Transferring a website from one host to another is incredibly simple thanks to a number of new technologies. The typical customer may encounter some downtime during the transfer process, regardless of the transfer’s speed.
A domain may go offline for 12 to 72 hours following the submission of a change request to the new registrar due to DNS server transfers between the old and new web hosts, depending on the technical details involved.
Up to a day may pass before your website is fully operational again due to the necessity of transferring website files, restoring crucial databases, and getting each software installation and subdomain configuration back up and running.
When moving a website to a new host server, there are, nevertheless, some pretty amazing tips to help you avoid disaster.
Note: The site administrator can work on configuring a new web hosting plan before DNS is changed and transferred to the new host with relative ease if they have a basic understanding of cPanel, IP addresses, and more complex FTP login procedures.
Ultimately, the mission is accomplished if the typical customer remains oblivious to any changes occurring behind the scenes!
Are You Ready to Move to New Hosting Provider? Let’s Get Started!
1. Migrate First and DON’T Cancel Your Old Hosting Account
The most frequent error made by website administrators who are either new to switching servers or web hosting in general is that they almost never get in touch with their previous host to let them know that they are switching to a new company’s servers.
While promptly notifying the previous web host of any changes is undoubtedly a good idea, doing so prior to a smooth transition can cause not only downtime but also the complete loss of files and database information from the time a cancellation is requested.
Don’t Cancel First
When a customer’s call ends, web hosting companies typically cancel a plan almost instantly, without waiting for the current month’s service to expire or the subscription fee to expire. Considering that the customer receives a prompt and prorated refund of any outstanding fees, this is regarded as being in their best interest.
It also implies that the organization will essentially destroy all data uploaded to the server while they were employed by the company. Frequently, there won’t be a chance to get these files back and transfer them to the shared hosting plan or server of the new web host in time.
That is the kind of outage from which recovery is very difficult, since it may result in the loss of all content and subscriber data, as well as in financial losses and, for certain websites, customer payment information.
Transfer Your Files First
Transfer all files once a new hosting plan has been obtained, then terminate the old company’s current hosting plan. For a few days, you should be able to access the website on the new company’s servers, just to make sure that nothing got lost in the transfer.
The previous hosting plan should only be terminated after everything has been confirmed to have been transferred correctly.
2. Download Backup Files
Access compressed backups of database data and website files by logging into your Control Panel.
Customers switching to a new web host should make sure that the new and old hosting providers use the same web-based administration technology for sheer convenience of use. Usually, PleskPanel, a somewhat less well-liked website control panel, and cPanel are the options available.
The simplest method to guarantee that data can be quickly backed up and restored is to align the technologies used by both hosts.
Locate the backup files
Find the “Backup” settings and control panel pages after you have successfully logged into the Control Panel interface. This includes tools for backing up both the root folder of the website and any subdomains.
The tools on this page will also help web hosting clients backup their MySQL or MSSQL databases so they can restore them to a new server.
Within this grouping, look for the “Download Backups” option. Click on it to open the corresponding cPanel administration page.
Download your backup files
The Control Panel will list the different types of backups that are available on this page. They should download the available full-site backup file so that it can be uploaded to an alternate host at a later time.
Additionally, backup files unique to each website subdomain will exist. Although the complete website backup will have all of that data, these are usually optional, but you can download them just in case.
Customers can download a compressed backup of each MSSQL or MySQL database separately from a different section of the backup downloads page. Downloading each database in its compressed format is recommended.
Later on, these will be uploaded to the new server in order to generate database names that match.
Make sure not to decompress any of the backup files that you downloaded during this process. This is so that when the customer uploads the file, the new server will finish the process.
Make sure Safari is not configured to launch purportedly “safe” file extensions automatically for Mac users after they download them. By doing this, you can make sure the file stays uncompressed and prepared for a speedy restoration.
After all of the compressed backup files have been safely stored, log out of the previous host’s Control Panel installation and navigate to the new host’s popular website management program.
3. Transfer Your Files
Start uploading the backup files that have been compressed to the new server.
Almost all web hosting providers will send an email with the IP address and domain name servers for the new hosting plan as soon as they receive the first month’s payment.
This IP address can be used to access the individual FTP account and Control Panel administration interface prior to changes being made, as well as to view the website’s content before DNS propagation occurs.
Login to Your Control Panel
Find your activation email and login to your control panel. Each hosting provider have their own settings.
After logging into the Control Panel iteration on the new server, find the backup tools that were mentioned in Step 2 and proceed to the Backup Downloads page. Find the file-upload box related to the full-site backup on the page.
This will frequently be referred to as a “Backup Restore” function. To start the upload process, select the full-site backup file that was downloaded from the previous web hosting provider.
The webpage will reload when the file has finished uploading, and as each file is placed in its proper location, line-by-line information specific to that file will be shown. The procedure ends when this second page stops loading. Find the “back” button on the browser to go back to the previous page and carry out the database restoration procedure essentially in the same way.
After all the data has been moved, some settings need to be changed in order to start the smooth transition process from behind the scenes.
4. Check Your Database
It should be noted that details regarding the usernames, passwords, and permissions connected to every MSSQL or MySQL database are not included in the database backup files.
You will need to input this data into the Control Panel Databases interface.
Check connection string
After adding all necessary users, passwords, and permissions, log into the FTP account using the website’s IP address to make any necessary changes to the system files.
This will guarantee that the software runs without a hitch after the domain name has been moved, displaying the files from the new host rather than those from the previous business. After that is finished, everything is set up and prepared to work flawlessly.
The information that instructs the domain which of the two hosting accounts’ files to show to the end user is all that has to be changed at this point.
5. Change Your Name Servers
Request the use of new domain name servers from the domain registrar.
Telling the domain name to display files and data from a different server than the one that is currently in use is the process’s final step. To accomplish this, sign in to the domain registrar’s (such as GoDaddy or NameCheap or etc) control panel for domain registration.
For the new host, these must be changed to the new name servers (which are also listed in the email). (If you are unable to locate this information, try visiting the host’s support page, looking through their documentation, or contacting a representative who can give you the server information.)
Most DNS record changes take effect in 12 to 24 hours, but some people have reported seeing results in as little as six. Customers will see the same content regardless of the hosted files that are displayed during this time, and both the new and old websites will operate as intended.
Just Wait for DNS Propagation
Remember that once the new host files become active, posting content before propagation is finished may cause lost content or data. Website owners should wait to make any changes to their site’s files, design, or content until they are certain that everything is finished and they are able to access the new host server, even though downtime won’t be a problem.
When it does, the website can be seamlessly transferred to a new web hosting company, and users won’t experience any downtime during the transfer.
You can terminate the previous hosting plan once you have tested the website and verified that all features are functioning as intended. That is the only step involved!