Just like how there are plenty of reasons why people move houses, your reasons for moving your entire website maybe due to plenty of external and internal factors. Whatever your reasons are, it is good to know that the act of displacing your website does not have to be too complex and instead, requires only a few simple steps.
Let us discuss the steps to transfer a website to another host below:
Select a New Web Hosting Service Provider
If you have decided to cancel your current hosting provider’s services, chances are, you already know what features are important when selecting your next web hosting company. Double check to make sure that the new web hosting company can meet the needs and demands of your business and customers.
Backup the Website Files and the Database
Not only should you backup everything, you should also name all your folders wisely so as to not lose track of everything that you are storing. Use a FTP program to backup/transfer files from your hosting account to your computer.
If you are looking for a free FTP program, I strongly recommend FileZilla. It’s a free and features-rich FTP program favored by many website owners.
Transfer Domain Name
Now, it’s time for you to transfer your domain name to your new registrar which is usually your new web hosting provider. Don’t worry, they will help you with the transfer process. Good web hosting companies such as GreenGeeks will even help you with the transfer for free.
Upload the Website Files
While the domain name is being transferred, you can proceed to upload your files to your new host. It is advisable to do this even before the domain name transfer, so that your website is all ready after the transfer.
Restore the Database
Restore your old database by creating a new database with the same name. After that, use the backup file to restore the database tables.
Monitor the New Site
Once the domain name has been successfully transferred, the whole process is mostly done. But you should check and make sure the website is properly moved. Not only should you click around to make sure all the pages are loading up correctly, but you should also check that all your scripts, services and applications are also working well.
Tips to take note
- Just in case, procrastinate on terminating your account at your former web hosting service provider until you are sure that your new provider works perfectly.
- The general rule of thumb would be to leave your old site up and running for an extra four weeks before you permanently shut it down, including email forwarding and web pointing services.
- FTP utilities are a useful tool when it comes to downloading all of your files from your web host into your computer. You can download and use a free FTP tool called FileZilla.
- Upon subscribing to a new provider, the first thing you should do is to learn how their Control Panel operates. We recommend looking for a web host which provides cPanel control panel.
- While moving your domain is a pretty big deal, the whole task does not have to be completed in a whole day. Consider moving your files in series and place more emphasis on being organized, rather than being much too quick for your own good.
- To double check that your domain name has been successfully transferred, run a Domain Name Search such as Whois.net and verify that details of your previous host are now replaced with details of your new host.
- Websites may alter in terms of appearance whenever they are transferred because the original files were not completely transferred from one provider to the other. Be prepared to add and delete some codes or scripts to correct the changes.
- Always be sure to inform your customers in advance that you are moving your website, especially when your website experiences downtime from 24 to 72 hours during the change in DNS.
- It may seem redundant, but backing up all your files is better than finding out that all of your work is gone. So, always make sure you have the latest backups before you start the transferring process.
- Never make a DNS change until you are one hundred percent sure that your site is bug-free.
Web Hosting Recommendation
If you need a recommendation on a good web hosting company, we strongly advise you to check out GreenGeeks. They are the number one green energy web hosting company.
GreenGeeks’ web hosting starts at $4.95 a month (before the instant discount with our coupon code *), and you get an unlimited hosting plan which includes features such as unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, the ability to host an unlimited number of websites under a single account, and unlimited email accounts. The hosting plan also includes the following for FREE:
- Free domain name for life
- Free site migration/transfer
- Free marketing credits
- Free website builder and web templates
* Use the coupon code “100WH” to get US$30 off the web hosting plan.