New digs, new setup: migrating (almost) *everything* over to SiteGround

I just spent the last month or so migrating many of my sites over to Siteground and I’m… mostly loving it. Here is all the stuff I did, and some thoughts I had! Impatient? Skip to the technical details.

Three years ago… *harp sounds*

When I founded Front Matter, my intention was always to be technology agnostic, but due to my existing network my niche became NationBuilder. Nearly three years ago I built a site for a friend’s side hustles and WordPress made a lot more sense, and it was my first professionally built WordPress rig. It was an end-to-end project where I also managed their hosting. Since then, I’ve stumbled onto a few more WordPress clients big and small, and gained a few more servers to manage. Originally I had the intention of setting it all up and then transferring the sites to my clients to own and manage, but that never happened — not surprisingly, they’d rather have me do it. The obvious next step was to consolidate their servers to reduce costs, but it was low on the to-do list because they’re all locked in for a number of years already. When the first of the hosting plans is up for renewal, it was my chance.

At the end of a couple of days of researching (and fielding some impressively aggressive marketing calls), I arrived at Siteground (though Flywheel was really, really tempting), and I got busy moving things around. I missed doing server things and I didn’t even know it. I’m currently on the GrowBig plan and it does… almost everything I need.

WordPress sites were a natural fit, and I even threw in my own business site (the old one still hosted on github pages!) which used Octopress/Jekyll. It still works, just looking a little outdated.

New site, who dis?

This here site is now running on WordPress, with Elementor and Astra because that’s what Siteground threw into the deal when I signed up. It’s a bit too… WYSIWYG-y but it’ll do for now.

I had played with Hugo before. with Jekyll/Hugo might be the next thing I explore. I do like how easy and unobtrusive it is to create content in WordPress though — I found that with things billed as “developer friendly” I tend to get too distracted by being a developer (coding up pieces of the site) rather than writing.

When I first transferred over to Siteground I also broke my email for a couple of days (forgot to update my MX records) and had a few blissfully quiet days, email-wise, but that was quickly fixed.

No Ghost

Since I’m only using a shared host, I can’t use node.js and therefore no ghost. So, is still hosted on GhostPro (because their legacy plan is hella sweet). I’ve tried out a few different ways of getting node.js/CentOS workarounds but no dice so far.

I may look into other static site CMSes for future iterations of so I can further reduce my footprint/server costs.