About a week ago, I was alerted by a friend through twitter that my blog had been hacked, and all content was gone. Fortunately I had most stuff backed up, but my last complete backup was 2 months old. I was lucky enough that when I informed my hosting company, they had a backup only 2 days old, which they restored. I then changed all passwords relating to it and made further backups of the up to date blog, including the database.
To my surprise, less than 8 hours later when I woke up the next day, it had been hacked again, in exactly the same way. I reported it again to my host, who told me it was hacked through WordPress and to make sure I don’t have any unofficial plugins installed. They offered very little help, other than to once again offer to restore my site. This time, having made sure I had a complete up to date backup, I decided to move it to the host I use for my other site.
This sounded difficult at first, but is actually quite easy. Here’s a quick run through of what I did. This move was between hosts, the domain used was the same. I think the steps when changing the domain of a blog would be more difficult. Make sure you have everything backed up before you begin, including your database.
- Change your domain’s DNS records to point to the new host.
- Install WordPress on the new host, creating a new database for it to use.
- Give the new database the same name as your existing one.
- Upload the contents of your wp-content folder into the wp-content folder on the new server.
- Go to your blog in the browser. You will be able to complete the WordPress installation from here. (If you don’t see this page, allow more time for the DNS settings to update. This may take up to 48 hours.)
- When configuring WordPress, use the same username, password and email address as before.
- Now when you visit your blog, you should see a blank WordPress blog with example posts.
- Drop all the tables in the new database.
- Import your backup database into the (now blank) new database. It should now contain all your original tables.
- Find the wp-config.php file on your new server.
- Edit this file so the $table_prefix value matches your original database table names. (Your table names will be look like wp_posts, wp_comments etc. Here, the prefix is wp_ so make sure $table_prefix = ‘wp_’;)
You should now be able to visit your blog and find all of your posts, images, theme and plugins the same as before. You will be able to log in with the same username and password you were using before you moved your blog (as these are part of the database you have imported). You will be able to login using the same username and password for WordPress that you had before. If you did set a new password while installing WordPress, you will need to change it, as it will be the old one that is in the database.
Hopefully this guide will help a few of you, but it may not be perfect. I may end up revising it in the coming days if I find I’ve mixed things up or got something wrong. Make sure you have all content and databases backed up before you attempt any move. If possible, keep your blog on your existing host until you are sure it has been moved and works correctly on the new host. At least then you will have a fall-back option if the move fails. Hopefully you won’t be in my situation, having been hacked with nothing left on your original server!
Somehow, the first decade of the new millennium, dubbed ‘The Naughties’, is now over, and for me, it has been a very eventful one. I finished secondary school, started and finished college, and this year have just finished university, so it has been a decade filled with education. Heading in to 2010, I think I’m finally leaving that behind, unless I do end up doing a postgraduate degree. Along with education, it has also been filled with a vast combination of high points and low points for me, in some ways dominated by the lows, especially during the past 4 years. Fortunately, life has been looking up for the last few months, which I can only hope is a positive indication that the next decade will be better.
Technology wise is where this decade has been amazing! I don’t need to go into detail, there are already plenty of blogs and articles covering the best and worst technology of the past ten years. But the general pace of technological development just seems phenomenal. At the start of the decade I had recently got my first mobile phone, and the idea of video calling, full mobile internet and even augmented reality on such a device hadn’t happened yet. Hell, Augmented Reality itself probably wasn’t thought of back then, let alone being developed for a mobile phone. The subtle things as well, the phasing out of analogue TV, the almost complete move from CRT to LCD displays/televisions, and the replacement of VCRs with DVD/HDD recorders, have also been amazing breakthroughs, even though many consumers take the technological developments for granted. If the next decade, ‘insert decade nickname here’, continues to see technology develop as rapidly as it has, perhaps faster, then we are in for some mind-blowing stuff in the future, and I absolutely look forward to it, hopefully being a part of it happening too!
I know I never had big plans for this website yet, or even to update the blog with anything worthwhile that often, but still, I never planned to leave it this long between updates. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond my control, I had to put my life on hold for a couple of months, which meant, quite obviously, that this place was forgotten, at least temporarily. Well, except for the multitude of spam comments that it seems to attract regularly. Fortunately I have it configured so that every comment made must be approved before it is publically visible, so they do not make it on to the blog. Only genuine comments, if anyone makes any, will be approved.
Anyway, I’m back now, and while the last two months have been difficult, including having to postpone my final year exams and finishing my final year project until later in the summer, I am hopefully back on track now. To accompany the necessary work finishing (eventually) my undergraduate degree, I have been fortunate to have been employed by the university to help complete a research project I have been helping out with during my final year.
My involvement, and later, assistance, came about somewhat by accident. At the start of my final year, I decided to investigate Second Life (SL), an online multi user virtual environment (virtual world), and see what it was like. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, I contacted a lecturer at the university who I knew had been doing work in SL, Dr. Shirley Williams. Soon after, I was introduced to the research projects, MUVEnation and LLL3D – Lifelong Learning 3D, that look towards using virtual worlds, including SL, for educational purposes.
Once I realised my initial queries about SL were easily answered, I ended up attending some of the in-world sessions held as part of MUVEnation, and discovered I was able to help those that were themselves being taught about SL. This was to enable the educators to gain the necessary skills to make use of SL when it came to their own teaching in the real world. Throughout this I helped run training sessions, write guides and instructions for certain tools, and test things out before the training sessions.
Now, the project is coming to an end, and the time has come to collect all the information so far together, making it easy to find and understand. All of the tools and resources used so far need have their documentation finished, be tested and photographed and included in an exhibition. This is where I now come in, along with two other students being employed during the summer. We have the time to do this, while Shirley is busy doing the many other things a lecturer must do.
So rather than just exist for the purpose of pitifully attempting to learn web development, and pointlessly blogging about it, this website and blog will now have more of a purpose. Partly because I have been asked to as part of the work, and also because I want to, for the next few months, while I’m working on the MUVEnation project, I will be attempting to blog about the work that I do. This may even include pictures! Learning web development, as it’s never been a top priority, will take a back seat, but, depending on how things go, may be attempted in the background, and blogged about if it happens. So, enjoy!