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Wordpress install problem

using Duplicator plugin

     
7:40 pm on Sep 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have a client that wanted his website redesigned, but the original designer wouldn't give him access to the Cpanel and a lot of other areas to the website.

The original site was all in a Wordpress blog but I took all static pages and set them up separately on the new host and those are working fine but I still need to install the blog and all blog posts need to now be separate from the website in a blog folder.

The usual plugins (WP migrator, etc) for migrating a site wouldn't work (ran out of memory) but the original designer wouldn't give us access to anything so we could fix it (that's why we changed hosts).

However I was able to use the Duplicator Plugin on Wordpress to download the database in an archive and also an installer. I got the database installed (had to call the new hosting company to help) and he said that the installer has no "content" and he can't help me any further because this is not a standard install of wordpress.

Can someone tell me if the database is supposed to include the content?

Is there any way to save the posts other than copy/pasting the content (off archive.org) into a new blog which I assume I may have to set up (which means all posts would have current date and possibly considered copies by google? There are about 30 posts.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
8:12 pm on Sept 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If the blog is based on WP you should be able to backup and download the database that holds the content and install that in another WP site install. Of course you can't get that from a copy at archive.org because you would need to have access to the admin ui. If you are using the Duplicator plugin their how-to is here: [wordpress.org...]
3:27 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@not2easy

I also tried the backup feature in WP but got an error saying it ran out of memory, which we couldn't fix as had no access to the c-panel, etc. That's why I used Duplicator as it loaded the copy on my computer.

Thanks for that link. Duplicator is supposed to copy the content also so I'll write them to see what is wrong.
3:35 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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the original designer wouldn't give him access to the Cpanel and a lot of other areas to the website.


There must be a solid reason to do that as being awkward is not acceptable.

If you can't get access, why can't the previous designer pass you a copy of the database?
3:52 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@engine

The original designer is well known for scams and running a dishonest business. He refused to give the owner of the site anything other than login to WP and FTP. the hosting login did not give us access to the cpanel. He was a reseller so I suppose this had something to do with it besides the fact that the owner hired someone else to take over. He was also charging exorbitant prices for the service he provided.

Also according to the Duplicator documentation, it is supposed to include the content so I assume the tech person who was helping me with the install didn't know where to find it. However, I'm not sure where to proceed from here.
4:07 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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You can move a WP site via ftp if you have a copy of the .sql database file. You only need to ensure that the database username and password have been changed to reflect the new account on the new host. That is done in your wp-config.php file. If you have downloaded the entire domain via ftp (which can be very time and bandwidth consuming) you will have everything except the database so you want to download that via your plugin before beginning to set up the new domain.

I really recommend a complete change of your database username and password (and table prefixes if you can) for the new site since the old site has someone who's not very nice behind the scenes that has access to all that info.

PS - use file permissions (chmod) to keep your configuration file private.
4:12 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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OK, understood.

The key is getting the database.
not2easy has the correct approach.
I really recommend a complete change of your database username and password (and table prefixes if you can) for the new site since the old site has someone who's not very nice behind the scenes that has access to all that info.

Completely agree, especially under the circumstances.
5:17 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@not2easy and @engine

I was mistaken when I said I had FTP access to the old site as that wasn't provided either. Yes we changed the DB name and PW when the database was exported/imported with Duplicator and then installed. I'll check into changing table prefixes.

Thanks for the tips.
5:34 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Changing table prefixes is not crucial but the reason I do it is because when those bots come around with automated exploit lists, they get a 404 when the target is a "wp-" (default format) object. Makes it easier to avoid 'in-the-wild' exploits and the 404 seems to make them stop trying sooner than other responses.

I do not alter root filenames such as wp-login.php - to be clear, this is done on .sql table prefixes and the wp-config.php file would need updating if that is done. I believe there is an instruction page at wp.org in the codex area.
5:44 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@not2easy

Thanks!
10:03 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I've been in this situation where the hosting company refused to allow db access, or ssh. This will be a problem. Without FTP it will be difficult to get all the files. You will need to get a copy of the sql database in order to import it into your new site. But as well all images, attachments are in the WP content directory. You will need FTP for this.

You could try a plugin, but if you've run out of memory, which is common on free web hosting sites, you are out of luck. I once could not even do a WP core files update, as I ran out of memory. I lost about 100 hrs of time when I used a "free" hosting site. Never again. I had to do a manual rebuild when the hosting company blocked and then ransomed my site.

Maybe pay the guy to provide the sql backup and files? He is basically ransoming your site.

[edited by: TorontoBoy at 10:09 pm (utc) on Sep 26, 2019]

10:09 pm on Sept 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If you can install a back up plugin, then install UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin. It can zip up the db and email it to you, send it to dropbox as well as to many other places.

Then you can upload that to the new server and use the plugin to restore the site.

Speaking from experience, it's simple to use and works perfectly for restoring a website. It saved one of my sites after I accidentally broke it.

Good luck!

Roger Montti
3:37 pm on Sept 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@torontoboy

The plugin I used, Duplicator, exports the database to your computer and is supposed to get all files (including images, content, etc) and it comes with an installer, and this plugin didn't run out of memory like the other plugins I tried. This account supposedly had unlimited memory but I had no way to access it to get it increased. I managed to get it dowloaded to my computer then to the new client site but had to get help naming the new database as I'd never done this before, and then the tech person installed the rest of it. However, he couldn't get it working and said they don't support 3rd party software.

Thanks for trying to help

[edited by: Lorel at 3:41 pm (utc) on Sep 27, 2019]

3:40 pm on Sept 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@martinibuster

I no longer have access to the site once we changed the dns. I tried the backup feature in WP and that ran out of memory also.

Thank for trying to help.
8:15 pm on Sept 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@ torontoboy

I asked the owner if he wanted to contact the original designer again and have him send me the DB, but he said no, he didn't want to mess with that guy any further, and to just trash the old blog and he'll start a new one. He didn't even want me to dig up the old posts, images from archive.org.

Some efforts are just not worth the stress they will cause.

Thanks to everyone for trying to help.
1:34 pm on Sept 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Just a note that accounts on shared servers, which I am assuming your client is using, always has a limit on memory and CPU usage. This is to ensure that if someone hammers your site, aka DoS denial of service attack, that the attack will not degrade the response time of other site owners on your server Similarly if a plugin tries to take up more memory or CPU that allocated to you, you will time out.

You could rebuild the db and site with the exact credentials (ID and pws) first, using the plugin, and then afterwords change the db and table names. The plugin may get confused with the different table names.
1:48 pm on Sept 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Installing your site from backup with Duplicator is actually quite easy. You just need to have a database plus credentials. Then you upload the archive and installer file to your site's root directory. When it is done, simply go to yourdomain.com/installer.php. This should start the installation process. The archive will unpack and, at some point, will ask you for the database name and credentials. Enter and continue. The only other information you will have to supply is if it should overwrite any URLs in the database (in case you are changing the domain). Is that what you did? Because then you should have a full copy of your site.