Metamorphosis of eyeantiques.com to new.eyeantiques.com explained.
Redesign,upgrade,migrate WordPress site
I created eyeantiques.com in October, 2000 to show images of my eye antique collection.
This first version of the website was created using Microsoft’s FrontPage program.
Eyeantique.com’s purpose was to be an online digital museum for old, eye-related items, both antiques and collectibles.
During the next decade and onward, eyeantiques.com went through a few variations.
The most recent version was created with Word Press 3.1 and the “Starker” blank template. That was in February, 2011.
A website expert (Vikash) from India was hired through elance.com. We created a custom site.
It used Word Press 3.1 and PHP 5.3.
This new website was so highly customized that any changes to it, including upgrades, made the site stop functioning.
This would necessitate a panic call to Vikash to fix it.
WordPress has continued to evolve so much that , today it is the most popular content management system (CMS) for creating websites.
As of this blog’s writing, WordPress is on version 4.0.
In addition, Woo Commerce has developed an excellent free plug-in called WooCommerce. As of the time of this blog, in September 2014, WooCommerce is on version 2.2.3.
The goal of the new.eyeantiques.com web site is to display larger pictures of the eye antiques and to have a friendlier, store-type of environment. This is helpful because many of the objects from my eye antique collection are being sold, both in the online store and also on eBay. The website needs to be upgradeable as WordPress and its plug-ins continue to evolve. Also, it needs to be able to list its items on eBay.
Because eyeantiques.com has been around for a very long time, in Internet years, it has built up a large number of inbound links. It also has a strong SEO presence. Should I throw all that Internet cred away? Should I maintain the site’s popularity, while creating a new and improved experience for the viewer. I decided to create a new eyeantiques website and run it at the same time as the old website. The websites have links, in their top menus, to one another.
In addition, as new listings are created in the new eyeantiques site, a 301 referral would be placed on the same item in the old eyeantiques.com website. A “301 referral” is a website technique where the old website address continues to exist, but anyone going to it is seamlessly redirected to the new version of the same item. Eventually all the items from the old site will be brought into the new website. When that happens, the new website (new.eyeantiques.com) will be used to completely replace the old, eyeantiques.com.
Fortunately, when the old eyeantiques.com website was created, it had a plug-in called Redirection installed at that time. This is is fortunate because the current version of the Redirection plug-in only works back to Word Press 3.3. The Redirection plug-in version on the old website is 2.2.3., while the available, current version is 2.3.3.
Recall that the old eyeantiques.com runs on WordPress 3.1. Those decimals matter!
I used a WAMP server to develop the new eyeantiques site using WordPress 4.0, the WooCommerce plug-in and a template, called Mystile, a “responsive” template. A responsive WordPress template means that it reconfigures its appearance according to whether the viewer is browsing on a desktop, a laptop, a tablet or a smart phone.
In my opinion, all websites, created from now on, should use a responsive style since the tablet and the smart phone are becoming the computers of choice for so many people today.(Here is an excellent YouTube video lasting 2 hours and 45 minutes taking you through a very detailed journey on setting up a new website using WordPress, WooCommerce and Mystile.)
A WAMP server is essentially a combination of a few programs that are needed in order to configure and run a WordPress site on your personal computer. It is available for free download. Once installed on your own computer you can make changes to your website while it is not online. Once your WordPress website is developed to the point where it is ready for the world to see, you can copy your new site and upload it to your host server into the website directory that you have created there.
My web host is called HostGator I have a “Baby” account there (“Starting at $6.36 per month”). The advantage is that an unlimited number of websites can be added to your account and the price remains the same; a good thing.
WordPress is easy to install from the HostGator’s cPanel. HostGator’s tech support is very knowledgeable. My only gripe is that it sometimes takes awhile, on hold, before a tech person is reached.
I tried fruitlessly to download and install a copy of the old eyeantiques.com site to my WAMP Server. The problem was that the old Word Press 3.1 needed an old version of PHP in order to work. The old versions of Word Press and PHP are available online, but the PHP was not written to work on the 64 bit WAMP server which is what I have since my PC uses Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.
After exhausting pretty much all the ideas I could think of trying to transfer it to the WAMP server on my own for two days, I had HostGator transfer my entire old website to my new HostGator account for free. It’s part of their new sign up program. Free is a good thing.
Once the old eyeantiques hosting was moved to HostGator, I created a subdirectory called “new”. This was easily done through the HostGator cpanel. ( Go to “Domains” > “Subdomains” > “Create New Subdomain”. This new directory was placed at new.eyeantiques.com.
Next. I moved the new website that I created on the WAMP server on my PC to the “new” directory at HostGator. This was done using a WordPress plug-in called Duplicator. This program is great (and free). It copies your entire website into a zip file. It also creates an installer.php file. These are then uploaded into the new directory where you want to move the website. It is quite easy to do and you need not be a PHP guru to do it.
Once the new.eyeantiques.com website was set up, I bought another plug-in called WP-Lister Pro. It is a bit pricey at $129, but worth it. It creates eBay auction listings from your WooCommerce listings and has an excellent interface for listing, creating and tracking eBay auctions of your products.
Today’s Eyeantiques.com Website 2014
Created with Word Press 4.0, WooCommerce plug-in, Mystile theme and WP-Listing Pro