All those little things: Changing webhosts
You might notice some changes on Mama.ie in the coming week or so. I’m changing webhosts, so Charlie and I have been hard at work replicating the existing site on my new host site in preparation for the move.
I guess I never realised how many “little tweaks” I made to the site during the past year. A new plugin here, a change to the code there… And do you think I made a note of any of those changes?! Not at all! Well consider this a public note to self for future reference – from now on I am going to keep a log of those little changes that I make, so that if I need to replicate them again in future, there’s a little less guesswork involved!
For those bloggers of you out there who may be interested in the technicalities of moving webhosts, these are the basic steps I’ve completed so far:
- Choose a new web hosting package to suit your requirements. I’ve gone with 4th generation hosting provided by GoDaddy, which has excellent load-balancing, higher bandwidth threshold, and more webspace to allow Mama.ie grow even more this year. It comes with more easy-install software options, one-click WordPress install, and many more of the top free software packages on the markup. My new package allows me to host multiple domains, and provides me with the latest version of PHP – a necessity if I’m to keep my version of WordPress up-to-date.
- Set up my domain on my new hosting package. The host allows me to add a domain name to my new hosting package, while the site for that domains still actively resides on my current hosting package. This is important, because it allows me to set up an exact copy of Mama.ie to test all my settings, and install any necessary plugins and themes, without causing any down-time for my readers.
- Install the latest version of WordPress. This was easy – a simple one-click install.
- Install my WordPress theme. Another straightforward step. I uploaded my theme zip and installed it.
- Using the Import/Export tool in WordPress, I exported my data from the current site and imported it to the new site. I couldn’t believe how straightforward this step was. Amazingly, I was 90% of the way towards having my site moved after that.
- Check the new site to see what needs to be fixed. This was just a matter of clicking through the pages to see what seemed to be broken, or what was missing. Any options I had configured directly within my theme were reset to default, and I was missing all my major plugins including Disqus.
- Enable Jetpack and install plugins. I had to work my way through my list of plugins on the current site and install them one-by-one on the new site, configuring their settings as I went. This was boring but easy! In fact, I discovered quite a few plugins I no longer need because I have changed the way I configure the site over the past year, and whatever function they performed no longer impacts on my posts or pages. The new Jetpack features in WordPress also eliminated the need for a few plugins that I’m currently using. I’m pretty happy with the new setup now. It seems a lot cleaner.
- Configure my theme. I had to reset my menus, so that the correct pages display, and add my widgets back to the sidebar, and repoint the social media buttons to my Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds.
And that’s about where I am with the move right now. The biggest challenge left to me is resetting my featured images. Those are the little thumbnails that appear beside each post title on all of the pages. For some reason, they didn’t come through, so it looks like they’ll have to be manually reset. Groan. Suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a good idea to have written over 350 posts in the past year!
If you notice anything odd happening with the site over the next few days as we complete the move, now you know why! (Feel free to email be at Lisa [at] Mama.ie to let me know about any issues – I’d really appreciate it, in case it’s a problem I’m not aware of.)
Thanks for your patience everyone!