Turns out the way to upgrade is to spin up a new box (or two) and migrate.
Step 1) Spin up a new instance. At the moment I’m using Amazon Lightsail.
Step 2) assign a DNS entry to it. At the moment I’m using Hover. I do have the DNS entries set to a 15 minute time-to-live. Whatever IP address that Lightsail assigned is what I put into Hover.
Step 3) Set the new machine to know it’s new host name.
- Of course, the what-used-to-work is different now. The command is now
Step 4) Get logged in to the new instance of WordPress. BTW, the login user name has changed. It used to be
bitnami now it is
Step 5) Update WordPress to the current version, if it’s out of date.
Step 6) Delete the plugins in the base image that won’t be migrating over. BTW, one of the plugins, TaxoPress, apparently had a different name prior to updated and would err out instead of deleting. Do upgrade the ones I’m keeping.
Step 7) I use NS Cloner and NS Cloner Pro to migrate between servers. I like the people there; they did actually help me when I was having an error getting it to run. I was migrating a site with All-in-One Event Calendar by Time.ly and apparently that plugin just does not play nice with database records or something. I am lucky that I bought a licence a long time ago; since then they have had to raise their prices. As a tool, it has been working great, but the price increase was really steep. If I did this for a living, I’d have no qualms about paying the annual license fee.
And then ….
The problem is that I just migrated gerisch.org to davidgerisch.xyz, but I really want the web site on gerisch.org
Okay, so there are two ways out of the problem here.
Alternative 1 is to go to the old gerisch.org and run
and change it to something else and then go to davidgerisch.xyz and run
and change it to gerisch.org AND THEN do database search and replace to swap out davidgerisch.xyz to be gerisch.org instead – all on the new machine. My experience with these sort of database search and replaces hasn’t been wonderful. There’s also the problem of being logged in to the web site I’m changing the name of; at some point I cut off my own feet while I’m trying to stand on them (DNS -wise).
I went with alternative 2:
- In Lightsail, detach the static IP that gerisch.org is pointing to.
- In Lightsail, delete machine (old) gerisch.org
- In Lightsail, spin up (new) gerisch.org
- In Lightsail, attach the static IP for gerisch.org to this new machine.
sudo /opt/bitnami/bncert-toolto assign the machine it’s new name gerisch.org
- Note that with alternative 2, the Hover domain name registration hasn’t changed. The public IP is on a different box (running an out-of-the-box WordPress install), but from the DNS point of view, this is simpler – nothing has changed. DNS name gerisch.org is still pointing the same IP address it always has.
- With alternative 1, I had the problem that the old box “knew” it was gerisch.org, so I had to run bncert-tool to change it to something else. If I didn’t, and I just ran bncert-tool on the new box, trying to claim gerisch.org, the Let’s Encrypt people would complain, correctly, that this domain name is currently in use on a box it can talk to right now, and that box has a different IP address. Am I trying to steal it’s identity?
- Do the top steps 4, 5, 6, and 7 again: Update WordPress, plugins, and migrate with NS Cloner Pro.
- Delete the running machine davidgerisch.xyz – it was only every going to be a temporary container anyway.
- Change all the Hover entries to point to the same IP as gerisch.org
My site is pretty small, so the migration with NS Cloner Pro takes under five minutes. If I had more data and it was going to take longer, I’d probably figure out how to enable FTP so that NS Cloner Pro could use that.