How To Transfer A Website To A New Web Host
Transferring a website to a new web host can be tricky if you don't have the skills and experience. You may experience down time, and come face to face with a ton of technical issues. Make sure you plan your site migration carefully when moving your site. When done correctly, you should experience zero downtime, and your site should continue to work flawlessly. Here is a step by step guide that you may find useful.Step 1: Back up all files, databases, and data.Do not make any changes to your site first. Make sure you back up everything on your server to your local hard drive. For files and images, use FTP to download everything. For databases, login to your control admin panel and use the database backup feature to download your database. For example, if you are using MySQL databases, you can download the database in an SQL file. If anything goes wrong during the migration, at least you have a backup copy of the website. You can always restore the site with the backup information.Step 2: Source for a new web host.Ideally, your new web host should offer similar features as your existing host. However, note that some server settings make be different. If your site requires special settings to run properly, make sure you ask the support department to see if those features are available. Once you have located a reliable web host, sign up for a new account.Step 3: Upload your site for testing.Don't do the migration just yet. Upload the entire site to make sure everything is working correctly. Do as much testing as you can. Do not make any changes to the domain name servers until you have completed this important step.Step 4: Setup your email accounts.Before transferring your site, setup all your email accounts. This will ensure that once the DNS is changed, no emails will be lost. The emails will be routed to the new servers. Step 5: Change your DNS to point to the new servers.Once you are confident that the site is working correctly, the final step is to change the DNS to point to the new servers. You can do that by updating the changes with your domain name registrar. They should provide you with the tools to do that. Note that once the changes have been submitted, the migration process will start. DNS usually takes less than 48 hours to be updated. In many instances, DNS is updated within a few short hours.Notice that modifying the DNS is the final step. Some webmasters make the mistake of modifying the DNS first. They then find that they run into problems with the new servers. By then, it's already too late. The site has failed to function properly and experiencing down time is inevitable. So never modify your DNS first. Do that as your last and final step.