hosting your own site made easier

Colourful thinking by JudeHosting your own site has its advantages. The feeling of being in total control is sweet, but it also means you have to roll out your own updates, and tweak your own settings. For geeks like us (You’re a geek right? Why would you be reading this otherwise?) this is all part of the fun. Boys and their toys. Hmmm.

But then at some point, after much tweaking and scripting, for some reason you have to move your stuff over to a new site. Either you decided to change hosts, or your host decided you have to move to a new and faster machine, but the result remains the same. You have to redo your configuration and reinstall your site. Heck, maybe you just want to run a local backup of your site for testing purposes. Sounds professional doesn’t it? That will surely impress the ladies! Well, maybe not.

Anyway, whenever this thing happens, you might end up having a hard time figuring out what the sodding hell you did in the past. It’s only natural as your brain buries older stuff deeper in your grey matter as it feels it doesn’t need it any more. Silly brain. It can take some serious pondering to bring that stuff back up from the depths of your neural pathways I tell you, but there is an easier solution. Yes, you could keep a short list of settings you changed, software you installed (and it’s settings), email addresses you configured, or whatever other stuff you configured.

A list like this will make sure you don’t forget to configure anything important. Consider it an installation check-list, which you can run over after you moved from one machine to another, making sure you won’t forget a thing. You probably will, but this list makes it a hell of a lot easier to figure out what it is. Unless you forgot to update it. Which would suck.

Anyway, interesting things to keep track of are:

  • Sub-domains you created, and where they are pointing at.
  • Email addresses or mailboxes you’ve created, and any forward rules you set on them. Not getting your emails any more makes you feel unpopular, and that ain’t fun.
  • Folders that need specific permissions for apps to work (Your WordPress backup folder on a Windows host for instance).
  • Source or script changes you made to adjust to your current hosting situation. Did you use a machine name somewhere in a script?
  • Changes to your .htaccess file on a Linux machine.
  • Etc…

Can you remember out of the naked head what needs to be done to setup your site?
If not, a list like this might be something for you.

Photo by Jude, cc-licensed.

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