What You Need to Know Before Switching to a New Web Hosting Provider

Switching to a new web hosting service is a last resort measure for most website owners. Such a decision might be due to many factors from frequent server downtimes to poor customer service. But even so, many website owners still do not prefer switching to a new host because they presume this migration to be a difficult and time-consuming task.

Ironically, it isn’t.

Migrating to a new host’s server isn’t what you should be concerned about. The host you choose to migrate to should be the concern. Finding the right host requires you to do some research. The services offered by various hosts may differ in nature. For instance, only a few hosting service providers offer domain registration services and support. If you need some pointers to choose the right web hosting service for your business, check out this blog.

That said, let’s get on with the topic at hand.

Once you home in on a reliable web host, you need to do just a few simple things to make sure there would be no issues after the migration.

Make sure your visitors know that your website may have downtime during migration

You can post a message on your website to let your visitors know that the site may go down for a short while during the transition to a new hosting service. Letting them know beforehand also conveys to them that you care enough to not trouble them. It’s a better approach than having the visitors come to your website during the downtime and become disappointed.

1. Perform a website backup

Migrating your website to a new hosting service can be risky, as in there’s a chance for loss of website files including images, scripts, plugins, HTML files etc. Therefore, it’s a good idea to secure the files by taking a backup on a different computer just in case. You can use an FTP to download the files and secure them.

2. Check email configuration

Once the migration is complete, you need to make sure there aren’t any changes in your email configuration. If the migration reconfigures your email, your email hosting service may fail when you least expect it.

3. Update the DNS

The migration will not be complete till you update your DNS and register it for the new hosting service. The new service provider will issue a temporary IP address for you to use till then. This IP address can also be used to check the functionality of your website, and whether it has kept all the files after the migration.

To change the domain name, you need to contact the domain registrar.

4. Check internal links

The next step is to ensure whether your website retained the internal links. All the links should work like they did before the migration. This is also a good time to check the log files to see if there are any errors.

5. Deactivate your old account

Once you have gone through all the steps above, test the website to see if it’s running exactly like it was before with all apps, plugins etc. in check. After this, you can deactivate your old account with the previous hosting provider. The account only has to be kept safe till the migration is successfully complete.