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Migrate XenForo site to a new web host

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by ALFrisbee, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. ALFrisbee

    ALFrisbee Active Member

    Hi all, I'm trying to migrate our current XenForo site from our current hosting provider, to a new one that I've set up with GoDaddy.com.

    I've read a bunch of the articles/FAQs available via this site, which talk about doing the f0llowing:
    1) backup mysql database - DONE
    2) back up all files via FTP- DONE
    3) restore all files via FTP to new web server - DONE
    4) restore/upload mysql database on new server - DONE
    5) update config.php on new server with login details for new mysql db - DONE
    6) change 'Board URL' via ACP pointing to new server - NOT DONE
    7) migrate DNS to point friendly name at new web server - NOT DONE

    In short, no site is launching when I hit the IP addy of the new web server, but I simply get a 'pageok' response.

    I haven't yet done step 6, as I'd like to test that the site is launching on the new server, before I bring down our live site.
    I'm a little confused, because I can't actually get to the ACP of my site, on the new web server, due to it not launching ... and can't see how changing the Board URL in the ACP of our live site, is going to magically bring it up on the new server?

    Can anyone provide any assistance, or perhaps suggest whether or not it's possible to copy/migrate a XenForo site to a new web server, without taking down our live one first? (obviously licensing is a consideration, as I don't want to breach any licensing agreement, so I'm keen to know also what the kosher thing to do is when you want to test the new site/host, before breaking a live one!).

    Thx heaps in advance,
  2. Dodgeboard

    Dodgeboard Well-Known Member

    The board URL is used for outgoing emails and other features. Your site will still load and you will be able to access the Admincp with it set incorrectly. But if you are using the same domain name, this should not require changing.

    Once you configure your name-servers to point to your new host, you will see a "switching back and forth" for the first 24 hours as the DNS changes propagate. If you are on a shared server, and it sounds like you are, it's doubtful that using your IP address to navigate to your new site, will work. You need to just leave the live site up, bite the bullet and switch the name-servers, then wait for it to "switch over" to finish your setups.

    I would make an announcement to your members that this will take place and what to expect, or temporarily suspend posting permissions so that you aren't missing a bunch of posts when it switches over.

    If both sites will use the same domain name and will only be using separate databases during the transition, I believe this constitutes fair use of your license agreement. Just be sure and take down your old site and remove the files after propagation is complete.
    Jake Bunce likes this.
  3. ALFrisbee

    ALFrisbee Active Member

    Ah ok thanks, good to know. This obviously means then that it's got nothing to do with why my new site isn't launching.

    I don't believe the lack of DNS pointing my legit domain to the new webserver would matter would it? For example, at the moment I'm purely wanting to test the concept, and get the site to launch, and thus I'm happy to use the IP addy instead of friendly DNS name to access it. When I set up the service with GoDaddy they gave me the IP to use for accessing the site, and it does present with 'pageok' ... the main issue I guess is that I don't know whether I'm dumping the XenForo files into the right 'place' when I tap into the new server with FTP.

    Yep, plan to do that once I know that I can successfully bring up the site on the new server. Once i've made the announcement, and make the live site 'read only' (or just take it offline) I'll take a fresh dump of the database and re-upload to the new server.
  4. Dodgeboard

    Dodgeboard Well-Known Member

    I just completed an install for a GoDaddy customer yesterday. I know what you mean by this. It's not the typical public_html folder that you would expect to see. If yours is the same as the one I just did, you just dump the files at the root.

    As far as this "Page OK" message, it sounds as though what you are seeing is a default htm or html file. Delete it or rename it through your file manager or FileZilla. Also, you may need to tweak your .htaccess file to make it work correctly on your new host.

    Beware of something I ran into with Godaddy. I was not able to change file permissions using FileZilla ftp client. I had to login to the Hosting file manager to change them.
    Jake Bunce likes this.
  5. Dodgeboard

    Dodgeboard Well-Known Member

    Just understand that it may not switch all at once. It will switch for some members sooner than others. This will leave unique posts on each site, especially if you run a busy site. So a database import could potentially erase posts on the destination server.

    Also - I had problems successfully accessing Godaddy directly via IP. Not sure exactly why but it wouldn't work for me.
    Jake Bunce likes this.
  6. ALFrisbee

    ALFrisbee Active Member

    Ahah, this might be my problem!
    So to confirm, do you mean put the files that reside within the 'public_html' directory of our current live xenforo installation, straight into the new server's FTP root?
    Yeah I thought the same (re the 'pageok' message), however I'm not able to see any index/welcome.html type page that contains that text, anywhere in the FTP root?
  7. Dodgeboard

    Dodgeboard Well-Known Member

  8. The Forum Heroes

    The Forum Heroes Well-Known Member

    Just a FYI, GoDaddy hosting has a lot of issues with forum hosting or even just hosting in general. They need to stick to what they do great, domain registering.
  9. ALFrisbee

    ALFrisbee Active Member

    LOL, and I note from your signature that you wouldn't be biased at all ???? ;)
    Seriously though, can you elaborate on the 'issues' that you're referring to?
  10. The Forum Heroes

    The Forum Heroes Well-Known Member

    Nope not at all, if your budget is only budget hosting providers I would recommend Hostgator over Godaddy, I have several domain though them and they are great at that, though I have never used them personally, I have heard horror stories from clients how hard it is to get your site to work, days straight of down time and small forums suspended for over resource usage.
  11. ALFrisbee

    ALFrisbee Active Member

    Ok, thanks Mike, appreciate the extra info.
    So does anyone else reading this thread have any further suggestions re what I might need to do (beyond the suggestions already made of course) to get XenForo to work with GoDaddy?
    (I'm going to try the stuff suggested, plus I have a ticket lodged with GoDaddy to give us further info as to what's required to get a XenForo site to 'launch', but i know the GoDaddy ticket will take a while to get actioned).
  12. Ghan_04

    Ghan_04 Active Member

    Bleh. Have to say, I hate GoDaddy as well. If you're ever up for moving again, I have a couple of servers that would work much better. :)

    So, to your current issue, I think you need to, if you haven't already, change your computer's hosts file so you can look at the site on the new server with the domain set correctly.
    In this directory of a Windows machine: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc
    There is a file called "hosts"
    If you open it, you'll see some commented information. What you want to do is add a line(s) to this file to tell your computer that your domain is at a new IP address. It would look like this: example.com www.example.com

    Where is the IP of the new server, and your site name follows the address. When you save this file (and maybe need to reopen your browser) then your computer will think the site is at the new address. This is the best way to test when you're moving a site. Just going to the IP of the new server won't do anything for you because the server is doing name-based virtual hosting - it doesn't know which site you're trying to access.
  13. ALFrisbee

    ALFrisbee Active Member

    Good tip, thanks Ghan.
    At present post updating the hosts file, I'm getting the same 'pageok' message when browsing via the (hosts entry redirected) DNS name :(
    Obviously I performed an 'ipconfig /flushdns', confirmed with ping that it's going to the new server's IP address, cleared my temp internet files/cookies etc in browser.
    I think I really need to get the public_html contents moved to the root of the GoDaddy site ... and try again.
  14. Ghan_04

    Ghan_04 Active Member

    Have you tried just creating a test index.html file in the webroot to make sure the webserver is even serving the right stuff for your domain?
  15. ALFrisbee

    ALFrisbee Active Member

    Well we already have a 'welcome.html' page in the FTP root, but I can't get it to display ... one would think that if no subpage is entered, it should display any of index.html/welcome.html/etc ... however even if i go http://IP_for_new_site/welcome.html it seems to be ignoring it.
  16. Ernest L. Defoe

    Ernest L. Defoe Well-Known Member

    The welcome.html file doesn't go in the FTP root. You need to make sure it's in the public_html folder cause anything outside of that folder isn't accessible.
  17. Dodgeboard

    Dodgeboard Well-Known Member


    Drop them at the root.

    Godaddy is weird - they do things differently.
    ALFrisbee likes this.
  18. Ernest L. Defoe

    Ernest L. Defoe Well-Known Member

    Which is why I would never use them for hosting. As Mike Edge said they are good for one thing and one thing only Domain Registration and I don't even use them for that. I have though. I would use HostGator again before I used them. I'll stick with my hosting at xfhost.me.
  19. Dodgeboard

    Dodgeboard Well-Known Member

    I totally agree. I cringed when I saw that the OP was moving from another host and chose GoDaddy as their "step-up". Nonetheless, I didn't want to turn this thread into another "Which host is best?" thread, so I tried to stick with the issue at question.
    The Forum Heroes and ALFrisbee like this.
  20. ALFrisbee

    ALFrisbee Active Member

    Thx for this extra info guys (esp Dodgeboard).

    I've just had an hr long call to a tech in USA (I'm from Australia) via their 24/7 support line, and have made a few learnings!

    Firstly, you're spot on ... all of the files under the public_html directory do indeed need to be dumped up to the root, as essentially the root (for GoDaddy) is the equivalent of the public_html folder.

    Secondly, as someone had already eluded to, as I've paid for a basic hosting package, and have access to a shared web server only, I CAN'T test my website via IP, as the IP is shared by many clients. I thought I might be able to use a cheeky hosts entry on my local PC, but no dice.
    The additional reason to why a hosts entry won't work (if simply trying to trick your system into using a dummy DNS name to point to the web server's IP addy), is that the web hosting service (with GoDaddy) MUST be linked to a valid & registered domain ... with which the DNS for said domain points to the GoDaddy service!

    When I set up the GoDaddy web hosting package, I just entered any old dummy 'test' domain name, i.e. myclantest.com, not knowing that it'd actually be required!

    So ... in summary ... what we've done to solve (hopefully! still waiting for the GoDaddy changes to change from Pending to Active!) my issues:
    1) moved the files from \blah\public_html to \
    2) bought a super cheap mysite.info domain, with GoDaddy of course :oops:
    3) linked the above .info domain to the web hosting package area
    4) ... wait .....

    Fingers crossed!
    I'll update this thread when I have a result.

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