Just some stuff I want to share with you

Monthly archives for January, 2011

Moving and updating…

I started this website in 2009 in order to share photos and impressions of my holiday in Australia. At that point in time, I didn’t spend too much time investigating what the best solution for such a site would look like, nor did I look into hosting and hosting providers.

I did look into several applications for my website and found that WordPress was by far the easiest to use while being “on the road” and I found several plugins that would allow me to show photos and publish GPS tracks using Google maps.

The addiejanssen.com domain was registered via GoDaddy and to my surprise they could host the website for me for very little money. As a result, I setup my website.

During my holiday I found that the performance of the site was very poor. Initially I thought that was the result of the many many photos, a lot of complex Google maps and a hefty WordPress theme (a theme is an add on to the blogging software, that controls the look and feel of the website).

But after some time I concluded that, although all the facts stated above were correct, that couldn’t be the only reasons for the poor performance. So, I started to look into this. I downloaded the whole site to a computer at home and even using it over my slow ADSL link, it performed great. It must be the hosting platform then. After some more investigation, it became clear that the GoDaddy service is not only cheap, it is also quite poor with regards to performance. Conclusion: time to move the website.

The next challenge then is to find a new hosting service. Entering “wordpress hosting” into Google resulted in more than 17 million results… It took me some time to end up with a party that seemed okay: GreenGeeks. Why this provider? Well, looking at several forums, it became clear that most GreenGeeks users are happy. Furthermore they have a nice statement: World’s #1 Green Energy Hosting!

Once I selected my new provider, it was time to move. That happened today. Although there are still some small issues, from now on the site will be hosted on the GreenGeeks platform and I will terminate the hosting agreement with GoDaddy.

In order to prepare the migration, I did some testing on different migration scenarios. The biggest issue here was the large amount of photos and the usage of an old version of Gallery2. All in all, the migration wasn’t too difficult, but it brought some points of attention:

  • Several posts have absolute links to other posts on my website. That’s not a “bad thing”, but it does result in some issues when you want to move your site. Initially I setup a new address (testing.addiejanssen.com) that pointed to the new provider. This would allow me to test the new site, before making the actual switch. However, I noticed that certain elements were extremely slow; they were pointing back to www.addiejanssen.com (still on the GoDaddy platform)… So, I will need to look into this one: changing the absolute links into relative links.
  • As I posted earlier, I am not a big fan of the Gallery2 photo album. However, most of my photos are still in Gallery2. This needs to be migrated to NextGEN. It’s a lot of work, since I need to check each individual post to see if it references a photo in Gallery2 and then replace that reference with a link to the NextGEN image. I already started to create a small application to handle the conversion, but so far didn’t finalize this step.

So, all in all, you’re now looking at my new and improved website (well, at least it loads in a reasonable time now). Hope you enjoy it.