Testing a Migration: Editing Your Host File

When conducting a site migration, it can be really helpful to see if the move worked properly & the site is functioning before pointing nameservers & making the change live. In a lot of cases, data will transfer “successfully” but then actually require a few extra tweaks before the site is online. Simply put: you need to test the migration before you make it live.

So, to tell our individual computer to look somewhere else before loading a website, we’ll have to edit the host file on our computer.

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Reclaim Turns 4

This week Reclaim Hosting turns 4 years old. That’s something, isn’t it? This year has been a really good one. We brought Lauren on full time, hired Meredith, designed and opened an office/co-working space, started a second web hosting company, ran a conference, and more than doubled our business for the third year in a row.

It’s been crazy and awesome all at once. The coolest part about this milestone (the exact date is July 23rd -but for some reason I insist on July 28th in my head) is that we are truly world wide this week with Tim in Europe, myself in Australia, Lauren holding down Reclaim HQ in Virginia, and Meredith at an undisclosed location on vacation. Reclaim Worldwide, indeed.  Here’s to 4 more and then some!

Website Migration from Bluehost to Reclaim

Trying to get into the habit of documenting bits of my work at Reclaim– today I did an account migration from Bluehost to Reclaim. Here’s the quick & dirty checklist:

One

If the user follows Reclaim’s Migration Assistance instructions, then they will have previously signed up for a Reclaim account before filling out a Migration Assistance form. Our first step is to go into WHMCS and terminate newly created hosting plan. Since there’s no existing content on the account yet, “terminating” does no harm– it just removes the DNS cluster from the server.

Two

Log into the client’s Bluehost account & grab the dedicated IP address on their cPanel. Make sure the IP isn’t blocked. For us, this means (1) checking to see if it’s on a global greylist on BitNinja and if so, whitelisting it, and (2.) Ignore/Allow on Reclaim WHM new server.

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From Asana to Suite CRM

One of my first changes that I established at Reclaim Hosting after being hired was moving all of our customer relationship content into Asana. (It was actually one of my first posts, too!) Fast forward a couple of years– I’m now transitioning Reclaim out of Asana and into Suite CRM.

Let me preface this post by saying the following: I love Asana. It has been a great tool to me personally and has been crucial to the inner workings at Reclaim for a while now. I set each university or institution as a “task”, and then separated the accounts into the following “projects”: Current Accounts, Opportunities, & Recycled Accounts. Each task description had the point contact, a link to the initial inquiry support ticket (if we were super organized) & sparse commentary about the account’s who/what/where/when/why. By using tags, assigning users, & setting due dates (i.e. our reminders) the RH team truly squeezed all we could out of the platform.

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The Moodle Fighters Suck!

But damn they look good!

This is the Moodle Fighters (at least some of them): Grant Potter, pictured above rocking the bass, along with Brian Lamb on drums and Mikhail Gershovich on guitar (as well as Luke Waltzer—not pictured here)  made up part of the splinter group from other bands like The Dead Moocmen (who were headliners, but pulled a no show) and Blackboard Sabbath.

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Reclaim Video

I’ve been on a bit of a blogging sabbatical the last month or so. It’s been nice to take a break, but at the same time I have never had more to write about between the Domains 17 conference (total blast), a cross-country trip on Route 66 to LA, the community work Tom Woodward has been developing with Reclaim, a position paper I’ve been procrastinating, and an impending trip to Melbourne, Australia in just over a week. Life moves pretty fast when you’re a Reclaimer.

I tried to capture as much of the UMW Blogs migration as possible in my previous post (a temporary breaking of the blog hiatus) for fear it would all be lost, but that’s always the fear with blogging. the more time that passes the less that gets blogged. Not always a bad thing for the two or three remaining readers given I make no pretensions towards quality here, this blog has always been about quantity. So taking a month-long blogging break wreaks havoc on the numbers.  Read more

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Set UMW Blogs Right to Ludicrous Speed

UMW Blogs was feeling its age this Spring (it officially turned ten this month—crazy!) and we got a few reports from the folks at DTLT that performance was increasingly becoming an issue. Since 2014 the site had been hosted on AWS (Tim wrote-up the details of that move here) with a distributed setup storing uploads on S3, the databases on RDS, and running core files through an EC2 instance. That was a huge jump for us back then into the Cloud, and the performance jump was significant. AWS has proven quite stable over the last two years, but it’s never been cheap—running UMW Blogs back then cost $500+ a month, and I’m sure the prices haven’t dropped significantly since.

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CoWork Love

^View of the entrance to CoWork. Folks are greeted with bright plants, eclectic shelving & a Joke of the Day. We’ve started hanging posters & art on the metal wall that faces the main space. More recently, this has included pieces from our recent conference event.