When first starting out with your website you may choose a hosting service for a variety of different reasons including cost and customization options. However as your website grows and you gain more experience you may find that the needs of your online business are better served by an entirely different hosting service. If you are thinking of migrating your website from one host to another here are a couple key points in the process.
PLAN YOUR NEXT STEP
Don’t make the move too rashly. This doesn’t mean you should simply put up with bad service or make the best of a host that doesn’t fit your needs. It just means you should take the time to research and plan before taking that first step. Your hosting service is connected to a lot of other elements of your website. You need to be sure you’ve gathered everything together before “moving out” otherwise you won’t be able to access a feature or service you need once you’ve successfully migrated.
CHOOSE A HOST BEFOREHAND
There are many providers out there, some big and some small. You will have to research carefully to be sure you are getting the best deal though. Prices and services can vary significantly and the cost is not always indicative of the quality when it comes to website hosting.
Trust people rather than advertisements. If you know anyone who also runs a website consult them for advice or personal experience. Otherwise look to reviews to try and get a sense of whether your hosting service really delivers what it promises.
TRANSFER YOUR DOMAIN NAME
A domain name is a major investment. Obviously if you have managed to build up a solid audience or customer base you don’t want to lose that transferring from one location to the other. Thankfully the process is simple and most hosts offer instruction on how to alter name servers from one host to another.
Moving the actual content on your site is a more time consuming process. Note that changes may take several days to register and appear on your new site. All that is required on your part however is the use of an FTP client to transfer files from one site to the other. Make sure you create back up copies though. Some things get lost or forgotten in transit.
CHANGE YOUR EMAIL
Lots of host provide free email services when you join up. This is great but many people forget this when moving between old host and new host. The good thing is that, unlike with physical moves, changing website hosts means you can take your old address with you if you want. Contacting your email providers and altering the DNS settings should be enough but you risk losing mail until the process is complete. The best way to avoid this is simply to keep both addresses until you are sure the old one is up and running.
CANCEL YOUR OLD SERVICE
This may seem like the most obvious step but you would be surprised by how many people end up shilling out one last payment because they forgot to cancel their old hosting amidst all the fuss. Be sure to inform any followers or customers of your new location before you fully delete your old content and move over to your new host.