Moving a website from one hosting provider to another is quite similar to switching homes. You need to have a great plan in place for the migration to be successful and to ensure that nothing is broken in the process.
Are you displeased with your current host and want to switch to a more reliable one to accommodate your growing business needs? This post is for you.
Here, we share the various dos and don’ts of a successful site migration process. And if you haven’t decided on your new host yet, we recommend that you consider Godaddy or Hostgator. For more details, check out this decent comparison of the two web hosts which MangoMatter Media compiled just recently.
The dos of a successful site migration
Back up your site files
Before you can initiate any process during site migration, it’s incredibly crucial to have all your current data backed up and stored in a safe place. The same should be done to your database, as well as any emails accumulated over time. The idea is to maintain the integrity of your website so that nothing from your old host is lost in the process of moving it.
Anticipate and accept that challenges are inevitable
While site migration between hosts doesn’t have to be a daunting task, it can prove complex if you do not have the right guidance and information. In most cases, it might lead to a loss of traffic while your SEO may suffer for some time. The good thing, however, is that the effects only last for a short time if you know your way around and understand how the process works. Familiarize yourself with your new host, and also take some time to learn what you need to do at your current hosting account to successfully transfer your website.
Choose and pay for your new web host
The fact that you are moving your site means you already have crucial features you’re looking for in the new hosting provider. You certainly don’t want to jump from the frying pan and onto the fire by making a wrong decision at this point.
For starters, ensure that your new host has reliable servers and stable connections; you should even go ahead to confirm this from their uptime statistics. Besides, inquire about their refund policies, customer support, pricing for their plans, and the number of domains you can host under different plans. If you are convinced that everything is fine, then go ahead and purchase a plan from them.
Only cancel your current host after setting up and testing the new one
A common mistake that webmasters make during site migration is informing their current hosting provider about their planned course of action ahead of time. Doing so could result in an immediate cancellation, which means your site goes offline until the move to your new host is complete. So, before requesting a cancellation, ensure that your website is already live on your new hosting account and that you have tested everything for a smooth move.
The don’ts of site migration
Trying to complete the whole process on your own
Unless you have substantial experience of moving websites, we highly recommend that you seek professional help for your site migration process. The good thing is most web hosts are willing to help if your site doesn’t have too many pages to move. If you run a huge site, chances are high that you can afford to hire your own experts for minimal interference with your site’s SEO and website structure.
Moving site too quickly
No matter how urgent it feels to migrate your site to a new host, never try to rush things as the entire process may backfire badly on you. Site migration takes time and effort, and you will almost always break a few things in the process. Before going live and showcasing your business to the world, be sure to test it thoroughly for any errors and inaccuracies.
Removing your tracking codes
If you’re already running marketing campaigns and using tracking codes to gather useful information about your business, the last thing you want to do is to remove them from your site during migration. Find a way to keep them live and secure any data collected from them over time. Your ability to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing activities should not be interfered with just because you’re migrating to a new provider.
Are you planning to switch hosts but finding it difficult to decide your next course of action? Please let us know what you’re struggling with in the comments below.
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