First Post on a New Host

The Mozilla Datacenter
The Mozilla Datacenter

I finally did it! I finally ditched my old Linux hosting account and replaced it with up-to-date technology.

My old account had been marked as “legacy” by my old hosting provider for years. It still worked, but as I dutifully updated WordPress, I received warnings about PHP being out of date. I tried upgrading PHP, but I could only go up to version 5.6.

That version had been released in 2014 and went out of support at the end of 2018. No more security updates were being done, so the upgrade was past due!

There was one other feature that I decided was critical to have: SSL encryption. Google started flagging web sites without SSL as insecure in 2018, so once again, my site was out of date.

I could have come up with a lot of other requirements to check for as I looked for a new hosting provider, but my must-have requirements were pretty simple:

  1. Linux hosting
  2. Up-to-date server software
  3. SSL

I created a short list of hosting providers by seeing what companies were used by various blogs that have good web performance. The final selection came down to the hosting provider with the most features for the lowest price.

To ensure that the site move was successful, I practiced doing the move with a site that wasn’t live and used the results to create a method of procedure (MOP) for the production site move.

The only significant hurdle that I ran into was installing my WordPress theme, Thesis, onto the new hosting provider. My version was 1.8.9. It was released in 2016 and it was no longer being updated. That was a problem because this version was throwing fatal PHP errors with the new version of PHP. Fortunately, I found an article that explained how to modify the code to be compatible.

My site was working, but I decided that I needed to replace my WordPress theme with something that is currently supported. The latest version of Thesis was more than I needed. After plenty of searching and playing around with other themes, I decided on MH TechMagazine from MH Themes. With a couple of CSS modifications, I was able to get the free version to render a page the way I wanted. Thanks to a responsive design, the site displays well on desktop, tablet and phone:

Everything on the site is now live! My new hosting provider has plenty of options for PHP:

My new host has a lot more PHP options, and is up-to-date!

I was able to select a PHP version that WordPress Health Check reported as ok:

SSL is configured and working:

And WordPress Health Check reports that everything is running great:

Now I can get back to the business of blogging!

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