Guest Post by Victor Miller
It’s not uncommon for businesses to switch between hosting providers and services. New opportunities arise each day and you want the best deal for your money. There are various reasons why companies migrate from one hosting service to another. Some of those reasons include better services, lower costs, additional benefits and so on. Also, you simply may not be happy with your current provider anymore and would like to do business with someone more capable or more reliable.
Needless to say, migrating from one host to another can be tricky. There’s a potential risk that you might lose some data or that you may end up paying more than you originally planned to. Nevertheless, the beforehand and develop a proper migration strategy. With that in mind, here are a few ways to move to a new host effectively.
What exactly is a migration?
Simply put, a migration involves moving your entire web hosting service from one server to another. This is especially important when you’re switching between web hosting providers. In other words, you’re transferring all relevant data and associated files regarding your hosting service to a new provider. There are three types of migration you might consider.
Website and web hosting migration – When migrating a website between providers, you need a few essential things from your current providers so that you can transfer data onto the next one. As an example, you need your website’s IP address and domain name. Moreover, you’ll also need your website’s username and password, especially if you’re using a cPanel hosting feature. You need to obtain this information from your existing provider and share it with the new one so that you can successfully migrate your website. After that, it’s only a matter of updating the DNS (Domain Name System) server so that the domain can locate and register your new hosting service.
Email migration – When switching between hosting providers, it’s also important not to forget about your email services. Transferring emails also requires you to obtain information from your existing provider. That information includes the email address and information regarding your IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) server. The main reason is that email services that operate under a specific domain name must be located under the same web hosting service.
Domain name migration – Transferring a domain name between hosting providers is actually simpler than it sounds. All you need to obtain from an existing provider is an EPP code or a domain name password.
Why change hosts and when?
As mentioned before, there are various reasons why companies are switching their web hosting service. You’re either looking for a better deal or you’re unsatisfied with your current provider for some reason. Here are a few examples.
Control of access
Backup and recovery
You either make the switch because your current provider is unable to meet your needs or you’ve found a provider that will offer you a better deal or more features. In any event, before you actually switch to a new provider, make sure they are able to meet your needs, in the first place.
Making the switch: the easy way
Switching hosting providers can be simple and seamless. You can opt for a hosting provider that suits your needs and your budget, provide them with the right information and allow their support staff to do the rest while you sit and wait for a couple of hours for the migration to be completed successfully.
In addition, if your website is hosted by WordPress, you can also make the switch using a “WordPress Migrator” that will allow you to move website files, databases, configure your application for the new host and point your domain to the new host. On the other hand, you can also opt for one of the WordPress migration plug-ins if you choose to do so.
Making the switch: the manual way
If you are not someone who prefers simplicity and you prefer to have more control over the migration process, you can do things manually. Here are the essential steps you must take if you wish to make the switch manually.
Move files and databases to a new host – This process is fairly simple. All you need to do is download all the static files from an old hosting provider and upload them in hierarchical order to the new one. For dynamic sites, you can export your databases to the new host using cPanel. Make sure you back up all your files and databases just in case something goes wrong. As for the email accounts, the process may vary from simply changing the IP of a host to recreating all of your email accounts depending on your current hosting options.
Switch DNS records – Simply put, you move your DNS records to the servers of your new hosting providers. DNS record is a list of instructions that points users to your website. The switch can take anywhere from several hours to a full day to complete.
Troubleshooting – The last step is to check if everything is operating as it should and that the migration was, in fact, successful. You’ll have to check everything accordingly and take the steps if something went wrong along the way. As an example, you might have to repair missing links and website navigation. Also, there’s a chance your database was corrupted during the transfer, which means you might have to upload it again. In addition, if there are any broken links on your website make sure you define the 404 errors so that you can minimize the damage and avoid any inconveniences.
Switching between hosting providers is nothing to be afraid of. After all, you want your website to function properly and operate on an optimum level. Therefore, it’s only natural to seek out a hosting service that will meet your needs, especially if your current provider is unable to meet them. However, before you make the switch, make sure you do, in fact, find a reliable host that will provide you with the services you need and for the price that suits you best.