A web host is a critical component when running your website. That is why you must take the time to get the right one for you. The provider should give you enough bandwidth to make the running of your website smooth. Anyone who is on your site should have a good user experience, meaning fast loading speeds and easy navigation. You also want additional security by being able to buy an SSL certificate or enjoy other third-party security features from the provider.
However, sometimes, you may be forced to change the host server due to a wide variety of reasons. You want a smooth transition, without disrupting the running of your site. We would be lying if we said the process will always go smoothly; sometimes, things may go wrong. But, with a little planning and preventive measures, you can overcome some of the challenges.
We will share with you the things you need to remember when changing hosting your server in our article below.
Backup Your Website
In the running of your website, you will collect a lot of data that is essential for your day-to-day operations. You take all the necessary measures to ensure its safety, and that is why backing up the information is a critical aspect of the day-to-day operations. You must never change your hosting provider without backing up your data. While you can set up automatic backup, sometimes the best way to do it is manual. A manual backup will take care of any issues that may arise due to incompatibility between your new and old web hosting provider.
You will need a database import to perform the backup and the change. One of the best is the MySQL database migration.
Find About the New Web Hosting Provider
You must find out everything you can about the new provider before making the switch. One critical element to look at is whether there will be any compatibility issues with what you currently have. Look at factors such as FTP client, DNS information, EPP code and any other server information that may interfere with the transfer of your domain to the new server.
Also, take into consideration the financial aspects. If, for example, you are going for the free ones, you will save by not spending any money. However, this experience might be unpleasant due to promotional ads, inability to customize, insufficient bandwidth, among others. The new host should also give you fantastic technical support so that you can quickly overcome any challenges that may arise. Other things you need to have at the back of your mind include:
- Back-end support such as coding, server operating system, supported technology among others.
- The bandwidth that the web host provider will have an advantage. some have fixed while others are unlimited.
- How you can access the technical support. You should ideally have more than one avenue including phone, chat, email among others.
- Ability to upgrade or downgrade plans as per your requirements.
- The location of the hosting server. It is important to note that the location will determine the user experience on the website. The farther it is from where you are, the longer it will take for your browsers to load.
- Does it offer cloud hosting – this is an essential component if you will be dealing with many countries.
You must also take the time to read customer reviews so that you get to know more about your new hosting provider. Look at how fast they respond to customer issues and what type of technical support they will offer.
Plan the Best Time to Move
It is proper etiquette to let your website users know that you are planning to move. It will prevent disappointments in a situation where the website visitors are not able to access certain parts of your website during the transition period. The best time to change the server is during the slow part of your day. You are best placed to know when you have the most traffic to your website and should therefore avoid such times.
You must ensure that you copy all your files correctly. Once you upload them onto the new host, you must do a test so that you ensure that it is running successfully. Use a temporary URL to do the test and have a checklist that guides your activities. Find a way to communicate with the audiences to update them with what is happening. If you have linked your social media pages to your website, you will have an excellent platform to communicate with your website visitors.
Once you are satisfied that everything is running as it should, change your DNS.Log and settings to your host’s account. The full transfer process can take up to 10 days. One thing you should not do is cancel your old host before you ensure that the new one is up and running efficiently. Give it a few days, in case of anything; you can still revert to the old host as you make the necessary changes.
Buy SSL Certificate
You will need to buy an SSL certificate to ensure that your data is safe. With so many incidences of cybercrime, you need to do all you can to ensure data safety, and that is why you need to buy an SSL certificate. A secure website will have the HTTPS and will give the visitors an indication that they can trust your site. You also get a better ranking on the search engines.
You must get the right web hosting provider for your website. It will determine the user experience, which will, in turn, attract visitors to your site. It also helps with the rankings on the search engines; a slow website will typically have a lower-ranking due to the poor user experience. Do your research about the new host provider so that you know everything they have to offer. Make sure you back up your files and buy an SSL certificate to keep your data safe.