It's never as easy as they say it's going to be.
So I switched hosts... and it didn't go smoothly. The domain transfer was smooth, the website... not so much.
I was told by my new host that moving the site would be simple, just upload it to their servers. Yeah... that's a bit vague. I told them I didn't know what I was doing and repeatedly asked if InfusiasmStore.com would look and function EXACTLY the same as it currently did. Yes. Cool.
They gave me fairly detailed instructions (simplified here): Upload my Themes and Plugins folders via FTP. Done. Upload a copy of my database to their servers. Oh my gosh - I did it! Now I do the Dance of Joy!
I was so proud of myself. It was so easy!
After everything life has thrown at me I am still naively optimistic.... I should have known.
I visited my website.
All the plugins defaulted. No API keys, none of my preferences. Started re-populating those and then decided to see if my ecommerce plugin was communicating with USPS for real-time shipping rates and that's where it all fell apart (my website and my sanity). No products. No prices. No images. Nothing.
My website was an empty shell.
Talked to customer service, and to make a long story a bit shorter, they said I should have uploaded my Uploads folder. Well by that point I no longer had FTP access to my website so I was freaking out! Kudos to WA support, they gave me access and I was able to get it. But what kills me is that I followed the new host's instructions to the letter, they almost screwed me and they didn't take any responsibility. It was more like, "sorry, wish we could help but you need that folder." Not cool.
So I ended up copying all the files over to my computer and called back after I had them. This time customer support was amazing. So amazing that I wrote a letter to the guy's supervisor because he spent TWO HOURS on the phone with me. He helped me upload the folders, he sorted through everything, made sure all my pages were functional, repaired some broken links AND he eradicated the malware that had infected my database prior to the move. He said if he couldn't do it I'd have to find someone I know who could sift through the code or have to pay about $150 for a company to fix it, but he would do his best. I am so happy. And he had a German Shepherd-Wolf mix, so we bonded.
So after two horrendous days, my website is back up and better than ever. I have redone my product photos, fixed my slideshow so that the height doesn't vary so much, and I LOVE my shipping options. I still need to take some better photos of the concentrates, but I'm thrilled with the herbs, salts and sweet crystals.
Better still, the lady in NY who received two boxes of broken bottles from me (thanks USPS for your gentle touch) finally received a box intact and she LOVED it. Praised me for my customer service, praised the product, and posted about me in the Trim Healthy Mama forums. My website counter has jumped from 303 to 477 in the last eight hours. No orders yet, but I'm getting some traction! So that's exciting.
The lesson here is... if you ever switch hosts make sure you download ALL of your folders, even ones you don't think you need. If WA hadn't had a copy of it I would have had to recreate the whole thing. Which I guess is another point... I had my pics and pricing and even a copy of my shipping table in case the connection to USPS didn't work, but I didn't have the words. I would have had to rewrite everything, and while I have a general idea of what I said, it would have been a momentus chore. So maybe keep copies of everything if you can.
(and if you don't have to move... don't! hahaha)