If your current web hosting company doesn’t provide the support you need, becomes too expensive, or offers subpar service, you may need to switch your hosting provider. However, a website transfer isn’t a very simple task. But it can become a lot easier if you know how to do it properly. In order to correctly transfer a website to another host, you need to complete a specific series of actions. This is so you can ensure that everything was transferred properly, and still works correctly after the transfer. This can be a daunting task for someone who doesn’t know where to start. Today I’ll be giving you a step-by-step guide on how you can transfer your website to a new hosting provider with as little hassle as possible.
1. Purchasing a New Hosting Plan
The sheer number of hosting providers available is staggering, so it may be a challenge to find the right one for your specific needs. Many hosting providers have their own server special configurations, which you will need to take into consideration. You will also need to take other factors into consideration, such as hosting costs, available storage space, and maximum bandwidth. There is a huge amount of web hosting providers offering a plethora of different services. So once you know what you’re looking for, it should be relatively easy to find a good host. Once you’ve decided on a new hosting plan and purchased it, you should continue to the next step.
2. Backing Up the Site to the New Server
Making sure that your website is moved to the new host correctly is extremely important. If your site is transferred incorrectly or isn’t properly backed up, it can lead to data loss or data corruption. The method for backing up your site to a new host differs depending on what type of website you have. There may also be some minor differences depending on which hosting provider you choose to use for your web hosting.
A static website is a site that only uses static files. Such as text or non-moving images. Static files don’t change, meaning that transferring a static site is easy. To back up a static website, simply copy the file structures of your site onto your new host’s servers.
A dynamic website can be a bit more complex. Transferring a site that’s dynamic and runs on a database such as MySQL can be a bit more involved than transferring a static site. First, you’ll have to install any web apps that your website used onto the new hosting servers. Then you will need to transfer your database file to the new server. Depending on what web application you’re using for your website, the steps to accomplish this can differ. Transferring your database can be simple if you’re using a web app that provides some sort of easy transfer functionality. Such as WordPress with its import and export functionality. If your app has this functionality, you only need to copy the data files directly to the new servers, and you’re finished. However, if your web app doesn’t offer that functionality, you will need to tweak your MySQL and PHP files to reflect the server change.
There’s also another easy way to easily move WordPress-based websites. You can add all the contents of your website’s “public_html” or “www” directory to a zip file. Then move that zip file to the new web hosting server. Then simply add the following two lines of code to your WP-config file.
define(‘WP_SITEURL’, ‘http://’ . $_SERVER[‘HTTP_HOST’]); define(‘WP_HOME’, WP_SITEURL);
3. Double Checking Everything
After the website transfer, you will need to double check that everything on your website is working correctly. This is to ensure that your website is completely compatible with your new host’s configuration and that you transferred everything correctly. You can preview your site by finding the site’s new IP address and pasting it into your browser’s navigation bar. Alternatively, some hosting providers will offer a development staging platform which allows you to easily preview your website before taking it live. You will want to check everything for problems and fix any that arise before you make your website live.
4. Switching DNS Record to the New Servers
Once you’ve made sure everything works correctly, it’s time to switch your website’s DNS record to the new servers through your domain registrar. Whichever domain registrar you use will most likely have instructions detailing exactly how to do this.
Your DNS record points your domain name to your website, forgetting to update them means that anyone trying to visit your website will receive an error or be misdirected. This is one of the most important steps, so it’s crucial that you get the correct DNS info from your hosting provider. Also, make certain that you correctly follow the instructions to switch your DNS record to your new web hosting server.
5. Waiting For The Switch to Take Effect
After requesting to move your DNS record to point to your new server, the switch may take up to twenty-four hours to take effect. While you’re waiting, you should double check everything again to make sure you’ve done everything correctly. After the DNS switch takes effect, you will need to alert your original hosting provider that you will no longer be using their services. Your website should now be up and running with your new hosting provider, congratulations!
Knowing how to correctly switch hosting providers can make the process significantly easier, making it less of a hassle to switch if you find yourself in an undesirable situation with your current provider. Although, many hosting providers will offer a service to switch your host, if you would rather not use these services, or if the hosting provider you want to use doesn’t offer them, these instructions can really come in handy. This guide can also be useful if you want to switch a website to your own servers.