Top 6 All in One Migration problem fixes

By | Tutorials, Web Design, Wordpress

Having trouble importing or exporting your WordPress site?

Here’s 6 quick things to quickly check using All in One Migration that may be the cause of the dreaded hanging issue – importing or exporting.

1. Server space.

As the backup process takes a copy of your WordPress installation, theme files, plugins and uploads (if you’ve opted for these) you will need to have at least double the storage space available on your hosting account. Even if you download the file, it still stores the file in a temporary folder (located in its plugin directory). The same occurs for those uploading to Amazon or Google etc with the optional extension plugins. So just make sure you have double the website space on the initial (or staging) and receiving server.

2. Timeout issues.

Modify your .htaccess in the root WordPress directory to increase the time available to process the backup. You can do this by accessing cPanel and opening either the root directory or WordPress installation directory. You’ll need to have your cPanel File broswer option checked to view all hidden files (.htaccess).

Add this to your .htaccess – 

php_value max_execution_time 3600
php_value max_input_time 3600
php_value session.gc_maxlifetime 3600

This is overkill, so please view this as a temporary modification to your .htaccess.

3. Forbidden access.

Have you hardened your WordPress install? A lot of the time, this involves strict .htaccess rules for the /wp-includes folder. This can prevent the backup from working.

4. Can’t read database.

You may have also placed rules on wp-config.php, preventing it to be readable by anything other than WordPress. All in One migration will need to read it so that it can see the database credentials, to access, read and backup your database. It’ll need this to restore it too.

5. Plugin and Theme conflicts

You can try disabling all of your plugins and selecting a default WordPress theme. Be aware, if you’re using a complex theme that has many configuration settings – you may want to export or copy configuration settings as these can be lost. You can also lose widget and permalink settings when switching themes.

6. All in One Plugin version.

If all else fails, download an older version of the plugin. The older 2.14 version saves the backups as ZIP files, not the proprietory .wpress file and has fewer conflicts than the latest versions.

What next?

Generally we only use All in One Migration for convenient migrations or backups. We’ve worked on a few servers where there’s no easy fix, and it’s simply easier to download the WordPress database manually and find/replace all instances of the domain name, and reconnecting the credentials on the new host via config.php. I agree – this can be painful if you’re in a rush – we’ve found UpdraftPlus is not a bad alternative. You can buy the Migrate upgrade which allows pipes the website backup straight across to the new host (server to server, no downloading and reuploading!).

Hope this helps! Share or comment if it does! :)

 

Retail Training Australia – website launch

By | Graphic Design, Narooma and South Coast, Search Engine Optimisation, Web Design

New site for Retail Training Australia, Batemans Bay.

At Adrian Fisse Design we’re pleased to announce the launch of the new Retail Training Australia website. Check it out at www.retailtrainingaustralia.com.au.

After an initial brief, we provided a functional specification and followed up with some wireframe sketches. With some minor adjustments to the wireframe to ensure we were all on the same page, we went ahead with a new design that was in keeping with the old branding and general feel.

Below are the wireframe we provided RTA, before designing anything. Refining a rough layout document like this is our way of spending the maximum time & budget on the formal design and reducing revisions to basic layout work.

Freshened up design aside, the main thing, for Retail Training Australia, was they had the ability to easily update the site on their content management system – giving them the ability to add new training courses in and update pricing and details concerning changes in government legislation.

Using our new design, we built the website theme using the design that was tailored to their requirements. The website adapts and resizes for large desktops, notebooks, tablets and mobile, using an up to date look and feel that looks excellent whoever is looking at it. It’s RSS feed for new content will be used to automate Facebook and Twitter posts as part of RTA’s significant social media effort.

After a very quick training session on the CMS, we left these guys on their way – Geoff and the team in Batemans Bay have been great to work with, and we wish them the very best with their new site.

Adult Education’s new website – Batemans Bay & Bega

By | Narooma and South Coast, Responsive and Mobile, Search Engine Optimisation, Web Design

Adrian Fisse Design is proud to announce the recent release of a new website for EAEC (Eurobodalla Adult Education Centre). Well known in this region, the Centre is huge and provides courses and training for all locals from their main centres in Batemans Bay and Bega. See the design here – EAEC website.

After receiving a detailed list of requirements and a good general brief, I discussed the project at length with Mark Brantingham, the centre’s operations manager. We went through a few iterations of my website wireframes and I was delighted to engage with this client – they had some great points of view and we were able to flesh out key structural changes on the site before the actual design work started. This is one of the keys to the successful design of any website project.

The website design is based on their existing brand, including their trademark vibrant green and purple. Based on the wireframes we did some iterations of the design before starting any development work, including a specific design layout for smartphone presentation.

Adult Ed use a large spreadsheet to manage courses, which is the basis for many functions internally and with other suppliers. These include a website portal for online course registration (soon to be integrated with the main site), brochure printers and more. Mark expressed their desire to somehow import the courses from spreadsheet, into a new website. In turn, we provided a solution that is completely manageable by Adult Ed staff, and does the following:

  • Creates new course pages for any new item in the spreadsheet
  • Edits or deletes courses that are changed or removed
  • Is able to assign an image from the spreadsheet to display on the course
  • Creates a window to register online, and complete the course on a 3rd party course portal they use
  • Maps key course details to specific areas in the website design developed – including course location, cost, trainer / tutor, requirements and times and dates
  • And many other conditional features to suit the requirements of their business.

After the website was developed, I visited the centre in Batemans Bay to train a small group of 5 staff, each with varying levels of experience. In the training session, we covered website editing basics – creating hyperlinks, new pages, adding images and video, as well as managing the course import feed. It was also a great session to demonstrate the site in full, and cover off on any questions about it.

In all, a good project and I really wish the lovely team at Adult Ed the best. I’ve found it immensely satisfying to help produce a site that will hopefully have a positive impact on our community for years to come.

Retail Training Australia website – coming soon

By | Batemans Bay, Graphic Design, Responsive and Mobile, Search Engine Optimisation, South Coast, Web Design

Working with Geoff Hatton of Retail Training Australia in Batemans Bay, Adrian Fisse Design is producing a revamped website for Eurobodalla’s leading, national education provider in the Retail Sector.

Retail Training Australia provide online training packages to help businesses improve the performance of their staff members. With various e-learning strategies and customised courses that are tailored for individual needs, RTA has access to Government Subsidies to ensure their professional services are not a costly burden.

To date, we have scoped out the requirements of the project, including integration of online forms for grant eligibility and easily editable course descriptions. We’ve sketched out the website wireframes and what is to be presented on mobile devices. Search Engine Optimisation concerns have been covered as well as usability on all devices with an emphasis on calls to action. Design and development starts in January – stay tuned!

New website grant from Voiceless at Sydney Awards

By | Responsive and Mobile, Sydney and Melbourne, Web Design

Here at Adrian Fisse Design, we’re proud to announce a grant that’s been awarded at the Voiceless 2013 Awards last Thursday Night in Sydney. Working directly with the Australian Animal Protection Law Journal (AALPJ), we’ll be developing a website containing extracts and archives of law journals pertaining to animal welfare legislation in Australia.

A key component to the success of the site will be making the site completely responsive, that is mobile and tablet ready, providing a customised article taxonomy (categorisation of articles) and powerful search functionality. The website will have powerful data conversion facilities allowing Word document formats to be parsed into other industry standard archival document types suitable for web publishing, and be readily updatable by the Journal’s editor, John Mancy.

While the site is primarily about law, and catering to students, animal rights advocates and law firms with an abundance of data, it will also provide other animal welfare angles such as best practice guidelines for the production / manufacture of animal based products and highlight ethical businesses in Australia.

We will be assisting AALPJ with launch materials for universities, social media and email campaigns. What an exciting opportunity – development starts early next year.

Bermagui Four Winds Festival Website

By | Bermagui, South Coast, Web Design, Wordpress

What a hive of activity it is in this region! Lately, I’ve made few trips south, 40 min or so (from Narooma to Bermagui) to discuss various website enhancements with the Four Winds Festival team.

Coming around mid November, I’m assisting them with a basic design revamp for their site and new content including the new programme for 2014, the participating artists and a great new look and feel that helps standardise the artwork for the festival across all mediums.

We’ve got bigger plans for the new year, with a brand new website on the cards… for now though, it really is lovely to work with these wonderful & talented people. I tell you what, I’m pretty happy with my current line of work – when a meeting involves driving to such a beautiful part of the world and enjoying lunch in the sun with the family, what’s not to like?

Those who don’t know much about Four Winds, I recommend taking a look at their current website and checking it out. It showcases talent from the South Coast and all kinds of music – all within a spectacular natural auditorium with tiered seating on the grassy banks. I for one will be there with bells on, enjoying a hamper and a hearty red!

In other news… the new Narooma Chamber of Commerce and Tourism site is coming along very nicely… and I’m polishing off the new Oyster festival website too. I’ll publish some more detail on those soon.

Eurobodalla Council – Moruya website workshop seminars

By | Batemans Bay, Bega, Bermagui, Canberra, Graphic Design, Narooma, Narooma and South Coast, Responsive and Mobile, Search Engine Optimisation, South Coast, Sydney and Melbourne, Web Design, Wordpress

Update – presentation materials from the Moruya Workshop – read more here, or download here:

I’m excited about the website workshop for small business in Moruya this Tuesday 17th of September. Entitled “Make your website work for you!” – Eurobodalla Council has introduced this initiative for local towns including, potentially Batemans Bay, Narooma and towns further south.

I must say I’m impressed by the Council’s efforts for educating enabling small businesses. Having operated small businesses on and off for over a decade, I’ve never seen these kind of programmes driven by councils in capital cities.

I’ve been contracted to run these seminars and looking very much forward to it.

Keeping discussion open and working through various activities, I’ll be taking attendees through these key topics:

  • Your Website’s Potential – some illustrated examples summarising the how’s and why’s of making money online.
  • Website Strategy – Fundamentals for website beginners, planning what a website is actually going to do, why and how.
  • Driving Traffic to your Site – SEO, Pay Per Click advertising, Social Media and Offline Marketing
  • Maximising Conversions – Examples of good and bad sites, user experience essentials and tips for max conversions.
  • Measuring Success – Analytics and the importance of benchmarks, goals and measuring what works.
  • Maintenance and Performance Optimisation – The importance of content, keeping sites up to date and goal orientated changes.

Of course, throughout I’ll be providing interesting statistics and some humorous examples. :) If you’re local and reading this, look forward to meeting you there!

Cheers,
Adrian

New website – Parker’s Organic site launched

By | e-Commerce, Sydney and Melbourne, Web Design

We’re proud to announce that the new Parker’s Organic website has been launched.

With a brand new design that suits the organic nature of their product, the new Parker’s site is markedly improved in appearance.

But the real work was behind the scenes. Integrating with Westpac’s payment gateway, PayWay, Adrian Fisse Design’s developers hooked up the site to Westpac’s API. Now visitors can select boxes of organic drinks and pay for them securely online.

A massive feature of the site is the ability to subscribe to selections of boxes of juice – so that repeat orders automatically take place behind the scene. Of course, with that kind of system, the customer needs to be able to manage their orders. We provided a secure interface where customers can edit their order by adding & removing product (for the next order in succession), add or change delivery instructions, change billing and delivery address and even the ability to pause orders.

Check it out at www.parkersorganic.com.au!

Top 5 considerations to self-check your e-commerce startup

By | Canberra, e-Commerce, Responsive and Mobile, South Coast, Sydney and Melbourne, Web Design

Many people come to me and say “we should just open up an online store, and…”

Even though I’ve been immersed in online shops for over a decade, it’s now, everyone I talk to, they want a piece of the action. And with easy, automated recurring business and online payments, why not?

Well, it’s easy for me to assist and the cost barriers to opening up a good looking, functional e-commerce site are well and truly broken. The thing is though, I want my clients to be successful and not be deflated with any hidden surprises down the track.

So for anyone out there reading, here’s some things you really need to consider before employing any kind of web designer:

1. Who else is doing exactly the same thing?

Google it, you may be surprised.

It’s not the end of the world, competition is healthy…. however you do need to consider how exactly it is you’ll out-do them at their game. Is it customer service? Competitions? Tempting loyalty programs? Amazing viral social media campaigns? A convenient app to penetrate the younger market? A better product? A cheaper product?

Some niche markets and products are obviously going to be easier. But really, if you have an idea like “we need to setup some kind of online computer parts store” – you need to can that thought, pronto! You’ll have an easier life and more returns working at a supermarket.

2. Warehousing concerns

Are you holding stock? Or entering into a drop-ship programme?

You need to think about this. Especially if your market is highly competitive, there are so many costs and issues around stock, warehousing and delivery. First of all, are you required to hold stock? Do the models change frequently or does the product go off – in other words do you have to worry about stock rotation. If so, are you across the costs and time in managing this? How much product do you think you’ll need to hold, and if you’ve borrowed money for stock, are you able to remain competitive while ensuring your products have enough return to keep up with that interest?

Many successful online stores use drop-ship programmes, where giant distribution warehouses offering popular products handle all of the delivery and warehousing concerns – you just need to sell their product for them online. This is a great way to go, but once again, you need to do your research on the numerous suppliers available and go back to my first point – how will you differentiate yourself from hundreds of other stores?

3. Product selection and marketing

So you’ve selected a product or product range. Is it the type product that sells itself through a redeeming feature, such as its uniqueness, quality or price point? If you’ve nailed one or two of those, you could be on a winner. Have you examined how other people are doing it online? Are there cheap nasty equivalents for sale on eBay at tempting prices? Are the websites selling similar products a bit dodgy? Make sure there’s an opening there for you, where consumers can easily recognise you have a point of difference.

4. How are you reaching your market?

Is it the web alone (ie good search rankings and an effective store) that will do it, or have you considered other avenues for your marketing mix? Who is your market and are they web savvy? Do they prefer to use mobile phones, apps and social media, or are they the Baby Boomers sitting at a desk?

These questions will determine your best approach to your marketing and what service you present online – you may opt to go for a traditional e-commerce site with good search rankings, or mobile optimised site getting traffic from Facebook and Google+.

5. How are you handling payments?

Payment Gateways and Merchant Bank Accounts

If you’re expecting large volume sales and frequent, high value transactions I would  definitely suggest going for a dedicated payment gateway solution through a merchant account at your preferred bank. St George Bank and Westpac use decent services such as eWay and PayWay which have excellent APIs for Australian website developers. It is a solution that is larger scale and has additional security concerns. Transacting in this way requires PCI compliance to avoid being banned or restricted by any of the leading credit card suppliers (Visa, Mastercard et al) and being subject to fines.

On the other hand, those transacting less than say, 100K a year online, simple PayPal solutions are available. They are easier and quicker to setup, and while the transactional costs are high, the setup cost is much lower. Since eBay has adopted it as a payment method for a decade or more, consumers are familiar with how it works and trust it.

Reap the rewards with search engine basics

By | Narooma and South Coast, Search Engine Optimisation, South Coast, Web Design

As a Narooma resident, I recently made the decision to start optimising this website to be found by visitors in this locale. With the sheer number of websites competing for certain keywords and phrases, throwing in a location as an additional search term is a tried and tested route to success.

However the tricks and traps around search engine optimisation are constantly changing and evolving. It’s fairer now, meaning businesses can’t simply barge in the rankings queue – they effectively need to work for it and contribute to the online community. The key things businesses needs to review (and commit to) for great search engine rankings are the following:

  • Evolving content. Continual updates, new products and news items are highly beneficial.
  • Activity on Social Media – publish customer reviews, success stories and general articles surrounding your field on Google+ and Facebook.  Engage and interact with your clients online.
  • Have a well built, standards compliant website.
  • Having good headings & page titles.
  • Utilise (but don’t go overboard) a good keyword strategy throughout your site content.
  • Have a clean, navigable site with good internal link structure to all of your pages.
  • Have a reliable, high speed hosting provider and a site that downloads quickly even on bad connections.

There’s more. So much more – but the above are the basics and you’ll never succeed unless these are covered. So how have I gone? Well, in 1 week of performing some changes and tweaking aspects of my site, I’ve gone from not ranking at all with my search terms of choice to #2 in Google. Powerful stuff!

Do you want to be found? I can perform an SEO audit on your site, apply basic changes, or even completely re-design your site to help you get the most out of your web presence – all at rates you’d be surprised with. I’d love to hear from you – I’m available to meet in person in Moruya, Narooma, Dalmeny, Tilba & Mystery Bay over a cuppa, and discuss obligation free search engine strategies with you.