Migrating WordPress – The Experience


AllowOverride all

ssh permalinks@permalinks

sudo nano /var/www/wtf/is/migrating/a/not/very/fun/experience/for/existing/permalinks

sudo service permalinks restart


Now back to WordPress Permalinks Issue

Ok if anyone ever suffer from following gazillions advice on fixing the DARN permalinks in WordPress after migration, this kind samaritan solutions actually works for me.

The only catch is I’m currently using a LAMP Ubuntu setup on Digital Ocean cloud hosting so this solution might not work for you.

For now I’ll just leave this post up and edit it for future tormented souls who suffer the same problem like me.

And back to the actual point of this post

So I officially migrated my website to another host after getting tired of HostGator “excellent” service of slowing down the site performance slowly after the 12th month of usage with them. This prompt me to keep a lookout for other hosting site since HostGator loves to reward new customers with super duper cheap price while sucking dick from existing customers like me with the full price.

What caught my interest to quickly migrate the site is when I read WPTavern article on Digital Ocean which boasted SSD storage and really cheap package (as low as USD $5) although with a catch: The user need to setup everything on their own aka there is no user friendly GUI to help setup your website. You need to know some basic Linux Terminal commands to set up your new “virtual” server. Oh the horror.

Setting up the server


After creating an account (and also pay USD $5 to have your account activate), you will be greeted with the control panel after you login. A droplet is your Virtual Private Server (VPS) that you can create and customize to your need.


Before you get to create an active droplet, you will need to select your desire size, region, Linux distros and applications. I’ll not delve too deep into it but it is not complicated to set it up.

Also you can create more than one active droplet and they can talk to each other if they are in the same region.

For my site, I’m currently using the Singapore data center since it is just right below Peninsular Malaysia. Also I guarantee most visitors around the world should have fast access to Singapore too unlike slowmo Malaysia.

Migrating is not easy for first timer

Turn out… migrating is really not easy. After backing up all my data and MySQL database from HostGator, I thought it will be as easy as copying the data to the newly setup VPS at Digital Ocean.


Ok I’ll list it down as it is easier to read instead of paragraph after paragraph.

  1. The server path totally screw up WordPress as HostGator uses their own folder structure. So after restoring the MySQL database at the new server, WordPress just died on me.
  2. WordPress permalinks gone crazy too if you use pretty permalinks. The default permalinks works fine so I know something wrong with the server setup.
  3. Some of the plugins complaining about not able to write to a specific folder. Again I chalk it up to the server setup gone wrong.

For the MySQL database, some tinkering to the value so that it properly uses the new server folder structure did the trick.

For the permalinks and plugins unable to write to a folder, it boils down to config and permissions issue. Since I’m using Apache server software, I need to hunt the correct configuration that allows for WordPress to override properly the pretty permalinks request. User and directory permissions is the culprit for the plugins unable to write.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter… for the visitors

Well for you readers, it is my responsibilities to make sure the site is always accessible 24/7 when possible.

So after googling like crazy for the solutions, I finally fixed all the migration issues and a proud owner of a VPS that I setup manually from scratch for the price of USD $5 per month compared to HostGator ripoff price of USD $9.95 for their terrible service.

The plus side to using this VPS is how much faster WordPress perform. Previously WordPress perform sluggishly as I add more plugins for the site operation over at HostGator. Well I know it is call shared hosting for a reason, but their service is pretty good for the first 12 months before it start joining the like of Telekom Malaysia (the one and only monopolistic ISP in 1Malaysia).

Do you recommend Digital Ocean?

Absolutely… YES! With a catch though. If you are comfortable in pushing yourself to the limit aka setting up a fresh VPS with the required softwares using Linux Terminal, by all means yes.

Also since it is your own VPS, you have full control over the server which means troubleshooting is much easier as you are not restricted by your web hosting provider (if you use shared hosting).

If you want to give Digital Ocean a try, please use this referral link as it gives you a USD $10 for testing out their service.