How to convert Fantastico WordPress to SimpleScripts

For certain unknown reasons, web applications and scripts are more updated in ‘SimpleScripts‘ than in Fantastico for some hosting companies. Hostmonster and Bluehost for examples, serve WordPress 2.7 in SimpleScripts but WordPress 2.6.5 in Fantastico at the time of writing.

Having such situation, a switch from Fantastico to SimpleScripts is necessary.

The switch (Fantastico to SimpleScripts) used to be very tedious and risky. It can only be done by uninstalling your WordPress blog at Fantastico and restoring your WordPress blog at SimpleScripts. Detail configuration at MySQL (as well as file structures at server) is necessary and it’s definitely not for the non-techies.

Migrate WordPress from Fantastico to SimpleScripts (the long way)

Quoting from a forum post by Guachiman at Bluehost, here’s how you can migrate a WordPress blog from Fantastico to SimpleScripts.

How to Migrate WordPress from Fantastico to SimpleScripts.

1. Make a full back up of your site, including a SQL dump. This is a risky updates. I’m NOT RESPONSIBLE for lost data. It worked for me, but you proceed at your own risk.

2. Use phpMyAdmin to export all your original WordPress Installation SQL database tables (save as SQL file).

3. If you have installed ANY plugins, ANY themes, or uploaded ANY pictures, download a copy of your entire /wp-content folder from your original WordPress Installation.

4. If you have your WordPress in a subdirectory go to step 5, otherwise UNINSTALL via Fantastico your original wordpress installation. THIS CANNOT BE UNDONE, SO PLEASE PLEASE BACKUP BEFORE DOING THIS. Once uninstalled, go to step 6.

5. Using an FTP client, rename the subdirectory where your original WP install is to a temporary name, i.e. “/blog” to “/blog-backup”

6. Go to SimpleScripts and start the install process. Make sure you select from the drop down the SAME VERSION as the original installation you are migrating (you can upgrade later, after the migration). Select THE SAME directory of the original installation as the destination. If it was originally in a subdirectory, use the ORIGINAL subdirectory name (i.e. “/blog”). Finish the installation.

7. Go to phpMyAdmin, and import your SQL backup into the new SimpleScripts database (WordPress installations by SimpleScripts are named “_wp##”, for example “{username}_wp01″, where {username} is the prefix that BlueHosts assigns ALL your databases. The imported tables with the “wp_” prefix will appear BELOW the SimpleScripts-created ones (no prefix).

8. Upload/replace through an FTP client the new /wp-content folder with the backed-up ORIGINAL /wp-contents folder

9. Download the new file wp-config.php, and change the line:

$table_prefix = ”; // Only numbers, letters, and underscores please!

to

$table_prefix = ‘wp_’; // Only numbers, letters, and underscores please!

then, upload the modified file and replace the original in the NEW installation.

10. On phpMyAdmin, delete (drop) all the extra tables (without table prefix)

THE MIGRATION IS COMPLETE!!! Test your site, all should work. IF NOT, RESTORE YOUR FULL BACKUP (if you uninstalled with Fantastico), or (if you had your blog in a subdirectory) uninstall the SimpleScripts installation, and then re-name the temp sub-directory back to normal. i.e. “/blog-backup” -> “/blog”. If everything went well, you may delete the “-backup” subdirectory, if you created one.

IF YOU DID NOT UNINSTALL USING FANTASTICO, PLEASE CONTINUE:

Now, at this point both SimpleScripts and Fantastico are thinking they have an installation on the same directory. The Fantastico control panel should say something like “Intalled Version: Unknown”, “Upgrade Link: Only Manual Upgrade Possible”. This is OK. What we are going to to is erase the fantastico “install” data:

11. Using your FTP client, navigate to the folder:

/.fantasticodata

on your SERVER ROOT directory (not on your PUBLIC_HTML folder). To get there, navigate one level UP from /public_html

12. Navigate to the folder:

/.fatasticodata/WordPress

and delete the folder that has the domain name, INCLUDING the subdirectory (if any) of your ORIGINAL installation. i.e. the file to delete would look like:

www.example.com|blog

or if it was installed as a root install on a domain, it would simply look like:

www.example.com, or www.addondomainexample.net

NOTE: You might have more than ONE installation on more than ONE domains (add-ons, for example), subdomains, etc. PLEASE BE SURE WHICH FILE YOU ARE DELETING. Download and open it on a text editor if you are unsure. NOTE for ADVANCED USERS: If you end up deleting the wrong one, you can upload the fantastico file back up, BUT the special character “|” in the filename will not translate and will disapear. Once restored, you can copy-paste the character from another filename using your FTP client function “rename”.

DONE! All traces of the Fantastico Install should be gone.

How to convert a WordPress installation from Fantastico to SimpleScripts in just 3 minutes

However, that’s not the smart way to do it at this time of writing.

Seeing such a high demand on the issue, folks at SimpleScripts created an automatic WordPress import (specifically from Fantastico) utility. This utility will not alter any of your files, but will gather and import any data used in future upgrades. Any version back to WordPress 2.3.1 is supported, and makes one-click upgrades to the latest WordPress version available to all previous users of Fantastico within hours of a new release.

(Bravo SimpleScripts, that’s a really nice way to steal customers from your competitors!)

To be honest I was a little skeptical about the utility and was reluctant to try out with my important websites. After some examination and research, I finally made my move to switch few of my WordPress blogs from Fantastico to SimpleScripts using the utility. Amazingly, the switching process is extremely smooth and easy! I’m so impressed with the user-friendliness of SimpleScripts and was able to finish all the converting jobs in minutes.

In case you are hesitating like the previous me, here are the step-by-step screen caps how this can be done. The process is really simple and direct – you can handle it even if you’re not good with computers!

Here’s how you can convert a WordPress blog installed at Fantastico to SimpleScripts in just a few clicks.

First, login to SimpleScripts at your cPanel.

Login to SimpleScripts

First, login to cPanel hosting and find your way to SimpleScripts main page. Search for ‘WordPress’ once you’re in SimpleScripts main page. You will then come to a page as in the figure above, scroll down. Under “Installation Options”, look for the line ‘Convert a Fantastico Installation’. Click on the ‘Install Now’ button. You’ll be able to choose your options on the next screen.

Secondly, search for the WordPress you wish to convert.

WordPress installed at server

Next, you will see a list of WordPress installations in your hosting account. These are WordPress blog that’s installed via Fantastico. To move forward, select on of the WordPress blogs to convert. The process is a one-click process thus everything will starts and ends automatically when you click convert.

Done!

Once you’re done, you’ll be redirected to a the WordPress installation page where the converted WordPress blog is shown along with the other WordPress installed via SimpleScripts.

WordPress converted from Fantastico to SimpleScripts

You are done by now and your converted WordPress blog can now be managed via SimpleScripts. Simple? You bet! :) By the way, Bluehost and Hostmonster are the major hosting companies offering SimpleScripts and Fantastico in the same time.