You might have noticed that over the past two weeks I have not written anything. The reason behind that is I needed to move my blog hosting from Godaddy over to Hostgator. This move was way overdue, and a host of challenges (yuck! yuck!) appeared once I started to make the move.
However, as with anything else online, this was a tremendous learning experience for me. I had to address a lot of buggy problems that have been besetting my site for years now. Great opportunity to start over, and a lot of work getting everything to work right.
I personally want to thank Josh Alexander for his help, and also Marc Benzakein from ServerPress for him walking me through how to set up ServerPress to run a local install for my site before going live.
Below are three things I learned during the move.
Three Lessons From Moving My Blog Hosting
1. Ridiculously Fast Website Speed
All I have to say is a picture is worth a 1000 words. Then the two pictures below saved me from writing 2,000 words. Safe!
According to Pingdom, my site load speed is now 1.21 seconds. Prior to the reboot, it was around 4-5 seconds. This means my site is now ridiculously fast. More important, notice the sharp, cliff-like drop at the end. That is the power of rebooting your entire website to make sure it works properly.
2. Great Chance To Upgrade Site Over the past two weeks, I have had a chance to play around with Pagelines DMS. This is the free theme that came out a few weeks ago that will give iThemes Builder a run for its money. Check out my Previous Pagelines DMS to learn more about how the theme works.
Additionally, I have consolidated about 22 plugins into 14 plugins for my site. Going back to point #1, my site is now ridiculously fast. Also, I am running lean and mean on my site for the first time in years. Plus, I will probably be able to consolidate the number of plugins down another 1-2 in the next few weeks. Plugins like SEO Extended is making my life easier now, so I can ensure all pages have an SEO title and description after the update.
Finally, after switching themes a few times over the years, some of my permalink structures got a bit…wonky. I believe that is the technical term for this. Redesigning my site actually helped my search results, because when I exported the content onto the local host at Serverpress, I just exported the content, not the pages.
3. Moving Your Blog Hosting Always Take Longer Than You Expect.I thought moving my blog would be easy, because I have BackupBuddy. However, strange forces were at work with this hosting change. First, I did not realize that when I set up my initial back up plugin 3 years ago that the plugin was backing up into my website database. Apparently, it was not going to my remote location.
Do not ask how this happened, because that would be like asking a mouse why they like cheese. It was there.
So, I looked into manually downloading my website only to find that my site with the constant backups had swelled to over 12 GB of data. Backup Buddy could not even back it up. FTP took almost 2 hours, and the code was an absolute mess.
My best option turned out to be starting over with the content I had from site. Here is what I did. I took exported the content from the site to an XML file. To do this go to tools=>export on your WordPress dashboard. Then I created a local hosting solution with ServerPress.
Imported the content from my site on the local host, and started over again with plugins, themes, etc. All told the changes took about two weeks. When I was done, my previously 12 GB site was a lean, mean 250 MB speed demon ready to roll. I was then able to use Backup Buddy to move the site over to my hosting account at Hostgator.
What Does Your Blog Hosting Have To Do With Me?
I want you to beware of what you put in your WordPress site. Like many when I started, I had no clue what I was doing. Check out this link for a detailed list of my Blogging Duh Moments. Learn from my mistakes and make sure everything is working properly. Makes your blog hosting changes a lot easier.
Now, for an important deviation, and critical sales process announcement. If you need blog hosting, use the contact form above. I can help you move your WordPress site over (250 MB max move), and get you started on a low priced plan today. Learn more by using the contact form on this site to discover blog hosting options for your business.