When you need to move a website, either to expand it or get new services, it can be a real problem if you do not know what you are doing. Not all web hosts configure their webpages the same and this can cause real headaches and take a considerable amount of time to unravel the problems. Here is a guide to transfer a website to show you what you need to know.
The Biggest Concerns When Moving Your Website
Before you make the move to another web hosting company, there are several things you need to consider. You first need to find out if the new site is compatible with the technology you are using now. See if it uses Linux, Windows, and it offers the scripts, blog programs, and other software you need. Also, find out how long your site will be down before it is activated by the new company. This can vary between companies.
Here are some other matters you need to know before making the move:
- Let your customers know that you are moving and to notify you if they see any problems after the move is completed.
- Be sure to have everything backed up at the old host before making the move to the new one. Be sure to back up all graphics, databases, and emails you will need later.
- Double check to make sure that your new web hosting provider has any special software you need to operate your special needs. While you may have looked at new software or features, be sure that they also have ones you are already using to ensure instant customer usability once the transfer is complete.
- Check bandwidth limits. If you expect a lot of traffic, make sure that your new site can easily handle the bandwidth without extra charges.
- Test their technical support. Many web hosting companies claim to have the best support around, but you can find out how good it really is simply by calling the number and seeing for yourself if it is all they claim. Make sure they are available 24/7.
- Read some reviews about the company. There are many reviews on the Internet about web hosting companies. Read a few of them, as well as comparisons, to determine which one is really the one you need.
- Find out their reliability in providing you with constant uptime.
- Make sure the site offers scalability. Find out how much space you can get with the various plans the hosting company offers, and make sure that you can get larger plans or more space when needed.
- Check for a money-back guarantee. It is possible that the company is not all it claims. If that is true, then you will want to get you money back. Many hosting companies now offer free trial periods and money-back guarantees for 30 and 60 days. Read the guarantee carefully before completing the agreement to make sure you know what is involved and what the exceptions are.
Know About Their Pricing
Pricing is different on various web hosting company sites. While one may offer a lot of features under a single price, another one may offer only basic features and then charge you more for other ones that you will likely need. This means you should compare them carefully before selecting the one you want.
Change the DNS
Once you have made the decision to move to another web hosting service, you will need to register your new site to change the DNS. You may need to look up where your site is currently registered, and you will need to know the DNS of the new website. This step will take up to two days to complete, and you do not want to delete the old site until you are sure it has been successfully completed. Remember that your web traffic will continue to be directed there until the DNS information is updated.
Steps Before the New Site Is Activated
- Be sure to make the move on the days that are normally slower than other ones.
- You will also need to set up all the emails at the new site. You will need to have this ready for when the DNS is updated so that you do not lose any emails.
- Permissions will also need to be set up, if you are going to use them. Also, any links that use relative paths will need to be checked to see if changes are necessary.
The Old Days Required You to Do It Yourself
It used to be, and still is at some web hosting companies, that you had to move everything yourself. This could take many hours and even days, especially if you had thousands of webpages. Any special coding would have to be performed by you or someone you hired to do it.
Many Web Hosting Providers Will Transfer Your Website for You
Instead of having to worry about doing it right, many web hosting providers today will handle the operation of transferring your website for you. All you need to do is to make the request and then provide them with the necessary information, and they will handle all of the details.
Even better than them doing this for you, is the fact that many of them will now do this for free. Although the web hosting company may have others already waiting in line for this service, most of them can complete it within 24 to 48 hours. That may depend, though, on how large of a website it is that needs to be moved. Smaller sites may be able to be moved in an hour or less.
After the transfer has been completed, the web hosting company will also work with you to ensure that all bugs are worked out. Once you are sure that it is working smoothly, then you need to delete the other account.
If you are not sure you want to make the transfer yourself and follow the basic steps in this guide to transfer a website, just get a web hosting company to do this for you. They are the experts and they can do it quickly and smoothly to ensure you that any problems that might occur will be ironed out quickly.