Updating this Site – May 2020

This website moved from old home to a new home. In the process, several things went wrong. Read on to learn more

May 14, 2020: Most issues resolved. I am leaving this post below as a reminder to myself about what could go wrong.

For the past few days, updating this site caused a lot of issues. Long story short, I goof’d up.

In my endeavour to optimize my writing, I did the following at the same time: merged two sites, changed the Content Management System, moved from shared hosting to a VPS, and also moved the Content Delivery Networks or CDNs. It was a disaster waiting to happen, and it did.

Image of a dog sleeping on the street. Picture taken and used by Amar Vyas, 2020
Like this guy, my website migration, took a knockout punch

Here is the summary:

This website moved from old home to a new home. But I forgot to update the new address or leave behind a forwarding address. So, any new visitor could not come and visit this site.

Issues with updating the site

First of all, the migration from Bludit CMS to WordPress did not go as planned. Some images did not get transferred, or the links are pointing to a dead end.

Next, there was a problem with the domain itself. The DNS entries were updated both at the previous host (smallweb.net) and our domain registrar (rorarii.com). But, there was some issue with the DNS entries getting updated. This meant that links on this site were broken.

Screenshot of website of Amar Vyas, running Bludit Content Management System.

blog.amarvyas.in website in April 2020 (Mobile Phone View)

Screenshot of website blog.amarvyas.in, with Bludit CMS.

This website was first set up on Bludit CMS (Desktop View)

Why did it matter?

While the pages loaded, images gave a series of errors.

This chaos was painful for you, the visitors, painful for me, and I might have earned several penalties from google.

Website traffic for blog.amarvyas.in during changeover

Image showing 404 error in website, used to represent the errors faced by visitors when blog.amarvyas.in was getting migrated.

The dreaded 404 Errors!

What is the way forward?

By this weekend, we should be back on course. Apologies for all the inconvenience caused.

  1. Till last week, this site (blog.amarvyas.in) was hosted on Host A, and a different content management system or CMS (Bludit).
  2. The registrar for my site is Rorarii. The Domain Name (DNS ) settings, which are still with my current registrar, were left untouched.
  3. Last week, I decided to do the following:
    i. Move this site from Bludit to WordPress
    ii. Migrate from shared hosting to a Virtual Private Server (VPS). This site had been picking up traffic and I thought of moving some other content here. This would partly solve the problem of plenty I have mentioned earlier in this blog.
  4. When I changed the ip of the primary site to that of the VPS with my registrar, somehow the change did not happen. AS a result, when one would type in the address blog.amarvyas.in (or click on the link to any of the blog posts), they would be redirected to the original sit the old ip address. This happened for four days in a row.
  5. I contacted my registrar and they checked on their end. Turns out I was experiencing a different issue with them- maybe related to this matter. But when I checked the whois information for this site, it showed the right information.
    As a temporary solution,
  6. I had to create a dummy domain on the previous host, and a subdomain on a different server. Next, I had to forward all links to a temporary subdomain as a result.
  7. Finally, on May 8th morning IST, the issue got resolved.

screenshot of blog.amarvyas.in showing cached version of the website. For over 48 hours, the main page was showing the cached version. May 2020

Feature Image: Stocksnap.
404 Error image: Undraw.Images used under respective licenses.
All other images used in this post are screenshots or pictures taken by the author.

This post was updated on 2020-05-06