Website Migration 101: How to Move Your Business’ Website to a New Host

With 330.6 million domain names registered across top-level domains and almost 2 billion websites online, website migration is a hot topic. While it would be great if we were able to keep our first hosting provider, that isn’t always ideal.

Low uptimes, unreliable customer service, slow server speed and more can prompt a blog hosting change. Instead of staying with less than impressive service, we transfer our domain name to a new host in hopes the service will be more to our liking.

Continue reading this article to learn how to move a website from one hosting service provider to another.

Easy Website Migration Steps

If you’re using a hosting provider that doesn’t focus on serving websites in Ireland, you could be missing out on major benefits. Hosting your site on servers in Ireland allows for faster services for your website visitors in Ireland. Here’s how to migrate your website.

1. Prepare Your Site for Transfer

Before you try to move your website, you need to make sure it’s prepared for a move. The less you have to move, the better because it reduces the number of errors likely to take place. If you have photos or pages on your site that are excess baggage, get rid of them before the move.

2. Purchase Your New Web Hosting

When you are ready to move your website, you choose the best hosting for your needs. The choices you have are shared hosting, VPS (virtual private server) and dedicated hosting.

If you aren’t sure of the differences between these hosting options, here is a quick breakdown, so you understand.

Shared hosting is when you share a server and all its resources with many other people. If your website is small and won’t get a lot of visitors, this can be a low-cost and viable option for you.

VPS is similar to shared hosting, but think of it like a pie where you get a slice and no one can put their fingers in your pie.

Dedicated hosting means you get the entire server to yourself. If your website is extremely popular and getting a lot of visitors, dedicated hosting may be for you. Dedicated hosting is the most expensive type of hosting and unless you are getting a lot of visitors already, VPS is likely to be enough for you.

Once you have your hosting secured, it’s time to begin the actual work of moving your website to your new host. If your new host has a free migration service, you can skip all of these steps. For now, we’ll assume you’ll have to do the whole job on your own.

3. Move Website Files, Databases, and Email Accounts

Download everything you want to transfer. Don’t miss any of your website files, databases or email addresses. You need to transfer everything to ensure your site works properly. Even with everything downloaded and transferred, there could be some problems.

4. Check and Troubleshoot Any Problems

Once you transfer your website, don’t assume everything went smoothly. Even if you go to your website homepage and it looks good, there could be some problems deeper in your site. While it might be time-consuming and even annoying, you need to check every post, page and link on your website to make sure it’s working properly.

If you find challenges within your site, you may need to do some research to find out how to fix errors. If you have a good web hosting provider, they’re usually keen on pointing you in the direction of a viable solution.

5. Fix Broken Navigation or Errors

You’re likely to find some problems during your site check. Make sure to note each problem and check to see how many pages are affected. The sooner you get your site fixed, the better since you don’t want Google and other search engines to try to index your site and come up with a lot of errors.

6. Design a Helpful 404 Page

In case you’ve deleted pages on your site that people have bookmarked, you need to create a helpful 404 page. Visitors may even improperly type a link, but you need to have a 404 page that will direct them back to a helpful page.

Some websites choose to use funny 404 pages. You might want to use it as an opt-in or discount opportunity. Whatever you choose, make sure it will give people a feel of your brand and a positive experience.

Your 404 pages should be light so they load quickly. Helpful links and playful images can lessen the annoyance of ending up on a broken page.

7. Switch DNS Records and Wait for Propagation

It’s now time to head over to your domain register. You need to change the DNS from your old hosting to your new DNS where your files are now hosted. It usually takes around up to 48 hours for the propagation to go through.

There isn’t anything your domain registrar or hosting provider can do to speed up this part of the process. If the propagation hasn’t taken place within 48 hours, you should contact your domain registrar to make sure you’ve put the information in the correct fields.

Benefits of Having the Best Website Hosting Available

When doing business online, you need to use every competitive advantage available to you. One of the things you need to do is be sure your website hosting is the best money can buy.

Failing to use a good hosting provider could mean a loss in revenue and a loss of visitor trust and respect. If your website is up and down, your website rankings may suffer as well.

A less-than-stellar host can also leave your site vulnerable to online attacks and malware. If your site is infected with malware that can cause big problems for your website and your visitors.

When you have a good website, there are plenty of benefits you will enjoy which include:

Customer service is a key benefit when you use a great host. The best hosting providers will help you if your website is experiencing challenges. You should be able to get in contact with customer support without going through a lot of trouble.

Reliability is paramount to the success of your website. A great host will ensure your website is up and running when you need it most — all of the time!

Security for your website and your visitors is a must. A high-quality hosting company will offer the best security for your site, so it isn’t affected by malware or malicious attacks.

Data recovery if something goes wrong can save you hours of time. When your host does automatic backups, your files are safe, and your website can be up and running quickly if anything bad happens.

Email and domains should be easy to use, and they are when you secure the best hosting available online.

The benefits to having top-of-the-line hosting are plentiful. Two of the important things your hosting should provide are high uptime and site speed. Continue reading as we explain the importance of these two key benefits.

The Importance of Uptime and Site Speed

You might not be sure if you want to go through a website migration. It’s understandable you want to avoid going through extra work, but with the latest updates from Google, your site can’t bear to have a slow load time.

53% of visitors abandon slow websites, and since Google is in the business of providing its visitors with the best experience possible, they don’t reward slow sites. The slower your site, the less likely you are to show up at the first of Google search results.

If your website is an eCommerce store with heavy traffic, you could lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars in sales even with a short site server outage. If your site goes down a lot, you are already in a position where you need to change your hosting provider.

Make sure you read your hosting provider’s uptime estimation. If the site says they offer a 99.999% uptime that means you will only experience five minutes of downtime. 99.99% means 53 minutes of downtime a year, and 99.9% means 8 hours and 45 minutes of downtime a year.

The more your website is down, the more opportunities you lose. Even if your site didn’t go down, but it was just slow, visitors might think it is down. If your website doesn’t load quick enough, it is a sign of low-quality, and your visitors won’t be impressed.

A well designed, fast loading and easy to navigate site is a vital part of your company’s branding. Don’t try to cut corners on your hosting service when you want to provide the best user experience to your visitors.

Providing the Best Experience for Your Website Visitors

While it might be extra work to go through a website migration, it’s worth it when you are able to provide a better user experience.

Don’t wait around to get the best hosting. Check out our hosting packages today and let us help you through the process.