I write about a wide variety of topics because I’m not sure when it’ll help someone. This is part 2 of switching web hosts.
Searching for a new place
I briefly considered WordPress.com, but I need the flexibility. I looked at WordPress.org for web hosting suggestions, but I’m skeptical about anyone offering unlimited disk space and/or bandwidth — there’s no such thing. I searched around Web Hosting Talk and asked for suggestions on Twitter.
- “Have you looked at Godaddy for hosting?” (@redwallphoto)
- “I avoid [hosts offering unlimited disk space and/or bandwidth] on principle. ‘Unlimited’ actually means the limits are secret. Much rather do business with an honest company.” (@yafd)
- “Brian‘s got unlimited with Acenet. Check them out.” (@askmeques)
- “I am currently using Media Temple and previously used A2. I’m looking at futurehosting.com. I avoid ‘unlimited’.” (@cruciformity)
- “NOOOOOO!!! NOT GODADDY!! [They’re] fine for domain management, but they are a poor excuse for an actual host.” (@plasma2002)
- “Nope. [Never] tried them myself, but [I’ve] read one too many horror stories online from people having bad experiences. Spammy also.” (@plasma2002)
- “GoDaddy sucks as a domain registrar. No support + overpriced + shady. Go with namecheap.com” (@shibbydacury)
- “[Namecheap has been my] registrar for several years. They are always helpful [and] willing to bend over backwards for you.” (@shibbydacury)
- “If you’re looking for cheap, reliable hosting, go with DreamHost. You can find coupons online to give you your first year for $20” (@shibbydacury)
- “I recently moved a whole bunch of sites over to Media Temple. [I] didnt have too much trouble migrating and they work great for me.” (@JsonStone)
- “I use [HostGator] and have been very happy with their service and prices.” (@mikekang)
- “I’m using 1&1 for some simple hosting and seems to be ok. Nothing special.” (@nickmomrik)
Ryan Goodman (@ryangoodman)[1. Ryan is a fellow photographer. You can see his photos at Flickr.] from Media Temple sent me an email after seeing all my Twitter updates, and I went with (gs) Grid-Service Lite. Now, I proudly display the (mt) badge in the footer[2. Disclaimer: As a customer, I’m part of the (mt) Media Temple Customer Referral Program.].
I went to the WordPress Codex, then read “Moving WordPress.”
- Close comments, trackbacks and pingbacks for the whole blog with Extended Comment Options.
- Backup my database with the WP-DB-Backup WordPress plugin[3. You can also schedule automated backups sent via email. Isn’t that convenient?].
- Copy files from old server.
- Log into new server and copy files.
- Create a new database.
- Restore database within phpMyAdmin. (Maximum file size supported is 10 MB. You can upload gzip, bzip2, and zip files. My gzip file was 1.3 MB.)
- Edit wp-config.php file to reflect the new database name, username, and MySQL hostname[4. At Media Temple, MySQL hostname isn’t “localhost.” Go to the Server Guide Overview to get the new name.].
- Preview website before the DNS switch.
- Go to my domain registrar and change the nameservers.
I use IMAP on my server, not Gmail. In Thunderbird, I copied email from my IMAP folders to Local Folders. After my email account was setup on the new server, I copied those from the Local Folders.
If you’re switching to Media Temple, don’t forget to enable local mail. I forgot and wasn’t getting email for about one day. When I finally remembered, previous email that I sent from trying to test came through.
One of my domains (The Scarlet Paradigm) has a few email forwarders[5. They’re for the band.]. Set those up before you switch DNS servers and you shouldn’t notice any downtime.
Media Temple has a thorough Knowledge Base. That helps a lot.
It’s tough to find a solid web hosting company. When you find one that’s honest, responsive and passionate, I hope this helps you move smoothly.
Lastly, thanks to Ryan Goodman for helping me out!