cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

With one final oooooooomph I have freed mysefl of web hosting/strangulation from Dreamhost, to the new free loving set up contrived by Tim Owens, http://hippiehosting.org– and experiment that is bearing fruit for a bunch of new possibilities of making domains of one’s own an even simpler process at the University of Mary Washington. Read more on the idea….

I am hoping this may be an exception to my proclamation that eventually any service provider may hose you, but at least here, the tech support is a guy I work with or can reach out and get a quick response.

I had been with Dreamhost since 2006, and actually, over the long haul, it’s been okay, but when its been bad, its way beyond bad pizza. I also have grave questions about their frequent warnings of low memory on my virtual provider server, which the only suggestion is to slide the bar which is just more money. I was paying upwards of $70/month for a VPS that bottomed out about once a month. I had asked several times what they would do to keep a customer of 5 years happy, and the usual response is “It’s because you run WordPress”.

Anyhow, over the past few days, I have been moving my smaller sites, and domains, and last night, the big dog, this blog, which has accumulated a fair bit if file weight from its 9 years of operation; the MySQL database, even pruned down, was a 42 Mb sql export/import. So far, these domains of 5 own are now Hippie Hosted:

The one thing I will likely leave behind is the ThinkUp App site I had; the database and site was huge, and the export tools failed. I have about 10 days to see if I can get it to work, but its not critical. I may just intall it and run it from anew.

Doing these moves are a PITA, and there is stuff to watch for in terms of stuff getting lost in between the nameserver updates. For all but CogDogBlog and Five Card Flickr, I pretty much installed fresh wordpress sites on the new site, transferred all themes and plugins, and then did an export of the MySQl database from Dreamhost and imported to Hippie Hosting. These were not a big deal since they dont get much, if any action.

For the more active sites, I brought all the files over, set up wordpress anew (for this blog), but pointed the database back to my old dreamhost database, so all activity would be kept. Once I was ready, I did a database export last, and yanked it over.

The nifty trick I used from D’Arcy, duting the testing phase, was to try the site on my new server, was to edit the /etc/hosts file on my Mac, so make an entry like:

where 123.45.67.89 is the (not really) IP address of the new server. This means if I load the address lab.cogdogblog.com in my web browser, on my machine only, it will go to my new server, not the one the nameserver really points to- this overrides the global DNS info out there. Nifty.

Now I am looking forward to waving goodbye to DreamHost. The dream/nightmare is over. Long like the Hippies!

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

UPDATE (Feb 27): Lesson learned was that after switching my wordpress database to my new host (Hippie Hosting), that during the period of DNS propagation (2 days), it is worth pointing the database from the old host (dreamhost) to the new database (hippie). I was getting messages that blog posts came up 404 when I saw them fine– while I was seeing my new host, many users were still seeing the old one. Syncing the database meant the posts would be seen by all (noting that if you uploaded any media you might have to do it twice).

The post "Hosted By Hippies" was originally pulled charred and crispy from a smoky charred oven at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2012/02/hosted-by-hippies/) on February 25, 2012.

5 Comments

  • I need to do this. Tim is the man.

  • Dear CogDog and Hippies,
    As luck would have it….I have been looking to get set up with….wait for it….a domain of my own. I have resisted….I don’t really want to deal with stuff like sites down and spam junk and all the accoutrements of site ownership and such.

    But it seems that I need a site of my own to fulfill (another bit of irony here) a graduate course and program requirement I am working on. (And…I have some ideas of a new blog…just for me…I want to start, etc…)

    So…smack in the middle of my researching and pestering friends for advice on the very ‘bestest’ hosts out there (and all the Twitter spam coming fast and furious after doing so)…..I read about Hippie Hosting.

    Seems like a dream come true.
    Is it? For a complete novice with little to no technical chops (at least in this sphere)??? Will you be there for me if I take the plunge??? Or…should I let you get legs under you first? I am happy to be an ‘early adopter’…just wondering.

    Thanks for the sharing…now and always.
    cj

    • Alan Levine aka CogDog cogdogblog.com

      This is the place for you, the brains behind it sits about 15 feet from me (@timmmmmyboy and will hold your hand as needed). Come join the commune. We can help you import your site from wordpress.com over here.

      • Fabulous. Thanks to both of you!! An offer I can’t refuse.

        Pretty tied up this week, but would like to get started soon to play around until the graded stuff I have to make.

        So, next week I’ll pull the trigger.

        I do love hippies. I might have actually been one once…but don’t tell anybody.

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