DNS… I hate it

So I spent this last week transitioning to a new VPS. It was a lot of work but it seems like everything should be setup now. The new server will allow me to better service web clients in the future. It’s sort of exciting and I learned a lot during the transition. Here’s some of the highlights and lowlights.

I think everything is all setup and transferred over for the most part and configured most of the options to my liking and performed all the updates needed. If you are setting up a VPS server, here’s a few notes of things I encountered along the way. This will also be updated in the future if I encounter any other interesting tidbits.

DNS… I hate it.

For something that seems so simple and basic it really messes me up. And when you start overthinking it is when you really mess it up. So somehow I had pointed the domain name, email, and nameservers to the right location, but told the website to point to somewhere else. So confusing. Finally got it sorted out with some help from technical support. Once I saw where it wasn’t working it made sense, but damned if I could figure it out!

New Tools

I had used this tool called Cygwin in the past because it let me quickly do WHOIS lookups. But it is invaluable for running a web server. This program lets you install “packages” that allow you to perform SSH and other things through its own Linux-like terminal. The best thing is you can integrate it with the Windows Command Line so that you can perform these commands using a simple “cmd” Command Prompt. Here’s a tutorial on inserting the Environment Variables on Windows so that you can use the commands without a separate command window. There were a few differences depending on your Windows version but nothing too crazy. I’ve used it to perform updates, connect to the sites via SSH, and more. Some of the commands are not the same as standard though, so usually searching for what you are trying to do plus the term “Cygwin” will return some results as someone tried to do it before you.

Update First

If you want to have the latest versions of things, you should perform an update before anything else. Because you double the work for yourself once you transfer and get things working on the initial version, then update, and then find that you broke things again.

Keepin’ It Clean

My biggest focus is making sure everything is set-up as clean, un-hackey, and bloat-free as possible. This has been a challenge when I’m struggling to get things to work but I haven’t had too many big issues. I think connecting via SSH was the biggest hurdle so far. My own personal process involves getting everything to work however I can, then deleting everything and starting clean from scratch to make sure it is done properly.

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