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BackupBuddy - Question from a newbie before to buy - Migrating a site


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Paulina_*

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:38 PM

Hello,

I discovered recently your site and am considering BackupBuddy. I read the different topics here and I'm not sure I understand the following.

I have a setup where my core WP files are not in the root directory (I am not a techie but apparently it is what is described with a 'Home Url' and 'site Url' being different). My sites are heavily using Widgets with apparently what my support guy calls "serialised data".

My main use would be to transfer local dev to live environments ("migration" is I understand clearly).

It seems by reading here other topics that I might run in trouble.

Would it be working without any problem with BackupBuddy with the existing package?

Thanks

#2 Jeremy Trask

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 04:21 PM

Hi

Your question is very important to us so that we can help you make an informed decision about purchasing BackupBuddy and we can get to know in more detail your intended usage.

A setup where the WordPress core files are not installed in the (site) root directory but instead in a subdirectory is quite common and is not necessarily, by nature, as you describe, that is to say it does not have to have the WordPress address and Site address (as you would see them on the Settings page) being different. I have used these terms because as you mention that you are a non-techie I think it is perhaps confusing to use terms such as "home url" and "site url" since these are not specifically terms or names used by WordPress and as a non-techie you would not come across any such usage. Of course I make the assumption that as a non-techie you do edit WordPress configuration files or use database maintenance tools - please re-advise if I have made an incorrect assumption here.

Just to clarify and verify could you state what are your site WordPress address and Site address so that I can be sure exactly what type of installation is under consideration (of course you do not need to specify the real values but just representative values that have the same form). Could you also note in what manner the values are displayed, specifically whether or not you are able to edit the values or are the values shown as greyed out?

Again, just to clarify to better allow us to help you - and you'll probably need your "support guy" as you mention to provide you some detail here - could you confirm in what manner the WordPress address and Site Address values are derived - is it through database stored value or overrides?

And finally, I'm sorry it may seem like a lot of questions, but we do like to be thorough, could your support guy describe what is his specific reason for mentioning serialized data to you? Have you or he had some specific issue in the past with serialized data, perhaps where a host has moved a site for you?

Thanks for your patience in this matter and if you can help us with the additional information and detail (I am sure your support guy will have no trouble :-) we can better understand you specific needs.

Regards...jeremy

"Everything will be all right in the end. If it isn't all right yet then it isn't the end."


#3 Guest_Paulina_*

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 01:07 AM

Hello,

Thanks for answering me.

Your answer is quite technical for me. But let's try.

Depending on the websites, I have with my WP setup other software installed like wikis, forums, etc...

The address of the the site is for example www.mywebsite.co.za. The core files of WP are not installed in the root directory but in a sub directory of the home setup - usually www.mywebsite.co.za/wp.

Wikis or forums software are installed respectively in www.mywebsite.co.za/wiki & www.mywebsite.co.za/forum.

But it is by the main WP index.php file in the home directory that access is done to the site.

Not sure to understand everything, but my techie said the best way to understand it is to read http://codex.wordpress.org/Giving_WordPress_Its_Own_Directory.

This setup is perfectly working for me for months now.

However, with our current process, when I move files from local to live on Internet (the address of the website has to change), all link addresses present in widgets are not handled correctly and widgets are not visible anymore. It is apparently what my techie calls a problem with "serialised data", whatever it means.

I have been reading other posts which seem to be somehow related to my setup (for instance: http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/topic/16452-come-on-backupbuddy-working-when-wordpress-address-is-different-from-the-site-address-general-settings/) and I am not sure if they apply to my situation.

Will BackupBuddy be able to help me with this?

Please advice.

Thanks for your help

Paulina

#4 Guest_Paulina_*

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 11:58 PM

Hello,

Anybody there? I have urgent requests and I need to know this week if I should buy BackupBuddy or not?

Thanks

Paulina

#5 Jeremy Trask

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:48 AM

Hi Paulina

Apologies for the delay, there was some additional information I asked for but as your request is urgent I will give you a reference site setup and migration scenario to which you and your support help will be able to compare with your situation to determine the applicability.

The site to be migrated was either:

a) directly installed in a subdirectory and had the (Settings) Site address changed at installation to the "parent" url before any content was added; or

b) directly installed in the main site root and then moved to the subdirectory (as per the WordPress Codex) before any content was added.

The option (a) is the (at least my :-) preferred method as it is a little cleaner and easier, for one thing you don't stand the risk of losing the admin during the process. It's important to remember to save the Permalink setting at the appropriate points to have valid .htaccess files in place.

Content is added as normal with (internal) links on Posts and Pages making use of appropriate shortcode techniques and/or editor based link insertions for "virtual" (posts, pages) links and "real" (media, etc. â files) links.

Widget content may be added using appropriate shortcode techniques or embedded php techniques for (internal) links. The use of such techniques in general is a good approach as it aids portability.

For the migration process, and I'm assuming this is a first migration rather than a subsequent migration, take a full backup and place the backup file and importbuddy.php on the new server in the subdirectory which will equate with your new (Settings) WordPress address.

Proceed through the Steps until Step 4 where you will select the option for a different "Site Address (Home URL)" and set this to the desired (Settings) Site address (the main site domain url) â (remember to enter and test the new database access details as well of course ;-) Proceed through the following migration steps until Step 7 but do not execute Step 7 yet as advised on the page.

The next steps are:

1) using your ftp client or other means move the .htaccess file and index.php from the subdirectory into the site root and edit the index.php to set the correct path for the require statement. This is of course the same operation you would have done for the initial installation option (a) and you only need to do this for the first migration of this site to this server. You should make sure that at least the .htaccess file is writable by the server process for ease of the next step but it is not essential.

2) Using a new browser window (remember we're keeping importbuddy sitting at Step 7) login in to the site admin and save the Permalink setting which will amongst other things update the .htaccess file that you just copied to the main site root. Of course as is normally the case if WordPress cannot write to the file it will tell you what it wants you to put in the file.

Now you may visit the site as a normal visitor to verify the operation and when satisfied you may return to the importbuddy window and execute Step 7 to clean up. If you get any warnings about files that could not be removed then you will need to go in and remove these using your ftp client or other means (control panel File Manager, etc.).

In response to your specific point concerning serilaized data, yes importbuddy (the component of the BackupBuddy solution that is used to perform the migration) does process serialized data.

I hope this information will allow you and your technical support to make your decision, thanks.

Regards...jeremy

"Everything will be all right in the end. If it isn't all right yet then it isn't the end."


#6 KENNETH HAWKINS

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 08:06 AM

I have a related question and not sure my scenario is exactly the same.

I have a wordpress site here: http://mymauivilla.com/wp and want to use backupbuddy to migrate it to the root, so http://mymauivilla.com

Does the migrate/restore feature work for this?

There is currently a non-wordpress site at the root.

Please let me know asap. Thanks!

#7 Jeremy Trask

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:25 AM

Hi Kenneth

Yes, I noted your question over on the main forum, it will be responded to there. Unfortunately at the moment we are experiencing a spike in support requests so the response times are a little slower than normal, please bear with us on this as every request is important to us.

The short answer to your question is yes.

Regards...jeremy

"Everything will be all right in the end. If it isn't all right yet then it isn't the end."


#8 Guest_Paulina_*

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 01:34 AM

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for the long answer. The process seems to be quite straight forward as also explained in the migration video on the Home Page.

Here is what I have in the "General Settings" panel on my local setup:

So everything will be good for me if I move to a new?:

I have links that will have to be converted in posts, pages, widgets, everywhere in fact.

Please confirm this final step.

Thanks

Paulina

#9 Jeremy Trask

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 03:54 PM

Hi Paulina

Thanks for the additional information.

Yes, in general the migration process is trouble-free. Of course I understand your desire for certainty but with a complex product operating in a complex and uncertain environment there are always opportunities for unforeseen issues an it would be negligent in advising you if I did not point that out as I am sure you will agree.

Indeed, if such certainty were ever possible then, in general, there would be no need for support Forums as you will find here and for many other products from many other vendors. The vast majority of Customers will have no problems or simply need pointing in the right direction whilst a few need a little more support to overcome trickier problems.

For your particular case, if, with your technical support, you can identify that your installation is consistent with the scenario that I previously described then your migration should go as described, subject to the condition(s) I described above.

It is not my intention to be unhelpful in my response but at the same time I would ask you to consider whether, without me having your intimate knowledge of your site, your local development environment and your new host/server, whether your expectation of a 100% guarantee is reasonable.

Regards...jeremy

"Everything will be all right in the end. If it isn't all right yet then it isn't the end."


#10 gguerin

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 01:20 AM

Hi Jeremy,

Sorry for jumping in, but with the current version of BackupBuddy (2.2.10), the setup described by Paulina is not currently going to work (what she described is basically the same setup that the one I am stuck with since end of June): 'Home Url' different from 'Site Url', need to change links in widgets due to a migration.

See http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/topic/16452-come-on-backupbuddy-working-when-wordpress-address-is-different-from-the-site-address-general-settings/ for reference, specifically entries on 27/07.

Could you confirm which version you have access? Maybe it is a new one not currently officially released?

@Paulina,

BackupBuddy seems to be a nice product, and a lot of users are apparently very happy with it, but in this specific configuration, there is room for improvements (basically it doesn't work - I know for sure, I bought it - and there is no workaround for this problem currently).

The dev team is however apparently working on it, and situation could change in the near future.

A weekly news was published on 27.07.2011:

2. ImportBuddy is getting new upgrades this week. ImportBuddy is the
importing feature for BackupBuddy, so if you use BackupBuddy to migrate or
restore a site, you are already using it. And now it will be even more
robust. Matt Danner, COO of iThemes, described it this way: "It is like
ImportBuddy is getting a titanium hip. It will look the same on the
outside, but be even more super powerful on the inside". 

But for the moment (7th August) this 'upgrade' has not been released as announced. Not sure also what is included in details with the "titanium hip'. Hopefully, soon we will know.

#11 Jeremy Trask

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 04:19 AM

Hi Gilbert

I am using V2.2.10.

Regards...jeremy

"Everything will be all right in the end. If it isn't all right yet then it isn't the end."


#12 Guest_Paulina_*

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 12:25 AM

Ok, thanks to all.

Maybe because I'm coming from a so called third world country, my perceived risk is still fairly high.

Some user say it is not going to work for the moment in my configuration (and they seem pretty well aware and documented on the thing).

On the other side, support sounds quite elusive on this specific topic (not specifically you Jeremy but based on what I read in the other threads of the forum).

There is also a no refund policy ($150 is really quite an amount here) in case I can't use it just after my purchase for what I am supposed to...

So nobody else from iThemes with an official statement on this (even just saying for example "No there is absolutely no problem with this, and we assure you it is going to be really ok from day one - or - Yes we have a problem with this but the 'Titanium hip' update is going to fix it definitely on Month/Day/Year")?

Paulina

#13 Jeremy Trask

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:40 AM

Hi Paulina

I can assure you that your geographical location has no bearing at all on the responses that I have made to your enquiry - in fact I have no idea where you are located as the use of a specific domain has no specific relationship to where you as the owner of that domain may be located. My responses are based purely on the questions you ask and the responses you give to questions I ask :-)

As I mentioned previously, I understand that you are looking for certainty and it is of course your decision as to whether based on my responses (and any other information you wish to take into account) you believe that you are certain enough to proceed and of course I would always advise that if you are not certain then make your decision appropriately.

Because this is a complex situation you will be aware that I was asking a lot of questions and in the end I did not feel that I had sufficient evidence to make a call on your specific site and installation. For that reason I instead chose to provide a "reference" scenario which you, in conjunction with your technical support, could compare, using your combined specific and detailed knowledge of your site, to decide whether or not it would match that reference scenario. I hoped that I had pitched this at the right level, for example, based on the fact that your technical support understood and were concerned about serialized data I felt that they would be able to understand the details of the scenario to compare with your site. I can only apologise if I misjudged this and left you even more confused :-(

Of course as this is a public forum anyone else can post their own opinions and experiences and I have no objection to that provided they are sensible and not misleading. However you should also consider that any advice you may be given or any assertions that may be made are also based upon assumptions about your situation unless the person making such has specific access to or knowledge of your site - they may have, I cannot say. I can't comment on whether these may be correct or not.

As an official support function I prefer not to make assumptions unless I clearly state what these are so that anyone reading them can confirm the validity of the assumption and/or seek clarification. Such a responsibility is not incumbent upon any other contributor.

I fully respect your decision that you do not wish to proceed at this time and I hope that the information and explanations I have provided above will give you an idea of the approach I take on these support forums (be they public or member only) and also how to weigh and consider other useful contributions. The products will still be here when you feel the time is right for you ;-)

Regards...jeremy

"Everything will be all right in the end. If it isn't all right yet then it isn't the end."


#14 Guest_Robert_*

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 12:03 AM

Good day,

I can understand the feeling of Paulina. Honestly, it feels a bit like playing the "Russian roulette".

Jeremy, these answers are very lengthy, and it sounds more like a philisophical course about the duties of the support than just a technical confirmation ;-).

I am also in this technical configuration. As I am lazzy, I will just copy and paste the description of Paulina:

Quote

Here is what I have in the "General Settings" panel on my local setup:

So everything will be good for me if I move to a new?:

I have addresses used in a lot of widgets (<a  href="http://localhost/www.mywebsite.co.za" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://localhost/www.mywebsite.co.za</a>) that have to change during the migration process.

So really, is it working or not in this configuration?

Maybe I am wrong, but I don't see why this description or process should be really influenced by or would need a deeper knowledge of my sites to give an answer.

Thanks to confirm asap as new major client migration needs arise quickly on my side.

Robert

#15 Bes Zain

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:49 AM

Hi Robert [and everyone else],

Thanks for posting [and for sharing your site configuration.]

BackupBuddy, while working even in such cases, is not currently always flexible with the URLs as mentioned in this scenario when it comes to importing.

The direct answer: Basically, BackupBuddy works fine in updating different WordPress and Site URLs, both being different, but does not update [when importing] things like text widgets or text widget settings, as an example [mainly in widgets] on the import end, for such sites where the WordPress URL and the Site URL is different.

Solution: An update to importbuddy.php is coming out soon [as this issue arises on the import side - the backup side works fine atm] that addresses this very specific issue and makes the import more flexible with such url differences [meaning it makes the actual import work perfectly or as much accurate as possible] in such scenarios the way it does with current sites where the WordPress and Site URL is the same.

Does that help? I hope that clears things up! When the new update comes out [any day now] you can actually use the new importbuddy.php it right away and let us know how it goes; hopefully it will work perfectly for your exact case right out of the box.

Please let us know if you've any other questions, and thanks for working this out with us!

Regards,

#16 Jeremy Trask

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 12:18 PM

Hi Robert

It's a Pre-Sales Forum where people are trying to make decisions about a product based on their requirements and "the devil is in the detail" as the saying goes ;-)

With all due respect there is insufficient information in your question to be able to make a definitive yes/no answer so all I can say is that if your installation matches the working scenario I gave (which when viewed externally matches your description) then it will work. If it doesn't match or you do not know whether it matches then you would be best advised to delay your purchase if this is your sole requirement - which is the same advise I gave to the OP :-)

If you would like me to explain then of course I can but I understand from your post that more detailed explanations may not be what you are looking for.

Regards...jeremy

"Everything will be all right in the end. If it isn't all right yet then it isn't the end."


#17 Guest_Pierre_*

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:23 AM

Hi,

Thanks Bes, first time that we see a proper and "real" answer from the support here about this problem.

But still waiting now for weeks & weeks. Has the problem been finally fixed?

Where is the titanium update announced for "now" more than one month ago?

Pierre

#18 Bes Zain

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 04:28 PM

Hi everyone (and Pierre, thanks for waiting! Replying to you here also), :)

GREAT news today:a brand new version of BackupBuddy has just been released:2.2.14which has MANY new features, including the first release of this exact function of flawlessly dealing with DIFFERENT WordPress URI and Site URI on the domain name. So the entire topic of WordPress address being different from the Site address in WordPress â> Settings is now resolved.

Please go ahead and download it from your Member's panel to test it out. For new/future customers, you can now rejoice and rest assured: you should have no problems at all if your WordPress URL is different than your Site URL in WordPress â> Settings area. BackupBuddy takes care of that perfectly in all of our thorough tests. :)

Since this is the first time we're releasing this exact fix for it,including the brand new MULTISITE Support, please test it out, let us know any suggestions you have, any errors/bugs you run into, etc. Your testing and feedback will let us know what to work on more, what to focus on, etc.

Please be sure to post only one post about each issue in only one forum/category/thread. (you can always pm me anytime to let me know if we miss any reply or topic)

You can post specific questions/comments/etc about this exact version release, if you're an existing customer, in the BackupBuddy forums: <a  href="http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/forum/74-backupbuddy/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/forum/74-backupbuddy/</a>

Questions related to BackupBuddy and Multisite specifically go in this category: <a  href="http://ithemes.com/support/backupbuddy-ms/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://ithemes.com/support/backupbuddy-ms/</a>

Any Pre-sales related questions regarding this very topic can continue in this very thread, however. :)

Thank you SO VERY MUCH for being patient with us while we addressed this very issue. Let me know if you've any other questions.

Regards,

(also posted in the other related thread: <a  href="http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/topic/16452-come-on-backupbuddy-working-when-wordpress-address-is-different-from-the-site-address-general-settings/#p83427" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://ithemes.com/forum/index.php?/topic/16452-come-on-backupbuddy-working-when-wordpress-address-is-different-from-the-site-address-general-settings/#p83427</a>)

Edited by Bes Zain, 31 August 2011 - 12:32 PM.