In an ideal world, your first host is your ride-or-die service provider. But for so many, their first web host is only a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
If you experience downtime and struggle to get anyone on the phone, it's time to start thinking about making the switch. But is it possible to move your website without getting a migraine?
Learning how to transfer web hosting from one company to another is more straightforward than your current host wants you to think. We'll show you when and how to move your website right here.
Four Signs It's Time to Find a New Host
If you’re like many people, you sign up for your hosting package because the price and simplicity appealed to you. But over time, the scales fell from your eyes, and you realized your budget host actually costs you much more than you pay in subscription fees.
Is it time to move your host? These four signs are strong indicators.
Downtime happens, but all solid hosts know it shouldn’t, so they work hard to make sure that downtime is a rare occurrence.
However, cheap web hosts tend to overload their servers, which causes excessive downtime. Your visitors will leave instantly if your site doesn’t load, and most won’t come back. Google will also notice your lag times and downtime, and it could negatively impact your SEO ratings.
If you’re running an e-commerce site, this means you could quickly lose hundreds or thousands of dollars.
2. They Don’t Support You
Is your host there for you when you need them? Or do they take 48-72 to hours to get back to you – if they reply at all?
Spending time hunting down answers is your host’s job: it’s what you pay them for. Every minute you spend trying to troubleshoot your site problems or waiting around for a response is time you could spend doing something that adds value to your business.
3. Their Security Is Lacking
Shared hosting comes with entry-level security services, but sometimes, cheap or shady hosts try to sneak by with creative wording and skip some essential security features.
You need great security, particularly in shared hosting. If the other clients on your server don't update their plugins or use poor security, then your site suffers.
Despite your best efforts, you can experience downtime, slowdowns, and even attack files.
If you don't know what your host provides, get in touch and ask them:
- Do you help secure client websites?
- How do you deal with site exploitation?
- Is DOS protection on offer?
- What steps do you take to back-up and restore sites?
If you don't get an adequate response, then it's time to leave.
How to Move Your Site to a New Host
Your current host may hate to see you go, but it's easy to leave.
To move your website to a new host, you’ll need to follow the following four steps.
1. Sign Up with Your New Host
Before you do anything, create an account with your new host – do NOT cancel your current plan and do NOT tell them you intend to cancel.
Unscrupulous hosts may terminate your contract early, which can cause downtime when you switch hosts. Downtime is costly, and you need to avoid it at all costs.
2. Move Your Website Files and Data
The simplest way to transfer your website is using FTP. All you need to do is connect your current hosting account and download your accounts to a computer. Then, connect the FTP to your new hosting account, and upload them to the new host’s main folder.
You’ll also need to move any database content you have to your new account. Typically, you’ll export this as an SQL file and then import it into your new database at your new host.
3. Change Your DNS & Domain
With your site migrated, you can then begin to switch over your DNS records. You’ll log into your current domain registrar panel and then switch your website to the new host.
When you move to Managed.com, for example, you’ll use the servers:
With the correct DNS in hand, you can then make the appropriate changes with the company where you purchased your domain name.
Those who bought their domain name from their current host need to ask the host to make the DNS changes for them.
It can take up to 48 hours before your site loads from the new host. During this time, your site might load from the old or new host intermittently, so it’s a good idea to migrate during a part of the week where your traffic is otherwise low.
4. Cancel Your Old Hosting Account
Once 48 hours passes, your site will load only from the new host. That means it’s safe to cancel your current hosting plan and stick only with the new host.
Skip the Manual Steps
Sign up with the right host, and you can avoid all of the above (except the 48 hour waiting period. Managed.com offers a free migration service for all new subscriptions and will move your files, and databased over to Managed.com for you.
When you’re ready, all you need to do is cancel your old hosting plan and get prepared for fast speeds and great support.
Is It Time to Make the Move?
Does your host leave more than a little something to be desired? You don't have to marry your first host. You can move your website to a host that better meets your needs in a few steps. Don't like the technical stuff? Ask your new host to migrate your site for you.
At Managed.com, we pick up where so many hosts leave off. Your website is the most essential part of your business, and you are the most crucial part of ours. Click here to see what it's like to have support engineers available 24/7/365.