There are plenty of reasons to switch web hosting companies – it could be that you’ve found a better price, more extensive features, or a more reliable host. Whatever the reason, you don’t want to start from scratch with a brand new website build, particularly if you’ve put a bit of effort and money into your existing site.
Here’s what you need to know:
Sign up to a new web host
We can’t stress this enough: don’t try to transfer your existing website without signing up to a new web hosting company first. Not only do you risk downtime for your website while you’re between providers, but your new web host will often provide essential technical support to get you through the trickier aspects of the move.
Save your existing website files
If you want to set everything up with your new web host exactly as it is with your existing provider, then you need to have digital copies of everything on the site. That include web pages, images and videos, graphics, audio files… the whole works.
Importing and exporting your database
You may or may not need to complete this step, depending on how your website is set up. If your website uses databases and you want it to work the same way on your new host’s server, you will need to export your old database, open a new database with your new provider, and import the data.
Modify and upload your files
You’ve saved your files, which is good, but you need to sync them up with your new hosting provider. When the hosting package has been set up, you will be able to login to your cPanel and upload the files to the new location.
Test your website
Once everything has been transferred to your new server, it’s time for the laborious task of checking your site through a browser. This means checking every page, clicking every link, running every analysis tool, and more. It’s time-consuming, but essential. If you don’t spot an error, you can be sure one of your customers will.
Update your DNS settings
DNS (or Domain Name System) is the method by which IP addresses are converted into domain names. When you change web host, your IP address changes too, so you need to update this information.
Leave it to the professionals
If that sounds like a lot of hard work, then it probably is. Why not let your new web hosting company take care of the transfer process for you? Here at NetNerd, for instance, all we need is access to you old provider’s control panel and our experts will handle the rest.