Migrating your website from one server to another is necessary if you are switching website hosting providers.
The process involves moving all your website files to your brand new server and configuring your DNS settings.
If you are not familiar with the process it can be quite challenging. This article will guide you through the steps to ensure you migrate your website successfully in just 7 steps.
Let’s get started!
To successfully migrate your website to a new server, you should follow these 7 steps:
- Don’t cancel your current hosting plan immediately
- Make a backup copy of your website
- Upload your website files to your new server
- Test your new website
- Move your email accounts to your new server
- Change your DNS
- Cancel your old hosting plan
How to Migrate a Website From One Server to Another in 7 Steps
Migrating your website can be a time-consuming and complicated process. But, it isn’t an impossible task.
Follow these 7 steps carefully to migrate your website from your old to your new server:
#1. Don’t Cancel Your Current Hosting Plan
When starting the process of migrating your website from one server to another, don’t cancel your current web hosting plan immediately.
It’s a common mistake for administrators to cancel the current website hosting plan before doing anything else. If you cancel your plan before moving your website to your new server, you are very likely to lose all website files.
Although it is of good courtesy to inform your current hosting provider about your plans to switch to a new hosting company, they might go ahead and cancel your current plan right away.
Instead, hold off until you have completed your website migration process to cancel your old hosting plan.
Looking for a new hosting plan? Our guide to dedicated server specs can help you find the right one for your business!
#2. Make a Backup Copy of Your Website
In preparation for migrating your website, you should create a backup copy of it. Back up all your website files, as well as any databases connected to your site.
It’s always a good idea to have a copy of your website stored away securely in case anything goes wrong. You might encounter various issues during your website migration process that can result in partial or total loss of your files.
When you have a backup of your website, you can always restore it in the case of data loss. But, it’s important to keep your backup copy in a different place than where your website is hosted.
The most secure way to backup your website is to apply the 3-2-1 data backup strategy, which involves creating one offsite backup copy.
#3. Upload Your Website Files to Your New Server
After securely backing up your data, you can begin the website migration process. Start by uploading your website data to your new server.
To do this process manually, you should upload the backup copy of your files to your new server. The process can vary depending on the control panel your new server uses.
Most hosting providers can even help you migrate your website. Check with your new provider whether they offer website migration services. You will only need to give your new hosting provider access to your old server, and they will move your website to your new server.
To manage access to your server, you will need root access to your server. Read more about how to obtain root access to your server here.
#4. Test Your New Website
By now you should have your website uploaded and ready to go live on your new server.
To avoid any downtime while moving servers, make sure to test your website functionality on your new server.
Test all pages and features of your freshly migrated website. Make sure all files are uploaded, your databases are functioning, and all links are set in place.
If you notice any issues, you should troubleshoot them and fix them before starting to use your new server. And when you confirm everything works well, you can move to the next step.
If you want to give your website a boost in performance, check out how in our article explaining why you need a dedicated server for hosting your website.
#5. Move Your Email Accounts to Your New Server
When moving your website from one server to another, don’t forget to move your organization’s email accounts too. Your email accounts are connected to your old server, and it’s easy to forget to move them to your new server.
To avoid missing out on important emails during your website migration, make sure to move your email accounts to your new server before changing your DNS in the next step, or set up temporary email forwarding.
You can do this using the settings in the control panels of your servers. Or, if you are using Gmail or Outlook, you can change your server settings there.
#6. Change Your DNS
The final step of the website migration process is to change your DNS configuration. Your website now “lives” at a new location, and to continue using the same domain you simply need to point it to your new address.
Update the DNS directories with your new server’s DNS settings and wait for the change to take effect. It can take from 6 and up to 24 hours for the change to be live.
Then, your domain will start routing visitors to your brand new server. Your website migration is officially complete.
#7. Cancel Your Old Hosting Plan
You have now fully moved your website to your new server, you have ensured it works properly, and you have updated your DNS configuration. The final remaining step is to cancel your old hosting plan.
If you’ve followed all steps correctly, it is now safe to cancel your old hosting plan. Your new server should be in optimal working conditions and your website should be fully accessible. As such, your old server should no longer be needed to host your website.
Don’t forget to also settle any termination fees with your old hosting company if they have them in their policy.
If you’re still looking for a new server, take a look at the several different types of dedicated servers to help you make a decision!
RedSwitches Managed Hosting Services
The easiest way to migrate your website from one server to another is by using managed server hosting.
RedSwitches offers fully managed dedicated hosting with unparalleled performance, an easy-to-use control panel, and automated backup services.
We will set up your dedicated server, migrate your data from your old server, and move your website to your brand new server free of charge.
Check out our managed hosting plans here to migrate your website the easy way!
Website Migration FAQ
#1. What is meant by server migration?
Server migration is the process of transferring your website from one server to another if you are switching to a different hosting provider, or sometimes a different hosting plan.
#2. How long does it take to migrate a website to a new server?
Depending on how much data you have, migrating your website to a new server might take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.
#3. Will my site go down if I transfer the domain?
When migrating your website to a new server but you are using a third-party domain service, you won’t experience any downtime.
#4. Is it easy to switch website hosts?
Switching website hosts can be complicated and it’s easy to lose important data in the process. That’s why you need to take calculated steps and choose a reputable website hosting provider that will ensure everything goes according to plan. Your best choice is to go with a managed hosting plan and let your hosting provider handle the migration process with minimal downtime.
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