Posted on by

Copying a Participants Database Setup to Another Site

While Participants Database does not have a settings export feature, it is possible and not too hard to export the settings from an existing install and copy them to an install on another site. To do this, you’ll need to access a database management tool, such as phpMyAdmin, which is typically provided in your hosting control panel.

Exporting the Data

When you open your WordPress database in the database tool, there are three tables that the plugin uses:

  • wp_participants_database keeps the records
  • wp_participants_database_fields keeps the field definitions
  • wp_participants_database_groups keeps the groups definitions.

The “prefix” may be different in your install: the “wp_” part of the table names may be different.

To transfer the entire contents of the plugin (that is, all the records and all the field and group definitions), you’d export all three as “sql” files. This is easily done using the simple exporter provided by the tool. Save these files to your local computer.

You can skip saving the main table if you don’t want to transfer the actual records. The “fields” and “groups” tables must always be transferred together, they depend on each other.

Getting the Plugin Settings

The main settings are in the wp_options table, in an entry named ‘participants-database_options’ which contains the settings (everything under the “settings” menu) for the plugin. Open the options table, and find the entry with that option name. Copy the ‘option_value’ part of the option entry and paste that into a plain text file. Save that file if you want to keep it for later or as a backup.

Just so you know: the settings are stored as what is known as a “serialized array” and the data in this format cannot be directly edited…in case you were tempted to try that.

Importing the Data to the New Install

After installing and activating Participants Database on the new site, you’d replace the default data the plugin installed with your exported/copied data from the first setup. Deactivate the plugin, then (opening the database for the new install in the database tool) delete the three Participants Database tables in the new install. Using the sql files you saved, import the three tables into your database. (this assumes that the table prefix is the same in both sites!)

Finally, go to the options table and find the ‘participants-database_options’ entry and replace it’s contents with the settings you copied from the first site.

Activate Participants Database, and you’ll find all your settings from the original site are now in the new site.

10 thoughts on “Copying a Participants Database Setup to Another Site

  1. I’ve been looking for support as my Admin List Participants Page is showing blank, no controls, no anytihing. I’ve searched for contact trough the form n this page and email with no success. Our page is constructed around your plugin and we even bought the comobo/multisearch addon. I really need to contact you.

    1. What changed in your site? Did you update something?

      If you have a blank page, that means there is an error somewhere, so it will be helpful to take a look at the php error log to see what the specific problem is.

      1. Nothing changed, I used the page to delete all records, then uploaded new records (70,000) using csv files. When I came back to check the number of uploaded records, the page is blank, no controls or anything, only the message “There has been a critical error on this website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.”

        No email was sent to the mail configured in the admin account.

        1. Too bad about the email, it contains essential information about the problem. You may want to check your spam for that.

          Really, the only way to see what’s going on is to check your php error log. If you don’t know how to set that up, you may need to ask you web host. You’ll need to clear the log, then perform the operation that causes the problem, then check the log immediately. The reason for the error will be in the log.

          Also, since you are importing the records in batches, you can check after every batch to see if it might be related to a specific import.

  2. I’m not sure whether I should post this here or under the wordpress support forum. Let me know if it is in the wrong place.

    I have the email expansion kit. Is there an easy way, other than “copy and paste” to move e-mail templates from one environment to another? I can see that the templates are stored in wp_xxxx_posts with a post-type of email_template, but do not know how the “ID” column is maintained.

    Many Thanks
    Jonathan

    1. WordPress has an export function you can use in the admin under Tools/Export. On that page, you can choose which post types to export, the email templates will be in that list.

      1. Thanks. I’ll give it a go.

  3. Bluehost has helped me to move a subdomain over to its own domain. All very simple. Everything remapped to the new subdomain and workign fine. However, anyone coming into my Participants Database from an old link goes to an old copy of the page with data in it, but nothing works on it. I have no way to edit the page. It’s floating somewhere in the ether. The old address is https://beyondkin.gegbound.com/enslaved-populations-research-directory/. The new one is https://beyondkin.org/enslaved-populations-research-directory/How can i fix this? Thanks!

    1. Sorry, the message above accidentally pulled the “How” into the last link. It’s actually https://beyondkin.gegbound.com/enslaved-populations-research-directory/.

    2. I suggest you talk to your host about this, it looks like the redirects are not set up correctly.

Leave a Reply
You have to agree to the comment policy.

Would you like to be notified of followup comments via e-mail? You can also subscribe without commenting.

10 thoughts on “Copying a Participants Database Setup to Another Site

  1. I’ve been looking for support as my Admin List Participants Page is showing blank, no controls, no anytihing. I’ve searched for contact trough the form n this page and email with no success. Our page is constructed around your plugin and we even bought the comobo/multisearch addon. I really need to contact you.

    1. What changed in your site? Did you update something?

      If you have a blank page, that means there is an error somewhere, so it will be helpful to take a look at the php error log to see what the specific problem is.

      1. Nothing changed, I used the page to delete all records, then uploaded new records (70,000) using csv files. When I came back to check the number of uploaded records, the page is blank, no controls or anything, only the message “There has been a critical error on this website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.”

        No email was sent to the mail configured in the admin account.

        1. Too bad about the email, it contains essential information about the problem. You may want to check your spam for that.

          Really, the only way to see what’s going on is to check your php error log. If you don’t know how to set that up, you may need to ask you web host. You’ll need to clear the log, then perform the operation that causes the problem, then check the log immediately. The reason for the error will be in the log.

          Also, since you are importing the records in batches, you can check after every batch to see if it might be related to a specific import.

  2. I’m not sure whether I should post this here or under the wordpress support forum. Let me know if it is in the wrong place.

    I have the email expansion kit. Is there an easy way, other than “copy and paste” to move e-mail templates from one environment to another? I can see that the templates are stored in wp_xxxx_posts with a post-type of email_template, but do not know how the “ID” column is maintained.

    Many Thanks
    Jonathan

    1. WordPress has an export function you can use in the admin under Tools/Export. On that page, you can choose which post types to export, the email templates will be in that list.

      1. Thanks. I’ll give it a go.

  3. Bluehost has helped me to move a subdomain over to its own domain. All very simple. Everything remapped to the new subdomain and workign fine. However, anyone coming into my Participants Database from an old link goes to an old copy of the page with data in it, but nothing works on it. I have no way to edit the page. It’s floating somewhere in the ether. The old address is https://beyondkin.gegbound.com/enslaved-populations-research-directory/. The new one is https://beyondkin.org/enslaved-populations-research-directory/How can i fix this? Thanks!

    1. Sorry, the message above accidentally pulled the “How” into the last link. It’s actually https://beyondkin.gegbound.com/enslaved-populations-research-directory/.

    2. I suggest you talk to your host about this, it looks like the redirects are not set up correctly.

Leave a Reply
You have to agree to the comment policy.

Would you like to be notified of followup comments via e-mail? You can also subscribe without commenting.