Currently Being ModeratedMar 19, 2013 11:38 AM (in response to chuckbutler)
I'd set up a DNS translation for a testing domain or I would use an existing DNS domain on a variant port, would park the files in a top-level directory (eg: /Volumes/harddrive2/websites/domainWPv2), and conifigure Server Admin to use the domain name, variant port and directory.
I do this with Drupal quite regularly.
I prefer to avoid getting the path involved in the URL, and also not encoding the domain name into the Wordpress files for the site.
MAMP is not something I'd particularly expose to the wild 'net; it's intended for web development and not AFAIK locked down against attacks. If you use it, you'll need to keep it from getting tangled with the embedded version of Apache. This tangling is part of why you have to specify the :8888 port, too. There's no need for MAMP here, either.
FWIW when moving to a CMS, you'll want to be on the security notification mailing list(s) for the package, and you'll need to plan for deploying quick updates — security problems in Wordpress or Drupal or other common CMS packages can be exercised very quickly after they become known, and sometimes the vulnerabilities are exercised before they become known or patched. This means backups, and related steps to ensure security and recovery after breaches.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 19, 2013 12:13 PM (in response to MrHoffman)
Thanks for replying, MrHoffman.
My sense is that your advice is correct. The idea of creating a new domain on a variant port had already occurred to me, and I may try that next.
I went the MAMP route because it seemed to provide a fairly intuitive and straightforward path for getting the server configured as required for php and WordPress. I understand that this can be accomplished w/o MAMP; unfortunately I don't have a sufficient grasp of how these subsystems work or how to manage the "embedded version of Apache" to accomplish what I need without the benefit of a friendly UI. If you can suggest a resource that explains this in plain English, I'd be most interested.
Ultimately, the main problem here is that I'm not a IT professional--I'm just a guy who got roped into administerting our in-house web server. I'd love to be able to figure this out--we invested in the in-house server so that we wouldn't have to pay a hosting provider--but it may be that our web needs have now exceeeded my IT knowledge.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 19, 2013 12:34 PM (in response to chuckbutler)
On OS X 10.6, complex configurations involving Apache are usually best managed from Server Admin.app, which is part of Server Tools package. Those tools are installed on 10.6 server, and can be installed on OS X 10.6 client. That's also common way how your current stuff could have been set up, and that's where you can replicating with the new virtual host
If it's useful, here's a more detailed write-up on Apache virtual hosting and here is the OS X Server 10.6 web services technoiogy manual. The former is how I generally approach Apache virtual hosting with OS X Server, and the latter is an introduction to how this stuff fits together. Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's a plain-English version around; as indicated in that article, I use the server tools and the command line for this.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 21, 2013 10:28 AM (in response to MrHoffman)
Per your suggestion, I created a separate domain on a unique port, and sucessfully got WordPress installed and running at that location. Our web design company has tested and says it's working fine. So the only question is what will happen once they have the new site ready to launch. In theory, I should just be able to point our existing domain1 to the directory containing the new site in SL server, which is set to port 80, and then delete the temporary domain that uses the alternate port. The tricky part is that I believe I'll also have to switch my Apache port in MAMP to 80 as well (I had to set it up using the alternate port or WP wouldn't work), and I'm not sure how WordPress will react to that--nor am I sure how the other 2 sites that I'm virtual hosting on the server will respond. But at least that's an issue that Apple support may be willing to discuss, once I get to that point. I'm also going to look over the Apace info you linked above in the meantime. I'd love to get MAMP out of the equation; I just don't know if I can figure it out.
Anyway, thanks for your help, MrHoffman. I had already been considering the idea of setting up a domain on a separate port, but you reinforced that idea and other of your comments helped as well.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 22, 2013 5:04 AM (in response to chuckbutler)
With Server Admin, you'd switch the "old" virtual host entries for the port and the domain name over to the new directory, and you should be good to go. You'll want to test the web site after that switch-over, of course, on the off chance that the testing virtual host's details got embedded in a configuration file or into the HTML of the web site somewhere. If the web folks have been following typical web design practices, the whole site is relative to the domain, and the domain itself is not encoded in the HTML.
As for what you didn't ask...
I did not, do not and would not recommand using MAMP here.
MAMP adds complexity to an OS X Server configuration, and adds the potential for vulnerabilities, and you already have a new maintenance project and security risk you're managing with a content management system.
When last I checked, the MAMP folks specifically recommended against using it in production and against exposing the package to the wilds of the Internet. It was intended for development and testing.
To be clear: I don't have anything against MAMP for web development use on OS X client and do occasionally use it for that purpose, but I can think of no reason to use it in an OS X Server configuration.
For this case, I would recommend using the existing OS X Server 10.6 Server Admin.app tool to add a virtual host on a variant port.
As a maintenance and security matter separate from the use of MAMP or the integrated Apache server present in OS X Server, Wordpress, Drupal and various other content management system packages are unfortunately common targets for attackers. From direct experience dealing with the resulting messes from successful breaches at various sites, uncomplicated web site defacements and the SEO-placement hacks are about the least nasty problems that arise. If the attackers delete stuff, or start generating spam, or swipe sensitive data, things get ugly.
And to be clear on CMS packages: I don't mean to scare you off Wordpress, Drupal or another CMS either. I use and depend on CMS packages. This is simply to underscore the need to monitor the CMS security notification lists for new attacks, and to expect to need to keep your Wordpress patches and updates current, to keep your OS X Server backups and web database backup exports current and tested, and to actively monitor your servers. Your web folks may or will be providing you with a mysqldump database export for backups, or an analogous export for whatever database you're using.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 22, 2013 8:12 AM (in response to MrHoffman)
The difficulty is that step 2 of the WordPress install is "Create a database for WordPress on your web server, as well as a MySQL user who has all privileges for accessing and modifying it."
MAMP provides step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish that, including (first) the ability to adjust the Apache port and specify the location of the database, and (second) the ability to create the database and set up a MySQL user with the fairly straightforward phpMyAdmin interface. This is the level of simplicity I need, because, being honest, I don't fully understand what all of this stuff (Apache, php, SQL, WP) is, what it does, or how it's integrated. I may figure it all out in time, but I need it to work *now*. I know my way around the basics of SL server admin, but that's about it.
I would love not to use MAMP. Doing a bit of research, I see that your comments and warnings about it are absolutely correct. I just don't know what else to do. What I need is a document: "Here are the steps to get WordPress running on your OS X Server without using MAMP"--with every step clearly spelled out. But I can't find that, and when I called Apple Enterprise Support they said, "we don't have anyone here that knows anything about WordPress--that's a third party product." So as much as I'd genuinely like to follow your advice, I simply don't know how to go about it at this point.
Again, I thank you for being so generous with your time.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 22, 2013 11:10 AM (in response to chuckbutler)
I don't know of and don't find a particularly good discussion of this, and Wordpress has seemingly lacked documentation on OS X Server hosting for a while.
If you're in a hurry, check MacHighway for hosting. I contract with MacHighway for some of this stuff for a few sites and other services, and they can host these CMS installs for you. (Took about twenty minutes to get a baseline CMS working over there last weekend. Installing variant themes can be much more interesting — command-level work appears required — but that's feasible.) There are other places that host CMS packages, too. Why do I mention this hosting? Because if you need this stuff "now" as you mention, hosting gets you going, and you can migrate the site later; as you get more time.
I'd also check with the web folks you're working with, too. They seem unable or unwilling to provide you with the assistance you're seeking, and to help research the topic for you. Hosting and managing a CMS is more than just Wordpress or Drupal or whatever, it involves database backups, networking, and some other details.