THIS HAS BEEN A FRUSTRATING FEW DAYS. But finally (1/9) it looks like the blog and my other sites have successfully moved to the new server.
Articles from 12/16 to today have been lost (about 4 posts and a couple of comments). the 15th was my last backup… I probably have drafts of some of them in Word files on my computer. But as most are news and the news is old, I won’t bother to restore those.
I use Go Daddy for my hosting. I like that they have mostly US support people. Also, they have the growth paths and systems my clients need for growing eCommerce. I’m not saying they are the best or I never have problems with them. But, in my experience like IBM that WILL make it work.
But, like all the other hosting companies I work with (Hostgator, A+Plus, CI, and others) the first level support has challenges. That is where my problems started.
Most moves are simple. But, my set of sites and blogs is a bit complex. Because of the blog, one needs to leave the old sites running. Then the data can be transferred from the old blog database to the new one. But, if you don’t know, that transfer process is fragile. So, it is best to get a fresh backup. I WAS one that didn’t know how fragile the process was. So, I skipped doing a current backup and went with the built in transfer process. Thus losing a couple of weeks of posts.
The Time Line
In early December the new WP 4 versions were having problems with my Windows server. Long ago when I was first working with automotive companies they used Windows Servers. So, I was doing ASP development and it made sense to have a Windows Web Server.
I haven’t done any ASP work for a long time. But, I also didn’t need to spend time moving my server over to a Linux system, so I continued to run my sites on Windows. But, I was having more and more problems with WordPress. So, when I had problems with WP in earlier December and the Go Daddy tech said they were seeing the problem only with their clients running on Windows, I decided it was time to move.
Unfortunately, the Go Daddy tech decided he could save me money and put me in a cheap Linux Server. So, for the first half of December I ran on Classic Linux shared hosting. My blog was incredibly slow loading pages. The admin pages were way slow too. I was busy with other work and holidays so I put off chasing down the problem.
Then I started seeing 403 – Access Forbidden errors. I couldn’t even post an article Tuesday 1/5. So, we started the move to Delux Linux Hosting for better performance and expected to fix the access problems in the new setup. Today the site is responsive with fast loading pages and I haven’t even set up the caching. The admin pages load and work quickly. So far, no more 403 errors.
But, Monday’s transfer failed. Tuesday we thought we had it fixed. But, it wasn’t until Wednesday that we got it right and most of my sites were working again. Thursday I was restoring my blog from backups. This was the first time I have had to restore a large database on a web server from an external source, my files. Seems there is limit on the file size that can be reliably imported by phpAdmin. At Go Daddy they decide that was 8mb… My database is currently 100+mb…
There is a program named SQL Split. That makes splitting the SQL backup file easy. But, it has a bug. The first file in the set is just find and imports no problem. But, the program duplicates the first line of all subsequent split files. It took me some time to figure out what was wrong. I had to delete the first line of each file. Then they imported as one would expect. The restore was a really long and tedious experience.
Zipping the files reduces upload time. But, for importing the size limit applies to the size of the file at the server after decompression. I spent time figuring that out too.
Compressed my database backup file is 13 mb. So, I was thinking I could split the file in two (2 – 6.5mb files) and be on my way… didn’t work that way. phpAdmin would upload the file then fail silently.
I learned a lot. But, it was frustrating. My advice is if you have to upgrade a complex hosting account at Go Daddy, make sure you get to someone that has more than first tier support experience.