How to Switch to a New Website Host

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There comes a time when your website, blog or online store will beat every prediction or expectations and you will see that you need a new web hosting provider. This might be caused by several factors: you could run out of space due to business over-scaling or you’ll reach the maximum bandwidth very often.

The need to migrate towards a new web host might also be caused by the customers’ or subscribers complaints in regards with your page’s loading speed, un-efficient tech support or high prices. If you are a person who learns from mistakes, you know what you should look for when you decide to work with a new host: more space for your blog, more bandwidth that can support your online store’s extension or 24/7 customer support chat.

In any case, when you think that it’s time for an update in your web hosting uptime history, you can start the migrating process. Like in every other sector, there are some procedures that will facilitate the transition. Here’s what you could do to make as smooth as possible.

How to prepare for the switch

Actions to be performed before it:

  1. Look for a host that can suit all your needs. Consider every aspect if you want to keep working with them for as long as possible;
  2. Try to find a host that works with the same Control panel as you. It can be cPanel, Plesk or something else but this detail makes migration much easier, especially when you want to do it yourself;
  3. Analyse your collaboration with the provider from the beginning. When you find the hosting provider, discuss all the details and see how you interact. If their attitude is professional and give prompt answers to your questions, it means that you will develop a productive cooperation;
  4. Tell your current host about the migration only when the process is completed and tested!
  5. Do backups to save your data;
  6. You should consider switching to HTTPS which is more secure than HTTP. Data shared through it cannot be corrupted, intercepted, or manipulated.
  7. Tell your visitors about the migration. You can easily do that by putting up a banner on your website.

After you complete the pre-switching procedure, you will start wondering if you have to transfer your domain also. Although many hosting providers will try to make you transfer your domain to theirs, you should know that this is not a mandatory operation. If you like your present registrar, you can keep it and only change the current DNS server information to the addresses provided by your new host.

What operations need to be performed while making the switch

  1. If you are good with computers, you could choose to perform the migration yourself. If the migration requires more complex actions, count on your provider. In any case, your new partner will have to fill you in with all the details.
  2. The second step is to import your backups, so that you can have all your data on the new server;
  3. Add the necessary access information, like usernames, passwords and permissions;
  4. Redirect your users towards the new domain server provided by the new host.

What you should do after the switch

  1. Test everything on your website;

If everything works as it should, cancel your old hosting plan!

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Samantha Acuna is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post,, and Yahoo Small Business.