If you are not happy with your current web hosting company, you are at liberty to pack up and move to a more reliable company that will assure you stable service with no (limited) downtime. You may also switch web hosting companies upon the realization that you are currently being charged exorbitantly far much above the market rate. In a nutshell, clients shift allegiance due to the dissatisfaction with the service. However, changing companies is not an easy process as it may seem. It requires that you get organized and follow some necessary steps to ensure the migration process is a success.
The transfer process could become depressing because you run a risk of losing data if the process is not handled professionally. However, with adequate preparation, the web hosting transfer process does not have to be a nightmare since chances of success are higher. Therefore, it means you should know what to pull off to realize success in the transfer process. In this article, we look at some tips and process that lead to successful website transfer.
1. Identify A New Web Hosting Firm
It may not possible to make a decision to move before you first determine where you move to. This is always the first step to being considered in the migration process. Ensure the new host compensates for challenges your current host is facing; they should assure responsive customer support, excellent security, and faster servers. It would be rewarding if you can identify a web host who would aid you in the migration process.
2. Create Your Website Backup
Before moving, it is important to back up the entire website. Your website content could be saved on your hard drive or in any other safe location where it cannot be tampered with. Backing up your website is a simple process which involves downloading your website files to a folder in any location on your computer. The web hosting transfer process could be conducted using an FTP client or existing features in the control panel. Even after backing up your website files, it is not time yet to cancel your current website subscription with your host.
3. Upload Files To The New Server
Once you have identified the new host and stored your files at a remote location, log in to your new server and upload your files. Just like the download process, the upload can be done using either the control panel or an FTP client. Regardless of the tools, you are using, it is critical that the website design and shape does not change. Unless you had sanctioned the changes, ensure that they do not come at this time. Use tools that are compatible and would ensure that the transition is seamless.
4. It Is Time To Move HTML Files To Your New Server
Dreamweaver and FrontPage are standard tools that can be used in transferring your site. The two applications are favored because they replicate a website well. However, there are files which were not built using either Dreamweaver or FrontPage. In such a case, it would still be possible to transfer the files to the new server. In such a case, you need a word process application like Notepad.
One of the easiest ways to move your website is to right-click on the page you want to save. After that, select the “view source” option as indicated on the menu. The raw HTML will show you the version of the page. Copy the code to a word processing application and save the document to a location of your choice. When saving the document, ensure you replace the “txt” with “HTML” file format before saving it. Repeat the entire process for all the pages you want to transfer in readiness for publishing.
5. Address Any Page Problems Associated With The Transfer
There could be chances that after moving your website, some pages do not display well. This is usually the case if you created your website using content management system like Joomla, which has e-commerce features, e.g., a shopping cart. The same challenges may be experienced with websites with database-driven components. In case you are not able to rectify the problem, it could be prudent to contact a professional web designer and developer.
6. Ensure Search Engine Remains Intact
As we have discussed above, it is possible that the transfer process may lead to losing of some configurations and cause hours of downtime. This problem could be sorted by setting up a 301 redirect which a web is redirecting technique aimed at maintaining search engine ranking even after the migration.
7. Test Your Website On The New Server
After ensuring that you have successfully transferred your webs pages and files, it is only prudent that you test your website on the new server to ensure all functionalities are up to date. During the testing process, look at the services and links to ensure they are up to date and no discrepancies. In some instances, you need to make sure that links are reactivated, and images resized so as to work efficiently. If all is well, you are advised to transfer your domain name to the new server.
8. Finally, Transfer Your Domain Name
Once you are comfortable with your new host, you are free to transfer your domain name. Of all the processes involved in the migration phase, domain transfer is the longest. There could be changes, and you could experience downtime during the switching process. This is because the changes may take up to 72 hours for the changes to take effect. You will only cancel your subscription with the current host when your new server transfer is complete, and you could go ahead and publish your website.
Web hosting transfer should not be a headache if handled well using the above tips and guidelines. You should be prepared for any eventually and ensure that you are better placed to resolve the stalemate to ensure the transfer process is seamless. The transfer process is conducted with the aim of attaining efficiency.