Change of Webhost

One of the most recent challenges I had faced was to change the server of my personal blog. The old server was hosting more than just the blog but also other directories.

I bought the package around 10 years ago. It cost slightly over 200 bucks and had unlimited space and bandwidth. I wasn’t sure if the server was old or because the geographical location was far away, loading speed was slow. Anyway, since the renewal price was costly and rather redundant, I decided to give it up.

I didn’t expect it to be hassle-free but neither did I expect it to be so much more complicated.

Initially, it was the back-up of the blog. I had quite a minimum dealing with WordPress and it had always be a maze to me. Exporting and importing the contents alone wasn’t enough. I had to spend some extra time working on some errors.

Next, I had also my own database for some internet marketing and SEO stuff, which I wasn’t even sure was still working. I had to backup the database via phpMyAdmin and then create the new database and user via the Cpanel.

I also got to shift my non-profit website – Smoke For What. I felt lousy because I finally realised that I didn’t update the site properly previously and the database wasn’t connected – some features weren’t displayed for the past few years.

Overall, I got so stressed up more than I had anticipated. There were too many unforeseeable issues.

Changing File Permission on Web Server

My “Current Online Users” counter was working fine until I switched webhosts.

I remembered clearly I needed to change the permission of the text file on the server before it could work for I was not using SQL database. However, no matter what I tried, even to the extent of changing the permission for the folder, the counter refused to work.

I asked around my friends but none of the programmers was familiar with writing and reading a text file using PHP. I tried to google for solutions but it did not help, until I found on “” the line “PHP does not recognise the permissions setting for the file until you restart the server”. It stunned me for quite a moment. I was not using a dedicated server and I was not running the website on my personal server or computer, and it would be troublesome to get the server reset; moreover, I could not confirm it would work.

It actually took me a few days from assuming the servers were problematic to suspecting my FTP application was buggy, and finally to the urge to try debugging. My knowledge of the script was too shallow to spot any problem; moreover, I supposed there could not be a mistake since I had been using the same script for years. I started by adding codes into the different files for prompting. The last thing I did was to do a trial and error to remove a space/tab between a “3” and “000”, which aroused my suspicious. It finally worked.

I concluded that changing file permission was an immediate effect, which did not require restarting of the server. However, it might not always be the case for some extremely lousy servers that could or could not have existed.