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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Keep Your Sites Transportable - Backup Your Database Often!
    I am suffering through a server migration with my host and I have learned a few lessons the hard way that, although obvious to us all, may be worth repeating for the general good.

    1) Backup your databases (data and structure) often! If I had done this - every month or so - I would have saved myself a week (and counting) of grief - I could have picked-up my sites and run to a new host.

    I was surprised how simple it is to backup a MySQL db. Here is a nice simple video tutorial that I watched (after it was too late to save my poor data): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifPJzlqq1rQ

    2) Distribute your sites over more than one host. I know, this one is obvious but I learned the hard way!

    If this post convinces even one person to go and backup their db - I will feel like my loss was not a complete waste!!!

  2. #2
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    2) Distribute your sites over more than one host. I know, this one is obvious but I learned the hard way!
    Absolutely good advice. The ol' eggs in a basket thing certainly applies.

    What continues to amaze me is the number of affiliates who search for the lowest price hosting deal - and then wonder why things don't always work reliably. I can't imagine planning to run a business and look for "cheapie" hosting. I see people in one one thread with aspirations of earning enough online to leave the day j*b. Then later on complaining about a host not treating them well - and complaining about $6.95 a month.

    Cheap hosting will often go off-line more that a website owner realizes. It may not be long outages, but they are there. If a SE bot comes along to index that site when it's offline... (need I say more?)
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Thanks for the video.

    Good to know since I will be doing a server change soon.

    One of the things that I have anxiety about is the migration part.

    My database is automatically backed up but good to know how to do it manually.

  4. #4
    http and a telephoto
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    ladidah, if you are migrating from cpanel to cpanel you can do it very easily as long as the host supports that. If you are going from different panels to different panels, then you need to do the file and database transfers manually. In either case do a back up before you start moving anything.

    I recommend an overlap of a month with both hosting so that you don't have to rush and so you can go back to the old server to grab stuff if you need to.

    (I've done a number of migrations over the past 15 years )
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip loxly. The current host does not have cpanel so you are probably correct that that has to be done manually. Also I like the idea of having an overlap for a period of time but is there a way that the site on the new host will not be indexed for fear of dupe content until it is fully ready?

    I also saw Matt Cutt's video on TTL (time to live) regarding moving sites to a different server and not sure how that plays in with all this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w41dsE87CfY

  6. #6
    http and a telephoto
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    If both sites are up at the same time, the new site isn't "live" until you switch the DNS over. At that point the old site is no longer accessible via the web, but you can still access it via your ip address or through your hosts control panel to grab things you might have missed.

    I'll watch Matt's video, but I never have worried about or have had an issue with both sites showing in the index or being marked dup content.

    One person who's site I recently migrated had an instant increase in traffic, sales and affiliate sales. Hosting is more important than you think in a lot of respects. If you are on a shared server with "bad neighbors" it impacts your rankings and traffic.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly View Post
    If both sites are up at the same time, the new site isn't "live" until you switch the DNS over. At that point the old site is no longer accessible via the web, but you can still access it via your ip address or through your hosts control panel to grab things you might have missed.

    I'll watch Matt's video, but I never have worried about or have had an issue with both sites showing in the index or being marked dup content.

    One person who's site I recently migrated had an instant increase in traffic, sales and affiliate sales. Hosting is more important than you think in a lot of respects. If you are on a shared server with "bad neighbors" it impacts your rankings and traffic.
    Awesome! That is very helpful information.
    Thank you!

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Absolutely good advice. The ol' eggs in a basket thing certainly applies.

    What continues to amaze me is the number of affiliates who search for the lowest price hosting deal - and then wonder why things don't always work reliably. I can't imagine planning to run a business and look for "cheapie" hosting. I see people in one one thread with aspirations of earning enough online to leave the day j*b. Then later on complaining about a host not treating them well - and complaining about $6.95 a month.

    Cheap hosting will often go off-line more that a website owner realizes. It may not be long outages, but they are there. If a SE bot comes along to index that site when it's offline... (need I say more?)
    Bill, I recognize the wisdom of what you're saying. I even agree with it. But in the real world, it is incredibly difficult -- say, if you have 20+ websites -- to find reliable, affordable hosting to split them among. (Between? Among? Among, I'm pretty sure.)

    Even if you spend literally DAYS researching quality webhosts, you can never be sure. Seriously, I've had probably 6-8 different webhosts in the last four or five years, each I read reviews on and sent support messages to. Only ONE of them have I found reliable for more than a few months. In every other case, a host which started out really responsive and reliable ended up changing ownership or simply degrading in the quality of their equipment and support personnel.

    So, whether it's $7 a month or $70 a month -- you pays yer money and you takes yer chances, I guess.
    Generate more fake news.

  9. #9
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy View Post
    Bill, I recognize the wisdom of what you're saying. I even agree with it. But in the real world, it is incredibly difficult -- say, if you have 20+ websites -- to find reliable, affordable hosting to split them among. (Between? Among? Among, I'm pretty sure.)

    Even if you spend literally DAYS researching quality webhosts, you can never be sure. Seriously, I've had probably 6-8 different webhosts in the last four or five years, each I read reviews on and sent support messages to. Only ONE of them have I found reliable for more than a few months. In every other case, a host which started out really responsive and reliable ended up changing ownership or simply degrading in the quality of their equipment and support personnel.

    So, whether it's $7 a month or $70 a month -- you pays yer money and you takes yer chances, I guess.
    This is worth repeating. I have had a few hosts through the years I trusted for years. One (many years ago) the support degraded horribly and I discovered his tech support AND customer support people *quit* and my sites started getting hacked regularly. He blamed my software, it was his server security. Before that I had some VPSs when they were "new" and expensive. I had a very reliable and supportive host the past couple years, but just decided to go the VPS route again. Tried one that due to support issues I ditched in less than a month. I'm happy with the hosting I currently have, the support is great, and I have multiple VPS accounts spread across their network.

    So while I agree you may not want to put your eggs all in one basket, you have to evaluate where your baskets are, and pay attention to the new "clustered" hosting as a possible solution.

    I have learned to stay away from some of the brand name shared hosting - they all have had issues, I had accounts at them all that I closed due to support issues, software incompatibility issues, and security issues. The ones I had accounts on have been Dreamhost, GoDaddy, and 1and1. The good news is that I had accounts at more than one at once, so when one tanked I moved to another. Bottom line is now I use VPS so I'm in control.

  10. #10
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    My "stable" of server space includes three VPS accounts and two reseller accounts (for my own domains - I do NOT resell hosting). These five "spaces" are spread between two companies and among five different servers. One of those companies is "name brand" and often recommended here. The other is almost unknown and not cheap - but has been VERY reliable for the last five years.

    On two of the VPS units I have no "extras" and keep (just about) everything turned OFF except for HTTP, FTP and MySQL - keeping them, lean, mean page-serving machines. These contain my most important sites. On the other three "spaces" I have most services turned on and also use Fantastico - so I can easily implement Wordpress installs for quite a few micro-sites.

    If one server gets trashed, is compromised or commits suicide - I am only partially out of business until repairs can be made. If one NOC has a catastrophic event I am only about "half" out of business - until things can be rectified - or I can change DNS and fire up the most important sites at the other location.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  11. #11
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
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    Backup frequently and off site
    To expand this thread a little bit. If the data on your server is important to you, it should be backed up, frequently, and to a server that is off site. RAID is not backup. From time to time, I see notices on the Forum of my web hosting provider, that a server has suffered multiple drive failures. It happened to the server one of my web sites was hosted on , a year or so ago. Apparently their backup did work, because the server was rebuilt and online in a few hours, with no work on my part. However, *many* times, on Webhostingtalk.com I have seen threads, where the person depended on their web hosting provider to make backups, and when they were needed, either they did not have a recent backup or the backup did not work and the client had no backups. If you are on a Dedicated box or a VPS this is always your responsibility, but if you are on Shared Hosting, it should also be included in your responsibilities. There are online backup services mentioned from time to time on Webhostingtalk.com that can save one...

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