As I mentioned in the last post. I decided to move trivia from its old home on a shared hosting platform to my own VPS at bytemark. I also mentioned that this was proving trickier than it should – for no real good reason. However, the move is now complete and the blog is now completely under my control on my own VPS. So if anything goes wrong, I have only myself to blame.
So why did it take so long? Apart from the fact that I went on holiday immediately after the last post, the main reasons are twofold; firstly the difference in versions between that on my old host (2.2.1) and the current release (2.8.4) were sufficiently great to make the upgrade process trickier than it need have been; but secondly, and more importantly, my old provider’s DNS management process was less than helpful.
Before committing to the move, I naturally tested the installation and migration first on my new platform. This raised the problem of how I could install as “baldric.net” without clashing with the existing blog (I didn’t want to install under a different domain name for fairly obvious reasons). Changing my local DNS settings to point the domain name at my new IP address solved this problem (changing /etc/hosts would also have worked) but that meant that I could not have both old and new blogs on screen for comparison at the same time. Irritating, but not ultimately an insuperable problem. In moving to 2.8.4 I discovered that none of my (blogroll) links migrated properly and I had to recreate them all by hand. This took rather longer than I had anticipated, but it proved a useful exercise because I found some broken links in the process. They are currently still broken but at least I know that and I’ll fix them shortly. Because I use lighttpd and not the more usual apache I also had to address the problem of getting permalinks to work properly, but that didn’t prove too difficult – I’ll cover that in a separate post about wordpress on lighttpd.
Having got the new installation up and running to my satisfaction, I now wanted to point my domain name at the new blog. This is where I ran into some oddities in the way 1and1 set up their blog hosting and domain management. Ordinarily it is pretty easy to switch the A record for a 1and1 hosted domain (I have several) from the default to a new address. Not so if you have a blog hosted on that domain – the domain becomes “unmodifiable”. Technical support were initially not particularly helpful since they didn’t seem to understand my problem (and there were worrying echoes of my experiences with BT “support”). But this simply reaffirmed my belief that I was better off controlling my own destiny in future.
Eventually I was told that the only way I could unlock the domain to allow me to point to a new A record was to a) move the blog to a new domain (tricky if you don’t have one, and a pretty dumb idea anyway) or b) delete the blog (an even dumber idea if. like me, you are cautious enough to want to test the transition before committing). Eventually I decided to move the blog to a spare domain. I’ll delete it in the next week or so. Meanwhile, if you find an apparent duplicate of trivia on a completely different domain, you know why.