As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been planning a move from wordpress.com to my own dedicated server for a while now, not only for this blog but also for On Target and Wallpaper and herself’s book site. I said I’d write things up once I was done, so…
Step one in this process was local testing. I already had a LAMP stack running locally on the r61 so I just had to create a directory, download the latest wordpress.org tarball and untar it into that directory, then edit wp-config.php, create a database for the site to use, and walk through the automatic install. Very easy, very clean, and took about ten minutes all told. Got to hand it to wordpress there, the man-hours that have gone into streamlining and debugging the install process really shows. Once it’s installed, I went back to the wordpress.com site, exported the blog and imported that into the local wordpress.org site, downloading the images and uploads as I went. It worked almost flawlessly, let down only by timeouts as my typical Irish "broadband" proved to be more "slimband" once more. Afterwards, though, the local blog and wordpress.com blog were nearly identical. Now I could install every plugin and theme and play about with them.
Step two was registering domain names. It’s step two because wordpress will allow you to map a domain name to an existing blog, and I hoped that would ease the handover slightly. However, wordpress.com charge you per domain, so I just mapped one.
Step three was to get the dedicated server itself; the choice for me came down to either server.lu or Hetzner and in the end I chose Hetzner’s DS3000 server offer. I did try to buy Irish, but noone comes even close to the offers Hetzner and server.lu were offering at that price range (I didn’t look stateside but I’d be willing to bet that you’d get good deals; but I wanted to use the server on a project or two that might have live data on them at some point, so best to stay in the EU for privacy law reasons – the EU/US legal differences are just an avoidable headache).
Step four was to repeat step one, but this time on the dedicated server (and prepended with the whole installation of Debian Lenny and the rest of the LAMP stack, and all the other stuff I’d be using like Python and Django and so forth). I could have just moved over the files and database, but the truth is, it was faster to just install fresh. WordPress is in fact that quick.
Step five was to tidy up the DNS server entries, turning off the domain mapping on wordpress.com as well, and check that everything worked.
And step six was to replace the front page of the wordpress.com blog with a "We’ve moved…" page and to write this post. And that was it. Fairly simple, relatively inexpensive and really quite satisfying.
So, from now on, you can read this blog at: