It looks as if we have successfully migrated the blog and web site to the new servers, knock wood. I’m afraid a couple of comments got lost in the switchover, sorry. The whole process was a whole lot more involved than I’d expected, and I wasn’t even the one doing most of the work!
Basically, what happened was, my ISP was de-commissioning the very old server that all my files were on. As they are a no-frills outfit, this meant that all their customers had to move their files from the old server to the new one. They had a “preview” function set up so you could see that it worked, and when everything was fine, you called and had them switch the pointer for the domain name so that it stopped pointing to the old server and started pointing to the new one. Then, at the end of March, they would unplug the old server and sell it for scrap or recycling or something.
It all should have gone very smoothly, but as you all know, it didn’t.
Problem the first: I am reasonably computer-literate, but that’s mostly by comparison to a lot of my Luddite friends and family. I don’t have a lot of call to FTP things, and I hired somebody two years back to set up my blog for me. I can do the basic day-to-day stuff, like posting, but much beyond that and I’m lost.
So I called in a friend and co-author who has actually studied stuff like this, albeit a while back. With much help from tech support, we got the files transferred (turns out you can’t go server-to-server; you have to copy them all to your desktop and then re-upload them to the new site). We checked “preview” and everything looked fine. So we said, go ahead and switch the domain.
At which point, the blog went down. WordPress does not agree with the new system. It didn’t agree with the old one, totally, but once my guru got it working, it worked fine for two straight years. Unfortunately, whatever she did to get it working did not transfer/translate to the new system.
So we spent five days on the phone with tech support, trying to figure everything out. My friend managed to get into the web site and put up a “technical difficulties notice,” but the blog was invisible. She re-downloaded, re-uploaded, upgraded, downgraded, and tried everything they or we could think of. Finally, she told them to put the domain pointer back to the old server, which is when the blog reappeared and I posted the first Technical Difficulties announcement.
We still didn’t have any idea what the problem was or how to fix it, so we called in another friend who has lots of experience with WordPress. It took her another day and a half to pin down and fix the underlying problem. She turned it back over to us, and we rechecked everything again.
All looked well. OK, we were by this time two days past the supposed drop-dead date for completing the migration, but we weren’t the only ones having problems and the ISP extended the deadline by a week, so that was all right. I didn’t even feel terribly guilty, because we’d started copying the data and doing all the stuff for the move a good ten days in advance of deadline; if everything had gone as smoothly as promised, we should have had five days to spare (see “on the phone with tech support”, above).
And then, just as we were ready to pick up the phone and say “OK, switch the domain pointer to the new server for real this time,” my Internet connection went out.
“Aha,” we said, “obviously they are having more trouble with the server than we knew!” So we made the call at 2 p.m. Monday to tell them the connection was down. They were busy enough that we left a call-back number, but we figured, again, that it was an overall problem and they were swamped. So we waited.
And waited. At 4 p.m., my friend left to attend to other responsibilities. I moped. I was still moping Tuesday morning, when I couldn’t stand it any more and took my iPad to a coffee shop to at least check on my email.
Which is where I discovered that at 2:10 p.m. on Monday, they’d opened a repair ticket based on the phone message…and closed it as “complete, no further action needed” at 2:15 p.m. And sent me an email to tell me that. Which of course I didn’t get, because I had no working Internet.
So I grabbed my cell phone and called tech support. Who referred me to the business office, where I finally found out that the credit card that auto-pays the ISP had expired last month and their email notification got caught in my spam trap, so they’d just shut everything down. I gave them the new expiration date, they ran the charge, and everything was back in business within about fifteen minutes.
Doing the final check and getting them to re-point the domain name was almost anticlimactic after that. Especially since it seems to have gone smoothly. (Knock wood.)
So I’m back in business, and will return you to your regular writing blog on Sunday. If nothing else happens…
And people wonder what writers do all day.