I finally retired my first domain name this past weekend. It was part of a necessary server change, and since open-dialogue.com hasn’t seen use in three or four years, I decided it was time to mothball it. I’m actually not too sorry to see it go. The focus of my web presence has changed significantly over the past decade.
When I set up my (dv) server with MediaTemple a couple of years ago, I had hoped that I had found my final home for web hosting. I’ve loved having my own server to run and to set up exactly the way I wanted. Unfortunately, the monthly hosting fees ($100/mo.) just got to be too much, especially in this economy, so I’ve ended up having to move everything to shared hosting again. This has made me understandably nervous since the reason why I moved to MediaTemple’s (dv) server in the first place was because my previous host, Bluehost, was unable to handle the periodic traffic spikes my Reclaimer site gets. So a little research and experimentation was warranted.
I started by setting up one of MediaTemple’s (ve) servers which, at the outset, seemed like it would be a highly enjoyable way to go. Everything, including installing the actual web server, has to be set up by the user, so you can customize all the settings to your heart’s content. Unfortunately, it also requires a rather advanced skillset to make everything work smoothly, and there were just one or two little things I couldn’t figure out. (It doesn’t help that nearly every tutorial I could find also requires an advanced degree to translate.) Ultimately, I gave it up as a failed experiment. I played around with Dreamhost’s free trial for a day, but service there was spotty just in that brief time, so I finally decided to give MediaTemple’s own grid-service a try. All my domains were pointed there anyway, and MediaTemple has always been very good to me.
So far, everything has run exceptionally smoothly. As always, the actual transfer was a major headache — backing up databases and files, reuploading databases and files, adjusting zone files, etc. I also took the time to clean up my databases by removing tables no longer in use, getting rid of the default prefix (wp_), and otherwise hardening all of my WordPress installs. The whole process from start to finish took me about a week, but now that the dust is settled, I’m pretty happy with the way things are sitting. I think MediaTemple will continue to be an excellent host.