The Importance of Keeping Your Online Files Organized.

Earlier this year, I made the decision that I would switch hosting services.  After crunching some numbers and seeing what the options were, I decided that the new hosting service would be providing greater value overall and for no additional cost.  One feature that especially stuck out for me was that I would be able to get unlimited databases whereas my previous host provider would only allow me to have 25 SQL databases.  Since I had plans to set up additional sites using WordPress, making the switch to the new host provider was clearly a no-brainer.

It became quickly apparent that this would not be a quick endeavor.  Downloading files off of the server to my computer for subsequent transfer to the new server would be required.  To add to the fun, I would have to make backups of the database files as well as the blog files themselves for each blog.  I would need a copy of the database that was originally on the blog as well as a copy that would be edited in order to upload to the new server.  Being as how the former host provider did not provide cPanel with my hosting package, I need to learn how to edit the database files to the new server format.

In addition to the database and blog files, each blog had its own wp-config.php file that needed to be edited so that the blog would “connect” with the new database.  Again, I made backups of the “before edit” and “after edit” files.  So for each type of file, I made a separate folder for each separate blog and spent a great deal of time making sure it was all organized in a fashion that would make it easy to retrieve these files in the future.  As far as time goes,  lots of time was taken up by the downloading of the blogs to the computer using FileZilla.  Before I started downloading the blogs, I had no idea how many files can accumulate on blogs.  It’s a lot!

But the main things is, not only do you need to have backups of the necessary files to allow for blog restoration, you need to keep them very well-organized.  It reminds me of a former tech-school instructor who would say “Information belongs in files and files belong in folders.”  This is oh so true and depending upon how many websites you are running, this has the potential of building up into a collection of many, many folders.  So in the event that one of your blogs crashes or for whatever reason becomes inaccessible, having the proper backup files for your websites will save you much headache, anguish and despair.

As far as how I could describe the experience, right now I can only compare it in a strange way to a divorce.  Domain name servers get switched, files get downloaded and then subsequently deleted from the server of the previous host provider and a good deal of email messages on my account mysteriously disappeared.  Also, you get to tell the hosting company that you are not renewing your hosting plan with them.  But all in all, it was a good experience.  There is nothing quite like actual hands-on experience to indent the process of how to perform a certain task in your mind.  Not only that, you can now share your hard-earned expertise with others who are considering a similar intention.  I would not recommend making a frequent habit of transferring your blogs from one hosting company to another.  As mentioned earlier, there is a fair amount of time involved in migrating the files from one server to another and until the other blog shows up “live” with the new host, you are not quite 100% sure what the end result will be.   But if I decide to live dangerously and do this again sometime, I am confident that things will go smoother.

Best Wishes and here’s to you “Thinking Outside of The Box!”


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