A blog on software engineering by Trevor Brown

Migration to OpalStack

In early October I got notified that WebFaction, the hosting company I was using, was migrating all accounts to tsoHost by June 2021. I had really liked WebFaction so I was disappointed to hear this. Then on October 16th WebFaction emailed me again saying that my account could not be migrated to tsoHost because I was using some WebFaction features that were not available on tsoHost. Because my account could not be migrated it would be closed by December 9th, 2020! This gave me less than 60 days to find a new hosting company and move all my sites over to it. I have about a dozen sites so it was going to take a while to get everything moved.

Unsure of what company to move to I posted on asking for recommendations. quicksilver03 replied saying:

I haven’t used it myself, but was founded by one former employee of WebFaction

I really liked WebFaction’s feature set and support, so I knew I had to give OpalStack a try. I setup an account and began migrating all my sites over to OpalStack. OpalStack feels like a clone of WebFaction, with a few improvements to the tools and UI provided. I immediately felt at home using the OpalStack web interface to create apps, domains, and site routes (what webfaction called "websites") just like on WebFaction.

Migration Process

The migration process was time consuming due to the number of sites I had but was fairly straightforward.

  1. Setup OpalStack account

  2. Verify SSH credential login and then setup SSH key authentication following for faster logins.

  3. Add all domains to new OpalStack account using the OpalStack web interface. It is the same process as adding a domain on WebFaction. My domain registrars were still directing traffic to my old WebFaction account so it made sense to add the domains to OpalStack first and then update my DNS servers to point to WebFaction once I had completed the migration for that domain.

  4. Add all applications to new OpalStack account using the OpalStack web interface. Again, it’s pretty much the same process as on WebFaction.

  5. Add "Site Routes" to OpalStack account. This is different than WebFaction. On WebFaction you could define multiple "Websites" for the same domain and mount them at different endpoints over different protocols (HTTP or HTTPS). On OpalStack you can only have one "Site Route" per domain. The "Site Route" can define multiple routes to different applications. See for more details.

  6. Re-configure and deploy the actual websites to OpalStack. Create any necessary databases, emails, or cronjobs on OpalStack. After confirming the deployment to OpalStack succeeded update the domain to point to the OpalStack nameservers.


Overall the migration went very well. I haven’t had any issues with OpalStack infastructure, and the technical support has been excellent. I had some issues with a NextCloud instance I was trying to migrate that I thought were caused by OpalStack. When I contacted OpalStack about the issue Sean from OpalStack emailed me back with a workaround for what I believed the issue was, and he really went beyond what I’d expect from technical support for a small hosting account. The issue turned out to be caused by an incomplete database import that I mistakenly thought had succeeded. I’m very happy with OpalStack and hope they don’t get bought out by a larger company like WebFaction did.