A friend planning a host change (from an address based on usernum to a custom domain name) asked me for advice on making the move. Based on my own experience, I tossed off a list of things to do roughly in order.
Warning: I may have left out something crucial! This list is a work in progress, which I will update with suggestions or my own emendations over time.
These are broad steps and I didn’t include any details or gotchas involved with each step, but I will elaborate on any specific step in future posts. I’ve already promised to explain using FTP to upstream to a different host/address, which is one of the items in this list:
- Find a server to host your site.
- Register new domain and point DNS to your new host.
- Make backup of the old site.
- Narrate the process to some extent in your blog (telling people you’re about to move, to expect some possible discontinuity, and what the new address is going to be).
- Think about any changes to the template at the “old” site you might want to make (like a sign on every page pointing to the new address).
- Make a second copy of your design theme and modify it to be the design for the “old” site.
- Switch to the new “old address” theme.
- Post your farewell message.
- Replace the RSS (news feed) file with one that includes the forwarding address.
- Republish your site at the old location – will take a while.
- Set up Radio to know about your FTP address and password.
- Switch the theme back and tell Radio to use FTP now.
- Republish the site to the new location.
- Check for things that did not switch over right (navigator links, etc. – there are some known issues) and fix them.
I added this as well:
From then on you can use Radio the way you always had except now you are hosting the pages (except the old pages), you can probably see more direct, complete traffic stats, you have to cover the bandwidth if you get instalanched, etc.
If you decide to switch to a different blog tool at any point, that will be a separate operation.
Lastly, after moving you may discover there’s still stuff at the old site that you want to change (I did). If that happens, I devised a “back door” method for posting stuff at the old location, so I can help you with that.