Migrate WordPress to Media Temple Plesk Server – Part 1

Hey All,

 

I thought that I would put this together to show the steps to migrate a wordpress site over to a Media Temple DV server with Plesk Onyx. The following procedures will work with other host providers as well. There are some things to consider before moving any web site to another server or location. You need to look at the following:

 

  • Operating System type – CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, RedHat Enterprise
    • Each operating system handles things very similarly but also a little different. It is a matter of opinion, I guess, as to which operating system to use for your server. Most have gone with a CentOS / Redhat based system as it is built for enterprise servers.  An example would be that CentOS / RedHat Enterprise use httpd (Apache) or Nginx for its hosting software. Debian / Ubuntu use apache2 for its web hosting platform.
    • There are folder structure differences as well which are dictated not only by the operating system but also by the application being used.
    • The content will work under any operating system. You just need to make sure that the content is within the correct folder location. The following folders are default for certain platforms and can be changed to other locations.
      • Apache – /var/www/html
      • Plesk w/ Apache – /var/www/vhosts
      • CPanel w/ Apache – /home/domain.com

 

  • DNS Changes – The DNS zone file will need to be modified in order to have the web traffic point to the new server location. Keep in mind that most DNS changes will need to be last giving you time to make sure that the correct content is in place and ready to go.
    • At the registrar, i.e. Name Cheap, GoDaddy, etc, add or change the name servers to ns1.mediatemple.net and ns2.mediatemple.net.
    • Name servers for Media Temple are ns1,mediatemple.net and ns2.mediatemple.net. These need to be changed at the registrar such as Name Cheap or who ever is hosting the zone file. In Name Cheap I had to add new name server entries in order to point back to Media Temple. It took about an hour for propagation to complete.
    • Make sure that the zone file has been created within the Media Temple Account Center of your account. If this has not been complete, DNS will not propagate.

 

  • Content Backups – First and most important, make sure that you have backups of your WordPress site and databases. Backup plugins such as WPBackItUp will work for this process and backup content with plugins and themes as well as your database content.

 

 

  • Which Migration Tool To Use – This is totally up to you and your experience level. Some plugins that WordPress has available tend to get into the weeds while other are much simpler. The one that I found which worked real well is called WP Clone. You install this plugin on the server that you are backing up and with the Create Backup button selected, click on the Create Backup button. It does pull down a copy of the WP content, themes, plugins and database to be transferred. You will be presented with a popup which includes the URL where the backup is located. Install the same plugin on the new server and add the URL to the Restore from URL box.

 

 

 

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Steps Needed to Move Content

 

Create the Domain in Plesk Onyx:

 

  • Log into your Plesk Onyx Panel
  • Select Domain on the left hand side of the panel under Hosting Services

 

 

  • Add a new domain to the Plesk Panel by clicking on the Add Domain Button

 

 

  • You will be presented with the following panel to add you new domain account

 

 

  • Add the domain name
  • Choose the subscription or create a new one
  • Give a username for the new domain account
  • Assign a secure password for the new username
  • Click the Ok button

 

Adding a Subscription to the Plesk Panel:

 

If you need to add a subscription then you can do the following. Keep in mind that it is the same process as adding a domain to the Plesk Panel.

 

  • Log into your Plesk Onyx Panel
  • Select Subscriptions on the left hand side of the panel under Hosting Services

 

  • Add a new subscription to the Plesk Panel by clicking on the Add Subscription Button

 

 

  • You will be presented with the following panel to add you new subscription account

 

 

  • Add the domain name
  • Choose the subscription or create a new one
  • Give a username for the new domain account
  • Assign a secure password for the new username
  • Choose a service plan to use if you do not want to use the default
  • Click the Ok button
  • In the subscriptions panel, you will see the domain name that you created. If you click on that domain name you will be sent to a control panel to work with the different aspects of the domain. You can access this same panel by clicking on Domains to the left side of the screen and clicking on the domain name in your list.

 

 

 

Create Backup and Migrate Data:

 

  • Create a backup of your existing WP instance which should include WP, themes, plugins and the database.
  • Install WP Clone Plugin on the older WP server.
  • Issue a backup as shown above with the WP Clone Plugin.

 

 

  • You will be presented with a backup URL which will be used during the migration process.

 

 

  • Install WP within your Plesk Onyx Panel.
  • Install WP Clone Plugin on the newer WP server.
  • From within the your new WP instance, select the WP Clone Plugin and paste in the URL that was shown above during the backup process

 

 

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Fix WordPress Admin Credentials:

One issue that you will run into is that you may not be able to connect to the WordPress Admin panel due to a bad admin password. Below are the steps that I took to change the admin password so that I could log into my site again.

 

  • After the migration has complete, you will want to open phpmyadmin with the Plesk Panel.
  • In the Plesk Panel when you select the domain name that you are working with, look at the right hand side of the screen and you see Databases as shown below.

 

  • Once you click on Databases, you will enter the database panel
  • Select the phpmyadmin button as shown below

 

 

  • Once you have clicked on phpmyadmin, choose the wp_users table as shown below. This is where you will update the admin account password.

 

 

  • Now you will be presented with with the table that shows the admin user account. Click on the edit button to make the changes you need. The password that you see is encrypted but don’t fear, I will show you what to do.

 

 

  • The are a few things to look at here
    • Make sure that the user name, display name and user nicename are all the same
    • Click on the Function box in the password field and select MD5
    • Add your password in the Password Value field
    • Click Go when ready

 

 

  • Now that you have the password changed, you are ready to try your login. Go to your domai.com/wp-admin and you will be presented with a log in screen.
  • Type in your username, usually admin
  • Type in your password
  • You should be able to log in just fine.