Having a strong digital presence has now become a basic part of running a business. Business owners are investing time and resources into developing and upgrading their websites. An important thing to remember during this process of website migration is efficiency.
When shifting from one website host to another, poor planning can lead to longer periods of downtime for your current website. Losing online customers can damage brand reputation and lower your website’s SEO rankings.
Consider following these tips to help you migrate to a different host more efficiently, and minimize downtime.
If you cancel your current plan with your website host, it is likely that it will be immediate. This means there is potential for you to lose all the customer data and all the content on the website. Before moving your website host, ensure that you have carefully weighed your options and have selected the host that is right for you.
Backup your files
Your existing host provider should have a feature within their control panel that allows you to back up your data. To make the migration process easy, consider selecting a hosting provider that has the same web-based technology as your current hosting provider. This makes restoring your backed up data faster and easier.
The data will download as a compressed set of files. It is important not to decompress any of the files to ensure that the new host is able to receive them in the compressed form for it to process.
The control panel for the new host should allow you to restore backup. In this setting, select the full-site backup files that you downloaded earlier. When all the information has been transferred, ensure that the database is working properly. Backup files cannot have any information related to usernames, passwords or other permissions, as this has to be manually entered into the new web hosting provider’s interface.
Update your domain
At this stage, a copy of all your site files have been added into your new host. However, your domain, or your website name, still points to your old host. To update this, switch your DNS nameservers that you may get from your new host. Detailed instructions on how to change it can be found on your new provider’s website.
After these steps, it is important to test the website and have it running for a few days to ensure that all the features are working properly. Once confident, you can then cancel the old hosting plan. While this is more time consuming, it avoids the cost of losing a customer that clicks on your website when it is down, and minimises the risk of data loss and major site fixes.