After several years of neglect, the docweasel.com site went down in February after a php update. In fact, all the sites on which I had adapted a theme called “Aqua” went down and there was no update or fix. I had to start with a new theme and recreate the look and feel of the old ones by css and html. docweaselband.com was relatively simple, and with help from the Wayback Machine I was able to get it up quickly using WP’s ‘twenty-twenty’ theme, I believe a good choice because it is well based and constantly updated, and all my customizations were done in the child theme so are unlikely to be over-written. Plus it was a very small site.
The vengeanceincorporated.com site was a different matter, very big archive, many files and website sections. I used a premium theme I’ve used many times before, and it did take a couple weeks. However, using the Wayback Machine and old database, which preserved the structure and all the pages and content, made it simply a matter of going through each page to restyle and redesign. Only the very size of the size made it a large undertaking.
However, now we come to the docweasel.com site. This site is huge, and was the main reason we had over-run our limit in “file-names”, although ironically only about 50% of our disk space. We upgraded to 500k file names, and I attempted to recreate the website by keeping the old site up using an older database (the latest one was corrupted in the user section and was impossible to log in or add new admins). Some corruption made it impossible to upload to the server through the site and it would not remember certain features, like feature images and custom css. The sheer size of the database and the uploads folder was just impossible.
Therefore, we made the decision to split the site, moving the largest section, the comix, to a new domain, www.docweaselcomix.com. Using a combination of old databases (imported and exported by table), a new install and WP imports we were able to recreate the old site. The last few additions were not included in the available databases, so Incredible Science Fantasy, Terror Illustrated, Frontline Combat, Two Fisted Tales and Panic were added manually. I had used Cyclone Slider last time, apparently with no limits, because it is a very small and resource light. However, this time the ’41 slide’ limit kicked in. Ironically, I used it on docweasel.com and it too 127 slides with no problem. Anyway, I had to use Smart Slider for any issues over 41 pages, which uses a bit more memory, but still much less than Revolution Slider, which I used for the main slider since it has a lot of effects, but too resource heavy for multiple instances.
docweaselcomix.com was put to bed in a couple weeks. We plan on adding more comix, but we are hedging our bets because we don’t want to run into the same problem of overloading the site, which contains hundreds of sliders already. But now we turned to the big problem: www.docweasel.com.
First, the media database was corrupted beyond all saving. That I could handle. However, it was essential to preserve the pagess, posts and content. Using a combination of new install and importing various tables from various databases, plus exporting and importing selected sections of WP exports we were able to get the pages, posts and their content back up. Now we had to use various plugins to repair the media database. It rooved impossible. Eventually we had to delete all the images from the server and clean up the database by deleting the blank files, which were inextricably embedded in the postmeta, whch we needed for content. With a clean media folder and database, we used a broken link checker to replace, one by one (or a series) of images. We chose to hotlink the vast majority via and outboard img folder instead of uploading them via WP.
With a Featured Image plugin we were able to replace all the featured images with an “Add Fetured Images via URL” plugin. This was essential, because the main slider used these images for the frontpage display.
This took a great deal of time, copying the file name from the first image in a post, then searching it on local disk, then uploading it to the proper folder. Plus all the internal images. The large Monty Python section survived almost completely intact, and since I had originally chosen to hotlink, instead of upload to WP for that and the game section, they were fine.
Going down blind alleys trying to reconstitute the media section ate up the most time, when I eventually broke down and did it manually.
Some pages required some minor tweaks and there was a lot of css to move around. But now it’s done. I did not import all the users and post by post authorship and in alerting past editors to the update several expressed a wish to get credit for the posts. Meaning I’ll have to manually go through and add authors. So there’s that.
But other than that, the site should be good for another few years, and we may start adding new content. For a long time, due to the filename limit, we couldn’t do that, but now we can, so we may. See you in future posts!