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Support #4330

Switching URLs of already existing JITP site

Added by Laura Kane almost 4 years ago. Updated over 3 years ago.

Status:
Resolved
Priority name:
Normal
Assignee:
Category name:
WordPress (misc)
Target version:
Start date:
2015-07-23
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Estimated time:

Description

Hello,

I will be developing the new JITP site on either [[http://jitpstaging.commons.gc.cuny.edu]] or [[http://jitpdev.commons.gc.cuny.edu]] and was wondering if it would be possible, when the time comes to go live, we could switch the development URL for the production one [[http://jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu]]? Or is there another method that I can use to facilitate this switch? Please let me know if you need any additional information. Thank you!

Best,
Laura

History

#1 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 4 years ago

As a rule, I like to avoid doing this. WordPress isn't built for the easy switching of URLs once the site has been populated with content. URLs are stored in many places in the database, making a truly comprehensive search and replace difficult.

In your specific case, there will in fact be two switches, since the site that currently lives at http://jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu will presumably be archived somehow. Will all content from the existing site be migrated to the new one, using the same URLs? If not, incoming links will break after the existing site is migrated away.

Can you give me a sense of what your development of the new site will entail? Is this mostly about the building of a new theme? Or will you be doing major content reorganization?

#2 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 4 years ago

  • Category name set to WordPress (misc)
  • Assignee set to Boone Gorges
  • Target version set to Not tracked

#3 Updated by Laura Kane almost 4 years ago

Hi Boone,

Apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I hadn't updated my email so I wasn't receiving any notifications. Ideally, all of the content from the existing site will be migrated to the new site, using as many of the same URLs as possible (although there may in fact be few preserved). We are re-building the site using a responsive theme (Roma) and re-organizing some content (changing category names, categorizing items differently).

Would it be possible to reroute the current JITP URL to a stand-in site while I work on the real site? There is a JITP staging site that may be able to serve this purpose.

Thank you!

#4 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 4 years ago

Ideally, all of the content from the existing site will be migrated to the new site, using as many of the same URLs as possible (although there may in fact be few preserved).

This is a shame. My personal recommendation is, as much as possible, to rearrange the content in situ. WordPress has good native support for changed post URLs, so that if you modify category structure, etc, old links will automatically be redirected to the new URLs. This won't be possible if you are starting from scratch.

That being said, I know that it can be very arduous to do this kind of migration, so I understand why you may want to wipe the slate clean and manually import existing content.

Would it be possible to reroute the current JITP URL to a stand-in site while I work on the real site? There is a JITP staging site that may be able to serve this purpose.

Ray, do you think it's possible to fake WordPress into thinking that jitpstaging.commons.gc.cuny.edu (or some other Commons subsite) is actually jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu? Any reason why we wouldn't be able to use the domain mapping plugin for this weird purpose? Or do you have any other recommendations for Laura on how to handle the migration?

#5 Updated by Matt Gold almost 4 years ago

Laura -- given Boone's advice here, what do you think about taking the journal down for a few days -- putting it in maintenance mode -- so that you can rework the theme (once it is ready) directly on the live site?

#6 Updated by Raymond Hoh almost 4 years ago

Ray, do you think it's possible to fake WordPress into thinking that jitpstaging.commons.gc.cuny.edu (or some other Commons subsite) is actually jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu? Any reason why we wouldn't be able to use the domain mapping plugin for this weird purpose?

Kind of.

Let's say, we map jitpstaging.commons.gc.cuny.edu to jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu. If a user goes to jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu, this user will see content from the jitpstaging site.

However, in my local testing, this only works if the "Permanent redirect" option is disabled under the WPMU Domain Mapping settings page.

Currently on CAC, we have the "Permanent redirect" option enabled...


Or do you have any other recommendations for Laura on how to handle the migration?

Laura could work on jitpstaging and when she's ready, we could try cloning the site to jitp with this plugin:
https://wordpress.org/plugins/multisite-clone-duplicator/

We might have to test this a bit before this is a viable option.

#7 Updated by Laura Kane almost 4 years ago

Hi All,

First, thank you for all of the suggestions, and for trying to figure out some way to do this. Based on the complexity/uncertainty and potential complications from some of these suggestions, I'm leaning more toward Matt's suggestion that we just take the site down for a few days while I quickly update everything. Matt, do you think the web committee would be okay with this? I can try to map everything out so that the major overhaul and updates can be done in the first 24-48 hours. By that point, we may be able to make the site live again and I can continue to tweak from there.

#8 Updated by Matt Gold almost 4 years ago

Matt, do you think the web committee would be okay with this?

Yes, of course. The trick is to have everything ready so that you'll be able to make the switch in that period of time.

#9 Updated by Laura Kane almost 4 years ago

Right. Should we move this off-thread? Maybe we can email about details tomorrow?

#10 Updated by Matt Gold almost 4 years ago

sounds good.

#11 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 4 years ago

  • Subject changed from Switching URLs of already existing sites to Switching URLs of already existing JITP site
  • Status changed from New to Hold

Thanks, everyone. I should note that, from our point of view (me and Ray), there's no reason why we can't set up some alternative way of migrating. But from your point of view, you should want to maintain existing URLs. So our urging comes from the desire to give helpful advice :)

Laura, if you plan to do your development/staging on a local environment, and need a complete site backup (beyond what's provided in the native WP export tools), please let me know.

Setting this ticket to Hold. Please feel free to post further questions and requests here, and we can also use this space to coordinate any help you may need with setting up a maintenance window.

#12 Updated by Stephen Klein almost 4 years ago

Boone,

Similar to what we are doing for Career Planning, couldn't we have a development site and then merely switch URLs?

Would make like easier.

Thanks,
Stephen

#13 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 4 years ago

Stephen - It would make life easier for you, but not for us :) Switching URLs of an existing WP site is not a trivial task. That said, it's much easier for a brand-new site. And if this is going to become a common request, then perhaps I'll set up the tools necessary to do it on our end, to ease the process for hosting partners.

#14 Updated by Laura Kane almost 4 years ago

Hi All,

I am still in favor of taking the site down for a couple of days and making all of the big changes quickly. Since we have not been able to come to a consensus about this so far (and it seems we don't have Roma available) I haven't done any work on the site. After next week I won't be able to do this overhaul since the start of the semester put too much other pressing work on my plate. At this point, I propose that I take the site down August 24th and 25th and launch the new site design on August 26th. I can tweak the site from there, but I won't be able to devote any substantial time (viz. the time needed for the theme change and major updates) to the site after August 27.

Will the Roma theme be available on August 24th? If so, and this is the least complicated way to update the site, I will plan to do the overhaul next week.

#15 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 4 years ago

Hi Laura - This plan sounds fine to me. Roma will be available by August 21 on jitp. Let me know if you need anything on my end, other than the theme.

#16 Updated by Boone Gorges over 3 years ago

  • Status changed from Hold to Resolved

I think this has all been sorted out.

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