New server, new look…new headaches!

Applesauce Fluxes bot log

Save some money, I thought.

Have some fun, I thought.

I’ll set up a free Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) instance and host this blog there, and, while I’m at it, I’ll set up another instance and post to the Applesauce Fluxes Twitter image bot account from that instance, I thought.

Easy-peasy, I thought.

Well…no, I discovered.

I know if I laid out what I did I’d be here longer than it took to set up(!), and, while I understand video guides can be really annoying, it actually makes sense for me to just post this handy video representation of what happened next:

Yes, this is really what happened 😞

In the end, I went through probably eight OCI instances, four WordPress setups/migrations, two nervous breakdowns, and one case of wine (only three of those facts are true, no matter how you swap the numbers).

I’m happy to discuss at length what I did/learnt throughout this process in direct messages or e-mail (or via a Zoom if [and I {very much} doubt it] there’s enough interest), but I won’t inflict every step I took on anyone who’s paying me the respect of reading this blog – I have too much respect for you.

However, I will offer some takeaways:

  • Nothing, and I mean nothing, is easy – OK, the decision to go down this path is way too easy, but after that, a big fat nope!
  • OCI works well and is performant enough for the tasks at hand – I would definitely recommend it for technically-savvy self-hosters;
  • Don’t bother if (often) being elbow deep in a Linux CLI scares you;
  • SSH key-based login is your friend;
  • Webmin is your friend;
  • OCI Boot Volume Backups are your friend;
  • Don’t expect to get it right the first (or second [or third {or…}]) time;
  • Unicode characters in WordPress posts don’t migrate via the Duplicator plugin I used (or its MySQL code is unable to cope with them);
  • twitterImgBot has bugs (and extraneous code for most uses) – but it’s generally clear enough to work through the code;
  • Custom Permalinks vs Virtual Hosts…OMFG, WHY?!;

Why did I inflict all this on myself (other than being a techno-masochist [of the geek {not perverted} kind])?

Well, I’d been forced to migrate my G Suite legacy free edition mail hosting services, and I chose to migrate them to iCloud+, so I was out AU$10/month more for the additional iCloud+ subscription…but I was saving about AU$2/month not needing extra Google Drive storage (I have a lot of archival e-mail)…and I would have been paying about AU$6/month for my hosting next year so I thought I could eliminate that and almost break even compared to my current setup…and I had unexpected free time (due to some dodgy employment shenanigans [not on my part])…and I’d done all this before at one time or another so it was going to be smoooooth.

NARRATOR: It was notsmoooooth”.

But I’m here now, I think I’ve squashed all the WordPress issues (Permalinks work, Unicode characters updated, incompatible table-generator replaced), I have the Applesauce Fluxes Twitter image bot humming on the same OCI instance (after a few glitches, some also Unicode-related, some bug-related) and I’ve even decided to update from the old Twenty Eleven WordPress theme to something much more modern – Twenty Sixteen!

Yes, I’m a techno-masochist luddite – put it on my gravestone.

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