Category Archives: wordpress


How to move a WordPress site to another host
WordPress Child Themes Installed in One Click?
Delete WordPress Plugins with ManageWP
WordPress London #7
Migrate a WordPress Blog Using ManageWP Clone – V2.0
Change Your WordPress Hosting Easily Via ManageWP
WordPress Fullscreen Writing Mode

How to move a WordPress site to another host

This is one nice simple way to move a WordPress installation, usually a blog, from one hosting service to another. Web hosting companies can turn flaky anytime, so it’s always good to know your escape route.

1) Login to the CPanel at the existing host. Always keep this login handy, at least be able to find the original welcome message from when you bought the hosting, or do a password reset to your original email address.

Compress and download

Compress and download

2) From the file manager, navigate to public_html, then to the files for the domain name in question, and highlight the wp-content directory.  Click on “Compress” , Compress files, then highlight the resulting file and “download” to download it to your computer.

3) Now go back to the main CPanel tab and scroll down past File, Logs, Security etc to Databases and go into “php MyAdmin”. Select the database that belongs with your site. If you have multiple domains on the one account, created the WordPresses with a script and don’t know which of the many databases it should be then you’ll need to go back into the file manage and view the wp-config  file to find out. Select “Export” and “Go”. This will download a file called something like “database_name.sql” in your downloads folder on your computer.

4) Now is a good time to switch over the DNS records for your domain name at your domain registration account so that they point to the dns servers for the new hosting. That’s just like buying a new domain name and pointing it at your own hosting, except that you are amending your existing record there to replace one pair of nameservers with the new set. The exact entry you need to put in for the nameservers will have been sent to you when you purchased  the new hosting account.

5) Log into the cPanel for the new hosting and choose “Add On Domains” to set up the transferred domain there.

6) Now use Fantastico or Scriptaculous or SimpleScripts, whichever is provided under Software/Services  to set up a brand new WordPress install into the top level directory just created by adding the domain. This will create a new database, database user and WordPress files and directories for a new empty site with just one “Hello World” post.

7) In the File Manager at the new hosting, go into the domain name top level directory and upload the file from step 2. You should see the wp-content folder created by the script and now the there as well, a bit further down.

cPanel File Manager

cPanel File Manager – WP-Content









Highlight and “Extract” to overwrite the contents with the plugins, themes and media files from the old installation.

8) Now go into “php MyAdmin” at the new hosting and find the new database set up by the installation script. You might like to make a backup, but then blank it by choosing operations, Structure, check all and “Drop”.  Now select “import”, choose the file created in step 3 and  away you go. All the settings and tweaks and options and things will have been duplicated in the new site from the old one, but in a nice and clean new WordPress installation.

9) When the dns changes have propagated through the new version of the site will be visible with very little noticeable changes. There may be a new “Hello World” post at the top of the lastest posts which can be moved to trash.

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WordPress Child Themes Installed in One Click?

I’ve been requested to make a tutorial about how to install WordPress child themes so here goes.

WordPress Child Themes Explained

A WordPress Child Theme is a Theme which inherits some or most of its workings from an existing theme on the same installation. It’s like your own copy of another theme, a fork, a duplicate, but still relying on the original theme for many things.

Why you need a Child Theme

The reason why you need a child theme is so that you can make changes to the theme files, such as editing the stylesheet or adding code into the Header or Footer files, which won’t be overwritten if and when the Parent theme is upgraded.

If you understand Cascading Stylesheets ( CSS ) you can make changes and additions to the stylesheet which customise or improve the appearance of your site. You may also need to add bits of code into the header or footer files in order to call a script which can’t be done with a plugin, like Tynt or Crazy Egg for example. Or you might know just enough PHP to be able to go through the main files reducing the number of database calls to speed up your site by replacing the generic with the specific. If you don’t use a child theme then you run the risk of losing all your customisations when the parent theme is updated, or else getting stuck left behind with an out of date version of the main theme’s code.

How to do it

To make it as easy as possible I’m suggesting the use of a plugin to create your child theme, but for now, I don’t believe there is a way to do everything ( including the creation of new theme files) entirely within the WordPress dashboard yet, so you may still need to complete one or two simple steps using either the filemanager in the cPanel dashboard at your webhost or using FTP.

The plugin is called One-Click Child Theme and you can find it here:

Install the plugin, activate, and then navigate to Dashboard, Appearance, Themes

With the theme you wish to create from active, you should now see an additional Option next to Widgets and Menus called Child Theme – see screenshot below:


So now you click on the link “Child Theme” which creates and activates your new child theme for you, after asking you for a name and description. Your new child theme will also have the link “Child Theme” but don’t click on that ever, or else you’ll create a grandchild, not really a good idea.

If you now go into the WordPress theme editor, Dashboard, Appearance, Editor you’ll see that there are only two files available with the new child theme – rtl.css and style.css
These are stylesheet files that call back to the parent theme, and it is by editing these files that you can add your own cascading styles for altering the appearance of your site and much more.

If you need to change other files such as header.php and footer.php, then you need to copy the parent files into the folder which has been created on your WordPress server at /content/themes/

Make a note of exactly what your child theme folder has been named, then go down into the original themes folder.

Select the file you need to copy, eg footer.php in the example in the screenshot below, then select the “Copy” action at the top. In the destination path box, overtype the parent name with the child name and press Copy. The copied file will now appear in the list of available files in the theme editor, where you can begin your customisations.


There are other plugins available, some of which claim to offer file copying options during the child theme creation process, but none have ratings and are untested by myself. If you have had success with any of these or any questions, please leave a comment below.


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Delete WordPress Plugins with ManageWP

I’ve just been using ManageWP beta – the web utility for managing multiple WordPress installations – to delete an obsolete plugin from several of my older blogs.

The functionality to delete or deactivate plugins was a much requested feature that was added to the many useful operations that ManageWP can perform for you just a couple of weeks ago, and it really does make this web service indispensable for anybody with more than just a couple of WordPress installations. I was recommending before, but even more so now.

The plugin I wanted to deprecate in my installations was called Viper’s Video QuickTags, very handy in it’s day for embedding youtube videos withing blog posts, but that functionality was added into the core WordPress code several versions ago, which renders the plugin redundant for me.

Plugins and Themes

Plugins and Themes

With ManageWP I could select “plugins and themes” from the sidebar, then chose All Websites, tick plugins, active, and search by keyword: “viper”. That gave me a list of five blogs that still had the old plugin active. I could have deactivated the lot in one fell swoop just like that, but I wanted to make sure all my old posts with videos embedded would still work so, without even leaving the ManageWP dashboard, I went to each affected individual WordPress dashboard in turn, and searched through the posts for the string “[youtube”, that being the way the old plugin recognised source posts needing to have the embed code added. I then removed the shortcodes from each end of the video identifier leaving just the youtube url on one line by itself, which WordPress now interprets as a request to embed video inline. Once the legacy code was removed, I could then deactivate and delete the plugin, leaving me with a nice feeling of having tidied up a longstanding loose end.


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WordPress London #7

I went to WordPress London meetup number #7 last night, hosted by Headshift at their office near Shad Thames, along the south bank of the Thames, east of Tower Bridge. Nice to have something on the East side for once, although south of the river, I wouldn’t normally mention the general location but for Londoners, having different travel options is essential and I was pleased to be able to exit the Transport For London  system at a zone 2 tube station, Bermondsey.

WordPress London is not really a mainly social gathering like some of the bloggers meetups, it’s a business learning event and last night there were three sections, each packed with fast moving presentations full of detail, actionable insights and deeply understood data.

First up, a round up of news from the world of WordPress from Chris Adams  of Headshift with a peek at the new drag and drop file upload interface for WordPress 3.3, out very soon. There was also a heads up for the ManageWP service launched this month, a service which I use myself and would also heartily recommend for anybody who maintains more than one self-hosted WordPress installation, in fact it’s brilliant if you have dozens or more.

WordPress London Meetup

WordPress London Meetup

Then David Bain delivered a comprehensive briefing about SEO for WordPress, including an outline of a hub and spoke structure for content based on using pages for the main parts of a site, supported by posts  All based around keyword targeting, which, while possibly on it’s way to becoming somewhat old-school,  is after all what search engine optimisation is all about. One or two plugin tips to be followed up there.

Finally, Keith Devon a WordPress developer explained how and why to use WordPress Custom Post Types. Custom post types are not types of posts at all, but other types of content alongside of posts or pages. The example given was that of a real estate property rental site, for which the element “Property” needed to be a thing of itself, with it’s own display template in the theme, neither a post nor a page but with it’s own “add Property” section within the dashboard. This gave me some great ideas for how I might have designed one or two of my existing sites much better had the concept been around a few years ago. Keith showed us how to implement custom post types by dropping in chunks of code into functions.php “because it’s easier” but discussion from the audience suggests that using specialised plugins for the purpose may be the way to go if you want to be able to keep your site up to date with new software releases.

Time for some brief discussions and an optional visit to a Samuel Smiths pub afterwards, so I walked back along the south bank and over London Bridge back to dry land.

Hashtag: #WPLDN

WordPress London – #7 Links and Slideshare

WordPress News



WordPress Site Structure and SEO



Custom Post Types

Slides, video and write-up:

Download the podcast



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Migrate a WordPress Blog Using ManageWP Clone – V2.0

After I posted my step by step guide to moving a complete WordPress blog installation from one host to another yesterday and tweeted the ManageWP founder Vladimir Prelovac , he sent me an improved, simpler method.

Here is what Vladimir came up with, it should be quicker and slightly more straightforward now, I hope it works!

  1. Select the site and click “Backup Now” option from the popup menu. Create a backup.
  2. Go to “View backups” and click to Download the backup file
  3. Go to the new host and using CPanel (Fantastico) create a new WordPress blog
  4. Go to your domain registrar, and switch the DNS to point to the new hosting. Wait for it to propagate.
  5. Using FTP program or Cpanel file manager upload the backup file to your new site (for example to wp-content/)
  6. Add the new site to ManageWP
  7. Select clone tool and as source type in the URL of the backup file. (for example
  8. Select to overwrite your new site.

That should be all the steps required, with no need for any individual file substitutions any more. I’m going to try it out as soon as I can, please let us know if it works for you 🙂

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Change Your WordPress Hosting Easily Via ManageWP

From time to time you may wish to move your entire WordPress blog with all its posts, comments, images,  themes and widgets over from one web hosting service to another.

In this post I’m going to show you step by step how you can move a live WordPress blog and domain from one webhost to another without needing to delve into the mySQL databases or edit any php files.

This could help you move to a more economical hosting deal, find a faster and more reliable hosting company or help you escape from that nightmarish overselling company with the frontline support ticket service from hell, and there are plenty of those around!

Manage WP

Manage WP

As a blogger using WordPress,  messing about with web hosting is something I prefer not to have to do, but unfortunately it frequently becomes a necessity. Good web hosting companies come and go, and last year’s bargain can soon become this year’s nightmare as far as technical support and hidden limitations are concerned. Imagine if we could just copy our blogs from one host to another just like switching phone networks or changing insurance companies? That would turn web hosting into a simple commodity which you could chop and change as often as you like, following the best deals or the best service, checking out new ones on a monthly basis to see how well they perform and switching back whenever you felt like it. Well I think we are almost there now, and this is how I did it most recently using a new web service called ManageWP which is presently in beta and promises to continue providing a free account for up to 3 ( or maybe 5) blogs indefinitely.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

How to Move a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog and domain from one web hosting to another using ManageWP

  1. Select the blog you wish to move from within ManageWP, and click the “Backup Now” button (see1 ).
  2. Go to File Manager or ftp in the old host CPanel and find the backup file just created, in WP-content eg public_html/blogname/wp-content/e51f790672adfc64dd712f17a9ac3/mwp_backups/ (see2 ).
  3. Download that backup file to your computer.
  4. Go to CPanel at the new host and run Fantastico or Scriptaculous to create a new WordPress blog with the same name at the new host, domain top level
  5. In File Manager or ftp, Save a copy of the new wp-config.php file just created under wp-admin.
  6. Now at your domain registration provider, switch over the dns to point to the new hosting and wait for it to propagate
  7. When the new empty blog is showing in the browser and in ManageWP dashboard, remove blog from ManageWP then re-add – (to add the manage-wp-plugin and reset the IP details etc)
  8. In ManageWP, select the new blog then Options then Backup and run a backup
  9. in File Manager, navigate to the newly created backup file and upload the old one to the same folder
  10. Still in File Manager, rename the uploaded backup file to the name of the new backup just created.
  11. in ManageWP, Restore from backup – ( now you get a Database Error because wp-config.php is looking for the old database names) so….
  12. replace wp-config.php with the one saved from (step 5) the newly created WordPress.

That’s it, it worked! You may need to deactivate and reactivate the manageWP plugin to get ManageWP to recognise the newly restored blog again.

To summarise, Backup the blog from the old host, create a new blog on the new host, then switch the dns over. When the new blog is live, re-add it to manage WP and do a backup. Then replace the backup just created with the one from the old blog and restore, but put back the wp-config from the new blog. Deactivate the ManageWP plugin and re-add the moved blog to ManageWP dashboard again.

This has been the first in a series of posts about using ManageWP to help organise and maintain multiple WordPress blog by Andy Roberts at DARnet

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WordPress Fullscreen Writing Mode

Did you know that you can write in a kind of full screen mode from right within the WordPress dashboard now? This seems to be a feature that has arrived with WordPress version 3.2 and gone largely untrumpeted. Of course you are still working within a browser, so if you want to go really undistracated you might need to enter your browser fullscreen mode as well, which is easy enough in Chrome.  I love the way the WordPress toolbar at the top fades away to leave nothing but the text you are writing, but comes back again when needed, clearly showing the link to exit fullscreen mode again. So there’s no panicking and punching the escape button repeatedly until something gives way!

This could be a good alternative to  composing offline in applications such as “Write or Die” or WriteRoom, (my favourite anti-distraction writing app at present) and then pasting into WordPress.

To entre WordPress fullscreen mode from the compose dashboard, in HTML mode press “fullscreen” or in Visual mode press this little button:

Writing in fullscreen mode is a good way of embedding the practice of writing first, and editing later, which is widely considered to be a more productive use of time than editing as you go along, adding links as you write, and even worse doing the research and writing simultaneously.

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Thanks for reading Andy Roberts articles about wordpress on the DARnet Blog