When it comes time to transfer your website to a new web host there are a few tips you should keep in mind. By following the proper steps for moving your website from one host to another you will ensure a smooth, seamless transfer for your data and files. Organizing your credentials, moving your files at the right time, and making the proper DNS changes can help you silently move your website to a new host with just a few minutes of work.
Organize Your Credentials
You’ll need several sets of credentials handy when you need to transfer a website. This includes the usernames and passwords for your current host, your registrar, and any third-party software applications you’ve been using.
If you’re getting ready to transfer your website this is a good time to make sure all contact records are up to date, and you’ll the registrar credentials later on anyway to make the proper DNS changes. Go to your domain registrar and make sure your data is up-to-date before the transfer. This includes contact names and addresses and any emails or phone numbers you want to register with ICANN.
Don’t forget to gather credentials for other applications your website uses such as your WordPress administrator password, Google Maps tokens and API Keys, and any information needed to use plugins you’ve installed.
Finding The Right Host
Don’t make the mistake of deleting your files from your current web host before you create an account with a new web host. This could leave you with unnecessary downtime which could affect everything from customer opinions to search engine rankings.
Look for a host that offers a price you’re comfortable with and enough speed and bandwidth to maintain or improve your website’s current performance level. There are several types of hosting available ranging from traditional shared hosting packages to VPS (Virtual Private Server) and cloud hosting. Review the specifications, including hardware and speed factors, before signing on to any new web host. It’s also a good idea to make sure your new host is compatible with your current website platform before making a purchase. Some hosts, for example, offer WordPress-optimized hosting which can be helpful in getting your website set up and optimized for SEO.
Some hosts even allow you to transfer a website through an automated or assisted process, if you’re new to site transfers then look for a host that can make it easy for you. Keep in mind that a few hosts charge for this service.
Making a Copy of Your Files and Data
After finding the perfect web host for your website you will need to make a complete copy of all the content, files, and data your sites relies on. The easiest way to do this is to use a backup utility. WordPress users have given JetPack and UpDraftPlus good reviews though each of these tools do come with a small fee.
You can also manually backup your website quite easily. Simply login to your current host and access the file manager through your cPanel or administrator panel to find your folders on the server. Once you’ve located the root folder that contains all the HTML, data, media, and other files for your website simply click ‘Download’ to create a copy of them on your local machine. If there is no download option you can access the folder through FTP and right-click on the root folder to save everything.
Uploading Your Files Properly
Once you’ve got a copy of your website on your local computer then you’re all set to upload it to your new host and wrap up the transfer process. If you’re making use of one of the automatic transfer tools then simply install the CMS of your choosing on your new host along with the accompanying backup plugin. Follow the process described in the plugin’s guide, which typically just consists of just a few clicks, to upload your content to the new host.
If you’ve downloaded your files manually it’s still going to be an easy process to get them uploaded to your new server. Simply access the root file system on the new server through the cPanel file manager or FTP and select the ‘Upload’ option. If your files were compressed into a .zip or .HYPERLINK “https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/howto-compress-expand-gz-files/”gz format then wait until you upload them before decompressing them. This will save you some time in the uploading process.
Change the DNS in a Timely Manner
Once your website exists on both the new and old server it’s time to change the DNS settings to reflect the new web server. This is an important step in making sure you don’t have any downtime for your website. Log in to your registrar and input the name server information provided in your welcome email from the new host. If your host didn’t email the name server information you can retrieve it from your administrator dashboard. Wait at least 72 hours before deleting the files from your old host so that DNS servers across the world can update properly.
Test Your Website Transfer
Use an online tool to test your website once you’ve completed the transfer process. You can test the functionality and appearance with a simple Internet browser like Chrome or Firefox but load times and optimization should be tested with a tool like Pingdom or ThinkWithGoogle. Assuming you’ve chosen your new hosting provider wisely your website should be as fast or faster than it was on the previous server.
These surefire tips for transferring a website will guarantee a seamless process that won’t interrupt service for your visitors. Making a list of your credentials before the transfer process is a great way to save time when you need to make DNS changes and bring the new copy of your website to life.