Changing a web host is one of the most difficult tasks one can do. It is akin to moving houses. A lot can go wrong and doing it right is vital. You don’t want your clients experiencing downtime or dead links appearing after the move. The reasons for the move are varied. You may have outgrown your current host; you may have found better deals or the services at your current places are not the best. Either way, making the move requires a step-by-step approach. We have prepared you a step-by-step approach that will ensure your move is as seamless and painless as possible.
Select a New Host
Whatever the reason for your move, your new web host must at least meet your needs. You should do enough research to choose the best. While searching for the host, it is important to know your needs. What exactly are your requirements? How fast do you expect to grow? Do you require a dedicated server, Virtual Private server or a standard server?
Knowing what you need will make it easier to make a choice. When choosing a server, there are things to consider. One of the most over looked is scalability. It is very inconvenient always to change hosts once you grow. Choose a host who can accommodate your needs and scale them appropriately. It is also important to choose a host who provides enough bandwidth and processing power to match your needs. You should also ensure the host has a qualified team of server engineers ready to assist you 24/7. It’s important to check what other services the new host will offer you. Some web hosting companies will help you move and maintain the server for you. Others offer all the above plus discounted bandwidth prices. Making the right choice for a web host is crucial. Do your due diligence otherwise you might curse your decision sooner than you think.
You need to consider
- The operating system of your new host
- 24/7 excellent support services
- The hosting service and data speed offered
- The database your new host uses – My SQL databases are most common and most ideal
- Make sure your new host supports scripting languages like PHP
- Host reviews on performance and reliability
- cPanel version your new host is using – It is the difference between fast and slow transitions
Transfer the Site
With a new hosting company chosen, it is time to transfer to a new site. The first and most important thing you need to do is back up everything. You ideally should create more than two backups as things have a way of going wrong when you need them least to. Static sites are the easiest to move as they require you to move the web files only. Others require you manually back up the files, databases and emails in separate files and manually reattach them. If you use the popular cPanel web management, the backup procedure is easy and straightforward. You just need to back up and download the backups. It advised not to compress any files as that may lead to data losses.
After the backup, the transfer process is easy. It depends on the type of system your new host uses. He should provide you with a how to switch web hosting services manual. Transferring the website is the easiest part. You download all the web files from your current host and upload them to the new host. The second part is the database. Here you need to use the SQL text file from your former host and combine it with the SQL from the new host. It will then have to be updated to make sure it’s up to date. The last part is transferring the email settings. Here you need to create the email accounts on your new host. You then need to update the mail settings using the new host’s configurations. It should go without saying that the new host should help you in the process.
Switch the DNS Settings
It is imperative to have the domain transferred. It is the service that allows users to be assigned to your server location. Doing it wrong will see users finding your page unavailable which should be avoided at all costs. The first step of transferring the domain name is making sure it’s registered under your name. This includes the email. If you have issues with your current provider, you will be required to do transfer domain registrars then switch the domain name servers.
The domain name transfer process is easy for any web expert. It takes anything from 12 to 72 hours to complete the process. It is advised to keep both hosts running at this time as the transfer takes place. You don’t need your site down at any time.
Other Factors To Consider
It is vital to watch out for downtime. Anytime you are down, it is a loss to your company or clients. It should be avoided at all costs. After making a change, it is possible for things like graphics to have misplaced files. It leads to 404 log error files that are bad for a site. These broken links can be minimized by transferring entire directories and redirecting dynamic pages to a new location. The redirecting pages leads to slow load time and should be only a temporary solution. You should let your site run on its new site for some time before making the full transfer. It allows you to know any problem you may experience. Its only after you sure when you can notify your old host of the transfer.
Moving from one host to another is a hectic process. Follow the above procedures and it will be an easier process. How to switch web hosting shouldn’t be rocket science after all.