So after having the server nicely set up and ready for configuration I could not resist just ‘getting on with it’. I had grand plans to plan it out and record everything (good practice) but each step seemed so simple it seemed simplest just to get stuck in.
And for the most part it was simple. Running Unbuntu makes installing software and tools a breeze and after a few hours of intermittent changes everything was up and running from the old server.
A couple of things that caught me out
. I did not check my own passwords so I wasted time trying to track down a problem with wordpress talking to the back end database when in-fact I had used the wrong password (one digit out). I think this is a case where unpronounceable passwords would have made me use copy and paste and saved some time.
. It seems fairly obvious in retrospect but the web user (www-data) needs to have write access to the wordpress folder to do updates - including configuration changes and the fantastic auto-update feature for wordpress and its plugins.
Once the basic server was set up and serving content I ran some manual tests by adding the domains to my hosts file to check that everything was working fine before updating the DNS to point to the new server.
For the other parts the build server is up and running for some of my projects - I will get around to the others the next time I do some work on them. The build publication is a little clunky at the moment and could so with a dynamic web site to handle things more elegantly.
I keep the source to my web sites in subversion so I also set up some publication build tasks to take care of updates. So I can now make changes locally on my laptop and then commit those changes to the repository and the build server will take care of the rest.
All in all quite a pleasurable experience - things just worked as expected. Now the difficult bit - making sure that I have everything off the old server before shutting it down and deleting the image.