Migrating from Fantastico to SimpleScripts

We have launched our automatic conversion utility! Currently only WordPress, Drupal and phpBB are supported, but several more are on their way. You can use it by visiting the WordPress, Drupal or phpBB installation pages (you'll need to be logged in), and clicking on the "Convert a Fantastico Installation" link on the bottom of the page. This is a non-invasive process, so we won't modify your files in any way. If your script is not supported, please read on.

The Manual Way

Create a Backup!

Any time you make any major change to your website, it is important to take a backup! Computers and their intrinsic systems have a tendancy to break whenever you are working on something important. If you are working on a live production website, a good backup is doubly important, especially if you make money from said website. There are many good tools for doing this, ranging from FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and database dumps to your standard control panel Backup Utility. If your host uses cPanel (which, if you are using Fantastico, is definately your control panel), there is an icon labeled "Backups". Follow that link to either the button labeled "Daily", or the one labeled "Download or Generate a Full Backup". Further instructions are included on those respective pages, or for a more personal touch, your webhost's support staff will be happy to give you direction.

Required Disclaimers

Let me first explain some of the risks involved in this process. There are a few disclaimers here you'll want to know about before making the jump. Namely... This may or may not work, so use at your own risk; This may cause some downtime for your site; If you didn't take a backup, you may lose all of your data; and SimpleScripts cannot be held liable for any such data loss, as defined in our Terms of Service. You must agree to these Terms of Service on every installation you perform, so this is more a reminder. If you are not comfortable taking such risks yourself, there are paid services out there that will perform these backup and upgrade services for you at a price, such as EZSiteMove.com. They perform website migrations and backup and upgrade services for a very reasonable cost. Those risks exposed, the benefits of this conversion to SimpleScripts cannot be ignored: Faster upgrades, more secure websites, and a friendlier interface.

The Preferred Four Step Process

This is not to say that there aren't other methods of doing this, but this seems to be the least complicated method.
  1. Deactivate your Themes, Plugins, and Modules
  2. Locate your Existing Database Configuration File
  3. Install the SAME version through SimpleScripts you currently use OVER THE TOP OF YOUR EXISTING INSTALLATION using the Manual Database information you gathered in the last step
  4. Use "Upgrade Available" link to upgrade to the latest version

Now, we'll go step by step with a bit more detail.

Deactivating the Extras

This step is important because the majority of plugins, modules, and themes are coded for specific versions of a particular script. These extras may depend on specific features of the old version, and when upgraded, break those dependancies. The obvious problems show up immediately in the form of cryptic error messages on your website, leading your website visitors wondering if you are open for business at all. Somewhat less obvious problems manifest themselves in small feature losses, or or by disabling small but important functionalities such as user commenting or statistics tracking. The bottom line: Disable those Extras! (You can turn them right back on when you find out that the upgrade went smoothly.)

Locate your Existing Database Configuration File

Your database consists of all of your user data, posts, comments, feedback, configuration, etc. Since you already have a backup, we'll use your existing database for the migration. We just need to get the existing database information, such as the hostname, username, password, database name, and if applicable, the table prefix. Possible locations for these files? WordPress uses a file called wp-config.php. Joomla uses configuration.php. phpBB uses config.php. All of which are located directly in the directory your installation is in.

The Installation

This is the key to your migration. We need to put your installation into our systems. The easiest way to do so is to install the SAME VERSION YOU ALREADY HAVE INSTALLED OVER THE TOP OF YOUR EXISTING INSTALLATION. The hardest part of which is inputting the manual database information you just obtained through your configuration file. Luckily, it is as easy as unchecking the "Automatically create a new Database" option in the preferences page of the installation, under Advanced options. It is VITAL to use the SAME VERSION YOU ALREADY HAVE INSTALLED for this process, so the next step can upgrade your database to the latest revision. Be sure to use the EXACT same installation location. NOTE: Performing this step WILL overwrite your existing files, and you WILL lose data. Once this step is complete, you can replace whatever you notice is lost from your backup.

Upgrading to the Latest Version

With any luck, this should be an easy process. Once your installation is entered into our system, and providing that your installation is out of date, you will see a red "Upgrade Available" link on your installation toolbar. Follow that link, and you should be able to upgrade to the latest version of your software.

Questions and Concerns

This process is to be used at YOUR OWN RISK. Fantastico is still a reliable product, and should you feel uncomfortable about this process, you may want to stay with their existing systems. If you have any concerns about the scripts themselves, please contact the creators of the script in questions. For questions about the Backup procedure, contact your respective web host. Once again, thanks for using SimpleScripts!