5 Steps to Move Your Site to Hosting-Master.com
5 Easy Steps to Move Your Site to a New Host – Without Downtime or Data Loss!
Minimizing traffic loss and preventing downtime in a server migration comes down to planning. If you do not take care when you move your website, significant outages can take place. This translates to a number of potential negative consequences for your business including revenue loss, impact on search engine rankings, and damaged customer relationships.
Most failed server migrations can be traced back to poor planning and/or a lack of careful execution of a plan. If planned and executed right, successful migrations can result in no downtime or data loss. At minimum, you can severely reduce the impact of a server transfer by following this easy 5 step approach.
What you need to move your site to Hosting-Master.com:
- Server environments running parallel at your current host and new host. This is a minimum requirement to transition smoothly because taking your old servers down before uploading your data on new servers equals major downtime. We will need your username/password to your CPANEL access to complete a Cpanel to Cpanel migration.
- The ability to control DNS transfer at the record level with the ability to control Time to Live (TTL) – either through a control panel or via helpful hosting company admins. This is critical in minimizing the time it takes the rest of the Internet to recognize your DNS changes.
- Attention to detail, because without it you may lose critical data.
Step 1 to move your site to Hosting-Master.com: Setup DNS at your new host before the cutover.
A great way to execute this transfer is to set up DNS at your new host before the “real” DNS cutover. In the new host’s name servers, point the appropriate DNS records related to what you are moving (http, etc.) to your current servers at your current host and set TTL reasonably low (about 10-60 minutes). Most networks on the Internet will recognize DNS changes based on Time to Live, which means if you set this up right, once you make that real cutover traffic will flow to the new servers much quicker. By default, this type of transfer would take anywhere from 12-24 hours to be recognized. That is a lot of time to have customers visiting both sets of servers.
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Step 2: At the registrar of the domain name, point your name servers to the new host.
Once this is setup at the new host, go to your registrar and point to the new host’s name servers. If this is been done correctly, your traffic will still be going to the servers at the old host. This sets the stage for the quick transition mentioned in Step 1.
Note: While most companies utilize their hosting company for DNS, it is also not uncommon to have your DNS managed by your registrar or a third party DNS management service. If you are one of these folks, the only piece from Step 1 and Step 2 that is relevant to you is making sure your TTLs are set low.
Step 3: Upload your data and test your application on your new servers.
It’s always important to test your site on the new servers before the cutover. Import the most recent copy of your data before cutting over. Then place a fake order, test the more complex functions on the site, and otherwise make sure everything works as it should. This is the site your visitors will be using very soon, so attention to detail is very important here.
Step 4: Point appropriate DNS records at the new servers.
Once you have fully tested your application on the new host’s servers, update the appropriate DNS records to point to the new servers. Assuming you followed the previous steps correctly, traffic should be going to your new servers quickly and seamlessly!
Step 5: Check old servers for data written during migration.
Once all traffic is hitting your new servers, circle back to your old servers to find any files or database records that might have been added during the migration that aren’t on your new servers, and import them. If you imported a recent copy of your data before cutting over as suggested in Step 3, there shouldn’t be many, and once this is tackled you are basically in the clear.
If you want to avoid having to do this sort of clean up, then you must be able to tolerate having visitors hit a maintenance page in case they are routed to the old servers in the middle of your DNS switch. If having a maintenance message sounds better to you than cleaning up data after the migration, prior to the DNS cutover in Step 4, make your website inaccessible on the old servers and replace it with a “sorry page” that lets them know the site will be up and running on the new servers very soon.
With all 5 steps completed successfully, you should have moved to your new servers without incident. A successful migration means little to no impact to your client base, and minimal impact in other important areas like your search engine rankings.