To get your dream website online, hosting is essential. There is an umpteen number of hosting companies at present and there are different kinds of hosting solutions that cater to different needs. When the demands of already hosted websites increase, there is an option to upgrade the plans to a better one and there is another option, which is changing the host. Simply put, website migration to a new host. Why migrate? Because over time, your website might transform into an enormous one and the current host might no longer be able to meet your requirements. Another case is that you come to know about a company that offers a better service at a better price compared to your existing host or you get dissatisfied with the performance or uptime of the current server. For the sake of your business, migrating to a new host would be the ideal choice rather than adhering to your current host unwillingly. Talking about migration, the transfer of files and databases can be a difficult task and one might get bewildered on how to do it. Are you someone like that? Worry not. This blog will walk you through the steps of website migration and give you a clear picture of it.
Select a Host after detailed research
Choosing another host shouldn’t be a spontaneous move. It is important to invest some time for good research because you have to ensure that the host you are about to select will be better than your current host and perfect to satisfy your needs. Selecting a host quickly without enquiring much will potentially lead to the same problems you are facing currently. It would be like getting up from one pit and falling into another one. Hence, understand your needs, take time, and do research, prepare a shortlist, make a comparison, and then only select a host. Perhaps, the shortlisting phase will be easy as pie since there are ample hosting companies offering various hosting solutions at attractive prices. However, when it comes to settling with a hosting company finally, it can get baffling. To ease the process, you could crosscheck the resources they are offering, check the goodwill or rating of the company, and most importantly the customer feedbacks and testimonials. It is also important to ensure the host you opt for is well equipped to support your website in the long run.
Let your customers be aware
With the advancement in technology, website migration has become seamless. The files, databases, and e-mails if any can be easily transferred to the new host. However, there is a possibility for the occurrence of minor downtime. Therefore, keep your customers informed about your migration so that they will understand even if they come across any downtime. Otherwise, your phone might incessantly ring or your mail inbox will be stuffed with complaint mails. This can affect your reputation and you may even lose your customers. Hence, play it safe by informing your customers prior to the migration.
Backup your website files
All your efforts to build your business would be in vain if you end up losing your website files. Therefore, do not take a risk that’s not worth taking. Backup all your website files and databases to your computer because while migration, if there is any error, you might end up losing your files. Then this whole migration would be nothing less than futile. You may even have to start from scratch which will be quite strenuous and to reach a place where you are now at present will be time-consuming. Hence, back up your files prior to transferring and keep your business safe.
Kickstart file transfer
Now that you have found a new host, did the arrangements to host your website, informed your beloved customers, and backed up your files, it is finally the time to transfer your website files and databases. Some companies help you to migrate or else you have to do it manually. At Malabar, we normally help the customers migrate free of cost so that they can just sit back and relax after filing the migration request.
Let’s talk about manual file transfer briefly.
In the case of transferring the database, it can be done conveniently for both dynamic websites and CMS websites. For dynamic websites, you are required to export the database from the old host and import it to the new host. This can be easily done through the cPanel dashboard. Talking about the database transfer of a CMS website, you have to install applications that are required for database transfer at the new host or you could use the in-built options that come with the CMS. For example, In WordPress, then you could leverage the native import/export functionality to transfer your database. This way databases can be transferred to your new host.
Similarly, you have to upload your website files too. All you have to do is, download the files from the old host and upload it to the root folder of the new host via FTP. For WordPress websites, you can either do this through cPanel by zipping the files in the main folder and uploading it to the new host or you can make use of plugins like Duplicator or All-in-one WP migration which helps you to easily migrate the files even without much technical knowledge.
Change the DNS setting
Within this stage, all your files will be moved to the new host and now you must direct your visitors to the new host else, they will be misdirected to error pages. This can be done with the help of your domain registrars which can be your old host too. If it’s the old host, you have to acquire new DNS settings from your new host and replace the old DNS or you could transfer the DNS to a third party registrar. Otherwise, you just have to point the DNS to the new host at your current registrar. It will take a few hours to 2 days for the changes to come into effect.
Test your website & Delete old host account
Basically speaking, you have your website live now. However, carry out some testing before you start using it because minor errors might occur.
Let your test be comprehensive and ensure your website is working perfectly in every aspect. Once you are convinced about the working, gradually delete your old host account and bid goodbye.
Website migration is convenient at present. However, it might get confusing when we manually transfer the files. So, it is always better to choose a hosting company that will help you with migration so that you will not be having any headache. Moreover, the chance for technical errors will reduce. We hope that you will no longer have doubts regarding the steps of website migration.