This article is dedicated to all of our clients who decide to move/change/upgrade their web hosting. It contains information to help them through this difficult and arduous task. As simple as it may sound, there are many important steps that are crucial, miss one and you’re in trouble!
For whatever reason you need to migrate, whether your business has outgrown its current hosting, your current hosting is poor or you just feel like a change, follow these simple tips to reduce your headaches.
1. Find yourself a good web host and ensure that it can meet your needs. Check this wikiHow article to help you choose.
2. Ensure there is enough space and bandwidth to prevent down times and meet your needs. Also, make sure that there is enough support and an adequate number of email accounts and auto responders.
3. Back up all your files on your server to a few local storages (i.e. hard drive and DVDs). Make sure you also backup your entire database, email and other website files.
4. Upload your database and all files to the new server and be sure you retain the same file permissions and settings that were on the previous server so that you don’t end up with any scripting errors.
5. Ask your new web hosting service to test the database, scripts, and contact pages before making DNS changes.
6. Make a game plan for possible downtime as a result of updating the DNS to point to the new site location. Generally, it can take up to 2 days for all DNS servers to be updated.
7. Let your regular visitors and customers know of the planned upgrade to avoid putting anyone out
8. Do the migration when your website is the least busy!
9 . Reduce the likely downtime of your site and make DNS changes before moving the domain. Beforehand, make sure that your mail server is running properly on your new web host so that you don’t lose any important emails.
10. Take care if your web site is dynamic, delays on DNS update can cause complications. Some visitors may see the old site version while others can access the new one. To avoid any major issues, put up notification on a static page while the migration is being made. It’s possible to use a synchronisation tool to handle changes made to your old site.
11. Check and double check for any application incompatibility issues between new and old servers.
12. If you have more than one domain name to migrate, ensure you have enough time to spare when starting the migration process as the DNS updates may take hours or sometimes days.
13. Be sure that all redirects are working perfectly with the new hosting before terminating your contract with your old web host. You may like to keep both websites up and running concurrently for a period of time before cancelling your old contract as security for any unforseen issues that may arise.