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  • #988867
    IronMaiden
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    Well I bit the bullet a few months ago, and decided to redo our old and tired html website and find myself a nice wordpress template and redesign the whole thing. I was subscribed to another members newsletter and she had a couple articles on setting up a ‘test’ site on a sub-domain. Video and written instructions were all there to follow and another tutorial on how to make it live was also on hand. The instructions were really clear so I delved in and started working on the project. I’d done some study in the past so was a bit familiar with html but php, etc makes me nervous.

    I started the test site nearly 12 months ago. I got to the point where I was ready to load the site into the root directory and found that the site along with it’s videos and tutorials I had so desperately and appreciatively referred to were gone. Hmm how to transfer it to the main domain? I contacted the person who had the ‘tutorial’ site but wasn’t given any assistance. Now what! After many searches on the web I found some tutorials on how to move the files to the public folder.

    Last night I nervously set about doing the 301 redirects in the .htaccess file. Feeling motivated (adrenalin from the fear of mucking up really) I proceeded to copy the files from the test site to the main domain. Eek I forgot one vital step … the backup. I hit some hiccups but managed to get it all working. The problem I’m now encountering is that I’m not sure if it’s rendering from the ‘test’ sub-domain or if it is actually all coming off the files in the domain’s root directory. I can log into http://www.test.farmweld.com.au with the same login but it then reverts to http://www.farmweld.com.au. I’ve been trying to do backups using various plugins but they’re all timing out – due to high CPU usage. I have managed to backup the database through phpMyAdmin and have ftp’d the wp-content folder’s contents to my computer, as well as the .htaccess, wp-config.php and wp-login.php files but not sure what else I need to save everything. I’d like to keep a test site up but sharing the same database is obviously causing problems (I can’t access the test files from the backend) so I figure I need to delete the test site’s files and start a new WP installation on the test sub-domain.

    Further to all this I also came across some info which stated that it was more secure to leave wp in a sub-directory. Now I’m really confused. I’d assumed running it from the root was better where Google was concerned (SEO and all that).

    After over 24 hours of messing about, and only 4 hours sleep, I’m at the point where I think it may be better to hand this over to an expert. I’ve still a fair bit of work to do on the website (building content) so would appreciate any help with this backend stuff, especially before Google starts to penalise me for duplicate content! The site is http://www.farmweld.com.au Please be gentle with me, my brain is pretty frazzled so any instructions will need to be at a novice level, step by step, or if needs be I’ll just hand the job over to someone.

    #1169328
    adrian
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    Looks like you can relax a bit as far as duplicate content goes. The subdomain looks to be out of the picture as far as WordPress internals are concerned. But you do probably want to grab the images from test.farmweld.com.au. WordPress stores links to media using the full path to the image, so you may want to copy them over, or re-add them.

    Sounds good you’ve got the database backed up. If you’ve got that and the contents of your FTP you’re sorted as far as backups go. You might want to look into something like WAMP (http://www.wampserver.com/en/) or MAMP (http://www.mamp.info/en/). That way you can develop the site locally on your computer and also have a backup on your computer.

    The security issue essentially boils down to hiding your login link. There are other ways to do that, but if you keep a reasonable password you should be fine. Also, WordPress rewrites the URL’s, so you can have page show up as serving from the root URL even if they’re coming from a subdirectory.

    That said, WordPress can have an issue with generating duplicate content itself. Yoast probably does the best WordPress SEO plugin, and they also have a nice writeup on duplicate content, and how to avoid it, here – https://yoast.com/articles/duplicate-content/

    Hope this helps. And great work with how far you’ve gone so far!

    #1169329
    Greg_M
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    Congratulations on having a go yourself (and succeeding it seems :)). Coming to grips with all the tech stuff can be pretty daunting, but extremely satisfying when you finally get it right.

    I rather like the site … fast to load, clear info, easy to navigate and it renders well when I resize the browser to a small screen size.

    I rarely use WP any more but another way to run a test site is to use “version control” via something like “Git”. With Git you have a “clone site” running locally (or remotely), when you’re happy with the changes, you “push” the changes to the server (no FTP).

    Not sure if you can run this type of version control on shared hosting though, but I do know there’s WP developers on FS using it for deploying sites.

    Regardless, hope the new site works well for you.

    Cheers

    #1169330
    IronMaiden
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    Thank you both for your very kind words of encouragement and advice. You have no idea how much that means to me :) As a novice, learning my way through the catacombs of WordPress and sorting through the many opinions, etc of how to do this, that or the other it’s certainly been a steep learning curve.

    Adrian, all the files/folders were copied over to the root via the File Manager in CPanel. I assumed that everything has been copied over including the images. If you’ve seen that they’re rendering from the test site (how do you check this?) I’d say that it’s possibly the links that haven’t changed. I used Blue Velvet URL update to change the test.farmweld links to farmweld and also clicked on the permalinks (saved) after the files were copied over, but if you’ve seen that they’re coming from the test site it may not have altered those links. Do you have any suggestion as to how I can go about doing this, short of going through every image and redoing them (which I assume means uploading every image into the posts/pages and galleries?

    Re the backup, the many plugins I used all just hung. The files are apparently about 256MB and from what I can tell the server has exceeded the CPU usage. Does this mean I need to talk to change to another plan? I really don’t understand all that hosting stuff, e.g. dedicated servers, shared servers, SSL, etc.

    By the way, I’m not sure my words can convey enough, how appreciative I am!

    #1169331
    adrian
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    It sounds like you’ve copied the images over fine. The problem is that when you add images to WordPress via it’s media manager, it stores the link to the image with the full path, instead of a relative path. All that means is that instead of something like ./image/foo.jpg, it stores the full web site address of the image in the database, with subdomain and all included. The database doesn’t those addresses have changed. You can see by right clicking on a page, then searching for ‘test.farmweld’. You’ll see any links using the subdomain (geek side note – I use Chrome dev tools all the time for this sort of thing, it’s brilliant for digging into sites, but there’s a lot to learn).

    I’ve never used a plugin to update links to media, so can’t comment, but that Blue Velvet plugin sounds like it’s for updating links to pages, and attachments like documents and PDFs (?). It may be worth asking on their support forum and seeing if you can get an answer. The WordPress codex (the best place for tech info) suggests that for images either doing a database search and replace, or using the online tool linked in the article.

    The database backup is not a problem. Don’t get me wrong, you _really_ want a valid backup of your database. But a backup through phpMyAdmin is totally fine. It would be very useful for you to set up one of the options I mentioned. That way you can have the site running locally on your own computer, and you’ll know for sure you have everything you need.

    On the topic of Git. Don’t do it :) I love Git, and use it every day as part of my work, but it would be adding a layer of complexity you don’t need at the moment. Git is great for keeping versions of files, and for working with a team, but with WordPress you still need to take care of your database separately. It’s used more for the design and code side of WordPress than for content.

    It sounds like your site is starting to overpower your server :) You may want to upgrade you hosting. I don’t know who you host with, or your plan, but your easiest bet may be to upgrade hosting with your current provider. If that doesn’t seem like a good option, I’d probably ask around for hosting recommendations here. I’ve used ventraip before, they were pretty good and Aussie based (which is good for your Aussie SEO), but I found them occasionally susceptible to the ‘busy neighbour’ thing with shared hosting. I keep most of my sites on MediaTemple, but they are US based, so may not be a best fit for you.

    FYI, here’s a super quick rundown of the terms you mentioned in case they’re confusing you:

    Dedicated server: a server just for you. No-one else has a site on it, so your site runs quicker, and has more processor use. You normally get more of everything, disk space, processor, memory, and price.

    Shared server: a box (server) at your host that has heaps of sites on it. This generally works out fine, as most sites out there don’t have many visitors, and many can share the one box. It can be an issue when a ‘neighbour’ on the same box gets a heap of traffic. Also, hosts often limit the resources you can use.

    SSL: don’t worry about it, unless you find out you need it for a specific use. It’s a way of encrypting data between the visitor and the server. Very important when it comes to private and financial data. Not so important for other things. Not too hard to set up, but very dependent on things like your host, and who you registered your domain with.

    Hope this helps. And keep with it, you’re almost exactly where you want to be! Until you decide you just want to do a bit more, then do a site for a friend, and then next thing, you’re a web developer!

    Cheers

    #1169332
    IronMaiden
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    For future reference just in case anyone else does something similar, I found that the plugin Velvet Blues URL Update changed all my urls except for those in the widgets and the banners in the meta slider. It was simple enough to go to meta slider and hit save so it would update the permalinks, however each manual link I put in the text widgets had to be updated by hand.

    #1169333
    adrian
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    Thanks for the follow up. Really useful info. I replied yesterday, but it looks like that’s been held in moderation (?). Anyway, congratulations on working it out!

    #1169334
    Lisa Crocker
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    adrian, post: 196364 wrote:
    Thanks for the follow up. Really useful info. I replied yesterday, but it looks like that’s been held in moderation (?). Anyway, congratulations on working it out!

    Hi Adrian,

    Apologies, occasionally posts are incorrectly blocked by our spam filters. I have now approved your post.

    Cheers,
    Lisa

    #1169335
    adrian
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    No worries Lisa. Keeping spam at bay is more than worth a little inconvenience!

    #1169336
    martin.firth
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    If you wan’t someone you can quickly chat to for free, add me on Skype: martin.embersketch

    I must have migrated a thousand WordPress sites by now, I’ve got it down to a sub two minute process :D

    Good luck

    P.S It seems like your logo is still being fetched from your subdomain.

    #1169337
    IronMaiden
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    Once again Adrian thank you for your wonderful information. The positive feedback is really encouraging. Thank you also Martin for finding the logo issue and the offer to pick your brains. It would be great to know how to set up another test site which mimics what is now the main site so that I have something to play with. Nowhere on line could I find a step by step guide for setting up a test site on a subdomain and then transferring to the root directory. I couldn’t find an easy way of altering the code for the logo, so just uploaded it again.

    I used Adrian’s method of using Chrome (bringing up source code and then ‘find’) and found NextGen Gallery was still pulling images from the test site. A quick reset to default settings fixed that issue (after a much longer Google search for the solution). I’ve yet to delete the test site, and to be honest am scared of doing so in case the main website breaks!

    My next learning curve is to watch Google analytics and see why people are dropping off where they are. I’ve noticed that very few people have gone to the contact page, but wonder if this is also because our contact details are in the footer panel or because most people searching for our products tend to mull over the information before contacting us. A couple enquiries have come through from the weekend, but this is lower than usual.

    A quick question, does wordpress use alot more memory (processing) than an html website – so much so that it would slow things down as much as they seem to have? I wonder if things will improve once I delete the test site? What sort of plan do you recommend? I’m with NetOrigin on their ‘starter’ package.

    #1169338
    Anonymous
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    Hi Iron Maiden,

    I can’t add anything whatsoever to the techy conversation, but did want to congratulate you on the new website.

    I’ve visited your site a few times over the years and the way this new version showcases your products and also includes a sneak peak into the manufacturing processes is outstanding now.

    Good on you – especially considering that you’ve done it on your own. I’m very impressed!

    Jayne

    PS: Aren’t we lucky to have such generous tech folk around who are prepared to share their knowledge with us? (Thanks Adrian, Martin and Greg for stepping in to help. Love your work! :D)

    #1169339
    IronMaiden
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    Thank you Jayne. And here I was thinking I’d managed to lurk by under the radar with no one noticing me LOL. I think there are many people to thank for what I’ve achieved so far. So many people contribute to this community and I’ve learnt so much collectively from you all.

    Our phone calls and emails have dropped right off since I uploaded the new site last Thursday night but I wonder if that means that those who do contact us from now on will be better qualified. I just hope it’s not that I’ve put the price ranges up on the gates and that the pricing is scaring people off. Then again it could be this frosty weather too! Time will tell.

    As an aside, immediately after my post last night, someone tried to gain access to my wordpress site. I had over 220 notifications in my inbox this morning of “Too many failed login attempts” with several IP addresses being locked out. Each attempt tried 16 times and this went on over a period of 4 hours. Makes me think FS is being ‘stalked’. Looks like I’ve managed to secure the site well enough for now!

    #1169340
    adrian
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    Hi Iron Maiden,

    I don’t know of any sites that go through explaining how to use a subdomain for a testing site, then transferring it over. I’ve always tended to do it in a directory of the main site. That way almost nothing has to be moved anywhere, it’s just changing a few settings. If you’re interested in going into this deeper, a really nicely written eBook on WordPress is Digging Into WordPress http://digwp.com/, it’s where I picked up that technique (BTW, it’s the same technique you referred to earlier about being more secure by hosting the site in a directory).

    The old site shouldn’t use any memory, or processing, once it’s out of the picture. It’s just files sitting on a hard drive. I’d guess that if your site has a bit of traffic, it’s probably the database that’s slowing things down. Are you running any sort of caching (that just means that the site serves a stored copy of pages, rather than hitting the database for every page request)? Optimising WordPress is a whole topic to itself. That book I mentioned does a good job, or you can have a go with the WordPress Codex – http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Optimization

    From a quick look at netorigin, you’d probably have to upgrade to a virtual private server to notice any difference. It _may_ be worth swapping over for a month to see how it goes, (that would mean moving the site to a new server, then back if it wasn’t worth it) but I’d look at some performance optimisations first.

    To avoid the dodgy login attempts, you could move the site into a directory, or the quicker method is to use a plugin to rename the login page:
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/rename-wp-login/ It’s probably not FS being stalked, it probably just automated scripts that run through links on the web, and keep trying to find a /login page, then trying popular username/passwords when they do find one. That’s why it’s a really idea to both have a good password, and to rename admin accounts.

    Hope this helps.

    #1169341
    Peter – FS Administrator
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    Hi Iron Maiden,
    Thanks for following up on this. So great to hear the progress!
    In terms of the stalking, as Adrian suggested is is likely an automated bot crawling the web looking randomly for links/login pages – sometimes what they do is crawl popular sites looking for links and poke around to try and find insecure logins … and sometimes spammers will do a similar thing with email addresses. Hopefully it’s moved on to other pastures!
    If you do spot any other concerns do let us know and we can investigate if anything this end.
    Cheers
    Peter

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