Migrate Gandi Blog to a Dotclear Blog on Simple Hosting

The easiest way to keep your Gandi Blog after the service is closed is to install the latest version of Dotclear (the software Gandi Blog is based on) on one of our Simple Hosting instances and then import a backup of your blog. The following steps explain this process.

Step One: Save Your Current Blog

To start, you need to save a copy of your current blog. You can do this using Dotclear’s built in import/export functions.

  1. Go to the login page for your Gandi Blog. Do this by going to your blog then add “/admin” in the address bar, then go to the resulting address.
  2. Log in with the blog or website owner’s Gandi V4 handle (following the format AB1234-GANDI) and password.
  3. In the left menu find the “PLUGINS” section and choose “Import/Export.”
  4. Choose “Flat file export.
  5. Enter the name you want for the file and click “Export.”
  6. On the same file export page click “You may also want to download your media directory as a zip file” to download your media directory.
  7. If you had installed personalized plugins, make note of which plugins you have installed.
  8. Remember where you saved your files. You can also decompress the media archive zip file at this point if you wish.

Step Two: Subscribe to a Simple Hosting Instance

You can read how to create an instance in our simple hosting section.

If you already have an instance you just need to create a site.

Step Three: Prepare the Database

Once you have an instance and a site, you need to create a database and a user for your blog.

  1. After logging in, click “Simple Hosting” from the left navigation menu.
  2. Click on the name of the instance.
  3. Select the “Administration” tab.
  4. In the “Database” section click on “Go to phpMyAdmin.”
  5. Log in with the instance username and password.
  6. Log in to the database. The default login is the username “root” with no password.
  7. In phpMyAdmin click on “User Accounts” in the top menu bar.
  8. Scroll down to the “New” section then click “Add user account.”
  9. Enter a username, such as “dotclear.”
  10. Click the drop down menu next to “Host name” and select “Local.” You will see “localhost” appear in the corresponding field.
  11. Type in a password, then re-type to confirm.
  12. Be sure to make a note of your username and password, since you will need them to install Dotclear.
  13. Leave “Native MySQL authentication” as the password hashing method.
  14. Under “Database for user account” check the box next to “Create a database with same name and grant all privileges.
  15. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Go.”

Step Four: Install Dotclear

  1. Download the latest version of dotclear.
  2. Once the download is complete, go to the directory and unzip the archive.
  3. Check that you have made a site for your new blog.
  4. Connect to your instance by SFTP.
  5. Once connected go to “vhosts” > your blog address > htdocs. Normally there should just be a single “index.html” file that you can delete.
  6. Open the folder you unzipped in the above step and copy all the files in that folder. Do not copy the folder itself, only the files in the folder.
  7. Once the files are sent, go to the address of your new blog. If all has gone well, you will see the dotclear installation page. If you get an error message, you may need to wait for the DNS setting to propagate. After 12 hours, if you still see an error contact our support team.

When you install Dotclear use the following values:

  • Database type: MySQLi
  • Database host name: localhost
  • Database name: The name of the user you created, such as dotclear.
  • Database username: The username you used above when creating a new user in phpMyAdmin.
  • Database password: The password you used above when creating a new user in phpMyAdmin.
  • Prefix for database tables: You can leave the default dc_ prefix.
  • Email: The email address where a password reset link will be sent if you need it.

After you have entered all the information click continue.

Step 5: Import Your Gandi Blog

  1. In the Dotclear interface, click on “Media Manager” in the “BLOG” section.
  2. In “Add files” click “Choose files” and then select all the media you downloaded when you downloaded a copy of your site.
  3. Click “Send” to upload all the selected files. You can also upload each file individually.
  4. Click “Import/Export” in the left menu, found in the “PLUGINS” section.
  5. Click on “Flat file import.”
  6. Under “Single blog” click “Browse” then select the text file you previously downloaded in step one.
  7. Click “Import.”

After the import you should be able to see all of your previous entries when you click “Entries” in the left menu. You may also need to reinstall any plugins you were using in your old site by clicking “Plugins” in the “SYSTEM” section of the left menu. You will probably also need to reinstall a theme by going to “Blog appearance” in the “BLOG” section of the left menu.

Optional: Switch Blog to https

You can set up your blog to use a secure connection. This is easily done in a Gandi Simple Hosting instance. You also get a free SSL certificate with every domain you purchase at Gandi.

You can read our instructions on how to automatically install an SSL certificate on a Simple Hosting instance.

After you have installed the SSL certificate you will need to go into your Dotclear site and update the default address to include https.

  1. Log into Dotclear and click “Blog settings” in the “BLOG” section of the left menu.
  2. Scroll down to “Advanced blog settings” and change http:// to https:// in the blog URL.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save.”

You will also need to set up the administration to use https by modifying the configuration file.

  1. Launch your SFTP client (such as Filezilla) and connect to your instance.
  2. Go to “Vhost” and open the “htdocs” directory for your blog.
  3. Go to the “inc” directory found in the root of your site.
  4. Make a backup of your config.php file by downloading a copy to your computer, so you can replace it if something goes wrong.
  5. Open the config.php file in a text editor.
  6. Find the line: “”// Admin URL. You need to set it for some features.”
  7. On the line below change the address from http:// to https://.
  8. Save the file. Depending on your SFTP client settings it may save to your website directly, or you may need to replace the config.php file on your site with the one you just saved.

We recommend clearing your browser’s cache before testing your site.