Migration of this website from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9
I use this website as an archive of my scientific publications and as a place to post occasional observations on life, the world, and whatever comes my way. It's all very indulgent at this point.
Drupal 7 to Drupal 9
I've just completed migrating the site from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, which was more work than certainly I'd have liked. But Drupal 7 is way out of date now, and they say future upgrades will be pretty painless. We'll see about that.
I looked at porting over to WordPress, which is an excellent CMS. I host a WP website for a friend but had no real experience building a website with it. I found getting a basic website up and running with WP was pretty easy and I'd recommend it to someone getting started with a small website. But after a while I realized Drupal was actually much better at some things. Drupal's Custom Content Types and Views modules are really powerful and to do similar things in WordPress press requires paying for plug-ins, which can be a costly rabbit hole.
And too, I've already invested in the Drupal learning curve. So for me, I think it was better to stick with Drupal despite the fact I had to rebuild a lot to get a Drupal 9 site working roughly like my previous site.
Abandoning BOA: Barracuda-Octopus-Aegir
Since 2006, I think, I've been using a VPS from Digitalocean.com provisioned with BOA to host my Drupal websites. BOA is installed on a fresh server, taking over just about everything about managing and tuning the needed server software, and provides a front-end for managing Drupal installations. It made spinning up a new Drupal website an easy matter of a few clicks. Really, a lifesaver when I was hosting quite a few Drupal sites for clients.
But my own needs have changed: I will no longer be hosting active Drupal websites for others. And frankly, I feel the BOA project itself may be nearing end of life. I could be wrong about that part. In any case, I've ported my remaining websites to new VPS, about half the power and expense of the previous one. The new server is under powered compared to the old one, but as I'm hosting far fewer sites I think it will be fine.
I have stayed with Digitalocean.com. I've had zero problems with them. Zero. I did look around at other hosting options before provisioning my new VPS, but Digitalocean.com still seems top tier so I stayed with them.
This site evolved from my first website, built for my consulting business back in 1996 (here's a 1997 snapshot). I don't even recall which software I was using then. Possibly Microsoft Frontpage, but I know I went through a few CMSs before settling on Drupal. By March 2006 I was using and making a few quite small contributions to Drupal 4.5.x, so I've been on board awhile.
I've gone through many hosting companies and plans too. For hosting I've used pair.com (who were really great), hotdrupal.com (their website hasn't changed!), a2hosting.com, and possibly some others before settling in at Digitalocean.com.
I've been pretty lucky. No real bad experiences, but my needs would grow and change with the times.
Hopefully my current setup will serve as well and as long as the last one did.