You’ve finally decided that it is time for a new host. It might feel like a bad breakup, but you know that it is for the best. Your website is going to thank you, but before you get too excited know this is a serious process. If your site’s migration is not done properly, your site could experience downtime and other problems that would keep you from servicing your customers.
Making sure that your site stays up and functioning throughout the transition is important, which is why it is important that when you move to a new hosting service, you are moving to a trustworthy host that will help you with migration. The follow 5 steps will help ensure that your move is as simple as possible.
1. Define Your Project’s Scope Right Away
There are different levels of migration and before you move, your new hosting company needs to understand what is happening. If you do not properly communicate with your hosting company, the process could be less than smooth.
Make sure to give any details that you can so your new host is able to accommodate you. Are you moving a single website or a whole server? Are there email addresses involved? How do you want these to be handled? Making sure that you have a clear understanding of what you want and what you do not want will enable your host to help you through the process.
If you have a large project, you should have a team working on it with you in case anything goes wrong. You don’t want any of your website’s parts and processes to fall through the cracks.
2. Ensure There’s Enough Space
When you are moving to a new host, you need to make sure that you get a hosting package that is large enough. If your hosting package is too small for what you want to achieve, your site is not going to function the way that you want it to.
Speak with your host about how big your site is, what your goals are and how you see yourself moving forward. Ask for their expert opinion and make sure that you have enough resources to achieve what you are going after. You want to make sure that not only do you have enough space for what you are currently hosting but you need to have at least 20% in additional space on the server so when your website is growing, you aren’t going to see a dip in performance.
3. Don’t Forget Your Email
If you don’t note that you need your company email moved, most providers are not going to bring that over with your site. This means you could lose valuable information and no longer be able to retrieve emails that you had hosted on your site. This could cause big problems if you had something important saved.
Asking about the movement of your email before you get started is important so that nothing is lost and so that there are no hidden costs you are going to find out about throughout the process.
4. Get Rid of Anything Unnecessary
It’s easy to amass unnecessary content on your website if you’ve had it for a long time. Before you move your site over, get rid of anything that you don’t need to transfer. The less that you have to transfer, the more likely you are going to have a smooth transition.
If you have cpanel installed, you can check your disk usage through cpanel to see what is taking up most of your site. Usually, video content can take up a lot of storage. You might be surprised how much space is being used by things that you don’t even need or may not even know are there.
Before you delete anything, make sure you know what it is. If you don’t recognize a file, it could still be something important. If you aren’t sure about what it is, make sure to ask a professional that will know whether you need it or not.
5. Update Sites Before Moving
Before you move your website, make sure it is up to date. It is likely that you are going to be moving to a more recent version of PHP and MySQL so if you update your site before moving, the transition will be much easier. If you have to make changes in the middle of your site’s migration, you could see some serious problems.
If you are using a CMS like WordPress for small business, make sure that you run any updates they have available before you move the site. This will make things simple for the team migrating your site so you can get the best possible service and keep your site running with minimal downtime.
6. Take A Back Up Of Your Site
As a final step, make sure that you have a back up of your site. This step is critical to protect your online business just in case anything goes wrong during the transfer. If you have a back up of the website and the server environment, including emails, you can always run you website. Therefore, take a backup of the online business assets before moving the website to a new environment.
Moving to a new hosting company can feel like buying a new house and in a sense, it is a new house. It houses your website and it is important that your new house is high quality with a helpful support team. When you are able to work with people that understand your needs and can help you through each step of the migration process, you can feel confident that your site has the right new home.
Make sure that you are responsive to your migration team throughout the move in case they need any additional information from you even though this is unlikely. Most moves are rather easy to do.