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My experience changing hosts w/ shared hosting

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  • My experience changing hosts w/ shared hosting

    Yesterday I did an expedited move of our website from one shared hosting provider to another. Our previous provider (Viperhost/Communehost) was recommended on here as a top notch host about a year ago, and we went for it and had a good experience for about the first 6-9 months. Recently without any warning or contact from the owner (who has posted here many times in the past) support just stopped, completely. He made one attempt at an excuse about a month back, and then vanished again. Recently posted on his ViperHost frontpage, the upstream reseller from the owner posted that our owner could no longer handle the sites. The CommuneHost variant of his company however, is not hosted by the same upstream reseller, and no contact was made by them regarding our own server.

    With this information in tow, we decided it was high time to pack our bags before the server just up and dissappeared. Consider this warning when choosing a shared host - They rise and fall ALL the time and fewer and fewer mainstream shared hosts are supporting vB because of excessive server loads, becuase they host too many acounts on one box, or use cheap boxes, resulting in poor performance for all the people they host on those servers. Shared hosting is a gamble these days at the best, you can do whatever research you what it doesnt guarantee much of anything. Also of note that the once highly esteemed ViperHost/CommuneHost was run by a 19 yr old kid, its not much wonder that the situation became unstable - if only I'd known this before it might have come as less of a surprise.

    Follwing the recent posts here, I was looking for another company that was familiar with the needs of large (for shared hosting) vB boards, and that hosted on the-planet servers, which seem to come very highly recommended these days for dedicated boxes, many through the ServerMatrix reseller. I decided on aSmallOrange as several have recommended and thus far the experience has been great. I requested SSH at 1am EST and within minutes had an answer back and was ready to move out. They are a new company but have a much better support system in place than we ever experienced with Viper/Commune.

    To facilitate the quick move, DNS on my 3rd party domain name service was updated to point the to new server ASAP. I did a site to site (ftp) backup and had the files moved within an hour. The database was not as straightforward, as I didnt have SSH on the old server. I used phpMyAdmin for the backup, and had to d/l it in compressed format to my box at home, there was no option that I saw to save it in the Home directory or fxp it to another site. With that huge waste of time out of the way, I then u/led it to the new server at my cable's speed of 30k/sec - what a joy that was. Then, once it was there, get into SSH extract the .gz file and dump it into the newly created mySQL database and I was set in about 30 minutes the entire DB was online. Worth note is that I closed the site on the old server before downloading the DB to avoid any sync problems with new posts that would not be carried over.

    After the DB was up on the new server, I went in and opened up the vB using the temporary URL, enabled it and scoped things out. Besides most all the images being broken, the site was functional enough to read and post on. then went back to the old site, changed the 'board closed' message to include a link with the temporary URL at the new server, along with a quick explaination of DNS propigation and what to expect. Everyone seemed happy to be able to read and post, and an extended 100% downtime was avoided in this manner. This morning my DNS as well as several others have been updated, and I'm sure the stragglers will follow suit throughout the day today.

    All in all a relatively painless experience with good marks for the new host so far.