And… We’re Back!

Well, that could have been a whole lot more painful. After three days of inactivity, we’re back up and running. New host, new server, better control panel, better options, better everything.

After three days of silence and no response from my former webhost “iPower”:http://ipowerweb.com, I decided enough was enough. I’d already researched other webhosts and had found one I liked much better (even demoed the control panel), so I switched everything over to “Bluehost”:http://www.bluehost.com. That went smoothly, and even the DNS change populated much faster than expected. ((The projected DNS population time was 24-48 hours; mine updated in under six hours.))

File uploads – all 164 MB of them – took a bit of time but went off without a hitch. And three of the four databases I used were imported in myPhpAdmin just fine. But I discovered rather quickly that there are drawbacks to having maintained a blog for over three years – the database that powers Writer’s Blog was 111 MB large – all in a plain text .sql file. The maximum upload size for myPhpAdmin is 51KB, so I had to find an alternative way to bringing that in. It took me a while to find a solution, but ultimately I found this handy-dandy import script called “Big Dump”:http://www.ozerov.de/bigdump.php, which is a staggered MySQL dump importer. It basically drags a large database in to MySQL in chunks, maintaining the rules of database imports. Once I had everything configured properly, the script took only a couple of minutes to import the database.

All the databases had to be hacked, of course – it couldn’t just be a simple import process. Basically, my database username changed with the new host, so I had to update that in all the .sql files. I also had to modify the file paths throughout the databases in order to get everything to point in the right direction. Nothing that a Ctrl-H didn’t fix, but with my Writer’s Blog database I actually had to make sure I used a fast enough computer to be open a text file of that size. I ended up having to use Microsoft Word (shudder) on my wife’s computer for that one ((The final page count for the database was 31,687 pages.)) in order to make the necessary modifications before uploading the whole thing back to my server and then running Big Dump to import it into MySQL.

It was a learning experience, to be sure, but now I’m much less intimidated by having to change servers in the future. ((Though I’m hoping to not have to do this again anytime soon.)) Bluehost is already amazing me with its intuitive control panel and speedy customer service. I even get root access (if I can just figure out how to use it)! So, here’s to better things.

Time now to get caught up on all the writing I wasn’t able to do the last couple of days.

14 thoughts on “And… We’re Back!”

  1. Welcome back.

    Did you consider LunarPages? This guy (http://www.10-cheapwebhosting.com/top10hosts.php) ranks LunarPages #1, Bluehost #2, and iPowerWeb #5.

    It’s been five years since I changed hosting services. I’d forgotten what it’s like. I have to save all my files down and upload them to the new server, don’t I? Hmmmm. Well, that shouldn’t be tooooo bad. I think my WordPress database is around 10M.

    I’ve been thinking about getting multiple domain names, so that’s a factor as well. I like the idea of hosting them on the same account.

    Some things to consider — and now seems to be the right time to do it.

  2. Just keep in mind those top 10 hosts are just affiliate driven. Lunarpages is good, bluehost too although some understaffing problems lately. ipower sucks, terrible reviews.

    If you are using cpanel you can just make a cpanel backup and restore that on the new host if they use cpanel.

    Its pretty easy.

  3. I’m with iPowerWeb now, using their V-Deck. I wouldn’t say they suck, but they are clunky (my term). For comparable money, I’m seeing alternatives. I come up for domain name renewal in just under 60 days, and the hosting package comes up for renewal in June, so if I’m going to make a change, this is the best time to do it.

  4. Jean, I’d never heard of LunarPages before you mentioned them. I discovered Bluehost from WordPress’s site, and I liked what they offered better than some of the others I’d seen. And it sounds like switching would be no problem for you.

    bwb, I wouldn’t say that iPower sucks – I used them for two years without trouble. But when I needed these upgrades, a technician seemed hard to come by, hence the final nail in the coffin. And as Jean points out, their interface is very clunky. I like Bluehost’s much better.

    I may stop by there tomorrow and leave a review for iPower. I won’t leave one for Bluehost until I’ve used them for a while and can give a better review. But so far, their customer support has been nearly immediate.

  5. meanwhile, asking someone who does this junk for a living is helpful.. ya know jim, you can export your database chunk by chunk so as to not have a friggin’ huge file (to edit manually in Word?! I’m so sorry!)
    But really, do you have access to the shell? I can show ya some stuff sometime that’ll save yer tail..

  6. I looked for that option when I did the export process from phpMyAdmin – I didn’t see it. I’ll check again, though; I probably missed something.

    And yeah, I have shell access. No idea how to use it yet, but I know it’ll come in handy when I’m ready to install some stuff on the backend to make the site more powerful.

  7. While it’s still fresh in your mind, what’s the process for moving WordPress? (If it’s not asking too much to lay it out)

    I’m not worried about the website itself — Dreamweaver or my ftp program should handle that just fine.

    I’ve not worked with databases much, so I’m a little nervous about the moving process — especially the hacking for the username etc.

  8. If you’d like I can do a write-up on the process here today or tomorrow and lay out the steps I took. It really wasn’t all that difficult, with the exception of the one database that was simply too huge to bring straight in. And the username issue likely _won’t_ be an issue for you, and I can explain why that is in the write-up, as well.

  9. Thank you, yes, I would appreciate that. I’m sure it’s not too bad, but I don’t want to do anything dumb.

    Was your domain registered with iPowerWeb, too? If so, did you transfer it, and if you did, did they take forever to respond? It’s only been two days since I initiated mine, but I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear from them. Last time I did this it took two days, so maybe I’m being too anxious.

Have anything to add to the conversation?