Synthesis Migration Guide
The purpose of this guide is to provide you with simple step-‐by-‐step instructions for migrating your WordPress website from its current hosting to a premium managed Synthesis server. Our migration approach involves standard tools and skills
applicable to typical web hosting environments.
Like our overall approach to hosting, security and speed are of the utmost priority when it comes to migrations. So is accuracy. Once your site is re-‐launched on Synthesis, it needs to be exactly as it was before…just locked down and turbocharged.
In this guide we will not cover plugin-‐based approaches (like BackupBuddy). There is no guarantee that these options will work in your old hosting environment.
It’s not that such options are not viable or disallowed. In fact, many Synthesis clients have used them successfully. But this is the standard and certain “get it done right” method that will work for any site in almost any environment.
We also offer migrations services for folks who want their only migration worry to be providing credentials. We’ll handle the rest. Our migration services start at $95 and are, of course, fully guaranteed.
What You Will Need
Whether you are managing your migration yourself, or paying us to do it for you, you need to have credentials for all of the following handy:
• WordPress admin login
If you are handling the migration yourself, you will want to have a reliable FTP client (CyberDuck, Fetch, etc.) and a web browser. You can use Filezilla, but know that we see more help desk tickets related to difficulties using it than all others combined. You might want to consider a more robust tool.
DNS and Email
At this point, it is important to note that we do not offer DNS or email. The reasons for this are quite simple and boil down to our belief in the wisdom of having your essential website eggs in multiple baskets rather than just one.
In the event that there is an issue with your DNS/email provider, you do not want your website affected too, causing a total shutdown of your online business. The same goes for the opposite scenario. If everything is together, you are the mercy of one provider rather than smartly spreading yourself out across multiple specialized providers.
Email should be handled by a provider who understands the spam reality that is today’s email world. Our support team can provide guidance for configuring your site to use our hosting and a separate email provider.
We also highly recommend a DNS provider that has a scalable infrastructure. Placing your DNS and email on a local VPS is not recommended for performance, in our opinion.
Two common options our customers use:
• If the domain was purchased from GoDaddy;
o Use GoDaddy's free DNS, which is very good.
o Use 1 free email from GoDaddy and up to 100 forwarding accounts. • If the domain was not purchased from GoDaddy:
o GoDaddy Premium DNS at $25 a year.
o Google Apps or GoDaddy Paid IMAP or POP email services ($5 a month roughly)
Instructions for Backing Up Current Site
Begin the migration process by getting a complete backup of your current website. Backing up a WordPress website involves getting backups of the database and your files.
Getting Database Backup
There are plugins that will get you backups of your database, and you are free to use those if you wish, but these are no-‐frills, no-‐magic instructions. So we will show you the surefire way to get a complete database backup: straight from PHPMyAdmin itself.
Login to PHPMyAdmin and select the database you want to backup. (Hint: if there are only two or three options listed, it will not be the one labeled
On the next page you will see all of the individual tables in your database. You will also see a number of menu options at the top of the page. Choose “Export.”
Now make sure everything is selected properly:
• Hit “Select all” to backup all of the database tables. • Check “ADD DROP TABLE”
• Make sure “Data” is checked
• Check “Save as file” so it saves onto your computer. • Hit Go to begin the save process.
This will result in a complete .sql file backup on your computer, which will later be imported into your new Synthesis database.
If your export times out, consider selecting ZIP or GZIP for the compression. The buttons to select these options are located under the “Save as file” section.
Getting Backup of Files
A fresh copy of the most recent version of WordPress is automatically installed on every Synthesis server. So you do not need to backup your current WordPress install in its entirety. You only need to backup the dynamic part of the install, which is the wp-‐content folder. This is where your themes, plugins, and media files are. To backup the wp-‐content folder, use your FTP client. Navigate to the root of your WordPress install, right click on the wp-‐content folder, and choose “Get” (or “download” or whatever the relevant option is).
This can take a long time depending on your FTP client, connection speed, and the size of your wp-‐content folder. If you experience timeouts, you can also backup files individually, so long as you store them locally with the same internal structure from wp-‐content on down.
Note: If you have non-‐standard files that are outside of the wp-‐content folder, you need to back those up as well. Examples include favicons, sitemaps, or core
WordPress files that you have customized. Make note of where these files are located, as you will want to place them in the same location on your new Synthesis server.
Instructions for Migrating To Synthesis Server
Now that you have your database backup and wp-‐content folder ready, it’s time to migrate them to your new Synthesis Server.
Log in to your new Synthesis hosting account portal to get your new FTP and
PHPMyAdmin information. The login button is on the top right corner of the page at WebSynthesis.com.
Once you log in, you should see a page like this, which houses all of the information you will need:
Using your FTP client, log in using SFTP port 2200 and ID and password information in your customer portal. You will see a fresh install of WordPress.
Simply drag your wp-‐content folder from your desktop into the FTP screen. It will begin overwriting the blank wp-‐content folder on your new server. Again, if it times
out, you can do it folder by folder. Just make sure to maintain the integrity of the file structure.
If there were non-‐standard items that you saved also, drag those into the correct folders.
While your wp-‐content folder is uploading via FTP, you can import your database using PHPMyAdmin. Use the PHPMyAdmin URL and credentials in your account portal, and then choose the database for your site, which will be directly underneath “information_schema” and “test.” It will resemble your domain name.
From here, choose “Import”:
Then select your database backup file from your local drive to upload, keeping the default options.
Note: if your database is larger than 8MB in size, which is common, you will not be able to upload it via PHPMyAdmin. Simply upload it via FTP to your new server and open up a help desk ticket. One of our support engineers can then import the file for you from the command line.
Preview Your Site
If you have not already let us know that you are in the process of migrating your site, do so now. This way we can add you to the proxy server for the purposes of previewing your new site before flipping the DNS. Alternatively, you can edit the host file on your computer to preview your site, though this is regarded as more complicated than using a web proxy. (For preview access on mobile devices, you will need to use the proxy server.)
Once you have configured the web proxy or host entry, you will visit your website by typing in your usual web address. You can verify you are seeing the new site by
going to the plugins page and checking for the "Must-‐Use" Synthesis security plugins.
Web Proxy Instructions
To use our proxy server to access your site, please use these credentials: • Server: proxy.wsynth.net
• Port: 3128 • Login: preview1
• Password: nBU9D198Udb
A detailed screencast is available for both Windows and Mac:
• For Windows use http://websynthesis.com/screencast/proxy-‐windows/ • For Mac OS use http://websynthesis.com/screencast/proxy-‐mac/
All traffic besides your preview site will be passed on to the web. Still, it is a good idea to disable the proxy while not using it.
More Documentation On The Web • For Safari use:
http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/ul/services/connect/proxy/step1/safari.php • For Internet Explorer use:
Google Chrome users please note that you will need to use either the Internet Explorer or Safari configuration option, depending on what operating system you use.
Host File Instructions
To access the site by using a host file entry, get your new IP address from your customer portal and format the host file entry as shown below, substituting your domain in for “example”:
[IP www.example.com example.com]
A detailed screencast is available for both Windows and Mac:
• For Windows use http://websynthesis.com/screencast/host-‐window/ • For Mac OS use http://websynthesis.com/screencast/host-‐mac/
More Documentation On The Web For Windows 7 use:
http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-‐7/windows-‐7-‐hosts-‐file/ For Mac OS X use:
Rewrite Rules and Caching
For caching, we recommend W3 Total Cache. Use this link to download our recommended settings:
Regarding rewrites, we have to put the rewrite rules in place for you. When you get to this stage, contact us and we will be happy to help promptly.
The moment you’ve been waiting for!
Once you are satisfied that the site is functioning properly, you can switch the DNS A Record over to point to your Synthesis hosted site. The new IP address is available in your customer portal.
We do not manage DNS records for our customers. However, to help you out, we have provided simple instructions for changing your DNS records here: