So, I finally have all things at one place. My website, my Blog and all my blog posts. I must thank Sathya for the inspiration to undertake this fun task.
So, how does just about anybody go about buying some domain space, getting a shiny new domain name, then creating wordpress blog and finally migrating stuff from their previous blogs?
Well, it’s easy, and all it took me was a part of the weekend.
Webspace: There are loads of sites which offer webspace Gabazillion Gb’s for say 10$ a month. For a simple user like me, that would be an overkill. My requirements were limited. Maximum of 50 MB of disk space. And minimal bandwidth. When I looked around I didn’t find anything worthwhile that fit in this category. However, on saturday, while having a casual discussion, Sathya told me about this provider named http://nearlyfreespeech.net which has offers where in you pay only for what you use. I looked it up and I liked it. Infact, to try their service out, you don’t even have to pay! You create an account, and you’ll get 2 cents worth of usage, for free! Which is pretty cool. And they support, SSH, FTP, SCP, SFTP, and RSYNC and they run on FreeBSD. They even have a vi editor! So for all you *nix geeks out there, it’s a familiar domain.
Also, if you don’t want a brand new domain name, you can still refer your site as your-site.nfshost.com. No sweat.
I had the files of my geocities website on my TP. I RSynced these onto my nearlyfreespeech.net (NFS henceforth) site, and it worked. And my website was up and running.
Domain Name: Sathya recommended name.com. I searched for many names, and finally settled down on randomwalk.in. I had to cough up something like 13$/year for a .in name. Everything else was a lot cheaper. Anyway, for most of us who are employed, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.Who say’s there’s nothing in the name!
Once you have the name, what you need to do is change the DNS servers of your domain on name.com and point it to the ones of nearlyfreespeech.net. NFS has 2 DNS servers, you add those and make the necessary changes on your NFS Control panel. I had to wait for a day for the DNS records to get replicated everywhere, before I could access my site using my domain name.
Simultaneously, create a CNAME record, like <someone>.yourdomainname.extension on nearlyfreespeech.com and associate it with your nfs-host website. Now, your site can be accessed by someone using a proper canonical name. Cool, nei ?
PS: Before you log out of name.com, ensure that you’ve enabled Private Whois. Else anybody who runs a whois on your domain name, will have access information such has your home address, your credit card billing address, your phone number and so on. Thanks to theG for alerting me. I thought that when I had locked the domain name, it would automatically switch on the privacy option. But no, you have to enable it explicitly, because the option is explicitly available! I had been just too blind to see it the first time 🙂
WordPress: This was the easiest, despite making a stupid mistake.
I followed the instruction written on this blog: http://danweinstein.net/dantoday/?p=68 where the author has painstakingly explained a step-by-step process of installing wordpress on your site. I deviated from the instructions only at two places. One where I used RSync on SSH instead of FTP, which worked for me. The other, where I did not name the mySQL process name in full! As in, I missed out the .db part. So dumb of me.
Next, I followed the instructions provided in: http://snarp.livejournal.com/145192.html where the author describes how you set file permissions, so that WordPress works just fine.
Infact, I forgot to mention the source where I found both these links.
I found these on http://blog.f9group.com/marketing/direct-response-marketing/corporate-blog-setup/.
So, now, click on http://yoursite.domainname.com/blog and you’ll get a message saying it’ll install wordpress on your machine. And in a zap once that is done, you log in , and do the regular tweaking around to get your blog up and running.
Importing: Actually this was even easier than I thought. I had two blogs earlier. One on Blogger, which I used from April 2006 to December 2006 and back again from September 2008 to October 2008. In the middle I used WordPress for about a year and a half. When I moved to WordPress in December 2006, I had imported the items from my blogger site.
So, if I now imported the items from both the blogs into my new wordpress blog, I would have a few dual entries. So, I decided that I will import only the blogger items, and leave the wordpress blog intact. But then, Kripal urged me to do the latter as well. Thus I gave it a shot, and found that it was possible to eliminate the duplicate entries. WordPress exports its entries in a WordPress eXtended RSS format (WXR), which can be edited using your favorite editor (And by that, I mean Vim.. Just kidding!!) So, I deleted the duplicate entries and imported this file into my new WordPress installation. And Voila, now I have all the items at a single place.
So, if you’re someone who wants to go for a personal site but you’re apprehensive of the complexity involved, let me assure you, it’s not all that complicated. Give it a shot. Who knows, may be we can read about your migration experience on your new blog 😉