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Launching a WordPress Site 101 (Cincinnati WordPress, August 2015)


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This is the first of a two-part series covering common and best practices around launching a new WordPress site to your web host. While this first session is slightly more introductory, it still covers some of the more technical aspects of moving files and databases. Topics covered include:

• Determining what needs to be moved to your web host
• Prerequisites for migrating your site (tools, credentials)
• Differences between site files (themes, uploads) and content (database)
• Required changes if the domain name has changed

The discussion was concluded with a short demonstration.

While this is handy information for developers who build sites locally, the hope is that there is useful information for those who find themselves needing to move a site from one web host to another.


Credits for slide graphics to Wilson Joseph, Noun Project

Published in: Technology
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Launching a WordPress Site 101 (Cincinnati WordPress, August 2015)

  1. 1. Launching a WordPress Site 101 Cincinnati WordPress - August 2015
 Andrew Duthie
  2. 2. Topics • Anatomy of a WordPress site • Hosting requirements • Tools • Moving content • Preparing to flip the switch • Demo
  3. 3. Site Anatomy
  4. 4. Site Anatomy The standard WordPress installation includes many files which interpret browser requests and load the appropriate files. Most importantly, the configuration file defines the settings WordPress should use to connect to a MySQL database. You can also define security and site settings. WordPress Core Configuration /wp-admin, /wp-includes /
  5. 5. Site Anatomy The theme directory contains the layout and styles for displaying your site. Each plugin adds unique behavior to your site. The plugin files describe the behavior, and additional customizations are typically stored as options in the database. Theme Plugins /wp-content/themes/twentyfifteen /wp-content/plugins/akismet
  6. 6. Site Anatomy Media files (images, videos, documents), including thumbnails, are stored here. The contents of your posts and pages aren’t stored in the WordPress site directory, but instead live in the MySQL database. Uploads Content /wp-content/uploads mysql://localhost:3306/database
  7. 7. Hosting requirements • PHP 5.2.4 or greater • MySQL 5.0 or greater • Usually Apache HTTP Server or nginx
  8. 8. Tools A FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client enables you to move files between your computer and a remote hosting server. FTP Client • Always prefer SFTP (FTP over SSH) if offered by your host, since plain FTP can be insecure Cyberduck
 Mac OSX Filezilla
  9. 9. Tools A database client allows you to browse the content of your WordPress site. It usually provides export and import options to move your content from one place to another. Database Client Sequel Pro
 Mac OSX HeidiSQL
 Windows phpMyAdmin
  10. 10. Moving Files 1. Find or create user credentials for both FTP and database access. You may need to create a database if one doesn’t already exist 2. Move entire site from local directory to host • Or, download and move WordPress core, theme, plugins, and uploads 3. Export database contents as .sql “dump” using database client, then import to host database
  11. 11. Preparing your site Content stored in the database includes references to your site’s previous domain. If this has changed as a result of moving from a development site, or as a result of changing your domain, you’ll need to replace all occurrences in the database. This is also necessary for WordPress to recognize and use the new domain. Replace old URLs WP-CLI Search-Replace-DB wp search-replace '' ''
  12. 12. Preparing your site If your site is hosted on a different server, you will need to update your domain records to correctly point to the new server. Update host records • Tip: You can also modify a “hosts” file on your local computer to test how your new server will respond to the domain before making the real change
  13. 13. Demo