Today I was the Lab Rat

It all started out as an early morning experiment that went horribly wrong and I learned more than I ever wanted to know about patience and URL resets.   I’ll try and keep this short and break it into section.   Yeah, I learned a lot today.

Combining Two Blogs into One

Dave as a Lab Rat

Dave as a Lab Rat

The experiment that went wild.   I have decided after a lot of hesitation and hair pulling (which is getting thin) I wanted to combine the Tucson Real Estate in The News blog with the Tucson AZ Real Estate Blog.   I write a lot of blog posts in the course of a month.

There has been less of a need to post to the news blog. At this point everyone knows there isn’t much good news or new in real estate and I want to post daily and fight depression doing it.

My issues.

  1. How to bring over to the Tucson AZ Real Estate blog all the posts/pages/ and comments from the Tucson News blog.
  2. How do I create an htaccess file with the 301 redirect code that will be needed so these posts can be found by the search engines.
  3. How to notify everyone that has linked to the Tucson News blog it was going dormant and if they are willing shift their link to the Tucson AZ blog.

The first step was to create a new test database to try and integrate the two blogs.   I initially thought I could use the MYSQL database upgrade routine to accomplish this but soon found out the files were to large.   I decided to use the Export function under the Manage tab in 2.6.1.   It exported all posts/pages/comments/ etc to a new file.   I did this for both blogs.   I set up the new blog and imported both sets of files.   It took almost no time and I had both blogs integrated.   Step one was a huge success.

Then the lab rat (that would be me) took it one step further.   I thought it would be nice to attach the Tucson AZ blog to the newly created Database containing both sets of files. It went downhill fast from that point.

I realize soon the internal url structure for that database pointed to the location of the test blog.   I couldn’t just point to it in the config file like I could when I did it from the server using the MYSQL routine I described before.   Since I had set up a blog the url was inside that database file different than using the other method.   It didn’t like that and I switched it back.

I had the database, I knew it could be done experiment over.   I deleted the test directory using my FTP program and just like that all the blogs on that hosting site disappeared.   I couldn’t get to the admin panel, I couldn’t get anywhere.   In the past if this happened (YES IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE)   I just renamed the htaccess file so it couldn’t be found and waited a few minutes for things to reset.   This time they didn’t.

I called GoDaddy support which has helped me through similar issues a couple of times over the years which usually resulted in renaming the htaccess file.   This time they said it might have been something in the directory I had deleted, but the server was fine,   They could point to the welcome.html and it would come up, it was just those dynamic php files that were the issue and according to “Scott” that was “My Problem”.   Yeah.

I learned I can combine two blogs into one.   I haven’t addressed how to handle the 301 redirect from the old News blog to those integrated posts in the Tucson AZ blog.   Anyone with this kind of experience, I”m all ears.   I know I can do each of the 255 posts in 14 categories by hand, but “PLEASE Somebody Help The Boy”.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you the rest of the story.   All the blogs are back up live, all the blogs have been upgraded to WordPress 2.6.1 and functioning nicely (Fingers Crossed)   Here is a hint at what else I learned while trying to figure out how to recover from this.

I learned how to move a blog url from one hosting site to another and bring it back up live.   That is good to know how to do.

I learned not to upgrade a blog living in a folder as a sub directory to a higher version of WordPress than the version on the root drive.

Oh Yeah, I was a big time Lab Rat today.   More on this Rats adventure tomorrow.   I hope you sleep well tonight, I’m at least going to be able to sleep.


  1. Dave,

    You are the man for treading in to brave new territory. It is easy to get complacent in the blog world. Sticking to what we know and are use to, but I applaud your efforts. And especially love how you put it out there for us to learn from. Thanks!

    Now for the truth, much of what you said was over my head, but that is good. You don’t want to talk down to your readers. Talk up and bring the readers up, me.

    It is appreciated and I wish I had a solution for you, but I don’t.

    Good luck and you can make it happen!

  2. You are way above me but I am learning many new things about blogging and computers. I feel like a lab rat most days on the computer.