Switched from Monkeybrains to Dreamhost

Meet the new host, much like the old host.

Alex and Rudy at Monkeybrains are great folk, I was happy to give them money to handle e-mail and host this site and some others (but not jhanebarnesisgod.com, sigh, lost to domain squatters). Monkeybrains is clearly less interested these days in being an ISP to small fry. Years ago they told me I would be better off paying them for a small VPS (virtual private server, basically your own computer in the cloud), but when it works shared hosting saves you some admin hassles.

sftp (secure file transfer) broke, at which point I gave up. I was already administering my WordPress site in the clear without https, but transferring files without a password was just too insecure

Anyway, Dreamhost shared unlimited hosting seems a good deal, so I signed up. Their in-house control panel is a bit funky but I can figure it out. It took a while to make the transition. Here are the cleaned-up steps, I wasn’t this organized.

  1. wget our sites to pull down all the web content that is reachable starting at the top (i.e. what Google does when it crawls, or “spiders,” a web site).
  2. Delete all the retrieved “files” that weren’t static content, such as WordPress blog posts, generated RSS feeds, directory listings, etc.
  3. sftp the static images that WordPress manages from /wordpress/wp-content/uploads/, plus a few other files that were on the site without being linked to.
  4. This still left hundreds of files that were on the old web sites that aren’t on the new host – e-mail me if you’ve lost access to some beloved item.
  5. sftp all that static content (I used KDE’s fine Krusader split-pane file explorer) up to Dreamhost.
  6. Admire it in temporary mydomain.dreamhosters.com mirror sites.
  7. Move all our e-mail off old IMAP server to local folder (pretty good instructions).
  8. Change our domain’s DNS records to point to Dreamhost. At this point e-mail to our domains and requests our web sites flowed to Dreamhost.
  9. Enable https using free Let’s Encrypt certificates (yay!).
  10. Re-add new/old e-mail accounts now at Dreamhost.
  11. Futz around with /etc/hosts so I could access both old WordPress site and new one simultaneously.
  12. Run WordPress export from old site.
  13. Realize that Dreamhost puts all the WordPress admin files in the root of your web site, which isn’t ideal and doesn’t match my old site, so move all those files into a /wordpress directory (instructions).
  14. Tweak index.php and .htaccess to reflect the WordPress reorganization.
  15. Recreate the skierpage user on new WordPress site, install a plug-in and the Twenty Ten theme I was using on the old site.
  16. Import the XML file of the old site.
  17. Write this!

About skierpage_32obsm

The badly-named default user that Dreamhost created.
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