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Feigning normality since 1973

The Trials of Shifting Webhost

Filed in: Website Management.

Last week I took part in the shifting of A Teaspoon and an Open Mind from one web host to HostForWeb. I struck only two major problems.

1/ The backup format for MySQL databases which HostForWeb and the old web host used were completely different. The old host generated a gzipped tar of FRM, MYD, and MYI files, while HostForWeb expects a file in some format I didn't recognise. Fortunately I've struck a similar problem before, so I generated a file full of SQL queries and away I went.

2/ I discovered that if you tar and gz a directory structure in Windows XP, then decompress it again on Linux, all the directories are created without the executable attribute (On UNIX systems, directories must be set executable so you can use them, while Windows doesn't even have an executable attribute). I wrote a perl script to run through all the directories and set the executable bit.

Hopefully we won't need to do that again soon.

Posted September 16, 2006 11:11 AM


Okay, I don't understand a lot of what you said up there. I am a relative newbie to HTML and I don't really know much about MySQL or the other things you mentioned, but I am thinking about switching webhosts. I was wondering if your new host will help you to switch from your old host. If not, how does someone who has no knowledge about such things get it done? Also, can you keep your domain name if you are changing hosts?

Aren't you glad you stumbled on my blog now? :)

Posted by: Shelli | September 17, 2006 5:41 PM


Wordpress has an export/import mechanism you can use to shift your blog from one web host to another. So it's just a matter of exporting your blog from your old host, installing Wordpress on your new web host and then importing the backup you made.

Unfortunately eFiction, the software we use on Teaspoon, doesn't have anything like that, so I had to do it manually.

As far as keeping your domain name goes, that depends who you have it registered with. If you have it registered with your old web host, you'll probably need to transfer it. If you transfer it to your new web host they'll be able to give you help in setting it up. Web hosts are usually pretty keen to help you switch to them. :)

If you have it registered with someone else ( is registered through GoDaddy) it's just a matter of changing the domain to point to the new web host's name servers.

Posted by: Alden Bates | September 17, 2006 5:53 PM

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