Case Study: How To Outsource An Emergency Move Of An Existing Website To A Dedicated Server

I knew I was going to have to move to a new dedicated server, but I wasn't expecting to start the process late on a Friday afternoon. Oh well, better now than later.

The reason for the move is my hosting company said the sites down because were using "to much memory" for the shared hosting account the site is hosted on. I believe them.

I decided to document the process somewhat so others who fall into a similar "technical issue"  to see how quickly it can be resolved by outsourcing the issue to I hope I didn't just jinx myself. I doubt it. I am not a superstitious type of person.

I'll time stamp my tweets to show the time-line.

Be sure to check back.



Time: 5:21 pm - Okay, I am documenting how long it takes to outsource to @vworkers to get moved to my dedicated server. Stay tuned!

Time: 5:30 pm - Okay, emergency project posted at #vworkers to move ( to my dedicated server. Stay tuned!

Move Existing Site To My Dedicated Server

Hi, it's James Martell here.

Thanks for bidding on my project.

I am looking to move to my dedicated server.

The site was built in .php and I need someone familiar with moving this type of site and database. I don't believe the site is big in the way of Gigs, but I do want the move to be done quickly because the site is currently offline.

According to my hosting company the site is offline because the ".php is using too much memory on the shared hosting" environment it currently sits on.

I am looking for a fast turnaround because this site should not be offline.

If you can assist, please go ahead and bid on my project.

I look forward to your bid.


Time 5:59 pm - I just checked to see of there we any bids and see that there are currently two as listed below. I am going to open a conversation with both.

Bid $65

Hi, I have experience with moving PHP sites such as this and should be able to handle this quickly for you. What database back-end is this? MySQL? Will you be providing full access to both the current and new site on your dedicated server?

KT Solutions, LLC

Bid $30

James, I can do this task for you. Let me know of your FTP details. Top quality, fast response and attention to details guaranteed!!!

Best Regards,

Time 6:14 pm - Now a total of 5 bidders including this one.

Bid $40

Hi James,

Thx for taking time to review my bid.

I work as sysadmin managing Windows and Linux boxes for Web Hosting. As a member of Tech Support staff, my job is to solve issues related to software install and configuration in Linux and Windows servers..

If you take a look at my profile, you will see most of my completed projects at RAC are related to SysAdmin tasks, including server configuration and optimization and troubleshooting..

After moving all data, and before changing DNS, I could configure your website in my own local DNS to ensure everything is working properly.

As per your request, I confirm you that I can start to work on your project right now?

I am online most of the time, via ICQ, MSN and Google Talk. (my timezone is GMT -3.).

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have additional questions.

Pablo E. Medina
The SysAdmin Online

Time 6:21 pm - Project awarded to Pablo!

Hi Pablo,

Thanks for bidding on my project. You sound perfectly suited to handle the task at hand. I have included for you below the login information for the existing server and site.

I agree with what you here; "After moving all data, and before changing DNS, I could configure your website in my own local DNS to ensure everything is working properly."

I will have the login information for the dedicated server in the next message to you within the next few minutes.

1.) Hosting Login
U: xxxxxxxxx
P: xxxxxxx

2.) FTP Login

U: xxxxxxx
P: xxxxxxxxx

3.) PageLeap - Admin Login
U: xxxxxxxx
P: xxxxxx

Thanks for jumping on this.


Time 6:34 pm - Pablo has everything he needs. I am going to have some of my wife's wonderful chili and will check back to see if he needs anything in 20-30 minutes.

Time 8:00 pm - I just checked to see if Pablo who is moving my existing site to a new server has everything he needs. I am signing off until Saturday noonish.

Time 10:00 pm - It appears my emergency site move is under way. It appears the sites their back lacking the user data. Hmmm.

Hi Pablo,

I am checking in to see how things are going? I see you have changed the DNS. I assume you are uploading everyone's pages back to the way that had originally had them configured?

Also, here's the login for my dedicated server. I leave it to you to let me know when to change the DNS.

If you have to stop working on the site or run into a snag could you please switch the DNS back to the former hosting. I did see that the site came back online.

Here's the information for my dedicated server:



Time 9:10 am - An update from Pablo re the emergency site move.


Hello, I am a little concerned about this.

"I see you have changed the DNS."

Actually i didn't change it. I waited for dedidicated login details because the plan is to do all the migration stuff FROM there. So i waited till 1:30 AM my time and then went to bed. It's 7:20 now and i just woke up and found the msg. So, i didn't change anything yet, not even started anything. May be there's someone else in your team working on this?. If so, should i proceed with the migration?

FYI, changing DNS is the LAST step in the migration.

Let me know about this.

Can you please contact me as soon as you're online?

I have some questions.

Pablo E. Medina
The SysAdmin Online

Time 11:15 am- It seems everything is progressing fine with the emergency site move, other than a minor hiccup.

Hi Pablo,

It seems everything is fine. I guess what happen is that the existing hosting company ( fixed whatever the problem was originally. This may have been the cause for the temporary missing data.

Either way, I would still like to proceed with the move. I'll be online for the next few hours and will be checking your posts often.


Time 6:35 pm - I just heard from Pablo. Things are progressing nicely.


Good to know. I have everything ready to be moved. but i have one question:
You say:

File Path: /my-start-page

Can you confirm me that is the correct setting ?

Pablo E. Medina
The SysAdmin Online

Time 7:55 pm - It appears things are nearing completion for the emergency site move.


I just confirmed that is NOT the right file path. May be it was some time ago but for sure it is not now. I.e. my-start-page directory 1.2 MB, there is no admin directory, nor images, nor databases used.

So, what I need to move is the whole root directory ( around 1.7 GB )

Pablo E. Medina
The SysAdmin Online


Time 9:25 am - The emergency site move for is nearing completion. I must say it's been rather uneventful.


Current status of the project:

I have migrated all files and databases. Some mysql settings have changed, so I have updated two files:


Please remember that this changes were done in the new server and do not affect your live website at all.

I am browsing the webiste now, and everything looks good.

Will update in a couple of hours.

Pablo E. Medina
The SysAdmin Online


Time 12:05 pm - I'm in Texas and see the emergency site move is all done.


Attached you will find migration results.

Please test it all the time you need, and feel free to ask me for any change / update / doubt.

Pablo E. Medina
The SysAdmin Online

Pablo had sent me a document outlining the migration of the site to the new server. It was a nice touch.

We did have one little hitch Monday for a short time which was client data wasn't migrated so no one could login to their accounts. Pablo remedied this quickly.

I would say the move was overall uneventful. Other than provide Pablo with the login information for the servers and answer a few questions Pablo handled everything. And even though the move began on Friday evening and took four days to complete personal time investment was just over an hour.

PageLeap is now hosted on a dedicated server. If you're looking to streamline your overall online efficiencies I would invite you to checkout the free service. I have heard many times from users that they couldn't live with out it. Go ahead and click think below to see why.

And of course the next time you run into a technical issue consider outsourcing it like I did. I bet you'll be glad you did!

Take care,



  1. Don Campbell says:

    Nice writeup James. I continue to be amazed at the talented people you can find to do projects like this. Thanks for documenting it!

  2. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach says:

    Excellent of skill and success with your move!

  3. Vinny O'Hare says:

    Good idea to get someone to move the site. Saves both time and countless yelling at your computer. Remember to change your passwords when the job is done.

  4. Dawn Ippolito says:

    Hi, James.

    We caught your tweet over at vWorker, and I checked in to see how your migration was progressing. Congratulations. Way to manage your time and money by outsourcing ...and by being selevtive in choosing the right worker. Thanks for the mention. That was a neat idea to document it and keep your readers up to date.

    Dawn Ippolito
    Head of Communications, vWorker

    • James Martell says:

      Hi Dawn,

      Thanks for dropping by. I have been benefiting from your service for a few years now. It has been very handy to solve any tech issues I have had to deal with. I give a BIG thumbs up!


  5. cayley - netpaths says:

    It's impressive you can run such a lean operation and quickly move servers.


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