Apr 212011

Given the current state of OpenSolaris (precarious, judging by various posts I’ve seen over the last few months) I decided to move the basement development and blog hosting machine back to Debian. I mostly use it for a couple of small WordPress blogs, and trying out various things (the odd Django project, Ruby on Rails, etc), so Debian is eminently suitable for that.

Step one: move the WordPress blogs on to an interim hosting solution, namely the same host where I currently host this blog. My package allows infinite add-on domains, so that works. To start with, I made sure I had no broken links on the blogs in their old home — I didn’t want to try to hunt down errors in the new blogs that already existed on the old ones.

The whole process worked fairly well (install new WordPress system on new host, export the old blog, import to the new one) except for a couple of wrinkles, which I’m detailing here for next time I need to do this.

  1. when setting up the new blog, before you’ve switched the DNS, don’t put the final URL in the settings dialog. This just means you can’t log in to the temporary site and you have to go into PHPMyAdmin and fix the URL back to the temporary version. Get the site set up properly first, then switch the blog URL and the DNS settings.
  2. The image attachment probably won’t work. If you import the posts and check the “import file attachment” box, some of them will attach properly, but not all, and you’ll have to manually upload a certain proportion of your images using SFTP or something similar. If you don’t check that box, none of the images will be attached to the right posts and you’ll have to manually upload all of them. If you’ve used standard markup to show photos, that works anyway, but if you’ve used the gallery shortcode, you’ll have to manually attach the images to the post. The best plugin I’ve found to help with this is the Add From Server plugin, where you can attach the images after you’ve uploaded them all. It’s still a lot of work if you have a lot of images.

Apart from that, step one went well. Now I have to make sure I have all the other useful files saved somewhere, and get on with the OS install.

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