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My move to VPS

by Bill Ferris on January 2, 2009 · 4 comments

in Blog Software

Last week I made the decision to move my blogs from shared hosting to a virtual private server (VPS). While I’ve had self hosted blogs for a number of years, I still find myself learning new things all the time, and this was especially true when moving VPS. In my case I was only moving WordPress blogs. I can’t speak to the steps for other types of sites.

Why move and why VPS?

I had considerable problems with uptime during the month of December. Even when my traffic wasn’t particularly high, my site was going down. When I’d submit a trouble ticket, my hosting company at the time would inform me that it was my sites bringing down the server. They suggested I move to a more robust and more expensive VPS solution.

Now I’m not going to bash my former host, they were generally good. But when things would break, they would continue to break for several days or weeks. Finding a true fix didn’t seem to be their strong suit. I wasn’t particularly satisfied with their responses to this situation so I also decided to find a new host.

I set about on a search for a new host, and did some Googling. But I found Twitter to be a valuable resource. After posting the question about hosting providers I received a number of responses that helped me narrow down my search to a couple providers.

I ultimately chose LiquidWeb for 3 primary reasons:

  1. They offered a managed VPS solution. I’m not a server admin and didn’t want the responsibility for maintaining my server. That would be a recipe for disaster.
  2. Their support came highly recommended. This was evidenced when I first went to their site and a chat dialogue opened where I could talk with a sales rep about my needs and they could help me in my decision.
  3. They are a Michigan company. I’m based in Michigan, and our state has had a rough go of it lately. Being able to support a local company was definitely a factor for me.

Preparing to Move – Get Your New Service

The timing was fortuitous. If I’m making structural changes to my sites, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is definitely preferable. I’m off work, and so our many other people. So I have time, and not many people are coming to my sites anyways. When stuff goes wrong, I can respond quickly and not as many people notice.

Step one is to sign up for your new service. You’ll need a destination for everything. Things here will probably vary based on the host you choose. In my case I specified a main domain at the time of sign up. Once my server was set up, I then needed to create my other domains on the server. This includes creating the domain, and typically creating accounts for email addresses, FTP access, and SSH access.

Ideally, you don’t have to make DNS changes at this point and you can access your new server via the IP address they provide.

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