Not all progress is obvious without careful examination. Much of my time working on this site has, for the past week, revolved around getting the entire thing moved to a new virtual server…not that you would likely notice.
After some well documented effort (part 1, part 2 & part 3) to move from a shared host to a VPS, it ran well, essentially untouched, for over a year. UnmeteredVPS.net has proven a responsive and reliable hosting provider.
However, over that time there were a great many patches to the software (LAMP) that are the foundation of a WordPress installation. In July I found that something I wanted to do required updating PHP to a much newer version.
I used an automated update process within webmin to install all of the outstanding patches. The process seemed to go smoothly. That is, it completed without obvious issues. The VPS reported that it was running CentOS v5.6 and all the latest versions of the other software components.
Despite the fact that all seemed well, the site encountered a curious string of issues over the following few weeks. Nothing major, but definitely annoying. After spending some time trying to work out the cause of the trouble I decided to migrate to a brand new, clean build of the VPS. It was actually the hosts idea.
Since I’ve moved this site a number of times already I knew that I could do the migration easily. I already had the tools and knew the procedure. While some tweaks may remain, the move was essentially painless. The DNS change happened this afternoon.
Along the way I took some time to refine some administrative things. Reduce the number of plug-ins in use, yet achieve the same result. Update everything possible to the latest & greatest.
I especially like Michael De Wildt’s WordPress Backup to Dropbox plug-in. It automatically backs up an entire site to your Dropbox account, including a dump of the MySQL database. In my case that means that backups of the entire site reside on several computers as well as the Dropbox servers. Sweet. Easy. Free!
Of course, my sense of accomplishment may be a little premature. There may yet be issues when the site sees a live load. We shall certainly see in the coming weeks.
For now, welcome to the new place…very much the same as the old place, but maybe a bit cleaner & shinier.