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Tag: move from wordpress.com to self-hosted

Step 6: Consolidating my online strategy – Spam catcher

I have a self-hosted blog. Now to share!

Meal Worm in Venus Fly Trap via blmurchNow I’ve got a working copy of my blog moved from WordPress.com to a WordPress.org installation on Dreamhost, I am in an uncomfortable inter-regnum.  If have two parallel copies of the same content on two different domains (http://flowingmotion.wordpress.com and http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org).  That doesn’t matter very much because though my blog is healthy, it is not very big.

Steps for connecting with the world

But in quickly I want to accomplish several steps

  • Get an anti-spam filter set up on my blog
  • Redirect my links from WordPress.com so that anyone visiting my blog is redirected to the new copy (and in time I recover my “google juice”
  • Set up my Google Analytics and RSS feeds
  • Prettify my blog with all the additional plugins that I need to function well.

Setting up Akisimet

Akisimet, WordPress’ anti-spam system is free for personal and non-commercial blogs.  There are x steps to getting it set up.

1  Activate the plugin that was installed with your One Click Install on Dreamhost

Go to dashboard; look down the right column; choose, Plugins-Installed; find Akisimet and activate.

2  Get your Key

Follow the link to get your Key.  Not helped that I am now using another email address,  I was muddled for a moment and got a new code.  What I needed to do was to put in the email address I used for my old WordPress blog and retrieve my old key.

Copy & paste.

All done!

Akisimet begins working immediately and you can rejoice at the idiocy of people who waste their time and ours sending out robots to promise personal attention and service!  Hail Akisimet.

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Step 5: Consolidating my online strategy – moving my content from WordPress.com to self-hosted Dreamhost

Importing WordPress content to self-hosted DreamhostFlow One: Fractal graphic image by L Kaestner via Flickr

Was difficult but I got it sorted eventually.

I began with my content on my old blog: http://flowingmotion.wordpress.com, and  I had already installed the shell of WordPress using a One Click install on Dreamhost.

Export

To move my content from my old blog to my new blog, I went to my old blog (on WordPress.com), chose Admin, scrolled down the left-bar to Tools, and selected export.  WordPress automatically downloaded all my posts, categories, tags, comments and authors to a file on the  hard drive on my laptop.

Import

To upload the content at my new blog on Dreamhost, I went to http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org/wp-admin and logged in. I chose Admin, scrolled down the left-bar to Tools and chose import.

Import Fail!

I followed the instructions and it timed out after 30 seconds.

Roadblock

If I were importing to a blog on my localhost (WordPress on my laptop), I could edit my .htaccess file and set the maximum execution time to 3 minutes.  I can’t do this if I have One Click installed on Dream Host.  I have access to all other files but not that one.

Workaround

Fortunately, someone has already solved this and has written a program to split the WXR (RSS XML) file that I had exported so successfully from my original blog.

WordPress WXR (RSS XML) Splitter

WordPress WXR (RSS XML) Splitter is downloadable as a zip file.   I made a sub-folder in my WordPress themes folder and unzipped the splitter programme there.  Then I ran it and inserted the path and name of the file of blog content that I had downloaded from WordPress.

Advantages of splitting the file of your blog content

My objective was to split the file into smaller files that I could import into my new blog one after the other.

I didn’t want to faff about so I cautiously set the splitter at 40 posts per file.  I suspect more could be crammed in but I went the cautious route of 23 by 40 posts.  Splitter runs fast and made me 23 files neatly labelled from 0 to 22.

I went back to my new blog and tried again (Admin-Tools-Import).  And it all worked perfectly though it took me well over half-an-hour.

Result

So now I have a working theme with all my blogs, categories and tags, on a self-hosted blog at Dreamhost, and I can start tidying up details like RSS feeds, Google Analytics, email subscribe forms, and so on.

UPDATE from Dreamhost

“If I were importing to a blog on my localhost (WordPress on my laptop),
I could edit my .htaccess file and set the maximum execution time to 3
minutes.  I can’t do this if I have One Click installed on Dream Host. I
have access to all other files but not that one.”

You do have access to the .htaccess file. The One-Click installer doesn’t
prevent that, you have access and can change/delete any file in that
directory.

The problem is that the “php_value max_execution_time 180” addition to
the .htaccess file will not change how PHP runs in the DreamHost
environment. It worked on your home computer because you are running PHP
as an Apache module (mod_php). On the DreamHost servers however PHP
processes are run in CGI mode. This means PHP will work independent of
Apache and therefor doesn’t look in the .htaccess file (this file passes
instructions to Apache) for configuration changes. When running PHP in
CGI mode most configuration changes come from the php.ini file which is
owned by the root user and therefor can’t be modified directly by your
user.

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Step 3: Consolidating my online strategy – make a WordPress shell on Dreamhost

My Online Strategy

My online strategy includes

  • My own domain name jojordan.org (that I bought through Dreamhost and will renew annually with them or somebody)
  • A front page for jojordan.org to have a smart CV to add to the bottom of emails’s.  I made that on (free) Posterous and “redirect” it to my domain name at Dreamhost.
  • A blog that I used to keep on WordPress.com (the free version).  I am going to move that to Dreamhost now, and pay for hosting.  Why do I want to do that?  So I can control the theme, get Google Analytics and have the freedom to advertise.

Steps in self-hosting WordPress on Dreamhost

To make a WordPress shell on Dreamhost, I must go through 3 steps.  Then I’ll be ready to pretty it up before I import it and attend to SEO (let the world know it is there).

#1  Set up a sub-domain

Because I am redirecting my Posterous blog to my domain name,  jojordan.org, that domain is no longer available to host my wordpress blog.  I need to make a subdomain, which I will call flowingmotion.jojordan.org.  I thought of using blog.jojordan.org.  It is shorter and easier to remember but some people already know my work as flowingmotion and flowing motion tells those in the know I am interested in a holistic paradigm of psychology.  Using a subdomain does mean though, that my my domain, jojordan.org, won’t benefit from the pagerank that I have already accumulated on Flowingmotion.

To set up my subdomain, I . . .

  • Log in to Dreamhost
  • Look for Manage Domains on the right sidebar
  • Choose Add a Domain
  • Type in flowingmotion.jojordan.org
  • Submit, and all is done.  Wait a bit and I should be able to access it from my browser: http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org

Now when I got to Manage Domains, the Dreamhost screen looks like this.  Notice my jojordan.org is not fully hosted because the physical asset of the blog is actually over on the Posterous computer.   Dreamhost is now expecting me to put something in space reserved for flowing motion, and, the world can find it.  If I put nothing there, a visitor will just see an “old fashioned looking” list of generic files.

#2 Create a WordPress shell

So I have a space on a computer waiting for something and the world can find it.  I am going to load up the WordPress framework into the space.

Dreamhost has a One Click Install.  Choose it in right side-bar.  Then chose the Advanced option (can’t remember why – tip I picked up on the net).  Make sure the radio button for WordPress is selected.

Whiz down to the button and make sure Dreamhost will link to the right sub-domain.  Submit.

Wait ten minutes or so.  You should get an email saying everything is done!  So easy!

#3  Create an admin account on WordPress

When the email arrives, follow the link.  You are asked for a blog name and an email address and then given a password.  Cut and paste the password in the login for admin and IMMEDIATELY change your password to something you can remember.

Done!  You have wordpress loaded up.  Now you are back on familiar territory of adding a theme, etc.

Next steps

I have already edited a theme on my own laptop and I am going to zip that into a file and try loading it up.

Then I’ll import my content from WordPress.com.

The final stages will be to add plugins, set up Google Analytics, add the spam catcher Akismet, connect to Feedburner and most importantly, set up redirects from WordPress.com so that anyone who is looking for me is redirected to my new address.

So next step.  Have a go at importing a theme.

Comments very welcome!

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