How to Best Transfer Your Website to a New Hosting Provider

Switching your website to a new host can often be a complicated process. On any given day, thousands of websites are transferred from one provider to another. Moving a site is similar to when you make a move in the real world. Your first step is to find a new location to live, sign the documents, pack up all of your belongings, and move to your new home. In a business move, you end it with hanging a new sign above your company to advertise your new office. Moving a website entails a similar process, only a virtual version.

To transfer a website, you must find a suitable hosting provider so as to not make a habit of moving your site from web host to web host. Key ingredients that make up the best hosting providers are the utilization of correct operating systems and good technical support that offers live chat, telephone, and e-mail variability. Additionally, the host provider should have an ample amount of disk space available for the website you are transferring. You are going to want to look for a host that has the database software that you are currently using as well as support for any special scripting languages. If you follow these easy steps, you can ensure that your website transfer is as smooth as possible.

Join A New Host

Search for a new hosting provider of your choice that is highly reputable and known for their hosting services. During this process, make sure that you do not cancel with your former hosting provider. It would also be a good idea to keep the transfer under wraps as old hosts may prematurely terminate your site, creating potential downtime. Pick a website host that is serious about their performance and reliability. If you can find a host that offers free site migration, you’re in luck, but often this is a difficult task.

Migrate Your Site

After you have obtained a hosting account with your new provider, you should begin the process of migrating your entire site from the old host to the new one through connecting to the provider’s file transfer protocol (FTP) and downloading all applicable files. Once this process is complete, connect to the new provider’s FTP and upload the same files. Often, website hosting providers will complete this process for you. If that is the case, they will go through a process of confirming control panel logins, obtain information about the existing web host provider, and tackle the task.

Backup and Restore

An individual can successfully transfer website databases through utilizing a backup from the old host and uploading these files to the new host. The host will have instructions on how to backup data if you are unsure of the process. Restoration of a website’s database can be done via a secure shell access (SSH). While emails do not normally transfer unless your old host used cPanel, they can be archived through your previous provider and downloaded to your local computer by making a POP3 connection to each email address.

Change the DNS

After your have obtained a copy of your website on both website hosting accounts, the domain name system (DNS) of your site’s domain needs to be changed. The new host will provide the correct name servers and settings that will be used for your domain name. If you are purchasing a domain name from the new hosting provider, they often make DNS changes for you. Some web hosting providers will offer free transfer and reveal for the life of the hosting account with them.

Finalize the Transfer

Upon changing the DNS, the website will load from the new hosting provider. Your DNS will begin propagating throughout the world and become fully functional after the process is complete. Test the functionality of your website to ensure all aspects are working. Once this is confirmed, you can contact the old website host provider to cancel that account. Ensure that if you bought your domain name from the previous provider that you do not cancel the domain registration.

This is all that is required to transfer a website to another hosting provider. It can be completed primarily by the site owner, or through the assistance of the new website host. If you choose the leave the migration work to your new host, many hosting companies will help transfer the data to their server for free if you provide key data such as the host name, cPanel login, and FTP login.

The bottom line is that while making a switch to a new website host provider can be difficult and stressful, it may be the most viable option if you are stuck in a rut. The switch should not be unbearably troublesome and if thought about in simple terms, only entails a series of backups, downloads, and uploads. There are numerous third party companies that can also aide in this process if you are uncomfortable with completing it yourself.