Sometimes that’s exactly what happens though. In the world of the internet it’s an outcome that is more common than I’d like (personally I’d prefer never).

Why am I telling you this? So you can understand that:

a) I can cope when sh*t happens
b) I really do know what I’m doing
c) For me it’s about getting the result the client needs – no matter how long it takes.


So what is the story behind all this? 


Things started to go awry yesterday and it went totally t*ts up today. Now, I’ve done countless ‘lift and shift’ projects where I move a WordPress website from one host to another. Normally it goes very smoothly. It’s just a case of saving the website and the email folder from the old host and pop them on the new host. Check the site works and then change the nameservers! Takes a few hours for the process to be completed but normally achieved in less than 3 hours.

Yesterday I discovered I couldn’t save the email file! The only way to capture existing emails on the old host was to copy them one folder at a time and then create the folder on the new system manually before uploading those emails. 7 hours later and I had done it! I made a change to the old hosting file so that the emails went straight to their new home – and we tested it before we told the client the emails had moved.

I directed the website manually to the new version because the old host wouldn’t allow me to change the Nameservers. I checked that all worked so when I moved everything over the website wouldn’t be affected….oh how wrong can you be.

Today I just had to move the domain! Easy, it’s just a case of telling the Domain Registrar that another company is looking after that domain now – a single change. Trouble is, the old host decided to totally wipe the domain and anything associated with it from their system, despite having an open, valid account with another domain name living there. And that’s where things get interesting – they wouldn’t allow me to change the Nameservers before the move, and they stopped access to their Nameservers instantly (even though we should have had access for at least an hour while the transfer was resolved). Now I have a total t*ts up situation. No website and no email and no access to change the Nameservers on the new host.

50 minutes with an excellent technical support guy from the new host and it was resolved (after a fashion) and the client at least had the emails back up! Then it was just a case of waiting for the new Nameservers to take effect fully and the issue is resolved completely. 


Lessons learned? Oh yes, Don’t ever trust that old hosting company to do things how other companies do it (and yes they are one of the big companies). Don’t believe a company that says things will happen immediately because not all of them did. Find a way to ensure the Nameserver change happens before the Domain transfer. Oh, and always allow a lot more time to this type of project than you think you need!


Would you have panicled in a similar situation? Or would you have kept a cool head and said to yourself …”sh*t, that wasn’t supposed to happen. Oh well, what next”