Housekeeping Progress 2019

I rather grandly announced some housekeeping on my on-line activities back in September 2018, partly to clear some space for some new commitments, and partly because I had escalating ongoing costs for all sorts of things I’d set-up for various projects over the years, now in various states of redundancy.

It’s been quite painful disentangling dependencies between different server and domain, contents and functionality, particularly since the Psybertron content represents something very important to me and I needed to proceed very cautiously so as not to accidentally do something I couldn’t fully restore from.

Quite a lot of the housekeeping has been at pretty high-level, disentangling dependencies and synchronisations between Google and Windows systems, email, apps and desktops, all of which incur costs. That is almost complete.

So far so good at lower levels too. Last night I migrated all(!) mySQL databases to a cloud-shared server space – and it looks like functionality and performance have been maintained. Tonight I will be migrating all other blog, mail, archive and static content on all domains – which use those databases to navigate and manage – to a single new more compact virtual server. I’ve taken back-ups, obviously, but fingers-crossed for a smooth transition.

Mentioned before that I remain sold on WordPress for content management even if for primary blog-posting I may switch to something like Medium for their enlightened rewards model. (So far I’ve never made or sought to make any income out of my writing, I should add.)

Anyway, big shout out to Dreamhost who continue to provide absolutely top-notch service for my mix of main publishing and assorted prototyping projects, from mainstream dashboard functionality of WordPress and Dreamhost to my uncertain dabblings at PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, SFTP and BASH command-line admin levels. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

I’ve been running servers at Dreamhost for 13 years and, whether through their ticketing or chat systems, they have never let me down. I’ve even set up and commercially managed additional servers and users for third-party customer projects in that time. Any actual outages of their systems affected me maybe 2 or 3 times in that whole decade-plus period but there’s never been a problem they couldn’t help me solve inside half-a-day. In almost all cases issues have been software conflicts at the WordPress Plugin level or my own uncertainties at lower system levels. No problem too small, no question too dumb. 10/10 top notch service as I say.

Check-out Dreamhost and wish me luck for tonight’s migration.

[UPDATE 31 Jan 2019: Success. All running smoothly on a new slimmed-down server arrangement. Not without a major scare along the way.

I have 8 or 10 domains of which is the largest, most active and most important to me content-wise. After migrating all my content, all domains, all directories, it takes a while for the updated DNS (web addressing) to propagate out across the internet but all domains except psybertron seemed to up and running within half an hour. Was the larger domain with the most global web links simply taking longer? No, it was simply that one helpful tech had renamed the main psybertron directory whilst diagnosing why I was getting server errors. The original directory was itself entirely empty – 18 years of investment in content nowhere to be seen! Heart attack averted by simply renaming the directory where the content – hundreds of thousands of files and sub-directories – was in fact safe. Phew!]

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