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my experience changing web hosts with wordpress

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  • Charles Hodgson
    Here s how it went for me, in hopes that my experience will make things smoother for others. I had long hosted a website at Network Solutions. At first a
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 4, 2007
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      Here's how it went for me, in hopes that my experience will make
      things smoother for others.

      I had long hosted a website at Network Solutions. At first a static
      page, later linked to a LibSyn blog & feed. Earlier this year I
      installed a WordPress blog with podPress. I found pretty slow
      response and tried to work with NetSol to fix it but they are too big
      and not committed to WordPress. I opened an account with bluehost and
      played around there finding response times to render WordPress pages
      was less than 10% of that at NetSol. Even better, the tools available
      to keep the WordPress site up to date were much better.

      The first problem I ran into was that a podcast run on a WordPress
      blog is pretty interconnected with other internet resources like
      LibSyn, Feedburner, Google analytics and the WordPress MySQL database
      as well. I found I couldn't build a replica installation to my
      podcast site before moving the DNS to the new host servers. I tried
      several ways. One installed an infinite loop and crashed my bluehost
      account for 4 days. Other attempts mostly pointed whatever I was
      trying to do back to the NetSol installation where the DNS still pointed.

      So I built a development site with a different URL and made very
      careful notes of all the steps I needed to take. I did a few practice
      runs to see how quickly I could rebuild the site from scratch. I got
      it down to about an hour. Lots of uploading, unzipping, importing,
      etc. Then I put in my request to change my URL over to Bluehost and
      waited the 5 days they insist you wait before implementing the change.
      At 6 on a Friday night I went to work and everything seemed to go fine.

      I don't post over the weekend and LibSyn has been having some stats
      issues anyway so I couldn't really tell what was happening.
      Feedburner updates every night it seems and it was Sunday afternoon
      before I realized my audience had dropped by about 2/3.

      The culprit I soon found was a Feedburner and podcast411 recommended
      technique for temporarily redirecting a feed address had worked at
      NetSol but didn't at Bluehost. The objective was to retain ownership
      if the feed address as some extension to my domain, instead of having
      it show up as something part of a LibSyn or Feedburner domain. I seem
      to have solved the problem by putting a permanent redirect to the feed
      address WordPress generates. Most if not all my audience reappeared
      and the new feed address http://podictionary.com/?feed-rss2 seemed to
      find its way through to podcast client software that I tried. I have
      just now also added the iTunes new-feed tag (though (a) people will
      only get it if they still got the feed anyway, and (b) I'm not
      convinced it's working in my podPress implementation).

      I later realized this same non-redirect problem was breaking the link
      for podictionary weekly listeners as well and I fixed that
      (appropriately a week later). Similar breakages are outstanding on my
      list of archive material but I've yet to decide what to do about that.

      The poor tools at NetSol had caused me not to keep WordPress up to
      date and as a result the version of the database that I was exporting
      to use at the new site was out of sync as well. I now find that this
      has caused hundreds of audio files to become unlinked to their blog
      posts in my archive. I maintain an alphabetical listing of all of the
      650+ words I've covered. I see a day of repairing these links in my
      future. At least the last few weeks are still intact.

      I'm now letting the website rest a bit as I continue to post episodes
      and on the development site figure out how to make blubrry and podtrac
      stats work.

      Both these services are integrated into the most recent podPress
      versions, but there seem to be some issues there including a question
      as to whether both can be used at the same time.

      As I understand it more than two redirects is verboten and so podPress
      limits this ability. But it seems to me that Feedburner stats (which
      are said to count in the total of two) apply to a redirect of the
      feed, while blubrry and podtrac stats apply to redirects of the
      enclosure addresses for the audio files. LibSyn stats are also said
      to count in the total of two calculation, but this doesn't involve a
      redirect at all from what I can tell since they track their stats at
      the server itself.

      I can see that for me the adventure will continue...
    • Derek Colanduno
      Try giving the folks at KatAlley.Com a try. They are VERY friendly to podcasting and are quite familiar with Wordpress, etc... I use them for all my sites now
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 5, 2007
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        Try giving the folks at KatAlley.Com a try. They are VERY friendly to
        podcasting and are quite familiar with Wordpress, etc... I use them for all
        my sites now and I can actually go in and setup my Wordpress installs
        myself. :)

        D.
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