Web Hosting

Changing Web Hosting Providers: Things to know before Moving a Blog

To succeed a blog and make it the best, you need to host it in the right place with fast loading time and other services. But sometimes, you feel that you should change your web hosting provider, the problem here is that you can miss very important things that you should consider before doing anything.

In this post I’ll show you simple, but, very important things to consider before changing web hosting providers and migrating your blog.

The main reason to think before migrating your blog or website to a new web hosting server, is that new bloggers, especially, forget things that can stop their blogs working again, for wrong click of a button, or something similar.

Things to consider before migrating a website to a new hosting

Make sure you have at least two backups

This is the most important step to do before even thinking about changing web hosting. In the last post, I’ve talked about how to restore a website without backup, but it’s only the final method if you don’t have saved files. It needs more work and can’t guarantee to restore all your blog. So, to avoid that problem and never lose a single file from your blog, you need to make, at least, two copies of the next files.

  1. Database: Save your database in a safe place and make 2 copies in different servers.
  2. Uploads: Your “Uploads” file located in ”wp-content” is the only file that will restore your images and other file. As the database, make, at least, two copies.
  3. Themes: the last thing to do is downloading your “themes” file, and make copies of it.

Transferring web hosting to another company can be easy if you follow the right tips. But, the biggest mistake that people make is downloading a “full backup” and think to restore their blogs with a single click. That’s not the way, you can’t use that full backup as a backup, it’s just the entire blog directory and you can’t upload it again if you have large files.

The easiest way is just downloading the ”uploads”, ”themes” and database files only, and make copies from them. You can just restore a blog using the uploads file, the downloaded posts, and the ”theme” folder.

You should never make a single backup, if a single file is broken, then the entire backup won’t work when uploading or activating it. So, copy the above files on your local machine, in Google Drive, and other cloud hosting services that you trust and use.

When something unexpected happens, you still have another copy of your blog files, and never lose them.

Download your posts and settings from your WordPress Dashboard

changing web hosting providers

You can’t restore a blog if you don’t have the posts, the database is a solution, but, seems complicated for newbies. So, login to your WordPress dashboard, locate ”Tools”, then click on ”Export”. Next, check all the content, and download the file in a safe place and make copies.

That file includes your posts, links, users, and everything except images that you downloaded in the above step, when you restore your posts, the images will be linked directly from this file.

Download plugins settings

You can’t restore your plugins settings without the original parameters. The majority of WordPress plugins includes an export option for moving plugins setting. The WordPress SEO plugin, for example, lets you export and download all your post SEO information and import them into the new server. All you have to do is to click the plugin link, Import & Export and finally download the settings and save.

Never forget to export and download the TablePress tables if you have used tables in your posts. This is the only method to restore them, you can restore the TablePress tables from the database.

The same thing for the other plugins, just find an export option and download the file in XML version. If you can find any option to download a plugin setting, then, you need to edit the settings manually in the new server.

If you have the Genesis framework and themes, you can easily export all the theme settings, and customizations with a click of a button. Just click on Genesis and Import/Export, then download the file. On the new server, you need to click Import and upload the saved file to restore all your theme settings.

Verify the new server

The only way to avoid compatibility issues with different servers and languages, you should make sure that the new servers run on the same language as the old one. If you use Linux as OS, then moving to Windows or vice versa will cause some issues that can be easy to solve, but sometimes, more complicated.

So, if you find that the new server OS language is different, then, contact the new hosting support and ask for help to migrate your blog. They know their server setting and they will move your file for free. Most hosting providers like Bluehost offers a free migration.

Please note that changing web hosting providers with different operating systems won’t affect your installation in general, but sometimes, the files and settings will be rejected and not executed for complicated reasons to explain. So, ask for moving your blog, to avoid problems.

Keep the old hosting with all the files for a week

You should keep the old files and database and all the blog. You don’t know what will happen after a day or two, from the migration to the new server. If something happens, you don’t have to worry about file, you have copies and the original files.

If something is missing from your posts like images, you need to move it or look at the old server.

When your blog become stable, and all things work, you can delete the old files from the server. But, never delete the backup, and don’t forget to make daily backups of your blog.

If you follow the above steps one by one, and apply them, you can move your blog to another web hosting provider without any issue. Multiple copies in different locations for your files, is the only way to restore a blog or website, even, if a big problem happens. The final word is, don’t forget the daily backups and protect your blog.

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