Migration and Upgrade

We are planning on migrating our Open Journal System installation to a new hosting provider. There are a few issues we want to think out ahead of the migration. Would like advice considering the following points:

The site is currently “piggy backing” on another domain names hosting.
The site is currently not running the latest version of OJS.

I am new to OJS, the site that is using OJS is not new. From what I understand, updates must be applied sequentially up to the current version?

My current plan is to update the site at it’s current hosting prior to migrating to the new hosting. My thoughts were to install the current version of OJS on the new hosting platform, and once the site on the old hosting platform has also been updated to the current version, I could migrate just the databases - is this a sound route to take - or should I just migrate the site as a whole?

Migrating the site completely from the old hosting may allow me to circumnavigate the next two points:

Plugins that have been added. I suspect with a fresh install and database migration, I would just re-install these and set the options again?

Customized theme. The current site has a customized theme. How are site customizations handled in OJS - with straight CSS or are there other areas that require modification?

Any help is appreciated,

Wil G.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by “piggy-backing”, but you should be able to either cut over the DNS address to point to the new host, or be able to assign a new domain name to your existing OJS install at the new host. Your choice, though changing the base url could have implications for external resolvers and internal statistics counting.

You can probably just upgrade from your current version 2.x to the latest OJS 2.4.x directly. Post your version numbers for more clarification.

I’d recommend using the new site as a test environment. Bring the live site over as-is, copying the files and the database. Disable email, but ensure everything else runs as expected in the new environment. Then perform a check for local modifications and perform the upgrade. If you like what you see, do it again for real.

Compare your current install against a stock download of your current version to discover what has been added. If you find new plugins (in ./plugins/*) which don’t appear in the stock download, copy those directly.

If you find local modifications to the PHP or template code, determine if these are patches or bugfixes made available by PKP and applied by a prior admin, or if these are local customization which may need to be brought forward. Hopefully all of the theme customization is just contained in a custom CSS and/or in a custom theme plugin which will be brought forward as-is as part of the upgrade process. If there haven’t been local modifications to the code code for custom functionality, likely the biggest risk is an old plugin (like the Social Media) which is incompatible with the latest release, or old CSS customizations where the underlying HTML has changed slightly.

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Clinton, thank you for your reply. So to clarify my statement “The site is currently “piggy backing” on another domain names hosting”. The site was set up on another sites hosting plan as an “addon” domain. An “addon” domain basically uses the same hosting package as the the primary domain, but in a cpanel scenario, shares the cpanel control panel and hosting space.

I am finding out that this is probably going to be a challenging part of our migration - and may be a good reason to start with a fresh install on the new server. Is there a procedure in place to export the data from OJS and import it back into a fresh install?

Thank you for your help,

Wil G.

See this thread for a summary of export options:

Each method has limitations.

What part of the migration is raising challenges? If you want to go to a stock install, it could be as easy as:

  1. Export the current database to the new server
  2. Configure the database permissions
  3. Unpack the latest download of OJS to the new server
  4. Configure the file permissions
  5. Copy the files_dir and public directory and config.inc.php to the new server
  6. Run the tools/upgrade.php script

how to run the tools/upgrade.php script?

See the end of the upgrade instructions here: