Tuesday, 3 September 2013

I've changed servers for my website, and it was much easier than I thought it would be.

Although there are a lot of merits to owning a domain of your own, even if you're not a big (or small) company that wants to brand a product.  For example, you can keep that name for as long as you pay for it. 

I have a domain name that I own, and I run Japanese website and blog that I manage with a single rental server for the past ten years or so.  It has proved a great outlet for myself as I wrote about anything that I was interested in at the time and serves as a log of sorts.  I tried an English version blog for a while but have neglected it due to the rise of social network platforms. 

The English I am exposed to wieghs relatively little on writing, and near zero for personal writing or for leisure.  I write and read a lot of English text at work, but they are excllusive in their context, and well... it's work.  I read a lot of English text as a leisure, but seldom write for similar reasons.  I watch of lot of English TV and movies and listen to many podcasts, but seldom write. 

However, I find it important for me to have a writing outlet that is not wrok related.
Hence the start of this blog and a few of my thoughts, which are important to myself, although perhaps to no one else.

For the last ten years or so, I was using a service where I had many more features than I truly needed, or even capable of using.  10 mail servers, complete MySQL control, etc.  In the past few years, mostly due to the various social network services and other more specific services such as, for example, flickr for photo sharing, the need for me to maintan a website with a portfolio of photos or artwork as waned a bit.

So below are my reasons to move a server well exceeding my needs:

1) I have found that technically I am not proficient enough to use all of the features of my current rental server plan and I am not getting enough out of it for the price. 
It was a great rental server with so many interesting features that I had hoped to tap into at the time.  Lots of robust features makes it more expensive, and I was not getting the most out of my money or the hard work of the people who manage the server.  Also, I starting looking into domestic servers in Japan. 

2) I have much less time to spend on my hobbies on the internet.
I started with a free rental website to post what is now called a blog before the turn of the 21st century.  It was a very fun hobby and a great outlet for me with coding sprinkled in.  However, in the past 15 years, I have moved out of the country I was living in, finished school, started living in Japan, finished graduate school, started working in the real world, got married, and have two young kids.  Obvioulsy, I have less time to spare for hobbies with a full time job and two young children that I pick up from daycare and cook dinner for every weekday.  Ironically, I have more to write about as I learn so much by just spending time with my kids.

3) Free services on the web have gotten so useful that feel I only need a something in the form of a blog to maintain.
The above reads for itself as a reason I'd prefer to switch to a less dedicated server that does the bare minimum of maintaining a blog.

So, I've started using a domestic web domain service in Star Domain, that has a free web service of 3GB free space, PHP and MySQL.  As a bonus, it has an automatic Wordpress install feature.  (The links are in Japanese)

Changing servers was very smooth, and they even kept the time remaining (about a month or so) on my previous plan when I switched.  For the time being, I'd like to keep using this service and see how it goes.