New Website For Christina Engela Dot Com!

Good morning, friends and fans! It’s me – your favorite up and coming sci-fi and part-time horror author!

If you’d visited my website during Wednesday and Thursday, you would’ve noticed some changes taking place! If you did, I must apologize for the spotty service, as I was busy migrating my domain from one hosting service to another! The process is now complete, and now that I have much more control over the plugins and other features of the website than I did previously, I will be adding more features to the site in future.

I’d already paid for the transfer of the domain on the 15th of September, but the transfer itself only went through the day before yesterday – and once I got the notice, I began the arduous process of migrating christinaengela.com over to the new hosting service.

These days there are all kinds of automated services and applications and features that allow an administrator to migrate, export and import an entire website – and I’m sure these work quite nicely if you have a high-up enough package with your old hosting service! Apparently all the migration bells and whistles were absent from mine – so nearly all the tools every help page, consultant and ‘expert’ on Cpanel and WordPress refer to and take for granted were completely useless to me!

You see, I started off with a free WordPress blog about my writing as far back as 2010… and the free packages then offered more tools like plugins and widgets and so on, than they do now. Gradually, the amount of tools and stuff available to free users shrank away until plugins became a luxury for paying customers! In 2016 I was very fortunate to receive a free paid package upgrade which allowed me to change my theme to a degree, so I added a new background image and so on, and registered a dot com through it – but even so, with the second highest package on WordPress itself, I still couldn’t install a single plugin on my site!

The free gifted package was very nice and all – and I really appreciated the gesture a lot, but I was limited in what I could do with it! No plugins meant no configurability, and ultimately no control. I couldn’t install apps or conduct e-commerce on the site. Ultimately, however, the deciding factor was cost – in order to renew the same package, would’ve cost me a few thousand Rand, not to mention upgrading to the full package, which would’ve cost even more!

In 2018 I’d already experimented with a new site on another host – and some of you may recollect my christinaengela.net site, which was also built on the WordPress platform – but for various other reasons that didn’t quite work out as planned. Having two sites to manage, with everything duplicated between them, just to be able to include e-commerce to be able to sell my books from one of them, seems pretty wasteful and redundant, doesn’t it?

Anyway, so in early 2019 I closed and cancelled the .net site and figured I’d bide my time until the .com one came up for renewal – and then migrate the site… which I started receiving notices for in early September… and I’ve now done! Christinaengela.com is now up and running on the new host!

The process wasn’t without complications however, as it seemed I had to consult a helpdesk – either at WordPress, or at the new hosting company at virtually every stage of the journey! For example, WordPress features an export function which allows an admin to download a migration file containing all the posts and pages on the site – which can be uploaded again to the new site’s WordPress platform – preserving the site in all visual aspects. Theoretically, all one would need to do then is to install the same theme and the site should be indistinguishable from the original… but like I said, ‘theoretically’.

The first complication in this part of the process was where WordPress limited the functionality of the export process – where the export file containing posts and pages didn’t work in the import process. After attempting this numerous times on Wednesday night, I resorted to the helpdesk again! Even the new hosting site’s helpdesk operator – who was very helpful and kind – logged into my WordPress account to repeat the process on my behalf, reported back frustrated!

“Please don’t tell me I’ll have to recreate every post and page manually!” I said in chat.

“I’m so very sorry, but it looks like there’s no other way.” She replied.

Given that there were 150 pages and 308 posts, that was enough to make me cry into my coffee! Additionally, failure to import also meant I would lose comments on the posts, as well as the dates… posts originally posted in 2010 to 2020 would all appear as though they’d been posted on September 23, 2020! I felt like screaming!

I calmed down and took another look at the problem. I tried another tactic next. On the old site, I exported the pages – 129 of 150 migrated successfully. I quickly recreated the missing ones by referring between sites, copy-pasting content. That took me a couple of hours… then the posts!

I was lucky with the posts though, and figured perhaps the problem was because of the amount of data – so I exported the posts in groups of a year each – and then imported them that way – which worked. Fortunately, after another hour or so on that aspect, I had all posts and pages successfully migrated, along with dates and comments preserved!

One of the other more minor issues I encountered was that the theme I’d used on my website in 2010 (Koi) was no longer available – and it wouldn’t be migrated along with the pages or posts or images! I searched through new themes available, and tried about 5 of them – and didn’t like any of them enough to want to keep them. “I want my Koi!” I screamed internally… and my Querida brought me another cup of coffee… it was past midnight already, on Thursday morning!

I searched the internet for Koi, and discovered that it was still available via an external download! Hooray! With my new hosting I was able to upload and install the theme into my website, customize it, and made it look exactly like it had before – and better!

After that, it was fairly simple to look for plugins I needed to connect my site back to my social media accounts for visitors to like and share posts or pages, and for auto-posting posts to my accounts! I was finally able to go to bed after 2:30 AM – with all the links, pages, posts and images displaying correctly!

They say artists suffer for their art – well, I certainly suffered for mine that day! It was well worth it however!

Basically this is a whole new ship – and this is her shake-down cruise. Today I’m posting this article to make sure everything’s working right – and soon I’ll start working out the bugs, and after that I’ll look at options to expand and improve!

In the meantime, it’s the weekend, baby!

Happy reading!

Digital Autograph Christina Engela


If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website.

If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to christinaengela@gmail.com or use the Contact form.

Show your appreciation for Christina’s work!

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2020.

Spread the love