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My learning experience while upgrading inpeaks.com from Linux hosting to Cloud hosting

HomeEducationalMy learning experience while upgrading inpeaks.com from Linux hosting to Cloud hosting

I felt it would be right if I share my learning experience while upgrading the site from Linux hosting to cloud hosting. So people who wish to take similar steps with their wordpress site will find it useful.

The wordpress site inpeaks.com started 18 months back was hosted in Linux because it is said to be a good platform to build your site at that time. The technology keeps changing with better things on the table. Cloud technology started picking more and more popularity.  Even sites like Amazon are built on Amazon cloud. Also SAP and Oracle have their own cloud systems. Cloud has a number of advantages over Linux in terms of speed, performance and security.

I was trying a lot on my old Linux server to improve site loading speed using wordpress plugins. The more plugins I used the complicated is the site’s architecture. There is also a way to take your site to cloud through Cloudfare or through Amazon AWS by changing the name servers pointing to their servers. But unfortunately both the ways did not work out quite well in my case.

So I realized to contact my website hosting provider to upgrade my Linux to Cloud. Even though Cloud hosting is priced higher than the Linux hosting plans it has its merits. Another option was to change the plan to WordPress Managed Hosting but did not prefer that because it has its limitations in terms of the control panel facility and also the need to scale up higher when the site is expanding. So the best alternative is to move to cloud platform.

However I finalized with cloud hosting but there was another question in my mind whether to use Indian server or US server. Earlier for Linux hosting I was using Indian server and found through Google analytics that more visitors to the site are from US regions than India. Therefore US server Cloud hosting will be more appropriate than Indian server cloud hosting.

Please find the below challenges  while moving to cloud hosting:

  • Taking website full back up
  • Uploading the back up file
  • Uploading the database files
  • Resolving ‘Error establishing a database connection’
  • Enabling ‘https’ secured connection for the site

Let us go through one by one,

Challenge 1 – Taking website full back up

Since I am moving to move to Cloud hosting the only thing I had in my mind is that the site should be and function almost the same after upgrading. I contacted the hosting provider about this and the support engineers told me to take a full backup of my site. This feature was available in the control panel and it was an easy task.

However it was a tough time for me because I am using a mini laptop with a total of 30 GB hard disk which is used around 25 GB after removing the unimportant files to the pen drive.  When I checked the size of the site backup file it was 6.91 GB. It was not possible to backup on my laptop but the task was not impossible. I approached one of my friends to borrow his laptop to do the backup task. He agreed and I downloaded the backup file to the desktop which took around an hour to complete. So far it was good.

Challenge 2 – Uploading the back up file

Then I contacted the service providers to migrate the data from Linux to Cloud. The support team did the hosting changes and asked me to upload the backup file. I was thinking that this task will be easy like downloading. But a bigger challenge was in place. I tried uploading the backup file through wi-fi network and it was taking a long time to complete. 2 percentages which was taking 30 minutes.

Hence I asked my friend to periodically monitor the progress of the upload as I need to go to office for work. After 3-4 hours I called him to check the status and he informed that it is still showing uploading 0 percentages. So told him to give the upload command again and asked him to monitor the progress. After one hour I called him to check the status and he told that it still showing 0 percentages. Something was wrong in the upload process. The site is down during this time.

Again rang up the service provider and luckily the support engineer suggested to use FileZilla 3.8.1 for upload. It was available online for free download. Reaching home I downloaded the FileZilla software. Entered the credentials and started uploading. The speed was faster than the previous method and it was having the feature of resuming the uploaded content from the place it gets stuck. The estimated time for the upload showed around 6-7 hours and the upload process started around 11 pm.

filezilla

Screenshot showing FileZilla 3.8.1 software tool

I kept the laptop running during night and I used to check the status after 2-3 hours in the midnight. At one time it was 30 percentages and in the morning at 8am the status was 94 percentages. 20 minutes was remaining to complete the task.

By this time the power went off and I realized that I am living in India. The power came after 15 minutes but the when I gave the resume command in the software the status was 30 percentages complete where it used to be 94 percentages.

Therefore the same task has to be executed again and it showed an estimated time of 4-5 hours. Wi-fi speed was good and the process resumed. Finally it got uploaded in the File Manager found in the control panel of the site. It was in the zipped format. As per the instructions the backup file was saved in the public_html folder in the parent directory and the file was unzipped in the same folder.

Later the contents in the public_html folder in the backup file were then moved to the parent directory in the public_html file. Then the etc and mail files in the back up file was moved to the parent directory. Things were looking fine.

Challenge 3 – Uploading the database files

Now another challenge came in between to upload the database files. Again took instructions from the support engineers on how to upload the database files. For this I created a new database with a new username and password. Then tried to upload the file but after the upload process it failed to complete successfully. Something was wrong again. Again called the service providers and informed them about the situation and it was recommended to do the database upload from their end.

So I uploaded the database file in the parent directory and created a support ticket for the uploaded task. The support team did the work successfully with their back end team. This is the third day and I felt some relief.

Challenge 4 – Resolving ‘Error establishing a database connection’

When I tried to access the site through the Chrome browser it was showing “Database error connection”. It was appearing to be a common issue with the wordpress platform because it has happened to me earlier. So I searched the error in Google search engine and came up with the solution. The error was because the wp-config.php file of the wordpress platform was having my old database credentials. So I changed them to the newly created database name, username and password.

error database

Screenshot showing the database error connection

After sometime the site was showing some content in the web browser. There is some improvement but there was a feeling whether will it be as good as the earlier site. The homepage pictures were not loading properly but the pictures in the remaining pages were loading properly. Turned my attention to seek God’s guidance to make it possible and understand it will be if it is His Almighty will to continue with the site. Then with a small prayer I proceeded with the process.

Challenge 5 – Enabling ‘https’ secured connection for the site

Secondly, I started searching in google to find the reason behind the distorted pages. The solution was clearly mentioned. In the wordpress admin panel under Setting–General the site address and site url was pointing to ‘https’. Then it came to my mind that there is another new challenge with the secured connection of the site. Gave a call to the support team and got to know that the SSL certificate needs to be issued and installed again for the cloud hosting.

Therefore removed the letter‘s’ in https and updated the site’s url in wordpress. Now the site started loading as usual but without the secured connection. Now things were getting better and better. This is the fouth day of the entire process. So I initiated to install the SSL certificate back to the site. There are a few steps involved in getting the SSL certificate installed properly to get the ‘https’ for your site.

Now on the seventh day after 2 days off for the support team I had to follow up with the SSL installation. Again there was an error in the installation process and the issue was escalated within their internal team. The keys were not matching and the certificate was reissued. It will take 2-3 hours for the site to be updated after the new installation. After a few hours when I checked the site the homepage was not having the redirect to ‘https’ but the remaining pages were showing the ‘https’ secured connection.

Homepage url without ‘https’ was a known issue because it was present when it was in Linux hosting. There is a script to include in the ‘.htaccess’ file to enable the ‘https’ for the entire site.

# Force HTTPS
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

Now the site has come back to its previous form. Everything started working as usual except for one thing. Social network software was installed in the Linux server from the control panel in the previous hosting. In the new cloud hosting the same software is not provided and is not present in the control panel. So the social network feature was deleted from the site. Otherwise the site was looking the same as the previous site.

pingdom test

Screenshot showing site tested in pingdom tool

It was giving incredible fast speed when checking the speed test in pingdom tools for the cloud hosted site. The performance grade is 90, load time is 1.22 s, page size is 734.1 kB and requests is 50. The above screenshot shows the values of the test results run at New York City. It feels that I don’t need to think or spend much time on the loading speed, performance and security of the site. More focus will be given on the content of the site to inspire you.

This was my learning experience while upgrading Linux hosted wordpress site to Cloud hosted wordpress site. If you think you have a different experience or a better experience share it with us in the comments section given at the bottom. Hope it helps to minimize the technical roadblocks and technological challenges.

pearls of wisdom
Panchal C A
Panchal C A
Panchal C A is a native of Kerala in India. He has completed his B.Tech and MBA from Mahatma Gandhi university and Cochin university respectively. His hobbies include playing table tennis, reading books, and social networking.

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