How to transfer a site to another host (without downtime or problems)?

Transferring a website from one web host to another does not have to be very complicated, but every step must be carried out with care and attention to avoid any problems. There are several reasons why you might want to perform such a procedure. Overall, the goal is to improve the quality of your platform for your audience.

If you have never had the opportunity to do such a process, it can be a little destabilizing at first, that’s why we will guide you step by step in order to successfully migrate your website!

Looking for a new host

Obviously if you want to move your website from one host to another: you need a new one. Several reasons may explain this change. Firstly, a question regarding price and secondly because you are not satisfied with your current offer.

Otherwise, the quality or options that the new host offers may be more suitable for your needs. In any case, you should always have a good reason to switch hosting, because it remains an expensive process and moving remains a reliable, but still delicate process.

free immigration

Check if free migration is not available

Many hosts will likely offer to help you migrate your website to them. This can be paid or free, which is especially the case They have many plans and if you contact support they are often very helpful in helping you move to them. Otherwise, it can be a paid service or it would be better to do it yourself.

Perform backups

Perform backups

The first step is to back up all your data that is still in place on your old host. It’s a matter of restoring your entire site so you can put it back in place similarly to your new host.

In general, the majority of hosts use the Cpanel tool that allows you to access the FTP view to copy all the files there. Save these files to your computer or an external hard drive because you will then have to send them to your new host. Please pay attention to the initial tree structure.

Database Backup

If files in general often contain your website’s configurations, design, or type of platform you’re using (like WordPress for example). Your site content as well as user information (if they have an account on your site) are included in the databases.

The easiest way to Make a backup Is to login to PhPMyAdmin if you are using MySQL (which is 95% of users, and if you are using something else like pgAdmin for PostgreSQL you should probably have no problem figuring out how to back up the database).

This graphic interface has the option to save a table or a database directly. So use the second option and then save these files to your computer or again to an external disk.

Transfer data to your new host

Time to head over to your new host to import your site. If the latter has a Cpanel, then you can do everything with it. I first imported files recorded via FTP previously. Depending on your new host, you will have to save them (again via FTP) in the “www”, “public_html” folder, or a different directory. So please read the documentation on this topic or contact the new host directly.

You will then have to restore your database, this is technically done via Cpanel with a single click by clicking Import Database. Otherwise, this procedure can also

Make sure everything is in its proper place

Now that your website has been moved to your new host, it’s important to connect to it “locally” to see that you’ve restored everything back to default as it was on your old host.

If you notice any differences, don’t panic. Try to analyze what has changed and what is happening or even contact support so they can point you on the right track. Also, don’t be afraid to delete everything and start over. After all, you still have your files on your old host and technically you saved them to your computer (or an external hard drive). So you can try to restore your site as many times as you want.

Don’t be afraid to fail or even run tests, which is precisely why this stage exists as well as moving your site from one host to another.

Update DNS

Now that you’ve confirmed that your site is running on your new host, it’s time to make it available to your visitors. In fact, it always redirects to the old host because you haven’t yet properly modified DNS.

You will have to remove the DNS on your old host and redirect it to the server IP address of your new host. However, this step may take several hours for the DNS to be updated, making your site unavailable during this time. For small startups, this isn’t necessarily impactful, but for larger companies, a few minutes of downtime can cost a lot of money.

Use failover IP addresses to avoid downtime

So, there is a solution to avoid the problems of your website not being available due to a DNS update: it is an IP failure. This method applies in many cases, but you don’t need shared hosting (you need a server IP address for your site).

This consists of using an IP address that can be configured on several servers at the same time. So if the server is unavailable, the users will be redirected to others. So it will be necessary to use this mechanism on your old host and your new host. So, when you deactivate your old host thanks to the IP fail-over scheme, the new host will take over.

This is of course a temporary solution during DNS propagation so as not to make your website unavailable.

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