Moving your website from one host to another may appear to be a difficult chore to many, but the procedure is straightforward when you know what steps to take and in what order to take them. This article will lead you through the processes necessary to accomplish a site migration with minimal disruption.
First and foremost, DO NOT CANCEL YOUR CURRENT HOSTING ACCOUNT UNTIL THE LAST STEP. You may be quite happy with your present hosting, but it is critical that you keep your current hosting account active until you are very certain that your site is fully operational with the new hosting provider.
If you follow the procedures below, you should be able to move your websites from one provider to another with no outage.
- Set Up a New Account
First, choose your new hosting provider. Once you’ve decided on a provider, sign up for the hosting plan of your choice. Once the new account is set up, you can proceed to the next step.
- Back-Up All of Your Files From Your Previous Account
This is a straightforward procedure, although it can take some time depending on the size of your website. Go to your former hosting account and download all of the files via FTP, as well as backup any databases that are still in use. Even if you have backed up all of your files, you cannot terminate this account yet.
- Transfer All of Your Files To Your New Account
After backing up your files on your old hosting account, go to your new hosting account and upload the backups using the new host’s FTP.
- Set Up Your Email Accounts
To avoid losing any of your emails when you eventually change your web domain server addresses, you must now create all of the email accounts that you had with your previous hosting provider in your new hosting account. Once this is completed, all email addresses on the new account should match those on your old account.
- Examine Your Files and Links
Now is the time to go through all of your web pages and make sure that all of your links are working properly on your new server. To accomplish this, you must first create a temporary URL for the website. A quick and simple technique to accomplish this is to create a subdomain of another URL and redirect it to your new website using mirroring. Any competent web hosting service should allow you to generate a temporary URL so you may test your new site.
- Changing Your DNS Settings (Domain Name Server)
If you are confident that all of your files have been uploaded correctly and that all of your site’s links are functioning properly, you can modify your DNS (domain name servers). Your new host’s DNS settings should have been delivered to you. If they haven’t, contact them and inquire about the addresses that should be used for your domain name. Typically, the addresses will be as follows: ns1.domainname.com, ns2.domainname.com.
Whoever owns your domain name is the best spot to alter the DNS addresses. If you registered the domain name through a registrar, you must go their control panel and change the DNS servers there.
If it was already registered with your old host, you will need to access their control panel and alter the DNS records there
- Wait for DNS changes to take effect
After changing your DNS (domain name servers), you must wait 10 minutes to 48 hours for your domain to spread over the internet. During this time, your site will continue to be served from your previous hosting account; however, once the DNS propagates, your site will begin to be served from your new host. All requests to your domain will be served from your new server after the propagation process is complete.
- Cancel Your Previous Account
Before using your previous account, make sure you wait at least 48 hours for the domain name to propagate and that your domain name is resolving to your new hosting account.
Following these procedures should have resulted in the successful transfer of your website from your old host to your new host with no downtime.