How to Migrate a Website from One Server to Another

Feb 17,2021 by Nishant Nath
Migrate a Website

Posted by Swapnil Shukla

Are you happy where your website is being hosted? Well, it’s natural to be comfortable where you have been for so long. But what about when you will be running out of bandwidth or disk space. Once your website starts to scale up through all the verticals as well as horizontals it will be needing to get hosted that can fulfill all its requirements. So you have to be ready during the time of your website that you might be needing this migration.

Although it’s always a piece of good news when you are running out of disk space which shows that your website is getting popular. But people tend to start panicking even by the thought of migration. Yet there can be other reasons for website migration, so let’s explore them-

1. You are in need of more disk space or increased bandwidth

2. You are not satisfied with the service and customer support of your current web hosting provider

3. If your current web hosting provider is going out of business

4. If your current web hosting provider has decided to raise their hosting prices unnecessarily

Finding a faster host to support your outgrowing website is the best step to be taken at this point in time. There is no point in ignoring the fact that a web server can impact your business big time. Especially when you are observing the slowdown of the website performance as your witness then you can bet that you only need website migration.

But we wonder that what is the worrying factor here actually? The process of migration is quite simplified these days. You don’t need to consult anywhere when you have the experts to make you aware of all the facts. With time when you will get aquatinted with all the minute details of website server migration, you will realize the hidden possibilities you have in your business.

Majorly there are many myths that circle around, talking about the security threats of website migration. But it’s time to remove such myths by going through the steps or to say the checkpoints-

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#1. Take a backup

So the first and foremost step to be taken is to make a complete backup of your website. Let me assure you, taking a backup of your website is not at all big of a deal. So making a backup means keeping all the files and data more than 100% safe at a place of trust and accessibility. The backing up should be done in a way that it gets intact with the new hosting platform as quickly and smoothly as possible. If your website deals with a lot of databases, then you will be needing third-party software just to import it all to a safe place. That place can be your personal systems or your control panel. Control panels like cPanel, Plesk, etc. have a pre-installed backing up feature.

Generating full backups through this is like a cakewalk and you can even sign up for email notifications to receive all the updates in a timely. Never forget to download the compressed files of the backed up data. Apart from this, FTP is a better option for backing up all the databases and files. With the help of FTP just upload your files onto the new server. So get an FTP client and leave the rest on it.

#2. Adding domain and uploading files

It is the second and equally important step in the website migration procedure. When you are thinking of shuffling hosts, adding your website to the new server space is the most essential step to get going. In many cases, your web hosting provider might carry out the process of adding the domain of your website to their server space. Make sure you receive all the server information from your hosting provider’s side. All of this information is generally received through welcome emails and also ensures the transfer of all of your assets and hence makes everything official.

The process of transferring the files starts by installing all the web apps on your new server. Then it leads to the upload of the backup you created before. Once all of this gets over, reassure me whether the complete new hosting platform is ideal for your website or not.

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#3. Setting up the emails

Putting all focus on setting up your website can turn out to be a big mistake. Never forget to set up your emails on the new server. Understanding the importance of each of those official email shows the seriousness towards your business and to the scale, you want to take it. So try not to miss out on any email as it can lead to missing out on a potential client.

While setting up the email accounts make sure that the DNS (Domain Name System) is not switched. Your new host will be providing all the temporary information to log in to your accounts on the new server for the first time. Lay more stress on the POP settings while propagating DNS. But don’t forget to change the passwords after that as it may lead to any security threats.

#4. Checking out the tools of the new host

Different kinds of websites call for unique ways of migrating to a new server. Like a website developed on WordPress will be needing some special plugins for migrating to a new server. It is not necessary that a new web host comprises of all the important plugins and can thus hamper the migration process. All of this makes checking for the tools of your new host very crucial. If in case your current host or the new host doesn’t have the required plugin, then you can always take the help of the FTP. FTP makes the file transfer process even easier.

#5. Changing the DNS

You might be surprised to know that it is not a compulsion to change your DNS while migrating to a new server. You can use the last DNS as per your convenience. The problem is that the number of times you will be changing your hosting providers is way more. It’s not feasible to keep changing the domain name with which your website might have been registered. So let your DNS stay with the previous location where it had been registered initially. You just need to make sure that it directs to the new host when observed in the DNS settings. But if you want the changed DNS then your new hosting server will provide you the new DNS settings.

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#6. Testing and waiting phase

Never jump to conclusions just after migrating to a new server. Your website doesn’t need to respond the way you might have expected on the new server. Some of the new hosts demand additional changes to make your website feel at home. As it is the changed DNS settings take 48 hours to propagate. This time is needed to ensure whether all the servers have been updated or not. So take proper time before making your website online i.e. available to the public after migration. For websites dealing with interactive sections like blogs, forums, etc. then confirming that all the new content is being posted on the new website becomes more important.

#7. Shutting down the old one

When you are done with the testing and the waiting phase then to avoid any confusion make sure that you shut down the old hosting account. Check for all the email accounts whether they are getting access to the past email logs. Double-check for any activity if still being carried on the previous account.

Make sure you have received the suspension message like the above one.

Once all of this goes well, then get ready to experience the promised benefits of your new hosting provider. Website migration is a whole new transformation for your website in itself. We hope all the doubts regarding website migration might have been cleared now. If yes, then don’t waste a single minute and go for the migration with fingers crossed.

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