Moving Dayze

We Are Experiencing Tehnical Difficulties. Please Stand By

So, in the fullness of time, my long-time Internet ISP, has thrown in the towel and the owner is pursuing other ventures. I signed on with them back in 2001 after I was excused from Corporate Servitude following one of the many many downsizings and waves of layoffs after the seismic catastrophe of the 9/11 attacks brutally hammered the design and publishing markets in New York City. So I decided to establish Fantastic Realities Studio as a freelance studio and hang my shingle as a self-employed Art Guy. I had not totally lost my mind – I did a stint as the Art Director for Art on Paper, but that job hunt lasted 18 months, and the gig lasted nine, before another wave of layoffs jettisoned me. So I decided going it on my own was the way to go. Job hunting can be a full time job, and the pay is ballocks. That time and energy is better served doing art, and getting paid for it. To be sure, I don’t make as much as I did when I was corporate, and we took another income hit when we moved to the West Virginia Panhandle from the NYC Suburbs, but our expenses are human sane here. And twenty five years later, forty-five as a Creative Pro, I’m still standing and still arting and mostly still loving what I do for a living.

Screenshot of Original FRS Website, Circa-2001-2003.
Good Lord. Look at that thing. SO 2000’s, but cutting edge at the time.

But that left the issue of what to do with my Internet presence. My Domain Registrar, Webhost, and Email Provider were all in one piece going away, in weeks. Well. Funk. A decade or more ago this would have been a nice piece of fresh hell with my site being down for days or weeks, and worse, my business email crashing and burning… oh HELL no. But in the current age, moving digital services has become far less uncertain and technical painful. I am NOT – despite some clients introducing me as a “computer whiz” – an IT Guy. I am a Creative Pro, but out of necessity over the years, I do have reasonably decent tech chops. I do most of my own network and web admin, mostly lovingly maintain my own devices, and handle most troubleshooting. Tech support calls will typically include the remarks, “this one’s past my tech level” and “son, if it was doing what it was supposed to be doing, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” So I’m not a noob or a scrub. I gotz dis.

Some folk are not aware that their Domain Registration, Web Hosting, and Email are not all one coordinated service. They don’t even need to be provided by the same company, tho’ they are often bundled. The latest trend is that many ISPs are opting to get out of the ever-rising security and server hassles of providing email themselves, and outsourcing email services to either Microsoft Office 365, or Google Workspace Gmail as an add-on service. That was a fairly easy choice – I’m absolutely going with Gmail, given that Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 Servers and their OATH security systems don’t play well with Mac Mail and make tying to using webforms a howling pain in the butt – been there with a bunch of clients. So I signed up for a Goggle Workspace Account to plug into.

In the meantime, I have a pretty robust GoDaddy Business hosting account I am already paying for, that I use for hosting clients. The service allows unlimited websites, and includes built-in SSL Certificates for all the hosted sites – for that all-important https:// protocol and the lovely little “padlock” – or most browsers won’t even open the site. A number of my clients are on that hosting and it works just fine. So I took a fresh backup from the old server and stashed it locally. Then cloned the entire pile from my workstation to the GD Server into it’s own new folder. However, migrating the (this) blog part of the site would need some special handling, as it runs on WordPress, a database dependent CMS – Content Management System. More about that later.

Impatient machine. Just hold yer damn horses. Workin’ on it.

Back at Google Workpace, we can’t launch till I verify the Studio’s domain. This is critical as the DNS Records for the domain control Email routing. So this has to wait while the domain finishes transferring from the old registrar to my GD account. My old ISP had managed the Domain’s DNS, but going forward I would need to have direct access to the domains DNS Records. The process has to wait about 5-7 days to complete, so let’s do something else for the weekend, then! Monday we were ready to proceed, and continued the process at both GoDaddy and Google Workspace.

Once the domain resided at GoDaddy, we swap over the Nameservers to GD from the old provider, and then plug it into the cloned website. Before lunch, the website is being served from the new hosting. Back at Google, the domain is validated and is connected to the new Nameservers, and connect to each other, and email to and from now routes through Gmail.

GoDaddy Domain Transfer Complete.
“Domain transfer may take up to 14 days to process.”

However, to bring the WordPress installation back online, I needed to bring over to the new hosting an archive file and installer from the very capable Duplicator plug-in I had exported from the old hosting. A new mySQL database was created with the WP credentials, and the PHP version upgraded to 8.2. – this process went surprisingly smoothly, with easily resolved last details. The fact that you are reading this is proof of how well the process actually went, with no resorting to technical support, help files, or YouTube tutorials.

With minimal disruption and surprisingly little hair tearing… We were pretty much moved and back to work by Monday afternoon. It was like having a handy Brute Squad move all the boxes, unpack them, and take out all the empty boxes folded and stacked out to the driveway. I honestly expected more problems, or a snake’s nest of technical glitches. But on the other hand, this wasn’t my first rodeo.

Mission Accomplished and Mischief Managed. Back to work.

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