Move WordPress Site to a New Host

This has been an interesting summer and beginning to the fall. After being with the same Web Host since 1999 I decided that I no longer had confidence in the hosts up time. After doing some research I decided to move to Host Gator. That was the easy part.

The hard part was going through the process of moving a number of WordPress and Joomla sites to the new host. If you’ve decided to move hosts but are unsure how to transfer your site its not that difficult. Hopefully this step by step guide to moving a WordPress site to a new host will help.

Step 1: Download your files via FTP from you existing site. We will upload these files to your domain account on your new server.

ftp files

Step 2: Export WordPress Database from phpMyAdmin

In the backend of your host (CPANEL) click on phpMyAdmin and click on the DATABASE Tab. You will see the databases you have on the left side. Click on your WordPress database.

database in phpMyAdmin

After clicking on your database name you will see the database tables. Click on the EXPORT Tab.

database tables

After clicking the EXPORT Tab you will see a simple interface. You should be able to export the file with the existing settings. Click the GO button to begin your download and save the files to your computer.

export database

Step 3: Import your Database to Your New Host. (You should have created your domain account before doing database upload).

Log in to your backend (CPANEL) and Create a new Database by clicking on MySQL Databases.

mysql databases

After creating your database you need to add a user to your database. Add a username and password, then click the CREATE USER button.

add username

Now that you have created a username you need to add it to the database. Be sure to grant all privileges to the user.

add user to database

Now go into phpMyAdmin and click on the database you created. Then click on the IMPORT Tab. Once on the IMPORT page click the Choose File button and select the database you previously downloaded. Once again you should be able to use the existing setting. Click the GO button to import your database.

import wordpress database

Once your database is finished uploading we need to make some additional changes to the database in the OPTIONS table. Click on the STRUCTURE Tab and you will see a list of database tables to the left. Click on the Options table.

database options

The first option we wan to edit is SiteURL which should be the first option. Click the edit button and change the URL to your new http:// address.

update site url

The second option we want to update is on page two, the Home option. Click the edit button and change the value to your home page url.

change home option

The final option to update is on the second page as well, Upload Path. Once again click on the edit button and input the url where you upload files to your wordpress installation. (In the sites I have moved I have not had to change this value.

change-upload-path

Step 4: Upload Site Files Via FTP (Files you downloaded in Step 1)

Step 5: Update wp-config.php File

Your wp-config.php file currently has the information from your previous database. We need to update the Database Name, the Username, the Password, and you may need to update the Local Host name.

update wp-config php file

Once you have made the changes upload the file via FTP.

That’s it. Your site should now be up and running on your new host.

Two Cool Website Tools

I learned web design the old fashioned way by diving in with my eyes closed and never really knowing where I, or the site, would wind up.  My first site in 1998 was built with NetObjects Fusion, a wysiwyg editor.  Over the years I went from version 3 to version 11, avoiding learning to write code, since most of the sites I was designing were for my own businesses.  Eventually  I  ditched NOF and began to focus on using WordPress and templates, learning as much code as I needed to tweak things.

I still do not like writing CSS from scratch and choosing color schemes gives me a headache.  But two tools that I’ve discovered have made things much simpler, and if you are someone who likes to DIY then you should love them as well.  Here they are:

1.  LeanDesigns claims to be the first visual web design tool built specifically for web developer.  Not sure about that but I would describe them as a web creation tool that allows you to create a site using drag and drop functionality and then instantly export the html and css that makes up your design.  Its fast and simple to create a layout, making it also a perfect tool to create wire frames.  Here’s a graphic of a design I created in about 15 minutes.

One of the features I like is that you can apply a 960 grid guide behind your design making it easy to create a visually appealing design.  Then once you’ve completed your design you can export the html and css code.

The design to the left is actually a layout for a page in a WordPress Template site that I’m working on.  The header and footer are supplied by the template and I use my design and the code to customize the body section.

LeanDesigns has a How It Works page that walks you through the creation process with a set of screenshots.

They offer a free trial version that allows you to create and save one design.  The Pro version allows you to create and save unlimited designs for only $9 a month.

My Verdict:  A low cost tool that can be an advantage in your tool set.

2.  Color Scheme Designer allows you to create custom palettes for websites and more.  The interface is simple and allows you to quickly create a color scheme that works together.

I met with a client earlier today to discuss redesigning their website and color scheme (the current scheme was red and royal blue).  The first step was to redesign their logo with the new colors, the only caveat being that one of the colors had to be red.  I took the red color and put it into the tool and it generated the following color palette.

There are six different choice for choosing color combinations:

1.  Mono
2.  Complement
3.  Triad
4.  Tetrad
5.  Analogic
6.  Accented Analogic

You can adjust the saturation/brightness, contrast, and see a full color list with color swatches and hexagon codes.  They even have a tool to see a light or dark page example allowing you to see how the colors might interact on an actual page.

Using the palette generated I was able to quickly put together a logo in the new colors to show my client.  Here is the logo design (company name changed because the client is not ready to make the actual logo public):

Without the color scheme designer I’m not sure I would have chosen to mix red, blue, and green together.

My Verdict: An absolute must have if you do anything that requires color selection.

There are thousands of tools out there and they may be some that are better, but so far these two do exactly what I want them to do.  They are perfect tools to add to your DIY tool kit.

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

What’s the Point of Social Media?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question? How did you answer it? What if we ask someone else? Are they likely to give the same answer or a different one?

We’re also likely to give a different answer than people at the top social sites would give. So lets look at the point of several sites.

  • LinkedIn: To help professionals network and deepen the relationships they already have or are just developing.
  • Facebook: It’s changed in scope from its origins but Facebook allows us to engage with our friends and families on a more personal level sharing experiences, video, photo’s, etc.
  • Twitter: Twitter lets us stream micro thoughts to others and see what others are thinking or up to.
  • You Tube: Allows you to post to share experiences, entertainment, outrage, etc with others. Continue reading What’s the Point of Social Media?

3 Requirements for Social Media

In social media you really only have one thing to set you apart from your competition…content. Now content is a pretty encompassing word and I guess you could say in life all that you have to set yourself apart is the content of your actions, the content of your beliefs, the content you speak, and so on.

So to be more specific the only content that will set you apart in social media is buyer centric content …content that speaks to your prospects in their voice from their perspective. The old adage that there is no “I” in team applies here because you and your prospect form a team. And just like a coach seeks to get his team to perform at a high level, you need to get buyers to to take action. Continue reading 3 Requirements for Social Media

How’s Your Social Media Swing?

I’ve heard it all. Social media is the greatest evolution in marketing to its the biggest waste of time and money. I agree with both. Its not the tool itself but how it is used.

If I had Tiger Woods’ golf clubs I would still suffer the same severe handicap. I do have a Ken Griffey Jr. autographed Louisville Slugger but I’m not likely to do more than stir air if I faced even your average major league pitcher. Its not about the bat or the club; its about the swing.

Hitters in baseball have batting coaches and even Tiger has a swing coach. Today we’re going to take a look at some basics to craft your social media swing. Continue reading How’s Your Social Media Swing?

Top Moments in Social Media

I was doing some research the other day and decided to see if I could find the definitive moments in social media.  I was able to find numerous yearly top 10 reviews but didn’t have much success finding a list from the early 2000’s to today.  So even though I didn’t find  “the” top moments, I did find some moments that I think would at least be on the list for consideration.

  1. iPhone is Launched
    Prior to the iPhone launch cell phones could access the internet ..the iPhone just did it phenomenally better. From the touch screen, to the emergence of apps, to actually being able to read a website on a smart phone, the iPhone took mobile by the hair and dragged it from cool to useful. 

    It didn’t take me long to pass my Blackberry on to my wife so that I could sport an iPhone.

  2. Iran Election Protests
    There have been revolutions and protests in closed nations before. Twitter though gave a face to the Iranian elections protests, allowing previous restricted content, photos, and stories to make it past the media monitors and filter to the masses. 

    Lack of a free press is no longer a hindrance to the truth being told or shown. Continue reading Top Moments in Social Media

4 Twitter Statistics to Encourage Tweeting

I was doing some research this week reading various blogs and news articles and decide to write down some of the statistics that caught my eye. A set of these statistics focused on Twitter and how people are using the service to take action.

43% Follow Brands on Twitter Looking for Deals and Offers
One of the first things we do with a new client is ask them the following question, “If I follow you on Twitter, what’s in it for me?”

Now we know that some people will follow a business back to help build their own network. But, what about others. Are you providing value to them? What will capture their attention?

Coupons, discounts, special offers are a great way to engage customers and prospects. We recently ran a promotion with Copeland’s Atlanta where they gave away $50 gift cards to the first 5 people that walked into a location and said “Best Brunch in Atlanta”. Continue reading 4 Twitter Statistics to Encourage Tweeting

How Good is Your Profile?

It’s been a while since I mentioned the Linkulator so I thought I would give it a plug.  The Linkulator allows you to grade your profile and compare it to the Average LinkedIn user (at least of those who have completed it).  It takes a couple of minutes and will provide you with a numeric score of your profile, display the average user score, and then it classifies your score and provides some tips on how to improve your profile.

It’s simply a fun tool that grades your profile based on the criteria that I set.  If I had the technical skills it would be more advanced but it is what it is.

You’ll find the Linkulator at the top of my page of LinkedIn Tools

LinkedIn’s What Are You Working On?

 

Sean is working on helping a prospect with their health insurance because they contacted me after seeing my last “What are you working on?” post.  On Twitter they would be responding to my Tweet.  I’m still working on learning Twitter so I’m not sure what a response to a Tweet is.  On LinkedIn that response is called a “New Lead” or even better a “New Opportunity”.

Posting what you’re working on can be a lot like fishing.  You’re casting your bait hoping that someone bites.  On most days you’re lucky if you get a nibble, and you might be tempted to ignore the feature.  You have to remember “Wax on, Wax off”.   Keep doing it until you see why.

A lot depends upon the bait you’re using.  Do you post that you’re meeting friends for dinner at the Waffle House?  Or do you post something relevant to what pays your bills?

If you’re on LinkedIn for social reasons, by all means post about your social life.  But, if you’re like me and most others, we’re trying to find anyway possible to use LinkedIn to drive business.  Today was a good day of fishing!

My post was simple…”Sean just saved a client $800 dollars on their health insurance”.  If you’re responsible for finding your own insurance, that’s hard to ignore.  It’s good bait.  It’s a way to take a positive outcome and share it with my network in a non-intrusive way.  Because of it I may be able to help someone and create another positive outcome.

For taking 30 seconds of my day to make the post I was rewarded with a new lead that I possibly will earn over $800 in commissions.  That’s spending my time wisely.

What are you working on?  Are you updating your network with relevant posts?  Have you had success with this feature?

Why Do People Join LinkedIn Groups?

Back in the old days, pre group discussions or a searchable group directory (less than a year ago), there wasn’t much value in groups.  Sure they helped you see other members outside of your network.  You could contact those members, but there really wasn’t a significant way to interact and build community.

I finally resorted to creating a non-LinkedIn site to provide that sense of community for one group (www.northfultonbg.com).  With the addition of the searchable directory and the discussions features the equation changed.  Now you can interact with others.  The problem is that few people are participating.

So if you’ve joined a group, what are your expectations?  Is it only a cool graphic on your profile?  Is it too simply be able to contact and connect with a larger network without having to pay for a Premium account?

Discussions are the one feature that could truly provide value yet most people either aren’t reading the discussion questions or they just aren’t responding.  I posted a question in a 200 person group asking “What do you expect to get out of being a member of this group?”.  Seven days later and not a single response.

If I asked this same question in Answers I would probably get 30 to 40 responses.  The problem with these responses would be that active participants would be supplying the answers.  The real question is for those not actively participating.  It’s a Catch 22.  They’re not participating so they won’t answer the question, but their input would be valuable.

So if you’re not active (but for some reason you’re reading this blog), what do you expect out of group membership?  By the way if you are active, we’ll welcome any answers to the question.