One of our clients, Spotted Dog Nursery came to us with an exciting new project. As a nursery they use a lot of specially designed outdoor clothes to ensure the children can play out in all weather. Their main supplier Rock and Rain – http://www.rockandrain.co.uk had decided to close down their business and naturally, given their knack for business growth, Claire and Martin Robinson decided to buy the business – lock, stock and barrel. And most importantly for us – the website.

The challenge for us was to take on the hosting and support of the website. Simple enough. The website after all was built in WordPress. If only that had been the case….

WordPress advises that when migrating a website from one server to another to take the following steps:

  1. Take a backup of the site and database – very sensible.
  2. Download sites files and database, upload to new server – this isn’t a techie post so I won’t bore you with the full gore here…
  3. Create a new database and import the downloaded database – simple enough
  4. And now the easy stuff. In phpMyAdmin (I lied there is some techie stuff), edit wp_options table and edit the following rows:
    • Siteurl from http://actualdomainname.co.uk to http://devdomainname.co.uk
    • Home from http:// co.uk to http://devdomainname.co.uk

Simple as that you say? New website up and running you ask? In principle yes. In reality (sometimes) no. In the case of Rock and Rain the website migration went fine, all products, site content etc were there as expected on the day we went live. But where were the logo, matching brand and colour scheme? Surely that detail was all saved in the database? Well, yes that’s what we thought but actually the theme (Bazar) that the site used saved some settings differently. With a small amount of investigation and access to the old but live site we were able to view the settings as they should be and apply them to the development site.

Once we were happy that the site looked and worked as it should we made some changes to the domain name so that it pointed to the new hosting we then followed step 4 to change the siteurl back to the actual domain name.

One final comment and subject of a future blog post, when working with themes always ensure you use a child theme so that any changes you make aren’t lost when an update of your theme is released. A now vital component in us handing over a site to clients so that it can be successfully maintained and updated without us techies getting too involved.

Article by Eilidh Nicholls