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Hosting Switch: Transferring my WordPress Blog to 1&1 from Vidahost

By Technology, The WebNo Comments

My blog has been hosted on Vidahost for a number of years. But they recently emailed to inform me a price hike. So I decided to switch to another hosting provider, this blog post is about the process of transferring my WordPress blog from one server to another.

I should add that it wasn’t just the price hike that caused me to make this decision. Customer support is much poorer now than it has been in the past. For example: I got an email stating I was running out of disk space. I opened a ticket to see if I could increase disk space without upgrading package. The Customer Agent basically said no.

Then when I was transferring my files from Vidahost’s (old) server to 1&1’s (new) server (more details below) I noticed huge error logs (2.5GB one of them) and many .core files (100-200MB each). These files had eaten up my disk space (from the usual 2GB of 10GB used). At one time a Vidahost’s Customer Agent would have looked at my files on the server to see why I had run out of space all of a sudden, spotted the problem and resolved it.

1and1-hosting-screenshot

I recently switched hosting provider to 1&1’s.

I asked my friends on Facebook if they could recommend a good, UK-based Hosting provider. One of my friend’s husband recommended 1&1’s.

I decided to transfer my hosting as 1&1 offered a better price, unlimited bandwidth (which I was always in the red on Vidahost), unlimited disk space and more up-to-date servers (I’d recently had a few problems updating WordPress plugins on Vidahost servers due to PHP version).

But the prospect of moving my WordPress blog from one server to another was daunting. How the hell do I do that? I thought to myself. So I Googled it and found this great Step by Step Guide by WPExplorer.

There were a few hiccups. I successfully exported my WordPress database, but when I went to import it on the new server it timed out. I checked the database on the new server and found it was missing the last few fields. So I googled and found this site Exporting Your Database from Your Previous Host by WPEngine, which explains how to export specific fields. I exported the missing fields and then imported them. First problem solved.

Then I downloaded my files from the old server and uploaded them to the new server using ForkLift by Binarynights without any problems. I changed my wp-config.php and uploaded it. My second problem was an Error Establishing Database Connection. I googled the error and found How to Fix Error Establishing Database Connection by wpbeginner. This site helped me realise what I hadn’t updated in the wp-config.php.

My final step was to change the NameServers for my domain. I did this and my blog and emails went down for about 24 hours while NameSever propagation took place.

Once my blog and emails were back up, my final problem was that my blog wasn’t displaying right. Nothing I did fixed the problem. In the end I opened both the old server and new server’s File Explorers in Google Chrome.

It was then spotted the problem, all folders and files had different file permissions on the new server. So I changed them to match the settings on my current server, which solved the problem. Here is an article that explains more about file permissions: Ask Unbuntu – What is meaning of 755 permissions.

Another website I found extremely helpful in this transfer process was: WordPress Migration Problems and How to Fix Them by Nelio.

So there we have it. Job done.

Blog soon,

Antony

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My Top 10 Blog Posts/Pages in 2016

By The WebNo Comments

I’ve had a look at my stats to discover my top 10 blog posts/pages this year. Here is the list, click any title or image below to be taken to the blog post/page in a new tab or window:

Image Map

Note: If you are viewing this blog post on a mobile device. You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘View Desktop Version’ in order for the image map above to work correctly.

Blog soon,

Antony

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Reader Survey 2016

By The Web, Thinking4 Comments

Hi all,

Welcome to the Reader Survey 2016! I try to do a Reader Survey once a year, as your feedback is vital. I like to know a bit about my readers, what you like and what you dislike. I want to improve my offer to you and write about things you find interesting.

Previously I’ve used Survey Monkey, but this year I’m using a WordPress Plugin called WP-Polls. The advantage with this plugin is that it can be put on the sidebar, set on random display, so that readers can answer one quick question.

For those of you who want to complete the full Readers Survey 2016, here it is with just 13 questions:

1.

[poll id=”2″]
2.

[poll id=”5″]
3.

[poll id=”6″]
4.

[poll id=”7″]
5.

[poll id=”8″]
6.

[poll id=”9″]
7.

[poll id=”10″]
8.

[poll id=”11″]
9.

[poll id=”12″]
10.

[poll id=”13″]
11.

[poll id=”14″]
12.

[poll id=”15″]
13.
[poll id=”16″]

Blog soon,

Antony

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Blog Development: A Complete Theme Redesign by TRH Development

By LifeNo Comments
people-per-hour-logo Over the years my blog theme had become out of date and the CSS had been cannibalised. So I was looking for a WordPress expert to do a complete redesign of the current theme. I found Tia from from TRH Development on people per hour.

I explained to Tia what I wanted, we agreed a price and she got to work. My role was to give her feedback as we went along. Here’s a list of work Tia did for me:

  • Complete redesign of my blog using a child theme of Twenty Fourteen (to allow for theme updates).
  • Coded to the highest HTML5 and CSS3 standards. This CSS3 was essential as the style sheet on my old theme had been cannibalised over the years and was full of conflicts.
  • WordPress Menu Functionality – including support for sub-menus. A major reason for this update was to allow me to use the added functionality features of WordPress.
  • A mobile/tablet version of the site.
  • The ability for the reader to Switch between the Desktop/Mobile versions, which is possible by using a link in the footer.
  • Removal of the ‘Go’ button with the search input field.
  • Archives expand to include post titles.
  • Photo caption boxes have been slimed down at the sides, making them stylistically look better.
  • Various minor tweaks based on my feedback to make the theme’s look as close as possible to the old theme.

Tia also added two great new features:

  • Pagination – which is the page bar under the blog posts on the home page. I really like this page browsing experience for readers.
  • Lightbox image viewer with play/pause slideshow. I love this. I have some great photos. Now if you click any image on a photo post or page (such as Photos) it brings up the image full size without leaving the page and allows you to play/pause a slideshow.

To follow on from Tia’s superb work, I also made a few minor tweaks to the blog myself:

  • Changed the font from Arial to Verdana.
  • Removal of the large Amazon banner on the sidebar.
  • Added book cover thumbnail images on the I’m Reading and On My Bookshelf sections on the sidebar.
  • Changed UL in style sheet to square.

Tia at TRH Development was awesome. I intend on using her again, probably later in the year, to design me a WordPress theme for my professional writers website. My feedback for Tia on people per hour really says it all:

Awesome. Brilliant. Excellent Communicator. Job done to the highest standard. I can’t heap enough praise on Tia for the expert knowledge & skills along with her professionalism. Am already planning my next project with her.

So if you need a Developer for a website, I highly recommend Tia from TRH Development.

Blog soon,

Antony

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