Switching hosts is hell

I’ve decided to finally get around to switching to a new host. It’s been nothing but pain so far. Read more if you care to bear witness to this painful  and grumpy story.

Things to know

  • I have a few dozen sites
  • A bunch are static
  • A bunch are WordPress (not multisite)
  • A few are random apps like YOURLS
  • There are a bunch of random PSDs, source files, test sites, whatever

Initial setup

First things first, I bought some sweet sweet web space at SiteGround, logged in and immediately grabbed a bottle of scotch after finding out only the first site transfer was free. Well, if I was going to have to do it myself, might as well do it all myself.

So. Time to set up some sweet SFTP. Should be easy, right? I’ve done it a few times. Except this one required setting up SSH key pairs and didn’t mention it anywhere in the cpanel FTP settings section. I’ll never get that hour back.

Static stuff

Once I got the SFTP info squared away, I had no issue moving over all the static assets. Heck yeah for static sites!

The WordPress sites move

Okay, so the next bit. Time to figure out how to export and import SQL databases. This will come in super handy for migrating my WP sites. Except that I ran into errors on import (don’t know why, was getting frustrated, skipped).

At this point, I thought I’d try out their WP single click installation app. This was actually pretty pleasant, though the WP installation did load a nasty theme as the default and some SiteGround info as a post. It also installed a caching plugin which I promptly removed.

Then, I naively copied over my uploads folder without realizing that WP doesn’t scan those folders to add them to a media library (D’oh!). I then did an export/import that worked like a charm.

After I realized my uploads mistake, I found a nifty little plugin, Add From Server, that happened to be authored by one of my coworkers that allowed me to add all of those uploaded media files to the media library. I’m super thankful your created that, Dion!

Then it was just a matter of activating themes, connecting plugins, and changing a few settings here and there.

What’s left?

  • moving domain names away from the old host
  • moving my YOURLS setup over, which might be a pain
  • therapy
  • more settings tweaking
  • setting up some fancy git stuff
  • moving over more of my old dead static stuff into subdomain sites

Moral of the story

If you’re thinking about moving hosts or getting a new host, have a bottle of your favorite booze nearby and a snuggie.

If you see any busted sites or links in the next few days, let me know!

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