I published my first blog post on here in March 2013 (6 years and I’m still at it!!) and I talked about how I get intimidated when thinking about doing things that I’ve never done before, such as installing WordPress. At that time, I wrote:
When I learn new things, I’ll try to document what I learned to delineate exactly why I reached the conclusion that it was simple. Installing WordPress, for example, is only simple after you do it.
Today, I finally sat down and moved from amynguyen.net to this new domain, amy.dev. You know when you log onto Turbo Tax and they ask you “How are you feeling about doing your taxes?” before you get started? I would definitely choose the frowny face option for how I felt about getting through this today. And six years ago, I would have chosen the “don’t ask” extra frowny option.
The exciting thing that I realized, though, is that some parts of my attitude really have changed since that first blog post six years ago! At that time (to be fair, I only had about two years of computer science classes under my belt), I thought I was too dumb to do computers and really lacked confidence in myself. Now, I guess I have a couple of years of doing questionable things with computers under my belt and I’ve internalized enough of the growth mindset mentality that I knew I could tackle whatever came up here. Or, at the very least, I could rollback and ask for help if I needed to.
Here’s some miscellaneous cool stuff that I used:
I chose NearlyFreeSpeech.NET (NFSN) as my domain registrar and hosting provider pretty much arbitrarily when the 2013 “Move Your Domain Day” boycott of GoDaddy and SOPA happened. To be honest, I didn’t (and still don’t really) care much about the nuances of which registrar/host to select. NFSN is pretty cheap and offers everything I want for serving a WordPress blog, so I haven’t had to look at alternatives since then.
What I really love about NFSN is that their FAQ is extremely detailed and covers pretty much every question I have under the sun. It made this whole process extremely easy! This post is pretty much a wrapper around their FAQ for tasks I wanted to accomplish.
It turns out that all I had to do to redirect amynguyen.net was change my NFSN configuration as described in their canonical name settings FAQ. I added amynguyen.net as an alias for my site and set amy.dev as the hard canonical name. NFSN took care of sending the 301 permanent redirect response and magically fixes urls so that amynguyen.net/foo goes to amy.dev/foo. That means all of my blog posts links are preserved!
I couldn’t really give you a detailed technical explanation of how HTTPS works. amynguyen.net did not have HTTPS. I did some googling and found this NFSN FAQ question: “How do I set up HTTPS (TLS) for my web site?” It turns out all I had to do was use Let’s Encrypt. It was pretty anticlimactic after all.
I also referred to “How do I control redirection of HTTP visitors to HTTPS?” to change my configuration to always redirect HTTP visitors to HTTPS.
Copying the database
Honestly, I just clicked some buttons in phpMyAdmin and copied my old database over and it was fine. I thought about reusing the same database, but I figured that might cause problems if I ever felt like running amynguyen.net separately for some strange unlikely reason.
I tweeted about not wanting to do a bunch of crap to move my WordPress blog, and the internet came to the rescue. I got several suggestions for tools to handle search/replace in WordPress and I ended up going with Ben Sheldon’s suggestion of using the WordPress CLI. They have a nice dry run flag to make sure you’re really doing the right thing.
It’s 2019 and I just barely found out that you can use sftp as a CLI. I’m kind of embarrassed because I’d always used scp to copy files in a painful long command. sftp lets you run commands like ls and pwd and copy files around interactively. It’s great!
(I got a new laptop and didn’t feel like downloading something like FileZilla or whatever the new thing is for a one-time situation like this, so sftp was fine.)
I’d call this about a 2/10 on the pain in the ass scale. I had some problems with file permissions when copying stuff over, but overall things were pretty seamless. Enjoy the new look, same bad content!