Category Archives: Web Design

Transferring a WordPress Installation across Domains

Wordpress LogoIt’s pretty easy to move your blog across domains / servers but you want to make sure you have the time to do it – so plan ahead! Also not, that if you have just registered the domain it will take time (usually 24 – 72 hours) to propagate around the web, so if you transfer before this time, your blog may be unreachable – that’s just the way the web is!

There are a couple of steps involved:

1. Backup your WordPress Database
2. Backup your server and all WordPress files
3. Change the configuration of your installation
4. Backup the new database
5. Backup the new server files
6. Transfer db and files
7. Enjoy!

Step 1 – Backup your Database
There are a number of way to do this, the easiest if your not to technically au’fay would be to get an excellent wordpress db dackup plugin:

http://www.ilfilosofo.com/blog/wp-db-backup
http://skippy.net/wordpress-database-backup

If you don’t mind jumping right on in, then most prefer something like phpmyadmin, most web hosts have this installed by default. Log in, select your db and then export, make sure the export is set to SQL and then under the options (on the right) make sure ‘Add DROP TABLE’, ‘Add AUTO_INCREMENT value’ and ‘Enclose table and field names with backquotes’ are all checked. Check ‘Data’ and ‘Complete inserts’ and ‘Use Hexadecimal for binary fields’. Check ‘Save as file’, then normally for large db’s ‘zipped’ and hit go! You now have a copy of your entire database on your computer – name it something sensible like SiteNameOLD.zip and keep it somewhere safe.

Step 2 – Backup your server and all WordPress Files
Connect up to your server via FTP and you want to dump the root of the site to your computer. There are two ways to do this:

1. Depending on your FTP client – you should just be able to ‘drag and drop’ all the files from the root of your site to your computer – this is very time consuming if you have a lot of files.

2. Use your control panel with your hosting company and find the directory with your blog in it, then compress all the files into an archive, then use FTP to take that one file off.

Make sure you get everything and then name this file something like SiteNameDumpOLD.zip. Of course if your a real genius you could use SSH, but then you wouldn’t need me explaining all of this!

Step 3 – Change your Configuration
Login to your WordPress installation and head to the options tab. Change both the URL sections to match the URL of the new diomain. ‘Update’ and expect your site to stop working :(

Step 4 & 5 – Repeating Steps 1 & 2
This is simply so you have a before and after set of files. It’s a bit anal, but at least you have every version of your site and as such can restore to any of thee states. Make sure to name these files SiteNameNEW.zip and SiteNameDumpNEW.zip.

Step 6 – Transferring the Database
If your lucky your database is hosted on a seperate database server and if it is you don’t need to change any files at all. All you need to do is transfer the contents of SiteNameDumpNEW.zip into the root of the server and you should be good to go.

If you are moving hosts it is very likely that your database username / password and location will have changed. Use phpmyadmin to import the database data taken in step 4 (this now has the new URL strings in it) and then edit the wp-config.php parameters to match your new database details. Head to to your new site URL and hey presto – migration successful!

What did we just do?
It’s simple if your think about it, we backed up the db and WordPress installation. Told our blog the new URL which rewrote all of the URL’s in the db. Transfered the new db and files to the new server. Told the blog where to find the database (wp-config.php) and away we went. This is just one way of doing it, there are many others but this is probably the most simple.

Developer Environment – Part 1

People often ask me what I use to develop a website and how I go about it. I can’t cover it all in one blog post, but I can give a brief overview of what I use and how I use it.

I’ve always thought that there is no right or wrong way to design your site – some people love Dreamweaver, some people prefer Notepad – it’s all down to your own personal coding style. I do all of my development work on a Mac, but a great deal of the software I use has it’s counterpart in the Windows world.

SkEdit Text EditorSkEdit – http://www.skti.org/skedit/
I have used this from day one (well, when the software was released). Brilliant tabbed interface for multiple file editing, quick preview with your favourite browser (set these in a list), code highlighting (fully customisable), code completion and my favourite find and replace system ever – this is one of those simple little applications that does exactly what it claims to and incredibly well. Also available to use with a subversion repo with additional plugin.

TextMate text editorTextMate – http://macromates.com/
One of the oldest and greatest Macintosh text editors, name a function and it probably lives within TextMate somewhere. What I love about TextMate is the sheer speed with which it  can complete tasks – not to take anything away from SkEdit above, but code highlighting in TM is second to none. What’s really great is the ability to download ‘code’ bundles from the TM site allowing you to add code highlighting and completion rules at will.

Coda from Panic SoftwareCoda – http://www.panic.com/coda/
When code broke onto the scene about a year ago it blew my mind. They have the text editor from SubEtherEdit (one of the better) and jammed a full Markup editor with all the bells and whistles in, along with a proper preview window (in app, based on WebKit), W3C validation checking (very handy and functional), a FTP engine (based on the Best FTP app – Transmit), ssh terminal and if all of that wasn’t enough an ‘in app’ library with full access to PHP, XHTML and CSS reference books – just try it out, it’s really very good and well worth the coinage.

Part 2 coming shortly….

Generosity for nought more than… well nothing?

When I’m not feverishly working on 20 projects / a new office build / a new database / a global website launch etc, I like to spend a bit of time scouring the web to see what’s new / what’s useful. So in those spare few moments I hop onto the usual places digg / del.ico.us / smashing magazine / a list apart and see what’s new. Today I stumbled across something great on del.ico.us. I love the fact that some people on the web are so generous with their wares – whether it’s their GPL’d code, a free CSS template or in this case an awesome set of photoshop shapes.

If you get a spare sec in your day, go and visit the site (or more specifically the page with these shapes on it!) Dezignus – http://dezignus.com/floristic_shapes/.

The Brethren

Completely slipped my mind, been working on this site since last year, incremental updates and the like. These guys are a little band from Tiverton, Devon and have built up quite a following – great fun to design for, I’ve done them some flyer’s, album artwork and branded them with the distinctive slashed diagonals – I hope they do well, they deserve to.

The Brethren Band

By all means go and check out their site – The Brethren don’t forget to listen to a few of their tracks at the bottom of the page. They even have a store and you guessed it…. a nicely themed myspace page.

Ars Technica Pissed Web Coder?

I often get a few minutes off while designing the complexities of our latest and greatest projects, so imagine my surprise whilst browsing ars code and I found this link to one of their javascript files:

http://media.arstechnica.com/ars.static/jscripts/iesux.v1412615973.js

Loved it – iesux.js, I can almost see that moment.

The web coder (bob) is sitting at his desk – “There, finished!”, enter Boss character “Uh, bob we’ve just tried the site in IE…… a few problems…..”, back to bob “What? Oh, for fucks sake, fucking IE, 12 months I’ve been on this this F’in project and now it all goes to shit…. right….. right, ok….. I’ll fix it” the boss leaves, back to bob, “I’ll F’ing fix it alright. Right…. new file…. enter name…. iesux… yeah that’ll do it’

I know how he feels, even the VARS in the file reflect the obviously aggressive mood:

var iesux = {
    stupid_highlight_bug : function(e){ document.body.style.height..
    stupid_sticky_positioning : function(e){ var body..
    fix_stupid_bugs: function(){ iesux.stupid_highlight_bug();.. 
    iesux.stupid_sticky_positioning(); $('#Sidebar').show();..
}

This is a constant source of absolute irritation in my daily work patterns, make something beautiful, something sexy, something clever, test, test and test again. Finalise it, few more tests…. oh it’s fucked – scream! Rewrite several times for IE compatibility, test, fix, test, fix and if I’m lucky deploy.

Maybe I’m just a crappy coder! The thought had occured.

W3C Web Standard Buttons

Ok, so I make a lot of sites – some good, some not so good, but when it’s a good site I like to show the site visitors that I have taken the time and energy to create a clean compliant batch of markup, so I use those itty bitty buttons your all so used to seeing.

W3C Web Standard Buttons

Being the nice guy that I am, I’ve put 2 sets up as a little .png above. Feel free to download it and use them for your own nefarious purposes – maybe they will help a few people out.