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New Host - moving from PlusNet to HostPapa

Over the next few days we will be initiating a move from having our website hosted on PlusNet servers, to instead be hosted on HostPapa servers.

Sorry if service is interrupted in any way, but I hope most users will not notice anything before finding better performance! A new news item will be added to the HostPapa version as soon as it is "live".

The problem of any such move is that although the move only takes a few minutes, updating the DNS (Domain Name Server) databases all over the world can take up to a day or two.  While this happens, most users will continue to see the old version, then suddenly find they see the new one.  This can cause a period of confusion for a few minutes, or if you are unlucky a few hours.  If you have trouble, do something else for a few minutes, then close your browser, and start again - with luck you will then find everything OK?

Reasons for Moving

The reasons for moving are:

1. Increased limits

  1. To get increased limits on total memory space from   250 MB to unlimited
  2. To get increase in MB files data per day          from   240 MB to unlimited
  3. To get increase in MB files data per month      from  6000 MB to almost unlimited

Item 1 was controllable, by off-loading big files to other free providers (e.g. MS SkyDrive for side shows).

Item 2 was a killer.  The daily load on a bad day could increase by 100+% when many search engines decided to index all my websites on the same day, or by 50% when (e.g.) a hot news item mentioned Wainbody Wood and thousands of people around the world searched to find where it was ... - both together on 28-Apr-2012 shut down all my sites for a few hours.

2.  Decreased costs

  • My total costs for ISP, mail and websites will reduce by about GBP10 per month.

3.  Better performance. 

  • PlusNet was pretty good on most other parameters, but HostPapa is as good or better, both judged by claims statistics and by my experience.  I re-hosted http://www.coventry-walks.org.uk/ to Host Papa on 31-Mar-2012 and I and users have been impressed (most users of course did not notice, or did not tell me!).  The Coventry-Walks website uses a bit over twice that for ACW site of almost everything, so was a good test - and it also meant that plenty was available for use by ACW during peak annual use as the Challenge Event results were published.

Content & Format Change?

Initially should be none.

There may be something a bit different, but I doubt you will notice any change.

One unavoidable change you will notice is that all old pages will have had their date changed to 4-Mar-2012 with no change of content.  This was the day I made the first load of HostPapa ACW data.  Anything updated since will either have the actual date content updated or a few days later - on 26-Apr I transferred any files I had updated but not published on old and new host, then from 26-Apr I published most new pages on old and new within a few minutes of each other.

A few changes were necessary to fall in line with HostPapa's standards, but they are small.  Main changes are:

  1. No "folder file listings" are allowed, so the only link I had is now an index.htm file for the document archive.
  2. Error messages will come to HostPapa standards instead of PlusNet's - but you should seldom get either!

Longer term, I might make use of features offered by HostPapa which I did not have with PlusNet, but I have no plans in the short term.

Implementation Plan as achieved

  1. 30-Apr-2012 - All files were copied to the new host, checked by me and others, and corrected as needed
  2. 07-May-2012 - All updates made nearly simultaneously to both olds and new hosts. 
  3. 08-May-2012 - Initiate re-Hosting.  The days key events were:
      - c. 9:40 : Added request of change to 1&1 (URL provider) and
                       it was accepted 
      - c. 9:50 : tried adding to HostPapa, but still saying not told yet! 
      - c. 9:55 : I&1 saying DNS changed (but meaning in progress, and not
                       telling me what it had changed to! 
      - c.10:05 : 1&1 saying changed, and telling me new settings 
      - c.10:20 : HostPapa accepting change (At 4th attempt!  Early attempts
                         failed because HostPapa had not been given acess yet)
      - c.10:30 : whois telling me change taken place
                      (But as a user I was still getting old site) 
      - c.10:30 : first user had access, but no-one I know
                         (just report of use read much later on HostPapa metering)!
      - c.10:45 : first on my monitors gained access 
      - c.11:05 : I still did not have access (so declared a coffee break!)
      - c.11:30 : I could see new version on HostPapa
      - c.12:45 : Most users appeared to now be getting to HostPapa, and
                       all initial minor difficulties fixed.
  4. 09-May : Only 1 access went to PlusNet host.
  5. 12-May - (will update if needed!)

Future Plans

I have no firm plans to change anything because of the move.  Normal updates will continue.  If you have difficulties or suggestions, please email me.

Peter Page
webmaster Subject: ACW General

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