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Category: WAMP/MAMP/Servers

12 steps to rebuild your WAMP server without losing your data

Like many people, I have a WAMP server on my laptop where I mock up new websites and run private websites as internal Wikipedia.

I am currently running WAMP 2.2 and it fails – a lot – three times in six months.  I have no idea why and each time the symptoms are different.

But I do know what the solution looks like. I need to restore long enough to be able to gain access to my database and back up anything that is not backed up and to set any unusual settings to defaults so I can think about an alternative.  But first I must restore WAMP without losing my website files (www) and the databases which are stored in bin.

Here are the steps.

Step 1 Backup your WAMP folder

Simply copy your WAMP folder into C:/ .  Windows will keep it as Wamp – Copy.

Have a break and calm down. This might take an hour or so depending on how much is in your database bin and www folders.

Step 2 Print out your passwords and permissions

Try to recall your user, host, password table.  If you can log in to phpmyadmin, you will find it there under users.  If your can access your mysql console, open it; ignore the password; and type

Select user, host from mysql.user;

The table will show you your usernames and hosts but not your passwords.

Note well that if you are an organized person, this is a table that you might want to keep on hand for emergency purposes.  But right now we will proceed assuming that we cannot quite recall what we did when we set up WAMP.

Write down what you can remember and do it now before you start guessing and create chaos later.

Step 3 Print out all the files that you might have edited when you set up WAMP

  1.  wamp/apps/phpmyadminVerNo/config.inc.php (this is where you put your user name and password and where you might have set up authentication and ports)
  2. /wamp/wampmanager.tpl (you might have changed http://localhost to http://localhost:81 if you have changed the port for apache from 80 to 81  three places)
  3. /wamp/bin/apache/apacheVerNo/conf/httpd.conf (if you changed the above, you will also have changed Listen 80 to Listen 81 and localhost:80 to localhost:81)
  4. /wamp/bin/mysql/mysqlVerNo/my.ini (you might have changed the port for myql from 3306 to 3307 – three places)
  5. /wamp/scripts/testport (where you might have changed 80 to 81 in several places)
  6. /wamp/lang/English (where you might have change Port 80 to Port 81)

Also write down the Version Numbers for Apache, MySQL and Phpmyadmin.

Check whether your computer is 64 bit or 32 bit.

You are now ready to start restoring WAMP.

Step 4 Download the correct version of WAMP

Find WAMPSERVER on the internet  and download the correct version of WAMPSERVER.  Don’t be tempted to upgrade while you are restoring.  Keep the task manageable.

Step 5 Uninstall WAMP

Go to your Control Panel (from Start) and uninstall WAMP.  Uninstall removes everything except your www and bin folders.

Step 6 Install the correct version of WAMP

Install WAMP.  I use all of the defaults (IE and dummy email).  If I need to fix my email, I do it in a separate exercise.

REMEMBER to enable the rewrite module in Apache. Go to the WAMP menu, Apache, modules.  Click on rewrite. And close. Then check again. Sometimes the “tick” doesn’t stick.   If you don’t enable rewrite, your websites will not be able to read “pretty urls” that you carefully set up for humans to read and you will get baffling errors.

Step 7 Let WAMP start

When WAMP asks, let it start itself up.  You will see the icon in your bottom tool bar and it should go GREEN.

Step 8 Check you have access to localhost

Got the WAMP menu and check you have access to localhost – that is the list of your websites in www.

If your config.inc.php file shows a password (see Step 3), then you don’t have access to Phpmyadmin – fix that in the next step.

Step 9 Fix your password in config.php.inc so you have access to phpmyadmin

Got to your config.inc.php file (see Step 3). If it differs in format from the one you printed out, then you have installed the wrong version of WAMP. Close all services, exit and start again!

If you have the correct version, then change your user name and password. If you have changed your ports, then do nothing else right now.

Stop all services and restart all services (from the WAMP menu).

Check you have access to phpmyadmin.  If you get a pink error message #2002 or #1045, then in all likelihood, you have put in the user name and password incorrectly.  But sometimes you have little choice but to try to reinstall (start again).  In short, at this point, you should have access to Phpmyadmin and clerical error or confused working procedures is a more likely cause of failure than anything more complicated (Don’t google  it. That is like looking for medical information – you will just panic. Calm down and work systematically.)

If you have access to phpmyadmin, you should be able to access your user table.

Steps 10 & 11 Access a website

Now go to localhost and access a website. If you did not change your ports, everything should work fine.  All done.

If you did change your ports, you have one of two options.  Change the port settings on your websites to match the defaults.  Or, carry on and edit all the files that you printed in Step 3.

To change the port settings in Drupal, the port setting for mysql is in /www/sites/all/default/settings.php. You have to go to Properties with a right click and change from read-only. Change the port to the default of 3306.  Save and set the Properties back to read-only.  Remember you will have to do this for every website.  Also remember if you test this on one website and then go on to change the port settings, come back to change the port setting to the new number.

If you have edited all the files in Step 3,  then this time stop all services, exit and restart WAMP and then all services because you have edited the menu as well as the services you call.

If all goes well, you should be able to access all your websites.

Step 12 Consider changing your server

WAMPSERVER 2.2 seems unstable to me. I don’t know if 2.4 is anybetter.  What I do know is that the config.inc.php file in WAMPSERVER 2.4 is radically different from the one in 2.2 and I cannot see how to update the ports.

Also the version of mysql is different which requires an undate of your data tables as well as your software. To upgrade, you might do better to treat the job as a migration and back up all your websites and all your mysql, rebuild your server and then rebuild your websites.

 

There you go –it might take you an hour to get back into action. If anything goes wrong, it might take several hours. But don’t panic.  The web is littered with half instructions and panicky notes.  Don’t go near them.  Just work very systematically. Check as you go so that you don’t cause more chaos. And everything will work.

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How to change the port numbers on WAMP and stop conflicts with a portable server

To install WAMP on your PC

What is WAMP?

WAMP stands for Windows Apache MySQL Php. 

·        Windows is your operating system.

·        Apache is a server that manages communications between computers on a network including the internet.  All websites reside on a server somewhere.

·         MySQL is a database to hold the contents of a website. A website is made up of two parts: its database and its programmes such as PHP

·        PHP is a programming language.  The language resides on the server and the website is written in PHP.

When do we use WAMP?

Anyone who develops websites, including their own blog, is likely to want to install WAMP on their computer.  If they don’t use Windows, then they will be looking for LAMP or MAMP.

WAMP is installed in folder on your C:/Wamp.

How do I use WAMP?

 To start WAMP up, you go to Start/All Programs/Start WAMP.  You may have to give it permission to bypass your firewall.

WAMP has a drop-down (or pop up menu).

You pick “local host” to see a list of websites residing on your WAMP.  Pick any of these and the website should appear in your browser (i.e., Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.)

Alternatively, you can go to your browser bar and type “localhost/mywebsite” [without the “”].  If you are a noobe, note that is an alternative to http://www.mywebsite.com.

If WAMP is running, and “mywebsite” exists, then mywebsite will open in your browser.

In short, you are running a private little internet on your computer and you can see your website in your own browser.

How do I install WAMP?

1.       Download the latest WAMP (first recall whether you have a 64 bit or an older 32 bit machine)

2.       Follow the instructions

3.       Have a look at the menu bar and see localhost, phpAdmin, Apache and MySQL.

Build a website

To build your first website, use WindowsExplorer to make a new folder in c:/wamp/www/mynewwebsite.

Check that you can see the folder when you use WAMP’s menu and choose localhost.  This folder is still empty and in two steps, you will download into it WordPress or Drupal, or whatever you are using.

First, make a new database for your website by going to phpAdmin.  Make a new database and then add yourself again with a new name and password (and name that is not root).  Give yourself all privileges.

Now you can download and install something like WordPress into your folder and when it asks for your database, give it your database name, your new user name and your password.

When you return to localhost and select mynewwebsite, you should see your website in your browser.

WAMP won’t run – port in conflict?

You very likely have Skype running on your computer as well.  Skype “listens” to the same port as WAMP but listens to another as well.

To resolve the conflict, open Skype and look for the technical settings. Uncheck “listen to port 80” and WAMP will work.

WAMP conflicts with another server on your computer?

You may be running ScholarWriter, for example, on Uniform Server and you will find you have to switch off UniformServer before you run WAMP, and vice versa.

You might also be running Maven with Eclipse to run UseCaseTool (uctool).  Maven is also a server. 

You might also have a GeoServer running!

You want WAMP to listen to its own distinct port and you also want MySQL to have its own port.  We will change the port in WAMP from 80 to 81 and in MySQL from 3306 to 3307.

We will accomplish these changes in this order.

1.       Edit Apache’s httpd.conf file

a.       Go to WAMP’s menu and select httpd.conf

b.      Use find to find localhost and change it to localhost:81

c.       Save

2.       Edit c:/wamp/wampmanager.tpl file so the WAMP menu points to localhost:81

a.       Find http://localhost and change it to http://htttp:localhost:81

b.      Three instances

c.       Save

3.       Edit MySQL my.ini file

a.       Go back to the menu and follow MySQL to my.ini

b.      Find 3306 and change it to 3307

c.       Save

4.       Edit the phpAdmin config.inc.php file to recognise the 3307 port

a.        Find the config.php file at c:/wamp/apps/phpadmin…/config.inc.php

b.      Edit out the first reference to localhost against verbose to leave ‘’ with nothing between them – I don’t know why but until I changed this I couldn’t go from the WAMP menu to phpAdmin

c.       Change the next reference to localhost to 127.0.0.1 – apparently if that remains as localhost, then the port defaults to 3306

d.      Change the port from ‘’ to ‘3307’

e.      Save

5.       Restart the WAMP server

a.       Shut down all services

b.      Exit

c.       Restart

d.      And test all the links in the menu

If all is well, you are now directed to both localhost:81 and localhost:81/phpAdmin where you can set up new databases.

Change the port settings on any existing websites

Note that if you already have made a database before you changed the port AND installed a website, then you must change the settings on the website. 

For each website, go to c:/wamp/www/websitename/sites/default/settings.php and edit these lines to match the port settings as follows

     ‘host’ => ‘localhost:81’

      ‘port’ => ‘3307’

Final test

Fire up another server, say a portable website and see if you are able to run two servers on the same PC.

And not least change your password

Your server resides behind your firewall and is not accessible from the internt.

But, just in case, change the password for the user ‘root’

1.       In PhpAdmin, change the password for user root under Privileges

2.       Go immediately back to the config.inc.php file and insert the same password in password.

3.       Reboot your WAMP and just in case you are exposed to the internet, no one should be able to connect to your MySQL without knowing your password.

At last, you should have WAMP running smoothly on port 81 and 3307 while other servers (and Skype) run on other ports.  I have deliberately left port 80 and 3306 clear for a portable server that so the defaults are used for users who are likely to have the greatest disinterest in tweaking their system!

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Set up two instances of Uniform Server, each with several websites

What is Uniform Server?

Uniform Server, or UniServer, is server that you  load onto to your laptop, or desktop, so that you can develop websites off line.

Moreover, unlike WAMP and XAMPP and similar local servers, UniServer does not install itself on your machine (provided you run it as a program and not as a service – it comes with both choices).  You unpack UniServer into a conventional folder on a USB, e.g. E:/UniServer/all its files, or onto your hard drive C:/UniServer/all its files.

In practical terms, if you want to move your server and its websites to another computer, you just copy the folder to a USB and then copy the folder on the USB to the next computer.  You can also zip up the folder, copy it and unzip it into a new folder on the next computer.

The importance of Uniserver is that it is a local server, private from the internet, and completely portable. You can zip it up and move it from computer to computer without worrying about installing and rebuilding your websites all over again.

What is a multiple instance of Uniserver?

The instructions for running a multiple instance of Uniserver are a little confusing.

We have two things that we might like to achieve —

First, we might want to run two websites on one copy of Uniserver.  This is very easy and I will outline the steps below. Even if you only intend to run one website, it is worth setting up two websites just to explore and understand the file structures of Uniserver.

The second thing we might want to achieve is to run two servers. We might want to run two instances of Uniserver. Or, we might want to run Uniserver and Wamp, for examples.

The reasons why running two instances of a server is an issue is that when two servers run on our laptop or desktop, they compete for the use of ports. The default port for an Apache server is 80 and the default port for our MySQL server is 3306.  When we have two servers running on our computer, they both try to access the same port.  Indeed, when we first install a server, the server often clashes with Skype and we have to adjust Skype settings so it does not try to access port 80.

Multiple instances of Uniserver, in the way its documentation describes multi-instances, means being able to run two instances of Uniserver at the same time.  To do this, we will set one Uniserver to port 8s and 3306, and the second server to ports 81 and 3307.

[Note, on my computer, I set WAMP server to ports other than 80 and 3306 and leave the Uniserver on 80 and 3306 because I expect more experienced people to use WAMP and less experienced people to be using Uniserver.]

How do I run two websites on one instance of UniServer?

1 Unpack Uniserver and Run as a Program

Once you have unpacked UniServer into a folder, e.g. C:/Uniserver (make sure there are no spaces in the name), then go to the folder and run as a program.

2 Use the menu to Start both Servers

A big blue icon with a “1” opens in your tray and a little menu box opens on your screen.

Start BOTH the Apache server and the MySQL servers.

3 Change your password for the root user for MySQL and all your MySQL databases

As soon as you have started both servers for the first time, Uniserver asks you to change your password for the MySQL server. Do so now. Apparently you can do so later, but that has never worked well for me.

Confusingly, the current password is “root” – and so is the default username “root”.  Change the password form “root” to “mysecret” or whatever.   You now have a database called “mysql” with user “root” and password of “mysecret”.

4 Orient yourself by finding the database that you have just created

To see the database, look in the file structure for “usr” and keep tracking down until you find “mysql”.

5 Make another database, if you need it, or just make one to ensure you understand the file structure

If you will be running more than one website on your Uniserver, go to phpAdmin in the little menu box and make a new database for each website.  Each website will have a user name “root” and a password “mysecret” and they will each have a folder alongside the first database “mysql”.

If you make a database just to know you can and don’t really need it, you can tidy up by going to phpAdmin and deleting the database.  Confirm that its folder has vanished from the file structure.

6 Download Drupal or WordPress or something to run your website

If you are using Drupal, download and unpack the latest version of Drupal into a folder in C:/uniserver/www/your_new_website.  Check the files are in /your_new_website. If they are in one folder below, e.g. /your_new_website/drupal-7-22 then copy the entire file structure up one level to /your_new_website.

7 Download Drupal or WordPress again into another folder

If you are running a second website on a second database, unpack Drupal, or whichever CMS you are using into a second folder /www/the_second_website.  Make sure the file structure is in this folder and not one folder below.

8 Install the websites

Go back to the menu box for Uniform Server and select www.  You will see your two websites (or folders rather).  Select the first one and follow the install instructions.

Insert the name of the database, the username (root) and your database password (mysecret). Then add the details you will use to log in to the website when asked.

Do this for both websites.

You have now installed TWO websites  on ONE instance of Uniserver which is running on the default ports of 80 and 3306

To see your websites, type localhost/your_new_website into the browser bar. Note the name after the / corresponds to the name of the folder in /www.

How do I install two instances of Uniserver?

1 Unpack UniServer software into a second folder

To install a second instance of Uniserver, we unpack it into a SECOND folder such as C:/UniServer2/all its files.

2 Change the port numbers

We start as before with

  • Run as a program
  • Change the password from “root” to “mysecret”

Now, before we continue to do anything else, select “multiple servers” in the menu box.

You will see two columns: old and new. The new settings have incremented all the old settings by one.  Select the button at the bottom right that is partially obscured. This button sets this version of Uniform Server as port 81 for Apache and port 3307 for MySQL.

Also, notice that the icon changes from “1” to “2”.

When you are running Uniform Server “1”, it has standard port settings of 80 and 3306. When you are running Uniform Server “2”, called from C:/UniServer2/, then it has port settings of 81 and 3307.

3 Set up empty databases and download website software

You can make new databases using phpAdmin, as before.

You can also download your website software into folders in /www/website_1 and /www/website_2 as before.

4 Install your website software

But now there is another important change to what you do.

When you install Drupal (and probably other software such as WordPress), state the name of the database that you made in phpAdmin. Give the username (root) and password (mysecret). Then look at Advanced Options. Leave the host name as “localhost” but now add the port number. This is the port number for the database — which in our case is now 3307.

Note well, that we usually leave the database port blank and it reverts to the default of 3306. For the second server “2” (not the first server “1”) we need to fill in the number.

Do this and continue installing as before.

One more change: when you call the websites on the second server from the browser bar: type localhost:81/your_website_name. There was no need to type localhost:80/website_name for the first server because 80 is the default port.

Now you can run server “1” which servers a handful of websites and server “2” which serves another set of websites, at the same time, because they are using different ports.  And you know what to type in the browser bars.

Turn off your UniServers

When you are finished using a Uniserver, choose the correct icon (“1” or “2”), go to the menu box, and turn off both servers.

How to change the settings of Skype

If you have Skype running and your local server will not run, then log into your Skype and go to Tools/Options/Advanced/Connect and uncheck the box ,which says use Port 80 and 443. SAVE,

Skype functions perfectly well without Port 80 and the conflict with your server is immediately resolved.

Congratulations – you are able to install UniServer into two separate folders working on two different pairs of ports. And you are able to install multiple websites on each server and tell the website which MySQL server

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Install Drush on WAMP slowly but successfully

I am presently building a website based on Drupal using my WAMP server on my laptop as a development site.

In these notes, I record the rather frustrating task of installing DRUSH. Drush is a facility for automating repetitive tasks involving in clicking together a Drupal site.   In particular, I wanted to simplify the tedious process of downloading and implementing all the modules needed to create a website.

Where I start from

These notes begin when two important stages have been completed.

Completed: Install a Wamp Server on your laptop.

Completed: Use a 5 minute install to create a Drupal site.

I am also assuming email has been set up for your development site and that you have looked around sufficiently to find the Modules tab at the top of the page.

It might be useful to install and activate one Module by hand so you appreciate the timesavings involved in using Drush.

Getting oriented: check your file structure

It is also helpful to look at your file structure before you begin.  I have WAMP stored under c:wamp and I store useful tools that I have downloaded from the internet at c:tools.

Each of my websites is stored in c:wampwwwwebsite1, c:wampwwwwebsite2, etc.  If the website is based on Drupal, then Drupal is placed in the website folder.  This means I may have more than  one copy of Drupal on my laptop. That strikes me as inefficient, but that is my set up at present.

Find Drush and gnuwin32 online

To get Drush, working, locate the Drush site through Google and download version 5 (not 4 – it doesn’t work  on Windows) to a folder called Drush under c:tools.

Now find gnuwin32 using Google and download the following using whatever setup.exe there are.  Gnuwin32 will give you Unix commands.  Download the following into your Program Files (x86).

  • Libarchive
  • Gzip
  • Wget
  • Gtar
  • Bsdtar

An extra step

I found advice to copy bsdtar.exe onto tar.exe.  No feedback occurs at all so it might be idea to run through the whole setup and if you have trouble, come back to do this step.

Adjust your path statement

Now adjust your Path statement (very carefully).  Adjusting the path statement allows you to call Drush from c:tools and for Drush to call PHP and SQL from WAMP and to use the Gnuwin32 commands.

Practically, open Word or a text editor, and then open Windows Explorer.  Go to c:toolsdrush and confirm that you can see the drush.bat file.  If so, copy the path, e.g., c:toolsdrush from the browser at the top of the screen to the text editor and add a semi-colon (;).

Now do the same for the other critical components.

  • C:Program Files (x86)Gnuwin32
  • C:Program Files (x86)Gnuwin32bin [where gzip hangs out]
  • C:wampbinphpphpn.n.n [whatever numbers you have]
  • C:wampbinmysqlmysql.1.36bin

You should have a long line of paths separated by semi-colons(;).

Now find your path statement. Go to Computer/Properties/Advanced/Environment Variables and be very careful. Messing this up can mess up the entire system.  It is also hard to see what you are doing.

Make sure the current Path Statement ends with a semicolon (;).  Copy the extra paths from your text editor and save.

Test the installation of Drush

Get your Command Line (got to Accessories) and check whether all is well by typing “drush status”.

If all looks sensible, then you are ready to download another module.  First, go to Windows Explorer and add a subdirectory to your website as follows.

c:wampwwwmywebsitenamesitesallmodulescontrib

Then use the Windows Command Line to work within this new directory.

  • Cd c:wampwwwmywebsitenamesitesallmodulescontrib

Then

  • Drush dl module
  • Drush en –y module

Conclusion

When you log in to your website the module should be installed and activated, saving you a lot of effort.

Just remember to use the CLI to work within the subdirectory so that Drush downloads here and not elsewhere.

Check out Similar Posts

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Testing my theme

Links break when you move your site from WAMP to your hosting service?

The solution is to set up a parallel Virtual Host on WAMP so that http://mysite.localhost redirects to the default http://localhost/mysite (where mysite is the name of your site).

3 steps to set up a Virtual Host and solve those broken links when you move from WAMP to your hosting service

#1  Get oriented

  • You will only able to see your WAMP based site in your browser after you have turn on your WAMPSERVER by going to Start/All Programs.
  • Look where your files are stored by going into Windows Explorer or My Computer.
    • Look at your C://wamp/ folder
      • You will see c://wamp/www where you store all your websites (right?)
      • And c://wamp/bin/apache/conf/ folder where you see a file called httpd.conf
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How to set up a new website – Step 3 – Set up your hosting and WordPress shell

Situation:  I want to make the outline of my website at my hosters

  • I’ve registered and paid for my domain name
  • The registrar has alerted me by email that it is ready for use
  • I have pointed my domain’s name servers to my hosting service and set the name servers on the hosting side (this time I did nothing because the hosting service were also the registrar and they did everything.)
  • While I was waiting, I registered a Google Apps account for email.

Step 3 Fireworks by Jason O'Halloran via FlickrTask:  To register for Google Apps

Now I want to tell the hosting service to host my site.  I will also confirm that I will be using Google Apps for email.  And I will set up a WordPress shell which I will use as the scaffolding for my website.

Steps:

#1 Log in to the hosting service

  • Find it via Google!
  • Find the login link – never obvious
  • Recall the email address and password used for login and ‘access to the cpanel’.
  • Look for “Manage domains’
  • Select the new domain
  • Make sure that the check boxes for [both http//www.domainname.com and http://domainname.com] and Google mail are ticked.
  • Have a good look at everything else [without touching].
  • Choose full hosting [this may be different for other hosters].
  • Double check by going back to Manage Domains. Does it seem that the hosters know they are hosting the domain?

#2 Now load up the WP shell

The reason for loading up WP now is that when you are asked to load it up, you are reminded to have no files in the ‘domain space’.  So I want WordPress in place before the link up to Google.  Maybe, one day I will experiment with doing it the other way.

  1. Go to one click install and choose WordPress
    1. Chose CUSTOM install despite your sense that you want a SIMPLE install.
    2. Choose your domain
    3. Enter your username and email as requested.   The WordPress shell will contact you via your email and you can complete WordPress stuff later.
  2. You can try typing http://yourdomainname.com in a browser and seeing if it comes up.  If it doesn’t, that could be because the name hasn’t propgated around the internet yet (meaning your internet service provider cannot convert a bland request of get http://yourdomainname.com into action because there is insufficient common knowledge to pass you along from service to service to your website.)

Progress you have made to launching your site

  • You know have a domain name registered and pointing at a hosting service
  • You have told the hosting service to host this domain name (to make space on their servers)
  • You’ve told it to recognize your name with or without www
  • You’ve told it to will be using Google Apps for email
  • You’ve loaded up a (CUSTOM) install of WordPress and your hoster has done the few additional tasks such as make your database and install the WP software.  You can fix up your WordPress later.

Next – fetch code from Google

And upload it to your website so Google is authorized to run your email

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How to set up a new website – Step 1 – Get a domain name

Step 1 Fireworks by Jason O'Halloran via FlickrSituation:  I want to set up a new website

  • I’ve already mocked up what I want on a local (WAMP) server on my PC (not necessary to complete this step but I have done).
  • I’ve thought up a domain name which I am happy with.
  • I’ve already checked on Domainr, or a similar service, that my name has not been taken (is available.)

Task:  To buy a domain name

And have its nameservers pointing  at my hosting service, i.e. so customers who ask the internet for my domain name are set to the computer where my website will sit (be served).

Steps to get a new domain up-and-running

#1  Registrar

First, I must choose a registrar where I buy the domain name and renew it annually.  A registrar is a telephone directory or index for internet.  There are many and they cleverly cross-reference each other.   The best know is GoDaddy.com.

To make my choice

  1. Does the Registrar cover the address that I want?  A Registrar covers a  limited range of TLD or top level domains.  For example, a registrar in the US may not cover .co.uk addresses.
  2. How easy is it to point the Name Servers that will be listed with my domain name to the computers that will be hosting my website?  Have I got clear instructions from both ends – the registrar service and the hosting service (or Posterous or WordPress.com – the place where my website will physically sit)?
  3. If I have more than one registrar on my shortlist, is there any difference in their prices and reputation?
  4. Do I want to use my hosting service as my registrar or is it better to have ‘two suppliers’?
  1. My hosting service might give me a discount on the domain name (a few pounds or dollars) but now they have more power over me (they have my site and my domain name under their administrative control).
  2. I may have to buy my domain name elsewhere if they don’t offer my preferred TLD (top level domain – like .co.uk).
  3. If I buy (and renew) my domain name with a separate registrar to limit the power of your hosting service over me but then I must remember to  my domain name on time and to pointing the name servers listed at the registrar to the IP address of the hosters where my  website physically sits.
    1. I must enter the data of the registrar at your hoster and your hoster at the Registrar!
    2. Adminstratively, I must have two sets of commercial transactions that I must diarize 1-2 years ahead and coordinate.

#2 Buy your domain name

Now I have chosen my name and my registrar, I must buy my domain name.  I chose to buy a domain name through my hosters.  That means I don’t have an additional task of pointing the name servers to them.   If you choose to split the hosting and the registration, you will need other instructions.

  1. Get the right credit card (business or personal)
  2. Go to the online home of the Registrar (and probably set up an account.  I used my hosting service and I already had an account.)
  3. Find the right page and click whatever button to buy a domain name.
  4. The registrar tests whether the name is available. (If they don’t, clear out fast!).
  5. When they have confirmed the name is available (a few seconds), they ask for credit card details and an email address.
  6. They also suggest that I list my address at their office rather than display my full address on the internet.  I don’t know the pros and cons but I chose to list their address because I am tired of spam.
  7. When money has changed hands, they promise me an email and tell me to patient.  It takes a day or two for the network of domain name servers to gossip among themselves that my domain name isnow taken and that anyone who asks for it should visit my hosters.
  8. Finally, a job is not finished ‘until the money is in the bank.’  Print two copies of their email and put one in the expenses file for the accountant and one in the file holding all the details about this website.

#3 Test the domain name

Type in the new domain name to the browser bar (not Google – the browser bar) and see if it comes up.

This one worked quickly but don’t panic for up to three days.

PS The name does not show up in Google and should not show up in Google. Their search spiders don’t know the site is there and we don’t want to be found yet.  There is nothing to see.

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Step 7: Consolidating my online strategy – Redirecting my WordPress.com blog to self-hosting

The time has come to redirect my WordPress.com blog

Pink eyes detour by Senor Codo via FlickrFinally, the time has come to redirect my two year old blog with its 740 posts from http://flowingmotion.wordpress.com to http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org.

To remind you of where I am

  • The original blog is on http://flowingmotion.wordpress.com
  • An exact replica (with some theme updates) is on http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org

When I imported a copy of the original (see earlier steps), I made sure that I adjusted the permalinks first so the post urls are exactly the same, except for the name of the domain (wordpress.com and jojordan.org).

Why do I want to redirect my WordPress.com blog?

The problem I need to solve now is this.  If someone linked to me on their blog post,, say 18 months ago, a reader would follow their link to the original blog but the last post there would be as of a few days ago.  The blog would look deserted and because it has no updates, it will slowly lose page-rank, or google-favour.

I can’t ask everyone who has ever linked to me to update their links.  That’s not feasible.  So how can I bring those visitors to my new blog and keep my standing with Google too?

How does the redirect from my WordPress.com blog work?

What I can do is to set up a permanent redirect – a 301 for geeks – from http://flowingmotion. wordpress.com to http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org.  Then when someone follows an old link, they will be taken through the magic paths of the internet to the WordPress computers, and their computer will redirect the reader to Dreamhost, who will serve up the version of the post on their computers.

The reader will barely notice the redirect.  They have what they want and they are on an active alive blog where they can interact with humans and leave comments (which link back to their work).

I, of course, can update my posts when necessary, provided I leave the  title intact.

How do I redirect my WordPress.com blog to a self-hosted version?

To accomplish this feat, I go through three steps.

Redirect my new blog temporarily to WordPress.com

On my new blog at Dreamhost, I log in to Dreamhost (not my blog), go t0 Manage Domains, and choose the line for my blog which happens to be a sub-domain in this case (http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org).

Now I am going to pick Full Hosting and remove it.  Scary, huh?  I am not going to delete it in the far right column.  I am going to remove the hosting in the middle column.  This will keep the copy on the Dreamhost intact and I will recover it shortly.

Now I am going to chose the DNS for the same record and go to the next window.  In the middle, there is provision for a Customized domain.  In there I see an A – that is for IP addresses.  I don’t need that.  But in the dropdown menu is CNAME  – I choose that.

Then under Value I insert the url for my old blog, which in my case was  http://flowingmotion.wordpress.com.  [Note well there is a fullstop (period) there.  Make sure you put it in.]

Update

Redirect my old blog to Dreamhost

Now I head off to the  WordPress computers and login as usual to my old blog http://flowingmotion.wordpress.com.  Under Dashboard, at the bottom of the left hand column, I choose domains, and add the domain name for my new blog which is http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org.

Worpress checks that is has access and that by definition I own the new blog.  That’s why I had to open it up temporarily.

When it sees everything is OK, it tells me to whip out my credit card and page $9.97 and reminds me that I must pay them every year to keep the redirect going.  So put this date in my diary!

(At some point, I set my new blog as the primary blog.  It is self-evident when you see it.)

Reclaim my new blog

Now I head back to the Dreamhost computers, log in to the “panel”  (not to my blog), choose My Domains, find the line with my blog (in my case a sub-domain http://flowingmotion.wordpress).  I chose DNS and go and delete the value for the CNAME, which you recall was http://flowingmotion.wordpress.com.  Update.

I go back to My Domains and chose my blog again and this time stay on that page, go to the middle column and select full hosting.  A new window comes up.  I check the settings and choose full hosting.

Done!

Now when I put http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org  in my browser, I should bring up my blog.  When I put my old http://flowingmotion.wordpress.com in the browser, it should send me at the speed of internet over to Dreamhost and show my blog in the browser.

Blunder

Of course, it didn’t go quite this easy for me.  My redirect got in perpetual loop and the advice from Dreamhost, unfortunately, was “Wait. These things take time.”   Fortunately, young Nick Cochiarella from Olney nudged me 12 hours later to tell me Dreamhost were wrong and I got back in touch with them to check my settings.

This is what happened.  Two steps back, before the One Click Install, when I set up the subdomain I had chosen the wrong combination of make http://wwww go to http://.  There are three choices and I left it on the default.

When I One Click Installed, my wordpress on Dreamhost was set up as http://www.flowingmotion.wordpress.com.  When I redirected from WordPress.com, it was to http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org because that was the only choice we have.

Once I had corrected the address of my new blog by logging onto the blog (not Dreamhost panel) and taking out the www in the address registered under Dashboard/Settings/General, everything worked fine.

I also went back to the Dreamhost panel, Manage Domains, the line with my blog and DNS, and fixed up the redirects there to send any traffic looking for http://www.flowingmotion.jojordan.org to http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org.

I’m still a bit confused by it all.  The point is to remember you have an address registered within your new WordPress blog.  You may not think of it as you are staring at an unfamiliar Dreamhost panel

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