Are you thinking of changing your web host? Though there may be a lot of reasons to do so, there are some things that must be considered before switching to a new web host.
Backup your website before moving
It would be a disaster to move your website to another host without having a proper backup. You will lose all your data and files in case there is a mishap. This will come in handy if you run into any compatibility issues.
Do a little research on your New Web Host
It cannot be safely assumed that your new host will have all the features that your old host provided. This will lead to your website being incompatible with your new host. A little research will help you in this regard and avoid a lot of hassles at the last moment. Some of the major features and functionalities that should be checked are:
1) Get to know the fastest way by which you can upload your website to their server. Having an FTP client is bare minimum
2) Have your new host’s DNS information and your domain account information for quickly modifying these settings as and when needed.
3) Keep the temporary URL handy to test your website before changing the DNS entries.
Keep people informed
It is always a good practice to keep all concerned to know that the web hosts are being changed and also the expected down time and time when the website will be up has to be communicated. Once the website is moved, it is good to let people know of this.
Prepare and action plan
Planning is critical to successfully change web hosts. Identify and plan the move during a lean period. This will ensure less noise and easy movement. Prepare a checklist of all the activities, the files to be moved, and the settings to be changed etc. and track it to closure.
Test the new site
Once the files are uploaded and settings modified, conduct a small test using the temporary URL to ensure all is well. Once this step is successful, you can go ahead with changing the DNS information. These days it takes very less time for the web site to fully broadcast and if there are any issues it will surface immediately. In the event of any critical issues that might affect your business, you can always bring up the old host’s server until all issues are resolved. If there are no issues after a few days, you can phase out your old web host server and end your hosting service agreement with that provider.
A well planned and executed web host move will always ensure a smooth move from one web host to another. Being well planned and organized will save you a lot of stress. While planning you must envisage all possible risks and have a mitigation plan in place. Of course certain unforeseen or unplanned issues will tend to pop up but having a contingency plan will ensure a seamless migration between your old and new web hosts.