How I moved my WordPress blog. / by Neil Alexander

An icicle on a branch - totally irrelevant, but pretty - by Neil Alexander (Click for larger)

Hopefully you won't have noticed, other than the post the other Friday, but I recently moved hosts with this blog, and before you go any further - this is a nerdy post so if you popped by looking for some new inspiring imagery and corresponding elegantly written "how to" today, then move down the bus, there's nothing to see here.....

Ok, nerdy, read on....

I figured that at the outset it was going to be a challenge, but I was so fed up with the QOS I was getting from GoDaddy that it needed to be done. I'd put it off for ages as it seemed such a daunting prospect, but in the end it proved a lot less irksome than Id expected. As I'm sure that I'm not the only person who's not too keen on their current host, I thought I'd do a little post on the process....

First a little background. What possessed me to go with GoDaddy in the first place was the ease of set up. I knew very little about WordPress back then in 2009. In the beginning it ran like a dream, but after a while, and a bunch of plugins it had slowed to a snail's pace. It would take 12 seconds from typing http://manctog.com in the address bar and hitting return before I'd even begin to see something come back down the wire, which was weird because a dns lookup was returning really fast response times. Even a route trace wasn't hanging around. The only bottleneck could have been GoDaddy's oversubscribed shared hosting.

I had initially planned on managing the whole thing myself, but as a web developer of over 10 years experience and a self-confessed nerd much longer, I know from experience that these things go one of two ways....

1) All files are transferred to new host ok. Database population with existing data goes swimmingly, and the DNS just pop's on over. Sit back, pop a Bud and relax.

or 2) I lose lots and lots of sleep and it all goes to hell in a hand cart!

So at the beginning of February I posted a tweet looking for recommendations for WordPress hosting. I got a whole bunch of spam (thanks) and a few pointers, ended up exchanging a few emails with Ian Young, and Ian offered his company's services.

I made sure that I had backed up the existing database and downloaded all the content via FTP. I zipped them up and forwarded to Ian. He then migrated the database containing all my archived content, themes and plugins and configured pretty much everything on the new host.

From the outset I had decided to move the blog from manctog.com to a sub-domain of neilalexanderphotography.com primarily because when I'd originally set up the blog I didn't have the other domain name, and hadn't decided on how to display my portfolio. This made to change over quite a bit slicker. Once the new hosting was set up and all was working tickety boo, I added a web-forward for the old domain name to re-direct straight through to the new sub-domain. This meant that all the hard work I'd put into Google indexing and the like wasn't entirely wasted as all urls would redirect to exactly the same pages on the new blog, but with the updated domain.

I found that in a whole bunch of posts, the links to images and to referenced posts were still pointing to the old domain name. A quick browse at the plugins library soon turned up "Search and replace" from here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/search-and-replace/ which resolved the problem in a couple of minutes.

All that remained to do after that was to update all my various online presences with the new blog url - my portfolio, facebook, twitter account etc etc, and I was done. It was so simple and hassle free, I'm still amazed.

All in all I'm really pleased that I got Ian involved - I probably could have done all of this myself, but quite frankly there just aren't enough hours in the day what with juggling my IT and photography businesses and a young family.....

If you have any queries, then as usual, feel free to hit me in the comments below.