The Curious Migration of WindyCityParrot.com to Woocommerce Ep1

Update 6/1/2021 ~ When I asked developers quoting me $2500 and 2 weeks, how they would be doing this procedurally, they always deferred.

In that (9) migrations never took more than 6 hours 2, weeks was a red flag. Two competent developers I use, would’t touch it.

This non~coder is going it alone.

Anyone can migrate a WordPress site, including me – this ain’t your mother’s migration.

We think telling stories is more fun than asking for “migration quotes” while building our content creation library.

The winner will find themselves riding LinkedIn’s main feed with me prothletising about how awesome this experience was with your team.

SuperEZSystems.com (me) is the marketing arm for WindyCityParrot.com

WindyCityParrot.com launched midnight 12:31 2001 by my wife Catherine on a desktop storefront called Actinic 

She got her first order 6 hours later

Best practices have guided us to redesign WindyCityParrot every two to three years.

 Along the way the site has resided on:

Actinic desktop (now deceased)

Miva.com took 3 Miva hosts to stay on one for 6 years ~ WolfPaw Hosting on a dedicated server but it put us “in the cloud” the spring of 2003

PLUS Commerce – renamed most likely to evade the Tsunami of bad reviews from its prior name Goecart

3DCart ~ When they “upgraded” their operating system we started losing $10,000/mo in revenue

We returned to WolfPaw Hosting on a dedicated server in Dec of 2015 and left in the summer of 2018 when they migrated to AWS but failed to purchase a blanket server security package from Amazon.

We moved to SiteGround for 3 years then left SiteGround because their migration to the Google cloud in Iowa had been a disaster.

Thus we left each host for the same reason “you lost our trust.”

I also run this site you are on and other hobby sites with 3 other hosts.

When I seek a new host I don’t rely specifically on specs but on test support response sessions.

We recently ended up with the following package for all 3 sites on https://www.knownhost.com/

  • 12 vCore CPU Processor
  • 24 GB Guaranteed RAM
  • 360 GB Cloud Storage
  • 6 TB Premium Bandwidth
  • 2 IPv4 Addresses
  • 1 /64 IPv6 Address block
  • cPanel – WHM – Managed.
  • LiteSpeed on top of Apache.
  • Nightly cloud backup.

Plenty of horsepower for staying live throughout (most) of the migration especially for having the origin site, the new site, and 3 blowemup clones.

Fast forward to 1/10/2022, Knownhost got bi-polar.

I’ll be posting support transcripts that look like this:

Hi Mitch,

I’m not sure why Google would tell you the host is to blame when your DNS
is pointing to their services and not your KnownHost server, that is disingenuous.

[[email protected] ~]$ whois birdandparrot.info | grep “^Name Server”
Name Server: ns-cloud-b1.googledomains.com
Name Server: ns-cloud-b2.googledomains.com
Name Server: ns-cloud-b3.googledomains.com
Name Server: ns-cloud-b4.googledomains.com

As well as the report at http://intodns.com/birdandparrot.info –
nameservers such as ns-cloud-b1.googledomains.com that are responsible
for your DNS records have nothing to do with KnownHost services.

Google Domains themselves manage DNS for birdandparrot.info, if
host.birdandparrot.info does not point to an IP address, this is a fault
at Google Domains and it has absolutely nothing to do with KnownHost or us
“blocking egress”

Add Ionos, & Hostinger to our list of hosts (no CPanel ~ Plesk looks and feels like it’s name sounds).

Inmotionhosting is our current host of DNS records.

I anticipated taking all 3 sites down for 1 – 2 days most with prep work.

Birdandparrot.info now having become windycityparrot.com would go live asap to start taking money again.

After the old windycityparrot is gone this server configuration will be reviewed for its economy.

We usually don’t like multiple sites on a single server due to cross-contamination concerns.

What makes this migration “curious” is that WindyCityParrot.com was two distinct websites.

“What the hell does that mean”?

We used ZenCart for eCommerce ~ our first foray into open source (2016) and we use WordPress for our CRM ~ our second foray into open source.

It’s deceiving, there were actually 2 sites so managing it requires 2 dashboards (and multiple personalities).

This structure has prevented CDN onboarding so all Zencart product and category images were displayed from an AWS bucket – which has changed because of migrating to Knownhost – not worth discussing at this time.

The Story of Our Painful and Expensive 8 Month ZenCart Build

The Curious Migration of WindyCityParrot.com
from ZenCart & WordPress to Woocommerce Ep1 ~ Video

Thus the migration was a multi-faceted process with many moving parts:

  • 2 sets of 301 redirects (products and categories) – we eliminated 128 categories now down to about 228 – but you won’t have to worry about our e-commerce taxonomies.
  • Databases including rewards points, customers, and orders since 10/30/2018 and product reviews (maybe) must be moved – I moved 10,000 passwords – can you?
  • Migrating comments from Disqus comments to WordPress comments ~ I think asking visitors for a login to make a comment while already logged into the site stifled UGC
  • Overwriting of all 1600 WordPress posts onto the target site ie avoiding any 301 redirects for the WordPress blog.
  • All WordPress media migrated (13,500 media files)
  • No WordPress pages will be migrated as the target site is fully updated with new crosslinked pages.
  • No plugins migrated – there are 99 on the new site – update 1/11/2022 we’re down to 58 – that’s a blogpost of it’s own.
  • this is how I map plugins (testing for compatibility and site speed is an issue all its own – I spent about 200 hours over 5 years getting plugins to play nice while providing e-Commerce features I deem necessary).
  • Every instance of the term “birdandparrot.info” must be searched and replaced with the term “windycityparrot.com”.
  • BTW, this is the target site https://www.birdandparrot.info/ – https://woovina.com/ theme (the 9th and final choice) – https://elementor.com/ – page builder (free version) – much tweaking needed.
  • The Old Windycityparrot.com (both sites) will become a staging site so we can go back and pick bones if needed.

Along the way, we’re abandoning Jetpack (the story) and replacing it with ala carte plugins and stronger security services. 

We’ve embraced cloud computing for its scalability while blending additional custom security features provided by our security team at MageFix.

MageFix is the ONLY company that went so far when they detected MX server errors, Adrian CALLED me from Transylvania, Romania to give me a heads up on MX email GSuite server issues (from another migration), then fixed the whole mess.

In coming episodes, we’ll be covering:

Free Bonus: 115 Questions to Ask About Your eCommerce Site

“May the Force be with you”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.