Often times when transferring to a new hosting provider your old website, many of us find it to be a very complicated process. When the website is finally transferred to a new hosting provider, we find ourselves dealing with error issues that occur due to improper configuration or files upload. So that the transfer process went smoothly and without incidents, it is necessary to evaluate and discuss a lot of options. Website Admin with the supervision of the Tech Support of old hosting server are responsible for a successful website transfer.
Things to consider before the transfer:
- Accesses you will not be able to carry out the website transfer plan without access to the admin panel, FTP, hosting panels, databases, domain control panel. Of course, all of these data (except for the domain control panel), you can get with only access-control panel as described in the “Access” section of this document.
- Site information important point is the information about what kind of CMS is used on the old website. It is also important to know the attendance, the trend of traffic growth, the parameters of the current host (server).
- Information on the causes of migration of the website you need to find out what exactly is a good reason for transfer to a new server, whether it is that you as a customer are not satisfied with the current hosting provider. Some of the good reasons could be: there were problems with the accessibility of the site, with the site’s loading speed, current hosting provider is too expensive / cheap.
- Information about the old / new hosting In order to select the hosting service, you will need at least to know what parameters are in a given host. Hosting types should be considered: unix-hosting, windows-hosting, VDS / VPS, dedicated server, and what are the server’s settings. Technical data: how many domains and websites, the amount of disk space, and more. Follow instructions in “Hosting” section of the document when selecting a hosting provider.
- Mail client It is necessary beforehand to ask what kind of e-mail boxes are used. During the move, you can accomplish migration several ways:
- Do not use the mail domain as during the change of DNS (including mx-records), some messages may be lost.
- Go to an alternate e-mail (private boxes).
- Move corporate e-mail to Yahoo or Google (and the appearance of the box will not change, just change the settings). This is the most time costly solution.
- Agree with everyone on the transfer time to avoid unpleasant incidents and ambiguities during and / or after the transfer, please check with appropriate people within your organization and plan the date of the transfer.
The transfer procedure:
- Merge files Site To merge files can take some time which can be estimated in advance by going to the File Manager and looking at the usage space. Usually it takes between half an hour to overnight. It is much better and time effective to move an archive, which we can be generated using backup tools in the hosting panel.
- Order Now while merging files, you can purchase hosting. It is assumed that we have chosen a hosting provider, discussed the adequacy of resources and package options with tech support hosting price for the selected rate we have agreed. Maybe you would prefer just to use hosting for certain test period to see its functionality and if it meets your needs. If this is the case, you may want to consider paying for hosting only for a few months. If you are definite about hosting provider, then hosting can be prepaid in advance for a couple of years.
- Move the files of the site to a new hosting create FTP access to your hosting. Using FTP client upload archived file (or files) to the hosting.
- Connect domain hosting panel In order to change DNS records on the new hosting, DNS has to point to that hosting. To access DNS manager, follow instructions in the “Access” section of this document.
- Export / Import Database Usually hosting providers provide a convenient interface to import / export / backup databases. But, if import/export cannot be performed via Control Panel, then PMA (phpmyadmin) tool can be used to perform this task. If importing a database fails because of an unsupported format dump (typically it is .sql or .gzip or .zip file) on the new host, you can try backup your database on the old host in a supported format.
- Setting the config site after all the files have been downloaded and the database has been imported successfully, you can make changes in the config site on a new server. May require special configuration options, such as specifying custom host to connect to the database server, or custom pathway to store temp files and cache. This information can be found in the panel itself or send a request directly to the Website Admin.
- Checking the operation of the site before changing DNS records We have a chance to see how the site works on the new hosting without changing the DNS (and the A-record) domain. You can use the so-called test (service) link that is generated at the time of ordering hosting. If that is not the case, then you can request technical support an IP address of the server that hosts the site and locally customize it to display the transferred site on your computer. For this, you will need to open windows/system32/drivers/ets/hosts file with the notepad and we type in a string «ip_server_address newdomain.com”, eg 22.214.171.124 www.vitalyonline.com. Now when entering www.vitalyonline.com in your browser we will see the website that is stored under the IP of the new server, such as 126.96.36.199. It would be impossible to test all the functionality of the site properly, but it would be possible to check the styles and how the website is rendered in the browser, to ensure that everything is properly configured.
- Update the DNS records After the basic functionality of a new website on the new server has been verified, DNS A-records should be updated at this time. It takes up to 24 hours for DNS records to properly propagate through the Internet. While DNS records are propagated, users could be notified that the website is down for maintenance.
- Setting and adjustment of the new hosting site At this point, we do finishing work on the website by inspecting its full functionality. Order form, send requests, work admin panel, adding images, new sections, editing content should be tested. In general, we test everything, to make sure that our transfer has been successful. It should be noted that at each step can inquire some problems, which takes time (sometimes significantly a lot of time) to find solutions for. Therefore, the whole process should be accompanied by the communication with tech support and Website Admin.