DreamHost to Versio

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An incident speeded up my plans to migrate from DreamHost to Versio for my hosting needs.

Dreamhost has no disk limits so in that regard it is great for someone fooling around with large files that you only occasionally need to download. But they are hosted 10 hours away and in a rather different jurisdiction. And so is my email.

The whole things started with an incident that lost the IMAP folders of me and my wife. (Never forget to enable the mark that you want to keep you email on dreamhost if you want to send your email past an external spam filter.) Dreamhost saved our day as they were able to recover them almost completely.

I happen to have my domain seperate from my hosting. So I am free to point to any hosting party I choose to do so. That made it slighly easier to move from 1 hosting party to another. I could set things up in advance and be ready for the push over. So I had new email boxes standing y for me and my wife which were essentally empy. But I could run a few test to make sure things would succeed and the hosting party was to my liking.

Step 1 was making backups. Never (leave home) without them. Preferable with the 3-2-1 rule for backups to recover from silly mistakes as well as disasters.

Step 2 was pointing the nameservers from Dreamhost to Versio. That was easy. But then the waiting started. As it took a few minutes to have an impact from home. (I was expecting more time ;-)

Step 3 was testing email flows. So I spammed our mailboxes silly including our significant list of aliases. Oops. I missed a few. Lucky enough none of them vital, so I had to recreate some more. (I never laugh at your mistakes. I have plenty of fun laughing about my own as it is.)

Step 4 was securing the websites with HTTPS. As I now have pointers to the right host I can request my Let’s encrypt certificates. Getting one for half a dozen names is almost instant. But those wildcard certificates take a lot longer. But I got them.

Step 5 was getting my email migrated. I use Thunderbird for my email and I renamed the existing IMAP connection to Dreamhost and created a new one towards Versio. That was not that hard in Thunderbird. But I was unable to get it done in Outlook (on Windows 10) untill I copied the Registry file from the Versio server as indicated. Then it worked. But I was unable to have Outlook on my tablet connect to Versio. So I ditched it and choose another email client on my tablet.

But the actual move was done folder by folder. Create a new one (restructuring while I was at it). Then select all messages and move them to their new home. While it was a full days work it allowed to clean up a bit. As I had 15 year of history in that mailbox. It helped a lot to use temporary rules to select messages and get rid of them in bulk. I also constructed over 60 new filtering rules to keep my inbox relative clean.

So my primarygoal was done. We have new mailboxes on place where there isn’t an ocean between me and my servers.

Step 6 was recreating my website. Indeed the one you are looking at. I made all sort of backups and Versio has a very up-to-date installer to install TextPattern to my subdomain. Getting my backup file in there needed a bit of pushing and shoving. I had to fix some references as the default installer used prefixes for tables. But I got it done. So I am happy as I can add new pages to my website whenever I feel like it. (This article was written AFTER the move.)

There will be more steps to go yet but these were the ones I considered essential. Everything else is …. just for fun.

I planned to add an table with the pro and cons of the 2 hosting parties. So any one considering a change or who is just looking might have a slightly better informed opinion once you have seen the comparrison.

That’s all for now.



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