At some point we all move our websites from one host to another. Be it due to costs or available resources, its one of those business management tasks we find ourselves doing.
It seems simple enough – find a new provider that has everything you need at an affordable cost, purchase the hosting package and leave it to them to handle. Simple right? Wrong! There is a few little extra bits you need to consider, such as the available resources the hosting package will provide – so if your running a membership can the new hosting package handle the amount of php requests you will need? Photo heavy website – does your site have enough storage for the images? These can all be answered easily by the host with a quick chat with them.
There are 3 extra bits though that most hosts don’t cover or advise on clearly. Some hosts may offer to migrate your website over for you, but few will offer to help with emails or domains. See below for what I mean.
What happens to your emails when you move host? I have had a number of clients come to me and assume that when they move hosts their emails also move… but this is not true.
When you use a host provided email address those emails are saved on a server with the host. When you move hosts and cancel your previous hosting package that space of server is wiped clean ready for someone new to use it. If you don’t have a back up of those emails you will be losing years and years of emails. The easiest way to create a back up is by using Outlook. You input the server details before the move, wait for outlook to sync all your emails then create a back up of all the emails. (Instructions can be found here from Outlook) Then when you move hosts you can sync the back up with the new webmail.
If you use an email address with Gsuite then you will need to update your DNS server settings again to reconnect your email address and Gsuite.
If you have a number of additional CNAME or TXT records set up against your domain and move it along with your hosting, then you need to make a record of these. They will not be instantly transferred and can cause issues with services such as email marketing and general emails if not set back up.
This is specially true when using a service such as Gsuite that requires a number of MX records to be set up in order for Gsuite to process your emails, you may suddenly find that your emails stop working and your inbox suddenly goes quiet if you do not remember to re-create the MX records. If you don’t know how it is usually possible to contact the host for help.
Your Website Itself
If you have built your website using Wix, or Godady builder or any other form other than WordPress be prepared to have to rebuild your website. These types of builders own your website; therefore you can’t just take the site and transfer it to a new host, you will have to totally rebuild the site.
Whereas if you have built with WordPress .org things are far easier.
You can use a tool such as All In One Migration to create a back up of the website before purchasing your new hosting. Once purchased install WordPress, and the All In One Migration plugin. You can then easily import your backup and hey ho your website is up and running on your new hosting.
Be careful though, if you had plugins that had licences or api keys you need to check all of these are working to ensure a flawless transfer.
These three things are just 3 of the main host migrations issues I have come across, but there are plenty of other little things that are forgotten in the process. It can be beneficial to keep track of what and where your domain is linked so when you do choose to move you know exactly what needs updating or modifying.
Need help or want to discuss more about moving hosts? Then get in touch today!