Drupal: CMS Migration To A Server

I’ve been modifying Drupal (drupal.org) for a neighborhood organization website. It took a little research as, like most similar open-source projects, the documentation leaves something to be desired. I now have the site to a point where I want to put it up on the Internet. I have some hosting, so I got the domain… and bam, it’s on the web right? Well no.

I feel it is necessary to make a general process overview as it took a good deal of research and tweaking to get it working:
-I have “reseller hosting.” That means I can host multiple domains with the space/bandwidth that comes with the yearly fee. I bought the neighborhood domain, added a special hosting plan (defines storage, bandwidth, and other properties), and tried configuring the dns information

-Seeing as I have not done too much with the whole domainname-dns-nameserver-whatever configuration process I had some trouble figuring it out. What I ended up doing was having my domain name registrar create 2 name servers from the IPs that link to the hosting server(s). Then I used the hosting’s name servers as well. ns1.site.com, ns2.site.com, ns1.hosting.com, ns2.hosting.com… all being able to process the name translation. On the hosting side for “editing DNS Zones” I set it up with ns1.nameservice.com as NS records, the IP as and ‘A’ record, the www as a cname for site.com…. etc. Most of the data was preconfigured by cPanel, but for some reason I had to change a few things from the defaults to get it working properly. This whole aspect will take a lot more research to understand fully.

-Copy by hand or install Drupal from cPanel (assuming your host uses cPanel)

-If you are developing on a windows machine, make sure you reconfigure your temporary directory from c:\windows\temp to /tmp. Drupal will most likely make a folder for you. I didn’t do this the first time and it made a crappy “c:\windows\www” folder on the server that was a pain to remove.

-Login into your local mysqladmin (assuming you use that to manage your sql databases) and make a backup of your local Drupal database. I had to set the compatibility to an earlier version of mysql. For some reason at the default options for the export would not work.

-If you installed from cPanel, drop all of the tables in the pre-created Drupal database before you import the backup file. Otherwise, create a sql user and database for Drupal (make sure to add the user to the database access list). Configure the settings.php file in the Drupal files to reflect the database information (there is a connection string in the php file).

-Copy over any themes or modules that you added to your local Drupal install. I didn’t bother with the hassle that is the sites directory… Just put the modules and theme into the standard directory instead.

-Configure your www-root .htaccess file on the server to reflect things like url rewriting, default page (index.php), and standardizing the site path (only allowing www.site.com, not site.com or vice versa). More specifically the properties DirectoryIndex, RewriteEngine, RewriteCond, and RewriteRule