bit of importance. While transferring a blog, there is only one way to prevent a loss of user comments! Disable them!
Here is how to disable user comments in WP:
- Login to the dashboard
- Go to Options
- Go to Discussion
- Disable “allow people to post comments on the article”.
Here are the steps of transferring a WP blog from one hosting account to another. On the whole these steps will remain more or less same for any PHP+MySQL web-application.
- Disable the comments.
- Make a post announcing the shift and stop posting further. Specify in the post why comments are disabled temporarily.
- Transfer the core code files (e.g. .php, .htm, .css, .js, .jpg, etc.).
- Transfer the database.
- Change DNS.
- After DNS propogation is complete enable the comments and make a post announcing that transfer is complete and comments are enabled again.
With this post, I think I complete the basics of shifting various types of sites from one hosting account to another. 🙂 Of course, there are various other things that one need to consider and various other ways of transferring sites. For example, there are ways in cPanel to directly transfer files from one server to another. But more about that later!
PS: Thank you Bhavik for pushing me. Without your push, I would have never finished this post. 🙂