Using exported sites outside of Drupal Gardens

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Using exported sites outside of Drupal Gardens

When you create an online property, whether it's a web site or an account on a social network, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting something new. Too often lost in the excitement is what you're going to do in 3 or 6 or 12 months later. What happens if you want to move that property to another host? Will you be able to? Well, you can with Drupal Gardens, and in fact, the process is quite easy. At least, it's easy to get the site out of Drupal Gardens. Moving it into another environment is a different challenge, but first things first.

We are here on our site, and we want to move this to our own host. The first thing to do is click My Sites. Once there, click More next to your domain name, and go to Export Site. So far pretty easy, huh? On this page, you see quite a bit of information about what happens to your site when it gets exported. I am going to just summarize it, although of course you should read through this thing entirely from beginning to end. Essentially when you do the export, you will get a notification by e-mail.

Then some things will happen with the users. First of all, user number 1, which is Drupal Gardens--that's the entire site owner, the supper user, so to speak of the site--will get a random username and password, and that gets put into a text file, which I will show you. The site owner also gets a random password, although does keep the same username. Finally, other authenticated users-- that is, people who signed up for your site-- will need to reset their passwords when they log in to your site. Again, for complete instructions on what happens, go to the documentation on Drupal Gardens, but that will give you an overview.

Back to the process. You go through this and you click Export. Drupal Gardens takes a while to package up this site. You might remember when you exported a theme it also took a little while for it to put everything together into a package and then download it. Well in that case, you were just downloading the design; here, you are downloading the design and all the content and the software to run it. So, it actually takes a fair amount longer. I'll save that to my Desktop. Then once it's done, you are going to have to uncompress the file, and in fact, it goes through two levels of un- compression, you open up folders and so forth.

I have already done that on my computer. If you need any help doing that yourself, watch the courses on computer literacy on When you are all done with all the uncompressing and pulling things out of folders, you will end up with a folder called docroot. Go ahead and name that whatever you want your site to be called. I am going to call it "ExpCalExport." Let's take a look at what's in there. If you use Drupal in a self-hosted environment, you will notice a couple of things that are different about this, but for the most part it's just ordinary Drupal.

The first different part is this credentials file. Double-click the file to open it. This credentials file tells you all of the usernames and passwords for your site. I mentioned that user 1, which is the super user, gets a random username and random password. And then here is what was formally my username, and it gave me a new password as well. I will just close out that file. The other thing that's unusual in this folder is this .SQL file. Now, this is actually all of the content and all of the settings on your site.

I will open that up, and you see that it's all SQL instructions. It's not important that you understand all of this, but you need to hold on to this file, because that's what you are going to import when you create your site in its new location. That wasn't too hard, was it? The next step though--importing it into a self-hosted environment--it's a little harder. But to tell you the truth, it's still not that bad, and I will show you how to do it in the video about hosting exported Drupal Gardens sites.

Using exported sites outside of Drupal Gardens
Video duration: 3m 46s 6h 6m Appropriate for all Updated Nov 10, 2011


Using exported sites outside of Drupal Gardens provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Tom Geller as part of the Drupal Gardens Essential Training

Drupal Gardens
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