If you are a business owner or webmaster, you know how important your website is. Unfortunately, some people make amateur errors when moving their website to a new host. These errors can negatively impact the performance of your site, cause long-term slowness and even bring about closure for your business.
It is important to understand that moving your website to a new host requires plenty of time, thought, and care. While it might look like a simple task, there are tons of things you have to keep in mind.
If you are planning to migrate your website to a new host, it will be beneficial for you to learn from the mistakes so that you won’t make them yourself.
Not Checking Server Compatibility
Your app (or website) is built for particular software and version. Moving to a host that does not support the same software and version can sometimes cause issues that are not even apparent immediately.
For example, if you are on a server with PHP 7.8, make sure you move to a server that is not using a legacy version like PHP 5.0 or so. Even the PHP commands you use are different in this case.
Moving to a new hosting service for your website can be an exciting time for many reasons, but it’s important to do everything in your power to ensure that the new hosting service is compatible with the existing setup of your site. Because of this, it’s recommended that you check their compatibility with your current server software before making any purchases or moving forward with the migration process itself.
Not Checking Database Compatibility
One of the most common mistakes people make when moving their website to a new host is not testing their code against the new database system. Database changes can be very expensive if you need to re-write all your code to work with the new host’s database system. Make sure you test your code against the new database before moving it over to make sure everything works correctly when migrating from one database system to another.
It’s also a good idea to get a hosting account with a hosting provider that allows you to set up multiple sites on one account, which will reduce the time taken for your site’s migration.
When you are moving a website to a new host, it is important to ensure that all URLs are working properly. A broken link checker can be used to test if everything is working correctly.
If you make use of an XML sitemap generator, make sure that you run the output through a broken link checker so you see any issues with your site’s links and how they match up with the host’s server.
If you have multiple domains, run each domain through the same broken link checker and note any issues. If you have subdomains under one domain and they are not accessible from each other, then you may need to create separate pages for each subdomain (or at least make sure the main page points to both).
Not Testing For Security Issues
Your website is probably one of your most important assets, so you must test it thoroughly before relocating or moving your site. This includes making sure that all the files and scripts are secure, as well as checking for any potential security holes or vulnerabilities in the code itself.
Transferring All Files Manually
The last thing you want to do when moving your website is getting files manually transferred from one place to another. This can take hours, if not days, and could result in serious problems if something goes wrong during the process.
Not Using An SSL Certificate
SSL certificates are a great way to secure your website, but not all web hosts offer them by default. If yours does not, then you may need to purchase an SSL certificate from another provider and have them installed on your site. You can also choose to self-host an SSL certificate with Nginx or Apache if you don’t have another option available from your web host.
Not Checking For Compatibility With Plugins
Even though you may have spent time working on a plugin for your site, it’s still vital that you check whether or not it will function properly after being moved over to a new host. Make sure that any plugins related to things like social media or email marketing will also work correctly when they’re moved over.
Not Keeping Backups
You should always keep at least three copies of everything on your site: one copy in a safe place and two copies in another safe place. The best way to do this is through cloud storage platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon Cloud Drive. Keeping backups up-to-date can be a real pain but it’s not just about saving time — if a server goes down and you lose access to your information, it could take months for someone else to recover it all for you.
Not Testing For Network Connectivity
When you move from one host to another, your website’s connection can potentially be affected by network congestion or other issues at either end of the connection. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you must run tests using multiple browsers and devices.
Not Testing For Performance
When moving your site to a new host, you want to make sure that the performance remains consistent and doesn’t suffer from the move. This means testing out the hosting services’ server speed (and bandwidth), along with its overall responsiveness and stability.
Not Making Sure All Updates Are Completed
If you’re using an auto-update service then make sure it updates all of your plugins, themes, and other scripts too. This is easy to forget about as it takes so long for them to update all of the files themselves.
Not Using A Professional Migration Service
If you’re not using a professional migration service, you’re likely to run into issues with your website after your move. While there are many ways that you can transfer your site from one host to another without damaging it, this is not one of them. Don’t try to do this yourself!
Not Planning In Advance
The most common mistake made when moving a website to a new web host is not planning in advance. DNS propagation can take as much as 48 hours, and that’s if you’re lucky. This means that if you want users on your old host to see your site immediately, you must start building it before the DNS change has taken place.
If you don’t plan well, you could end up with users who cannot access your site until they have discovered the new host’s IP address. Not only does this waste valuable time, but it also wastes money on advertising across multiple domains (if there are any). And since traffic to your old domain is lost until the DNS propagation has finished happening, this can be costly too.
It’s also important to make sure that the content is still active on the old host so that it continues to show to those for whom propagation has not happened.
The more information you have, the less likely you are to make a costly mistake. And always remember that most hosting providers will go above and beyond to help customers out of a jam if there’s a problem with their site or server after it has been migrated for them. But by taking the time to step back and do your homework before you even contact your host provider, you can ensure that any potential issues will be mitigated, and you’ll enjoy a smooth transition from one host to another.