If you are not completely satisfied with the performance or services offered by your current host, it may be time to consider finding a new one and changing your host. Transferring a site to a new web hosting service is not that complicated in itself , as long as you don’t manage a site withthousands pages or email accounts and a database data huge.
It can be relatively straightforward if you take the right steps. Moreover, transferring mail accounts should not be an ordeal if you choose the right web host, some with even the services migration of accounts !
Follow the guide for a quick tutorial explaining how to properly prepare for a migration to a new web host and how to change host while keeping your domain name!
Choose a web host with free migration
Web hosting is an extremely competitive industry and as such, many web hosts offer free help in switching from a hosting service to one of their plans. This means you can transfer all of your files, email accounts, and databases to the new host, without having to do the heavy lifting, for free. Why deprive yourself of it?
In most cases, all you need to do is request a transfer after opening an account with the new provider, and their technical team will normally take care of the rest.
The migration experts at your new web hosting service can transfer your data by creating a new account on your web server’s control panel – if your new host uses the same control panel system. If not, they’ll probably have to do it manually, which is more work for them, but can be completed in a matter of days, depending on the size of your site. Consideration payment may be required to cover manual work required by the technical team!
Regardless of the method, you will want to use a quality provider who can ensure a smooth transition without service disruption and who will be able to migrate your additional services such as your mailbox (es). .
Here are our favorite hosts who offer hassle-free migration assistance in 2021:
WPX Hosting : Transfer of all your free domains! WPX Hosting takes care of transferring all your domains for you for free.
WP Server : Offers a free migration service for all new customer accounts. Service valid for 1 site only and the request must be made during the first month following registration.
PlanetHoster : Offers free migration on their Hybrid Cloud offer if your site (s) use a cPanel.
Siteground : Siteground gives you 1 free migration and charges you $ 33 per additional site. They have just released their migration plugin to transfer your sites yourself but it is not yet fully developed in our opinion and the plugin will not work if you do not have the possibility to update them. file permissions on your original hosting!
O2Switch : only valid when subscribing to a unique O2switch web hosting offer with transfer of an associated domain name. Only in the 30 days preceding a registration!
Hostpapa : Free site migration, without limitations, for all new accounts / customers!
Move your site yourself to a new host
If your new host doesn’t offer migration assistance, or if you prefer to do it yourself, you should be able to move your website files without too much technical knowledge. Now is a good time to employ the skills of your in-house IT staff, who likely have experience with backing up and transferring files.
If you don’t have skilled staff to handle a transfer, see our in-depth tutorial on manual wordpress site migration .
Many web hosts also have extensive documentation with step-by-step guides on migrating your website.
Choose a new web hosting (before canceling the old one)
There are many reasons why you might want to change your host, whether it’s the price factor that drives you, the different features offered, a need for increased performance, or more knowledgeable and responsive customer support. It’s about knowing which aspects of web hosting are most important to the individual or business, and whether those features are available with the current web host.
For some people, the level of customer service is a high priority. For others, price is a primary consideration. It is wise to consider your needs here and take stock when considering a change of web host.
If you find yourself weighing your options, identify your reasons for moving your business elsewhere.
Some aspects generally taken into consideration include the performance of the security system, the storage space of the server, the mailbox and e-mail functions, the uptime, the performance and the availability of the control panels… Many Web hosts have comparable offers, but some of them invest more in certain features than others. Ask yourself which characteristics are essential for you, then make your decision based on the answers obtained.
If you know you want to change your web host, but you’re not sure which provider you should select, consider our recommendations for the best shared hosting , VPS , and / or dedicated server plans .
Back up your website files and databases
After purchasing your new hosting plan and before canceling your old plan, you will need to back up your entire website and move it to your new server.
Download all your files from the old host. They should have specific instructions for doing this and then migrate them to the new host via FTP or SSH. Databases should also be backed up by uploading the files and then restoring the database using a control panel or SSH. Emails can sometimes be forwarded, but they should at least be archived so that they can be preserved in case something goes wrong. This step is crucial to maintain the integrity of your site as it was on the old server.
Not all hosts necessarily offer Cpanel for security reasons or by choice. If you are not sure which files to back up, a tip kindly ask customer support who will be able to advise you the best!
Transfer the DNS registration of your domain to your new host
When you switch to a new web host, your DNS (Domain Name System) server also changes. DNS tells the user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) where the site’s files are located and directs the connection to your site so it can load in their browser.
After migrating files and databases from your website to the new host, you will need to ask the provider from whom you purchased your domain name (registrar) to make the change. Remember to contact your new host to get the new DNS information to give to the old host. This change typically takes 24 to 48 hours (up to two days on average. This is called the propagation delay) to take effect, after which your site will load from the new host.
You also always have the option of testing your site before changing your DNS by modifying your host file. Ask your new host to provide you with the configuration details of your host file to test your site before changing the DNS! This saves you some hassle in the event of any glitches during the migration.
Perform a final check on the “live” site once the DNS change request has been accepted.
You’ve completely migrated your site and changed your DNS name, what now?
It is essential here to carry out a meticulous quality control of your site and installation to make sure that no files are missing. Once you cancel your account with the old host, there is no guarantee that you will get these files back, so make sure everything is working fine before leaving your old host.
Go through every page of the site and review all the files and databases you have transferred in great detail.
Cancel your old hosting plan
The last step in changing the host is to close your account with the old host. Once you’ve made sure you have all of your files and databases, and changed your DNS record, this last step should be a formality.
Changing web hosting is not that complicated!
Changing your host should be seen as a simple update. The complexity of the process depends above all on the size of your site and the additional features used. If you have several email accounts for example, you will need to be vigilant following your migration, to ensure that your emails work perfectly.
Use these web host reviews to determine which web hosting providers offer the features that matter most to you.