Migration Dev Site to "Live" Site -- best strategies for the cut over

Our main site www.himalayanacademy.com is ancient tech (100% flat file based with some SSI’s to do headers and footers)

this site has an entry in VirtualMin/httpd.conf and lives on disk at /home/himalayan/public_html
Files are all owned by himalayan:himalayan

Our new site (dbase driven with very cool RevIgniter page assembly system) is live at dev.himalayanacademy.com with it’s own unique IP.

It also has it’s own entry in VirtualMin./httpd.conf.
on disk content lives in /home/devhap: files are all owned devhap:devhap

We hope to go live on Dec 1.

Now I have done this before but I want to know if there is a better strategy. Here is what we did before.

  1. Go to our DNS SOA and changes entry for himalayanacademy.com to the new IP assigned to dev.himalayanacademy.com
  2. from terminal, change the name of /home/himalayan to /home/himalayan2012

    effectively old site is now off line, temporarily the whole world is not getting big 404’s for a few minutes.

  3. from terminal change the directory name /home/devhap/ to /home/himalayan
  4. immediately run chown -Rf on this directory to himalayan/himalayan
  5. edit httpd.conf such that directives for himalayan are changed to himalayan2012
    and dev.himalayanacademy.com are changed to himalayanacademy.com

We then clean up some code where “/home/devhap” is a hard coded string and change those to /home/himalayan,

The we play catch up where things are broken, deal with them one at a time. usually not much. WE have to migrate blog archives from old WordPress to new etc… but the new site is working…we don’t do mail on this machine, the new site has been thoroughly tested.

the above tricky, but in fact can all happen in under 45 minutes. We have done something like this twice in the past with two different sites that were upgraded in big ways.

But have these questions:

  1. how many dependencies there are that we may not be addressing.

  2. How best to sync up VirtualMin/WebMin after the two sites are switched.

  3. if there may be a better strategy?

Anything else we need to be thinking about/covering?