Most web hosts out there are good at marketing their services. They are going to shower you with advertisements that claim extremely low-priced plans even with big declarations of 100% up time and “unlimited” everything. But things aren’t as claimed once you have signed up for their hosting plans. You can suffer from frequent downtime or the customer support not responding to your requests. Eventually, it is your website and your business that gets affected, and you find yourself locked-in with a poor quality web host in an annual plan.
But it is not the end of the road. You can migrate your website to a better web host. Here is how to do it.
How To Transfer Website From One Host To Another?
Buy a New Web Hosting Plan
It goes without saying that it should be a genuinely high quality wordpress hosting plan as listed here. Don’t go for the cheapest, but something that is reasonably priced and offers everything to more than meet your current requirements. Check out detailed information on Free Blog Hosting or Paid Blog Hosting – Which is better?
As a precaution always register your domain through a third party provider. The advantage of this strategy is that the next time you think of making a switch, your domain could be easily taken along and without any potential problems.
Backup your Website
The second step will be to backup your website to the new web host. If you have a static website, it will be easier to copy it. It will have files that don’t change frequently. In order to backup, all you have to do is copy the old file structures to the new web hosting service. Also check our top 5 tips to choose the best wordpress hosting plan.
If you have a dynamic website, it will have a database. You will have to install its web applications to the new host. Then you could copy the database file. Some web apps provide easier transfer so that you could directly move all the data files to the new web host. However, if such functionality is not supported by your application, it will be essential to make changes to the MySQL and PHP config files. If you are not tech-savvy, get it done with the help of a professional who knows how to.
Make a Check Before Moving
Check and ensure that your website has been properly loaded onto the new web hosting configuration. For testing purpose, you could previous your website through a temporary URL. Depending on the new hosting company, you could also use their platform for previewing the site before making it live.
Switching DNS Records
The next step will be to switch your site’s DNS record to the new web hosting provider’s servers at the registrar. In simple terms, DNS record consists of instructions that mention where to send the users. When you move your DNS record to your new web hosting provider, it will help your visitors find your website. otherwise, they will only come cross a misdirect or error. Because this is an important step, it is essential that you use the right information from your new web hosting.
You should wait for some time to let the DNS changes to take effect. When the DNS records are moved, it can take anything from just a few hours to 24 hours for it to come into effect. When the switching takes effect, make sure to inform your earlier hosting provider about cancellation of services.
This will complete the migrating task for your website to a new web host. Once you have moved your site to the new host, you may want to set up your email addresses. If your emails are currently pointing to a third party web mail service such as Gmail, update your MX records in the control panel. Set the Remote Mail Exchange option.
There is no need to create email accounts on the servers because they are residing on a third-party server. But you can also migrate your existing emails from the current host to your new web host servers. Also check how to choose shared web hosting plan? This will provide you the information to know the best shared hosting plans.
You will have to follow the new web host’s instructions for setting up your email account through POP3/SMTP. These instructions will vary from one host to another. Aliases, forwarding and autoresponders can be set from the control panel. It is important to export all your contacts from the previous host and update your new mailing list application or website with the contacts.
Once you transfer website to new host, make sure to cancel your account with the old web host. A typical web host will make it quite difficult to cancel an account. It will require some persistence to get them to cancel the account and refund your outstanding money. It is recommended not to inform them about your move until you have made the DNS changes. If it is not a big amount, you can let the account to remain active.