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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.

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

  1. 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.

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

  1. 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.