Whether you are an online Guru or a Newbie to online business, it never hurts to brush up on the fundamentals of creating a great platform to grow, expand, and keep your online business. This article is to help educate, and familiarize you with the idea of Website Migration.
Website Migration: What is it?
Website Migration is a process of transferring your entire website including web content and database from one hosting provider to another hosting provider. If you are considering this process or needing to migrate, make sure that the entire migration process will be carried out with all cautions.
The first thing you’ll want to do is check the compatibility of the plan or service you are interested in purchasing to host your website. For example, if your website is created with PHP and MySQL, make sure your new web host offers such platforms. Furthermore, security implementation, speed, and uptime are some crucial aspects to consider when choosing any web host. You wouldn’t want to choose a hosting provider that is going to cause more problems for your site than solve them. Downtime is not good for any website.
Why do You Need to Migrate Your Website?
We’ve all been there. You try and access your website and your web server doesn’t respond. it could be the issue of your host. Here are a few reasons why you look to migrate your website.
Your hosting provider’s servers are overloaded
If you have purchased a shared hosting service, there could be thousands of websites running at the same time on a single server, this leads to overload the server, and your website faces the downtime.
Malicious cyber attack on the server
There could be a chance of Malware and the cyber attack on your website in case your existing web hosting providers don’t have proper security compliance. It is one of the reasons for downtime.
You are dealing with tired dashboards
You need to feel comfortable with your hosting provider. If you are stuck on a platform that performs poorly and is no longer comfortable paying for that host’s services, you should probably cut your losses as soon as possible.
Extraordinary Hosting Price day by day
You find that you are paying for certain services and believe there are no hidden fees. You trust your provider is being honest. Then one day you find that you are being charged for more than what you bargained for, and extra fees are being applied for services that should already be included in your total pricing. If you find that you are in this kind of a situation, it is safe to suggest canceling any further transactions and all business ties with this host is the best route to go.
Website Migration might seem daunting, but it is more of a flexible process than it is a complex one. Up until this point, you are convinced that maybe it is time to migrate your website to a new host, but how can you do it with minimum downtime? Well, you’re in luck!
Here is a detailed description of the process to migrate your website from the current host to another one.
(1) Purchase a compatible plan from a new web hosting provider.
Nowadays there are many web hosting companies readily available to help facilitate the transfer of your hosting services. They have customized or pre-adjusted web hosting plans that suit your needs best. It is simply a matter of preference. After purchasing a plan, your new hosting provider will send you the details, including your IP address and other domain name service details. Once you have received confirmation of your new service, check all the configurations and information carefully. Be sure not to cancel your existing hosting service until everything is transferred to your new service and it is up and running properly.
Check the Logins
As you receive login details from your new hosting provider you will need to verify the open ports, login credentials, FTP etc.
Once you verify the login details, check for the built-in transfer tool, and see if it fits for your website migration. If you have cPanel at both ends, you can use it for the entire cPanel account migration including Web-contents, Databases, and Email Accounts.
Looking for cPanel to cPanel Migration? Checkout Accuwebhosting > cPanel to cPanel Migration Article for the complete details.
(2) Backup all data
Your existing hosting provider should help you to backup your data. Here are 3 essential types of backups you require to take:
(A) Backup of Web-content :
Website content is the core of any website. Without the content, you wouldn’t be able to describe your services, and relay information. If you have a Windows Server or Windows Shared Hosting, content should lie at wwwroot. In Linux Hosting with cPanel, website contents can be found inside public_html.
Create a Zip File of your Web-Content :
Go to the location where your website’s data is stored and convert all the web-content files to a single zip file in Windows, as well as Linux.
Migrate Zip Backup using FTP :
File Transfer Protocol or FTP is used to transfer the data from one server to another. There are many tools available for FTP such as FileZilla, Cyberduck, FireFTP, Classic FTP, etc. It is recommended that a FileZilla FTP client backup their Zip Files.
Looking to take Backup of your website using FileZilla FTP Client? Checkout FileZilla > Take Backup for the complete steps.
(B) Backup of Database :
Database backup is essential to your website migration as it stores all of the details of users, products, transactions, etc.
There are 2 types of Databases that your website might have: MSSQL and MySQL:
Backup of MySQL Database :
phpMyAdmin is a web-based tool where you can your MySQL databases and run MySQL Commands as well. It also provide Import/Export options for your Database.
Looking to take Backup of your MySQL Databases? Checkout Accuwebhosting > MySQL DB Backup for the complete steps.
Backup of MSSQL Database :
MSSQL Database can be managed within the SQL Management Studio. Here, you can manage the MSSQL databases. It provides an option to directly export your MSSQL Database Backup. Below is the link to MSSQL DataBase Backup from SQL Management Studio.
Looking to take Backup of your MSSQL Databases? Checkout Accuwebhosting > MSSQL DB Backup for the complete steps.
(C) Backup of Emails :
The most commonly used platforms for backing up emails are Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird. It is used to download the emails from your mail server. You can configure your email accounts in your local machine to solve the email downloading purpose.
Looking to take Backup of your Email Account in local email client Microsoft Outlook? Checkout Accuwebhosting > Configure Outlook for the complete steps.
Looking to take Backup of your Email Account in local email client Mozilla ThinderBird? Checkout Accuwebhosting > Configure Thunderbird for the complete steps.
(3) Data Upload at New Server :
Once you’re done with the Data Backup, you’ll upload all the data to the new Server. You can upload data on the new server separately for the Web-Content and Databases. This next step is very important in website migration. You need to make sure none of the files got missed while uploading your website, as this may cause issues while you run the website.
(A) Restore Web-content :
There are many ways to transfer or upload Web-content to the new host server. If you have controlpanel like SolidCP or Websitepanel at your Destination server, you can upload web-content directly using upload button.
Restore Web-content Manually with FTP:
You can connect your new server with FTP in order to transfer or migrate your web-content.
Looking to upload or restore your web-content to your Destination server using FileZilla? Checkout Accuwebhosting > Restore Web-Content for the complete steps.
(B) Restore Database:
Before you start the database restoration process, you need to create the same Database and DB User on the Destination server.
Restore MySQL Database :
MySQL Database can be restored from phpMyAdmin. Looking to restore your MySQL Database from phpMyAdmin? Checkout Accuwebhosting > Restore MySQL Database for the complete steps.
Restore MSSQL Database :
MSSQL Database can be restored from the MSSQL Management Studio. Looking to restore your MSSQL Database from phpMyAdmin? Checkout Accuwebhosting > Restore MSSQL Database for the complete steps.
(C) Restore Emails:
Email Migration depends on which email service you are using. It is possible if you have same email service at both end. Email service provides such features/tools which is useful in email migration. For this portion of the Email Migration, assistance may be required from your Destination hosting company.
It is not necessary that you migrate emails to the new destination server. You can create all the email accounts with the same password at the new email server and continue to use outlook and thunderbird to fetch your emails.
(4) Data verification and website testing :
You will need to go through all the files/folders you have migrated from the older host, and compare it at both locations efficiently. Once you are done with the data verification, you can test your website using tempoary URL.
Test website with temporary URL
A temporary URL is used when you need to check your website without pointing your domain. cPanel and Plesk both of the panel provides a temporary URL. Using a temporary URL, you can make sure website pages are working correctly and database connectivity is established. If there is any error or issue with your website, you can find and fix it at this step before making it live.
Looking to test and verify your website before changing nameservers or DNS? Checkout Accuwebhosting > Test your Website for the complete steps.
(5) Change DNS :
Once Data Verification is complete, you can change the domain nameservers. Nameservers may take a few hours to propagate over the globe. You can change your domain nameservers at your Domain controlpanel from where you have purchased your Domain.
If you have purchased a shared hosting service, your web hosting provider will provide you nameserver details to point website at their server. Following is an example of nameservers.
In case you purchase a server and want to use your own server nameserver it will require to register and set the Nameservers in your Domain registrar control panel. Nameserver Registration requires IP Address and ns1 and ns2 details of your Domain as below.
ns1.domain.com – Your Server IP Address
ns2.domain.com – Your Server IP Address
All the Domain Registrar have different settings to register and set the Nameservers. Hence, you will need to do that accordingly. You can contact your Domain registrar to set your required Nameservers.
Purchased Domain from Accuwebhosting? Checkout Accuwebhosting > Register and set Nameservers for complete steps.