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Migrations and Redesigns

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Monday, 11 May 2009. Posted in 2009

Migrations and Redesigns

Last week, I began the migration of both the Corpus Juris website and the Santos Estrella website to new web servers. Due to conflicts in my personal schedule I had to focus on getting Corpus Juris up and running as soon as possible while delaying work on my own personal site and experimental web projects.

I have to confess that the transition has been a difficult one. Backing-up the old version of the site was a very tedious process, to say the least. While I had been planning on an eventual redesign of Corpus Juris, the update was both ill-timed and seemed, at the time, ill-advised. However, circumstances availing required that I move the site immediately. My old webhosting plan had already expired and since the host required all those under the old plans to migrate to newer servers, it seemed that I had no choice but to move all my data to the new servers. Since the move was required, I had decided to just bite the bullet and update the whole system as well, removing old detritus that had creeped its way into the constant manipulation of the site's files which I'll get into detail in a while. For now, let me just say that all this work was tasking even on my wits.

First of all, I had to backup all my files. cPanel made that a bit of a breeze and downloading everything using Gloablscape's CuteFTP Pro took the better half of an hour. This included the site's files themselves, usage statistics, email mailboxes, and databases. After backing up everything, I proceeded to recreate site's files from scratch. I then made a fresh installation of Joomla 1.5.10 and the site's components and modules and headed towards testing all basic functionality. I then put up the old database connections in place to keep the site going.

After ensuring that the new site was functioning properly, I set about using WAMP Server in order to create a local webserver that I could personally access and use for developing the redesigned Corpus Juris. WAMP is a full install of Apache, MySQL and PHP, the trifecta of programs that nearly all websites use when developing dynamically-generated websites. In developing the redesign, I used Dreamweaver for the PHP, XHTML, and CSS coding while Photoshop and Illustrator were used for the graphics editing. Another wonderful tool I used was Navicat both for transferring and modifying the SQL database tables as well as performing all the necessary database maintenance work to remove all the gunk that had accumulated during the site's past two years of operation. Navicat was also used for syncing the local version of the SQL database to the remote database being used by Corpus Juris.

All in all, I'm pretty proud of how relatively incident-free the migration and redesign went. While the migration was completed pretty easily, it was definitely the redesign that took much of the work. Still, everything went by pretty well and the updated Corpus Juris has been up now for a few days. A problem I'm still facing, though, is the increased attention I've been getting from Googlebot, Google's search engine spider that scans the internet's webpages back and forth and adds everything it finds to Google's database so that it could be searched. With the redesign, it looks like it sees all the new pages as new content and has begun to crawl and index all of the content. Yay!

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Raymond Santos Estrella

I guess I should really make a proper writeup here. Something witty or maybe a joke to add some levity. I’ll come back to this when I have time. If you have any suggested copy that I can insert here, drop me a line.

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