Friday I tweeted coming up for air after migrating a 1 gig website. And I had hated doing it.

Apparently that was a signal for men with whom I’m acquainted with but am not friends to drop unsolicited advice on me, most of which I’ve already written about on this blog.

I found this incredibly condescending from most people. When someone says “I hate X…” and your reply is “Have you tried…” then you aren’t listening to them. You’re addressing them from a place of superiority and arrogance. “I know better than you. Let me tell you what to do.” Or worse, you’re listening for keywords and then pitching your wares.

Let me put this clearly:

  1. I did not ask for help (I didn’t need it)
  2. None of the men asked if I needed help (they assumed I did)
  3. None of them were friends.

That last one is important. If my good friends, the people whom I play CAH with or share drinks, offer unsolicited advice, they know me well enough to do so intelligently. They do it respectfully and sometimes sarcastically. But they are friends. When non-friends, Internet people with whom I’ve exchanged words or reviewed code, do it, it’s not at all the same.

Here’s a selection of how my weekend went:

“But I love it!”

That one wasn’t advice, and as it happened, he didn’t like moving sites, he liked writing the code to do it. Me too! But watching a site move is as fun as watching paint dry. And testing everything to make sure the code works on the new server is similarly dull. And yet you have to do it.

“That’s not a large site.”

Didn’t say it was. Again, not advice, and this was from someone I know fairly well, so I was more inclined to chat about it. Turns out he has to move a 5 G site multiple times a year. Which … something’s wrong there, first of all. But also his users need to sit down and talk about image sizes, because daaaaayyyyyyymmmmmnnn.

“You should use wp-cli.”

Funny thing, I did. I love using wp-cli for updating the database, and since I happened to be unraveling a multisite, it was perfect. But you know… I’ve written tutorial on it, added documentation, written extensions, and talked about that tool multiple times. Including on this site. Know your audience, folks.

“You should use zip [instead of rsync].”

When you’re looking at large files, like gigs, sometimes zip is stupid and won’t unpack. PHP has limitations of 2G you see. I did zip up the plugins and themes and then the uploads, but I had to move them from server A to server B. And I did that with rsync. My other option was to download and then re-upload. Maybe if you’d suggested SCP you would have been helpfull. Rsync made sure I didn’t re-copy anything.

“You should use [my service].”

No. Absolutely not. No. JM Dodd is the only human I would trust with that kind of a migration. Why? Because it was WordPress Multisite. None of your tools, not even VaultPress, is capable of handling that well. Plus, the added wrinkle was moving one multisite into it’s three separate sites.

Also … I am very very very skeptical of using anyone’s tools. I review their code and their websites and their communication skills. And honestly, I’m not impressed by that company. They just don’t give me the feel-goods I’d want when going into business. To be fair, I’m not sure how I feel about VaultPress either, but they’re my experiment.

To be fair, one of the services apologized after.

“Why not move things manually?”

I … did? This one takes the cake because when I pointed out that I did know that stuff, and perhaps one should think about to whom they are offering unsolicited advice, I got told that I should use a specific host and service. After I blocked him, he subtweeted about women/lesbians and their egos. Not a great way to win your case, buddy.

“You should use host X.”

Stop. I didn’t ask for hosting advice, nor was it mentioned. People move sites on the same host sometimes, you know. And once I had the site up on site.dream.press, moving it live was ten seconds of work.

I Never Asked For Help

This is the big deal. The word ‘help’ never came out of my mouth. I didn’t even break DNS or forget TTL this time. I didn’t need help. All this was, was me saying I hate moving sites when they’re a gig (or more) of data.

Not single man asked me “Do you need help?”

They all assumed I did.

That, friends, is why I called it Mansplaining, and blocked over ten men on twitter.

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