Scratching an IndieWeb itch


For quite a while now my IndieWeb user page has said something along the lines of:


Update my personal website to be more of a front page / blog, but still keep Known on a subdomain

After trying out WordPress and its IndieWeb plugins on a test site for a while, I decided I would bite the bullet and:


  • Migrate my Known instance from my root domain to a subdomain

  • Migrate my test instance of WordPress from its subdomain to my root domain


My site is hosted by the (excellent) Reclaim Hosting, which uses the intuitive cPanel GUI rather than wrestling with command-line stuff. How hard could it be?!


Famous last words?

I’d worked out that I had to do 1) and 2) in order, so tried the Known migration first. As cPanel has a clone feature I thought I’d try that first. That didn’t work, though. I tried it firstly with the cloned instance pointing to the existing database – that threw up errors. Then tried cloning but to a new database – that threw up similar errors.


No problem, I thought. I’ll simply install a fresh instance of Known, import the exported content from the current instance, then delete that instance once all is well. This is where I came a cropper!


The cropper

The import page of my fresh install did not have an option to import a Known backup. The only options were to import a WordPress file or a Blogger file.  This completely flummoxed me.


I decided to try the WordPress option and see what happened. The import worked to an extent but (in retrospect, unsurprisingly!) had plenty of issues:


  • All my content was imported as articles, even if they were statuses. The content was duplicated as the post title

  • All URL links were gone (so no webmentions, etc.)

  • All posts marked private were public (mostly bookmarks)


I soon worked out that the Installatron version of Known was 0.9.2 but the latest version is 0.9.9. I upgraded this manually (upload and unzip), and found to my relief that the option to import a Known backup was now there. Phew!


I then tried to point the new Known instance to my old database, following a suggestion made when I posted my issue in the Known IRC chat room. Using cPanel to do this hadn’t worked, but neither did the suggestion of editing the config.ini file. So I had a fresh instance but with only a partially successful import.

Next step was then to delete the instance altogether and start again. Reinstalled fresh, upgraded first to 0.9.9, then tried the import again. Failed due to:


Sorry, your data import was unsuccessful.
It looks like some or all of the data you provided could not be imported. You could try the import again, or ask your system administrator for help!

I tried my most recent backup a few times, then previous ones. Nothing doing, no import would work.


At this point I had lost the will to live and so decided to move to migrating over my WordPress instance. The cloning of this worked a treat, no issues at all.


Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat

Before I went to bed I emailed Reclaim Hosting to see if they could help me reinstate my previous instance to my new subdomain. Whilst we slumbered in Europe they were able to work their magic, and I woke up to an email telling me they’d be able to.


I couldn’t login to Known, but an email reset worked. Apart from having to republish a few photos from old posts, my content was now as it was before the migration.


Without this, I was resigned to having to start my Known instance from new. I’m still not sure why the Known import failed, but am very pleased that the migrations are now over and the itch scratched!


Here’s to my next IndieWeb adventure 🙂