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How to Best Transfer Your Business’ Website

Transferring a website is easier than you might think. In fact, you can gain all the benefits of switching to a new host, such as faster speeds, lower costs, and less downtime, by following a simple transfer process with very little effort. To transfer your website without having downtime, you will need to follow a specific process designed to keep your website on the web during the entire transfer. Read on to learn these steps and get your site transferred with just a few clicks.

Setting Up Your New Host

If you’re looking to transfer your website, then you’ve either found a better deal on hosting or you need to. Transferring a site is a great time and opportunity to improve the quality, speed, and performance of your site while potentially saving some money on hosting fees.

To get the best deal on hosting and make sure you’re using your hosting budget wisely, it’s a good idea to start by checking how many resources your site actually uses. You can do this with a free analytical tool. If you’ve not already installed such a tool, Google Analytics is a powerful example of one, while StatCounter is a simpler, and perhaps easier to use, alternative. Either can be installed on just about any type of website.

Once you’ve got an idea as to how much traffic your web server needs to accommodate, you can start looking at pricing across various hosting companies. If you’re unsure of your traffic metrics, or want to transfer your site in a hurry, you can simply choose a hosting plan that allows for unlimited visitors. This model also applies to how much storage space you’ll require. You can check your current hosting account to see how much room you’re using, or simply transfer to a plan with unlimited storage.

There are several great options for business website hosting, including VPS, cloud, and CMS-specific hosting. If you’d like to configure your web server to make the most of your SEO strategy and enhance your site’s performance, than a VPS hosting plan is probably best. Otherwise, you can find affordable WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla hosting plans that can make running websites on each respective platform incredibly easy.

Once you’ve selected a new or improved web hosting company, you should copy the nameserver information provided by them to a local file for your records. You will need this data to transfer a website to a new host.

Creating a Backup of Your Business Website

After creating an account with a new host and getting your nameserver information, it’s time to make a complete backup of your website. If you’ve been using WordPress, creating a backup will be easy. Download a backup utility for WordPress, such as BackWPup, and install it as a plugin on your WordPress administrator panel.

Joomla and Drupal users have backup utility options as well, including respective Akeeba and Bitnami tools.

Save the backup file you create with one of these tools to your local machine so you can easily upload it to your new host. Don’t delete your prior hosting account just yet, however, as you’ll want to make sure everything is working with your new host before going off the web.

Uploading a Business Website to a New Host

From your new host’s administrator panel, install the CMS or platform you were using to operate your business website. If you were using WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, make sure to either install the same version of the software that you had, or a version that’s at least compatible with any themes and plugins your site relies on.

Install the plugin or backup utility you used to create the backup of your website on your new web server. You can then follow the on-screen prompts, which are specific to each backup utility, to upload and decompress all of the files associated with your website. This process may take a while if you have a lot of media or video files to upload.

Switching Nameservers for Your Website

To transfer a website without downtime, you will need to switch your nameserver information with your registrar after your site’s backup is installed on the new server. This ensures that regardless of which server a visitor pulls your website from, it will run and operate as it should.

After updating the Domain Name Server (DNS) information with your registrar, you can test your website by visiting it with a browser or ping tool. Once you’ve tested your site and can verify that it’s working and loading from your new web host’s server, you can safely delete your old hosting account and any files stored on your previous web server.

When it comes to transferring a business website, it’s vital that you don’t have any downtime or errors, as these issues can dissuade potential customers or clients from using your services. Since your business website probably has tons of features, content, and pages that you don’t want to lose in the transfer process, it’s also important to make sure your site backup is complete and functional before deleting your original site files. Following this guide will ensure an easy and reliable transfer for any business website, regardless of the web host you’re transferring to or from.

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