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Can I move my site to a new host?

room full of moving boxes

Posted by Vikki Baptiste

August 1, 2022

You own a website.

You understand the importance of having an online presence to reach your customers, clients, supporters, and friends. Your website is an extension of your brand and it is essential that it is available and running smoothly. If you are experiencing slow loading times, downtime, or poor customer support, it may be time to consider moving your site to a new host.

Before we look at the steps of moving your site, let’s discuss why you may need to do so in the first place.

Why should I move my site to a new host?

  • Your site loads slowly: If your website takes a long time to load, it’s bad for your online business. People might not want to wait for it to load and go somewhere else. This shows up in your bounce rate and is not a good experience for your site visitors. Keep an eye on your analytics and keep your bounce rate low.
  • Downtime: When your website is down it can result in lost revenue and damage to your brand reputation.
  • Poor customer support: If you are having trouble with your current host, it may be time to find a host who will be more responsive to your needs.
  • Cost comparison. You may be shopping around for prices. Sometimes hosts drastically increase their prices without improving their services. Always have an eye on what you are getting for your monthly fee.

How do I find a new host?

There are many hosting providers available, so it’s important to choose the right one for your business needs. Some popular options:

  1. WPEngine
  2. HostGator
  3. Siteground

At 3 Bees Digital we use and recommend Siteground (affiliate link), as they offer great customer support, fast loading times, and high uptime rates. Additionally, they are a top-rated host by WordPress.

It’s important to take your needs into consideration, including your budget, whether or not you need a dedicated server, the amount of traffic you anticipate, how much data you need to store, do they offer 24/7 service, and more!

Make sure you compare the plans offered by the host to pick the right one for your needs.

OK, I’m ready to move my site. What now?

Before you make any move, you may want to let your site visitors know your site may be down for a while. The length of time depends on the size of your site, the amount of data being transferred, any customer configurations, and other factors. It could be a couple of hours to a couple of days.

You may want to create a maintenance page, or use a plugin like SeedProd while you’re transferring your site.

Backup your site

Before moving your site, make sure you have a full backup of all your files and databases. If anything goes wrong during the move, you’ll need the backups to restore your site.

Register your new hosting account

Choose a new host and sign up for an account. You did do your research in the last step, right?

Update DNS settings

Your new host will give you the new nameservers to point your domain to. Now you should update the DNS settings for your domain to point to the new host.  Directions vary, depending on your domain registrar, but generally:

  • Log into the account where you registered your domain name.
  • Find the DNS management area. This is usually where you can add, edit, and delete DNS records such as A, MX, CNAME, and others. 
  • Change the nameservers to the ones provided by your new host.

If you have trouble with this step, contact your new host or refer to your welcome email.

Upload the backup to the new host

Use an FTP client to upload the backup of your site to the new host.

Import your database

Use the import feature in the new host’s control panel to import your database.

Update settings and configurations

Update any settings or configurations in your site to ensure everything is working properly.

Don’t forget to add your SSL certificate!

Test your site

Test your site to make sure everything is working as it should be.

Specifically, look for broken links and missing images.

Note: Siteground does most of this for you with a couple of clicks. So much easier!

Ready to roll?

Ok! You’ve decided to change hosts. 

You’ve done your research and chosen a reputable host.

You’ve chosen a plan to meet your needs.

You’ve prepared for your site to be down.

Let’s go!

If you need help moving your site to a new host, 3 Bees has been there, done that! We can help you every step of the way.

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