Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Moving hosts

Most of today was spent continuing to move my Hostgator sites over to WebFaction. When I thought about moving hosts, I just thought of copying the db and files over, then updating the DNS records. Simple. But actually it is a lot more involved than that. Setting up the domains, associating them with an 'app' etc. using the Webfaction control panel takes quite a bit of time.

Then there is the email accounts. I spent quite a while trying to figure out how to transfer the mail over from the HostGator based accounts to the WebFaction ones. Ideally you'd be able to export the mailbox from Thunderbird, change the mail account settings, then import the mailbox again. But despite my searching, I couldn't see any way to do this.

So instead I had to add the new mailbox while keeping the old one intact. Then move (select and drag) the mails from the old mailbox to the mailbox. A sent items folder didn't exist in the new mailbox, so I had to send a message first to create it. Then move over the sent items from the old mailbox. And when all the messages had been copied, I could then delete the old mailbox from the account settings, and I would also have to delete the SMTP record for the old account.

Quite a pain having to do this for each account I needed to move over. Luckily it was only 2 as 1 of the accounts didn't have any mails worth keeping, and another one was already using WebFaction for mail.

Then, SMTP settings on the sites themselves need modifying. I checked all my sites I was moving, and there was only one that needed updating because it was using MailPress.

Cron jobs needed copying over, and a process to archive the logs will need to be written. (HostGator has an option to automatically archive logs, WebFaction doesn't. You have to write your own.)

Anyway, hopefully I have set everything that needed to be set correctly now. The sites and emails seem to be working anyway.

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