When migrating from one host provider to another, a major concern for server administrators is to avoid the downtime experienced by the the end-users. Primarily, the DNS servers’ transfer between the older and new web host could cause the domain to go down for 12 to 72 hours after the change is initiated. Together with the transfer of website files, restoration of important databases along with the software installations and sub-domain configurations, it takes up-to 24 hours of inactivity before the website is up and running. The blog post discusses some tricks to easily accomplish a website’s migration from one host to another, without much downtime.
Migrating from One Host to Another Host –
#1 Complete the Transfer before Cancelling
Often web server administrators undertaking the web hosting transfer for the first time, contact their old host upfront and seek cancellation of their services. While it is a good idea to timely inform your previous website hosting provider about the transfer, doing so before the complete transition could result in not just downtime but also a partial or complete loss of database information and files.
#2 Plan before Calling
Web hosting companies often, move to cancel out the hosting plan immediately after receiving a client’s reply to avail a prorated and immediate refund of any remaining fees. However, it also implies that the hosting company would virtually destroy every piece of information uploaded to the servers. There would be no opportunity to retrieve these files and transfer them to the new hosting provider’s server or shared hosting plan within the acceptable time-frame. To avoid such mishap, you need to transfer all files before striking out the existing hosting plan. Once the website is able to run on the new host servers for a few days after a successful transition, you should move to cancel out the old hosting plan.
#3 Download your Backup files
To retrieve a copy of all your backup files, you need to login to cPanel and get all the website files and database information in a compressed file format. After logging into the cPanel, navigate to the settings and control panel pages marked as “Backup.” It contains backup tools for the website’s “public_html” folder along with its subdomains. Locate the “Download Backups” option within this page, and navigate further to the relevant cPanel administration page. On this page, several backup options are available to choose from such as a full-site backup, along with backups for specific subdomains and individual MySQL databases. Ensure that you don’t decompress any of the downloaded backup files at this stage. Decompress the backup files once all the compressed backup files are securely transferred to the new host server.
#4 Undertaking the transfer
The new web hosting provider receives an email bearing information such as IP address details and domain name servers, beforehand. IP address are used to view the website’s content prior to the DNS propagation, and access individual FTP account and cPanel administration interface before making the changes. If there is no specific cPanel link available in the email, you could either add the suffix “/cpanel” or the “:2082” to the particular IP address, to gain administrative login privileges. Post login, navigate to the “Backup Downloads” page and locate the “Backup Restore” feature. You also need to note that the database backup files do not contain passwords, usernames,and permissions related to individual MySQL database, and you need to manually enter this information within the MySQL Databases interface available in the cPanel. Additionally, add all required passwords, users, and permissions, along with any edits to the system files via logging into the FTP account using the site’s IP address.
#5 Switching to the new name servers
Finally, as the system administrator, you need to log into the domain registration control panel, and access the heading named “Domain Name Servers”, which displays current web host information as:
These must be changed with the updated name servers for the new host. Now changes to the DNS records would reflect after 12 to 24 hours, during which both the new and old websites would continue to function properly, without any visible downtime or failure.
Last Few Words
Migrating from one web host to another could be a stressful ordeal, however, it becomes imperative when you are facing the issue of having an under-performing host. If you are facing constant downtime issues, slow performing website, longer time to load web pages, and loss of server end storage, it is time to switch to a newer web hosting provider. To learn more about the web host transfer and related information , give us a call at +91-120-466 3031 or fill out our contact form, and we will get back to you.