Hey Crew – the TL;DR here is that I’m now hosting this blog myself at home, which is to say if it’s harder to reach or you find anything broken, let me know.
The details are that if you are paying for hosting on a low-volume blog, you know that the cost/benefit ratio can be a bit skewed – it’s great that I could do all kinds of things but I didn’t need 80% of them, so when my previous host (bluehost – no ill will) decided to deprecate my plan and move me to a tier that would be more expensive I finally got around to migrating elsewhere. I’ve resisted doing this because if you do it wrong, you can break your blog, ruin your SEO, and find yourself in a good mess.
I use a Synology NAS at home for various things and the best part about it is that when you have a little server on tap, you can find other things to use it for. There were only a few steps that are mostly covered elsewhere, but I did hit a few issues that I’ll cover here.
The things everyone knows:
The general steps to move things are:
- Ensure you’ve got Web Station running and configured the way you’ll want it
- Install WordPress and MariaDB (basically a drop-in replacement for MySQL) running on your NAS
- Use the amazing All In One Migration plugin to export your current site
- Install the same plugin on your new site and import the file
- Ensure that your router will pass web traffic, as needed, to your Synology device.
- Update your DNS to point to your Synology site
The things nobody told me:
It actually worked pretty well, but there are a few caveats. The biggest is that my site was too big – the free AiO Migration plugin will only let you import an archive that is 520 megs, max. Mine was clocking in at 650, so I did a few things:
- Deleted the 17,000 spam users that my blog had accumulated over the years with the User Spam Remover plugin
- Delete all the images that were uploaded to my site but not linked to using the DNUI plugin. I believe these were generated by a previous version of a plugin that pre-rendered a bunch of sizes of images I wasn’t using.
- Deleted all the themes and plugins I didn’t need.
After all that, the size of the site came down below the max, so I was good to go… except after all was said and done, I realized that somewhere along the way, all previous references to http://www.aribrownest.com… were now links to http://www.aribrownest.com/…. This was the internal IP I’d been using to test things out, but now they were cascaded through the entire site! I was a bit unhappy to discover this after the cutover and right before I was headed to bed. Luckily, people have done this once or twice before, so of course, another plugin! This time I used the Better Search Replace plugin, and just like that, I was done!
Having said all that…
Let me know if you find anything weird. I’m sure Google will when my SEO tanks, but so it goes.