Rochen WordPress migration tips

If you’re moving your WordPress sites to Rochen hosting, here are some potentially useful tips if you’re doing things manually.

First I recommend using All-in-One WordPress Migration plugin to export your existing sites into an export file. This plugin is very smooth with large packages, but does come with a maximum size limit before you have to upgrade to premium. They don’t tell you this until you try to import a package that over 512mb, so it can take you by surprise. Annoyingly, the plugin doesn’t give you a way to filter out unwanted file types (like large zips that may be floating about), so you don’t have a meaningful way of reducing the file size without manually removing stuff. They also use a self-created file format that you can’t open with normal software like 7zip, so you’ll have no luck removing large files manually from there either. However as a workaround, you can adjust the file size limit by modifying the constant ‘AI1WM_MAX_FILE_SIZE’ in constants.php. Set it to 4 >> 28 to get a 1gb file limit.

You could also use the Duplicator plugin. This is another excellent free solution, but the actual import process is not drag and drop. With All-in-One WP Migration all you have to do is install the plugin on the new site and drag and drop the exported file to import. With Duplicator you have to manually upload its files and run the installer outside of WordPress.

Rochen’s panel doesn’t make it immediately obvious how to add apps/sites to your package. If you go looking for a ‘create new site’ or ‘add app’ button somewhere you won’t find it. Provided you opted for a multi-site plan, you can add new sites at no extra charge by going to the manage hosting section. Adding a new site works by selecting the Create new account option from that screen. Once you do this a new site with accompanying cpanel will be provisioned.

You have the option of automatically installing WordPress on the create account step, but it’s useful to know that it’s fixed to use the domain without www. This can be a bit of a gotcha if your exported site is expecting a www based site, as you’ll get a redirect loop when you try to access the site after importing the WordPress database as is. This means you have to manually go into phpmyadmin to change two of the top entries in the options table that define the site/home/installation url just to get to your WordPress admin again (else you may get stuck in a redirect loop). If you are moving a site that defaults to using www, you might as well skip the automatic installation option because you want to preserve the www behaviour in most cases (if Google indexes your pages using the www subdomain, you want to keep it that way). Instead go through the scriptalicious WordPress installation screen from the cpanel after provisioning the site. From there you have options to set the site url. You can easily choose between http:// http://www and https:// and https://www from a drop down menu.

That brings us to SSL certificate installation. This is very easy at Rochen. Find the Let’s encrypt button on the Cpanel screen. From there you can initiate certificates by pressing the ‘issue’ button. It will take you to a screen where you can set what areas will be covered. If you are managing your DNS settings with Rochen this should be all quite automatic. If you are managing things through another service (like Namecheap’s managed DNS for instance), you may have to make adjustments and additions to your domain’s DNS settings. Always give it some time whenever you change a DNS setting before things take effect.

DNS settings are pretty easy, you just have to point your A records to the IP of your Rochen server, which you can find in your control panel. On some of my sites I was using URL redirect records (which Namecheap lets you do) to automatically redirects one domain to the next so I could send people to the www version of the site if they tried using the site without www. I found this messed with the SSL certificate issuing step mentioned above (it insists on installing a certificate for the non-www version), so I changed those entries into standard CNAME records instead.

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